2014 - October

‘Hollow Birds’ & Other Poems

Image: John Tenniel’s illustration for Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark. Source

Author: Charlotte Courdesse

Hollow Birds

The void of the mind, trampled and crippled,
Is written with a typography of desire,
Unconsciously torn between urge and stagnation,
Saturation of shattered leaves and thinned-off glass.
Nothing moves, but drifts slowly towards a stillpoint,
That awaits the flood of lapsarian minutes.
Meanwhile, lasses perform Saint Agnes’ rites,
Lovers stand near the withdrawing sea of Dover beach,
And a Nicean bark flings itself away
In the ever-tossing waves of poetry,
Images of yore, fantasies of old,
Whose existence is doubtful, less coherent,
Expressions of the self, set up to coy and object
The imaginary real, and the nature of dreams,
Originate from, and head to,
the deep alloy of philosophical thoughts,
the proto-hotchpotch of humanity,
the syntagms, phonemes, lexemes of truth,
that evince inspired crackpot, literature,
borne by putative beams of historic tradition.
There they lie, surfaces of black pauses,
Awaiting to be picked down by the bleak hands
Of ravenous rovers.


Over the heel of multiple amber voices,
Feather-wise, trimmed with brilliant eyes,
Under the ponderous feet of gilded thoughts,
Leathered and trite in their burnished vagaries,
They plummet and dive, they rust and rot,
Salt of the hard core, the European gods.

Over the years of multiples ardent hooks,
Silver embroidered, weapons armed, and yet
Under the potent helmet of rigorous princes,
Sharpened but weak in their pitying squalor,
They flaw and dodge, they deny and dye
The tenure of their arms, the worldwide army.

Tis no run-in in the drawback of their battles,
They know what they are, defined, not altered,
Albeit the gallivanting pleas of the whirlwind,
They die and march, resurrection for a ticker-tape,
Strolling in mid-air, they defile the wrongdoings,
Awaiting no graces: capstone of the vanquished hassles.

In a Spencerian rhythm, they mount epic ravens of yore,
And speak in monolithic A the plosives and the loves
Of numerous languages,

In a burst prose of purple tinges, they slide along the heroic shores,
And address the question of Clarisse’s and Acteon’s soars,
For the sake of euphonious staves,

Over the clouds of multiple gone off verses,
They modernize and dovetail the fingers of our chronic past,
Under the studied cant of their immortal spirits,
They rehearse the eyewash limbs of our words,
A cut from above, a cerulean window splits open,
Watchers of old times, quenchers of nigh nights.


Temple of the Ancient

Fake statues, upright erected, winged and frail,
Made a half-stifled cry, marble vibration,
Casting to the pending sky a marvel of doggerel.

Fascination took us, with its quills brazen,
Scripturient and demonic: that was the initiation,
Flow spouts us astray, and the flood of hell.

Gyrastic columns, Delic acanthus leaves, solemn
Salutes: they murmur their names, critics of ancient cultivation,
And sound the ivory statements of Aphrodites of stone,

Frozen ecstasy, gullible to the brink of madness,
Ties up the esthetic shackles of tantalization:
They indulge in gripping the void, rosary of invention!


Cheshire Hostel

Chain of substitutions – was it only a fantasy,
Or something easily removed from the path of dreams?
Windows wide closed in the downtime of isms,
Doors tightly open for the throwback to begin,
Fleabags I know not, but to them I return, continuously,
My rucksack in rag and my ring disposed,
Looks of dismay on my face, and defiance ahead,
When I book a room, and a gallivant around,
Steps patch up the cracks, on the crushed ferns,
In the sounds of the drills, and forests away,
I am the frontrunner, the wanderer,
In whom every belief crumbles and soars,
I sell highlife and hobnobbing,
Sandbox of departure, sold-out from the beginning,
For a minute of frenzy, antics follow, disreputably
Vulgar, but meaningful, for the hearers of will,
For my cause is mighty, and good,
That transmogrifies the void, for good,
That glitters with nuclear sparkles and bombs,
That spurs the soldiers of fortune to try their death;
There I reign over thousands of kingdoms of dawn
Purple and gild, across the mind, plunged deep in sea,
Thick and fast they bid me to admonish torments,
Advices I give them, nonplussed they depart
To dingy motels and gasoline stations, to filthy closets
Of evenings much distanced,
They ask for a homespun redemption, in the squalor, in ditch,
They remember me not, the merchant of magic, the knight of nights
Half-lit but rich, verbose and profound.
They have forgotten already the Forthcoming for the Candyfloss,
The hunchback for the witch.

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