Dreamboat

 

i.

There we are

in a big aeroplane

with its lounge, its silently

snapping fire and cut glass.

 

ii.

In a dream my sister died

and I delayed grief, offering it to others

first. It was politeness

and eventually I turned see-through.

 

The next day I spoke to her

on a screen. She’d been crying.

The screen remained solid

looking like water.

 

iii.

When you lose something in a dream

it falls to the bottom, swiftly rattled

out

 

but you never think of going back—

to beat through acres of mid-air

walking the distance.

 

iv.

We sense that soon 

the aeroplane will land,

and go about swapping seats.

But the plane’s really more like a boat

which rather than landing

will only continue to buff and displace molecules.

There are screams and some confusion as it banks and banks.

 

v.

In a riverbed I lay

 

three nights of clawed cobalt

 

and on the fourth, a sand-blank expanse

filled up behind my eyes.

 

A line of prints padding away round the dry bend.

 

vi.

The dream doesn’t narrow into a tube;

it shreds down like a child’s fingernail

 

like an elderly pencil, it reverts

 

you turn it upside down

to begin again (barely the phantom of a pause).

 

vii.

You can’t find your seat

so you crouch along

the forest of rows:

it’s not lost it’s

right at the back

of the forest, which has gone

dim and tonal.

 

The plane floats on,

a day above the night.

 

 


Wrecking Party

            for Michael Farrell

 

Mulberry.

 

A bat drops on the stove, awakes

no one. Clutching its belly.

 

Then they’re coming to the door, saying

Take the tools, throw a horseshoe in.

Throwing a horseshoe in. Irish silver,

imperial leather, whatever. It all smells

like folded skin.

 

Burrows in the bricks—

they hack a wall through

to the garden, straighten

into stars. A fringe

of purple lawn, spraying teeth.

 

                                                *          *          *

 

                                                She rushed toward

                                                beating away through the mulberry.

                                                Her eye seemed to fall into place

as the acid crossed her face in confusion.

 

When morning knocked  

she hid under the table,

never good with perspective.

Ferry lines trebled through the background;

she watched mould forest

in canvas undergrowth.

Wearing the rug to death.

 

On the ledge a conch, some pins

imposing. In the window a handful of spears

stuck in flight—trails carved hard toward earth.

She stood; and they accelerated.

 

She wrote off, ink

sliding back into the pen.

She wrote off

                                                         tearing the envelope with her teeth.