Three Poems by Christopher Barnes

Old Six Legs, The Giant

 

He’s the angel of the bottomless pit

streaking Harleydene, down by lamplight,

left all his grizzled brothers

with a scream. In this nightshade sands shift.

Orion’s belt stirs. Shadows grovel.

Star pins drop

they’re shivering obedience.

 

Ow Yow

(after Captain Beefheart’s Rockette Morton)

 

1. Rockette Roller

 

A nipple-eyed Merlin –

watch silk-twizzling megawatts

as he wheels the jump-skating rink.

 

Dynomotor-made – he flies past the ringside’s

oblong-staggers,

gum-treacle mouth

wobbling from his face

to-the-other-side sssssshhhhissssh.

 

2. Roxy Rockette

 

When he hooks

over a fretting guitar

ear a crack,

a stomp in bottle-glass slippers,

specks go splashdown.

 

You can’t hawk big boy Rockette Morton

with his TV aerial antennae.

This beat’s beat

kachump ding-ding falump.

He chinks a jelly walk

through the undivided world’s

electric shadows.

A lip, a critter

squashing pretzels, and my,

how he sucks the cartoon

knobbiness of a reefer.

 

Oh, Mama, Ma Ma Ma!”

 

“I met a boy the other day,

he got barbwire in his underpants.”

 

A run-through wrings me. I guttle,

father-thought to his death-warrant.

Clean sweep, find guilty then reprieve.

 

Unromantic gapers curb.

Unfathomable office-blocks, lour-clouds above.

Paraphrased pluck dissipates.

 

“That boy is coming at me

ay ya ya…”

 

He’s chary, glimmering,

pertinent or indirect.

How to strike? Now? Never?

 

“I got a brick in my back,

I lick him hard upon his head.”

 

A flinch splatter-dashes his face;

control is hard-driven.

 

All quotes from “Barbwire” by Nora Dean

 

By Christopher Barnes

 

The South Bank Centre in London recorded his poem ‘The Holiday I Never Had’, he can be heard reading it on www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=18456

He also read at the Callander Poetry Weekend hosted by Poetry Scotland.

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