Tuesday 21 May 2024

Five Poems by Mark Young


A line from Laurie R. King 


I am listening to Bach, played 

by a virtuoso organist on a  

Wurlitzer pipe organ. We're  

experiencing playback issues 


so the output we hear appears as 

a genre that you can’t quite wrap 

your head around. It seems, at best, 

an awkward synthesis of simple 


matrix arithmetic & a steeply sloping  

roof from a garden area across the  

Seine. I am verklempt. Bitterness is  

an aftertaste. It is the same feeling 


I experience each morning when I  

realize that the will to change de-  

pends on how many options there  

are on offer on the breakfast table.


Coming home 


over the bridge, & I'm 

in behind an SUV 

with the vanity plate 


of SESAME. Makes me 

think they think they 

might be going to seed. 




My humongous huaraches 


are made from rhinoceros leather 

& cover six city blocks before they 

take a single step. They're kept at  

an abandoned airport —the only 

space that can accommodate them  

without causing a traffic jam or a 

city-wide panic attack. They haven't 

moved from there since purchase  

& placement. As yet unworn – am  

uncertain they can contain my feet.




Meanwhile, in today's army 


An auxiliary of mushrooms 

beats out a march in 3/4 

time. The soldiers hate it. 

It is so unmilitary to be 


forced to waltz on the pa- 

rade ground they complain. 

& so ungainly. The mush- 

rooms are unmoved. Show 


us where in Sun Tzu there 

is mention of a strategy that 

decries it. So oom_pah_pah. 

Stick it up your jum-per pah! 




Der Flügel des Erdferkels 


Walking on hot sand is 

little substitute for one's  

dreams of being domi- 

nated. Erstwhile patrons 

of long-gone sideshows 

read painful texts aloud, 

the sky shatters into glass 

piano keys that have no 


melody in them. Which 

is why we pay attention,  

pondering on the attri- 

butes of life, reacting  

to the purposelessness  

of misdirected facsimiles. 








Mark Young was born in Aotearoa New Zealand but now lives in a small town on traditional Juru land in North Queensland, Australia. He is the author of more than sixty-five books, primarily text poetry but also including speculative fiction, vispo, memoir, and art history. His most recent books are a pdf, Mercator Projected, published by Half Day Moon Press (Turkey) in August 2023; Ley Lines II published by Sandy Press (California) in November 2023; un saut de chat published by Otoliths Books (Australia) in February 2024; and Melancholy, a James Tate Poetry Prize winner, published by SurVision Books (Ireland) in March 2024. 

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