Narwhals (new poem)

(I have a Facebook page here)

Hmm, Adam Kammerling won the national Hammer and Tongue final with a poem about the state of poetry so I thought I’d see if I could try my own “this is why I write poetry” thing. Here it is and it’s called Narwhals

I am a poet
I am not a teacher
I am not a politician or a preacher or an angel-headed hipster
I’m just a guy who spits his heart out through his lips.

I am night vision on the darkened street
Strung out on puppets’ feet
That pound the relentless 4:4 beat
To scour the meat pits for the heat of bodies
Coffee-fuelled and dizzied by the endless drizzle of ugliness on concrete.

Give me an oyster card to the unlit alleys of my soul
And I will bring you back Leviathans
And sewer rats and the fizzing Freon discharges of truth.

I will place bets on games of chance
I will dance across the city’s fretwork
I will wake with night sweats screaming “Diaghilev let me knit long johns for your corps de ballet”
I will watch armies of umbrellas snake into the belly of the whale
I will chase tyre tracks into the tarmac’s oils
I will navigate the coiling tail of capitalism
I will baptise the flailing beast
I will behead the railing priest
I will prepare their bodies for the paschal feast
I will parade their meats through underpasses where wild-haired women shriek “John of Patmos your eschatology lacks narwhals”
I will lay out trampolines to catch the confessions of jumping hedonistic penitents on acid trips
I will rock the words in cradles
I will pocket them and whisper “I cannot absolve you”
I am not a preacher
I am not a politician or a teacher or an angel-headed hipster
I’m just a guy who spits his heart out through his lips.

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