Monday 6 March 2023

Five Poems by Mark Young




Baedeker

 

He followed the guidebook

carefully, replacing

the listed sites of interest

with the actual items

when he found them. Houses

that had a history, a row of

shops, fountains, parks, the

plaza with its famous

wall of shame. Once he had

the scene he could fill it

with inhabitants. Just as

the book did when it decorated

cathedral ceilings or described

the inside of a hall. Otherwise

facades, or acts of stagecraft.

Walls that flickered into being

as he approached & hid what-

ever lay behind. He saw

the railway station & walked

towards it. Climbed up the steps

& found it was the concourse

where the world came to an end.



Melancholy

 

"I used to think that

relativity could be

described as the last

sausage left under the

grill," they said to me as

we shared a beer. "You

know, the relatives have

been around & eaten us

out of house & home.

 

"Then I came across the

oeuvre of de Chirico, &

realized it had more to

do with whether there

were clocks in the pain-

ting, & were they larger

than the artichokes or

enigmatic people they

shared the space with."


 

Today's list

(aka The contents of my shoulder bag in the time of Covid)

 

two apples  (5.)

note book  (3.)

rubber gloves  (5.)

three ballpoint pens  (3.)

Covid mask, not worn but unfurled, ready  (8.)

a rolled up reusable shopping bag  (5.)

glasses case (empty)  (1.)

a second mask  (8.)

elastic knee brace  (6.)

two handkerchiefs  (2.)

pocket-size tissues  (2.)

J. G. Ballard's The Day of Creation  (7.)

packet of antibacterial wipes  (8.)

ticket to double header rugby tests, played three months ago  (4.)

a third mask, this one N95 standard  (8.) 

sheet of Panadol Osteo  (6.)

a second shopping bag  (1.)

vaccination certificate showing double shots plus booster  (8.)

ticket to a guided tour of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens over two years ago (4.)

instant hand sanitizer  (8.)

eye drops  (5.)

 

deductions from the above

 

(1.) I'm a jackdaw

(2.) I always have to have something to blow my nose on

(3.) It's important to be able to jot down thoughts when they arrive

(4.) I quite often retain mementoes of experiences I found special

(5.) Just in case

(6.) My knees are fucked

(7.) It helps to keep a book by a genius writer with you

(8.) Covid's not going away


 

Ersatz in the 21st Century

 

Newspapers can crumble into fragile

yellowed fragments. None of them

are palpable, except for a delicious

kind of fruit pie which can appear on

the menu at any time. Material goods

don't just disappear. Waste production

& management impact the oxymoron

that the concept of social nature turns

 

out to be. The Colorado River slowly

removes rocks to form a sector crucial

for trading goods & services but one

which ignores the welfare of performing

animals, the Grand Canyon, the adverse

effects of the phantasmagoric world.

 


incidental molasses

 

In his commentary on The Odyssey, a

Cyclops did not note that Odysseus

often has only two choices, death or

victory. He was backed up by George

Bernard Shaw who never said that the

path to victory is a logical one. Odysseus

stayed silent, did not opine it will never

be found in the Master List of Logical

 

Fallacies. George Bernard Shaw did not

add that the end of history is not an ori-

ginal one. Neither they nor the Cyclops

noted permission to reproduce material

must be sought in writing from the Cen-

ter for Nonprofit Studies & Lycanthropy.




Mark Young was born in Aotearoa / New Zealand but now lives in a small town in North Queensland in Australia. He has been publishing poetry for over sixty years, & is the author of over sixty books, primarily text poetry but also including speculative fiction, vispo, non-fiction, & art history. His most recent books are Songs to Come for the Salamander: Poems 2013-2021, selected & with an introduction by Thomas Fink (Meritage Press & Sandy Press); Your order is now equipped for shipping (Sandy Press); & The Advantages of Cable (Luna Bisonte Prods).

Mark Young's most recent book is the free downloadable pdf, XXXX CENTONES, available from sandy press — https://www.sandy-press.com/.

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