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.
(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
wobbling from his face
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
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.