Shane Book


from a series called Flagelliforms 


Fixed in cold jellied fact to my knees.

After the gifting of soaps, coloured bowls, handkerchiefs, curved

tools. It’s a sharp row of Sundays inside the giant

articulated trailer, under the cut-away roof.  

Except my scientist is missing.

And where they punched holes, my ankles leak.

And I leak. 

Flies drip phlegmy egg clusters on a large rotting

collarbone. The acres of fact glitter  

with coils and shards and a dark rim of ocean. The thin roof

or tall air or wispy tarp of far away sky

quivers with sounds.  

My scientist promised and I signed

with my horns and now.

Now I am burning alone.  

The sounds are whitish sounds.

The whitish men are drumming  

one-two, one-two—

simple, cottony beats,  

and writing all down,

the way they do.  

What beats these are I think I know.

These beats are the beats that they beat before they feast on us.

My scientist tells me so. 

My eyes are smiley, “buggy,” misty, and “shifty.” I admit it; and recall

the last theorems my scientist gave me: 

Yellow bean tied with yellow lightning

and, Great squash painted with the voice of the bluebird

and, These are the stories and they are a swing

and, In the path of some moving shadows the grass won’t stand up again 

O I’ve got titles.

It’s their tales that have gone and left me,

like the wild white dogs 

of the whitish men, scampering away

to their wild white dales.  

I cast a peep out as far as I can

to peep the shattered dugout hulls

and the wide Negro-y hole and the feathers

inside but there are no flags or ladders

with lounging brown sea hags.  

I leak from the low, slow leak in my speed muscle—on up.

I burn from my spare eye, down.