poems 1 & 2

A few years ago I started compiling a collection of my ‘unpublished works’, each of which was to be accompanied by some explanatory text. Loose Ends it was called.

The first two works were poems, for which I wrote the following annotation:

Newton and Norbert Wiener were at one with maths; I, however, was not. When faced, in my eleventh year of school, with an infinitude of unfathomable injunctions – to show, for example, that m+nC2 = mC2 + nC2 + mC1nC1 – I finally fled; first, skywards, to ride the curled-up clouds; then to the Riviera, where lay a maiden ‘never fairer’. Thus did I, the embryonic engineer, exchange my calculator for – well, a broken typewriter, upon which I precipitately committed this, my first literary sin.

It is accompanied, here, by my second, which differs from the first in one small way – The Mergence has virtue. In fact, it has two: the colour of the ink in which it was written (a vivid unconscionable green), and the power of its language – felt more, I am sure, in the writing than the reading. I recall the scene: I sat, alone, on a verandah both dim and moody. There the words came, in a rush like a wave, and bore me away to a place where the loop of each letter was the touch of a feather, and I was the ink on the page. It was my first experience of, as Orwell puts it, the ‘joy of mere words’; one, henceforth, I have sought to repeat.

And here are the guilty parties themselves…

Subterranean Aquatic Struggles

Below my feet
flow the waters of the Riviera.
Stuck in the mud
lies a maiden never fairer.
I lift my hand
to make acquaintance,
but with a sigh
she sinks beneath the surface.
A twitch of reeds,
the black ink bubbles;
the whole sad scene pre-empts
subterranean aquatic struggles.

The Mergence

We go our separate ways
and then we meet;
Daphne the priest
explains away a Persian teddy’s defeat.
Who did it, whenceforth it came?
Taking numbers from the warm
adding to the slain.
We two are different —
so the, so
Majarity dons silver whistle —
go cat go.
Maybe an apostle becomes an apissle?
Go our separate ways
exciting plays; blue red jays
leading into, leading out of —
frosty summerine winter days.
Hah! I know you!
You work at working into
a splintered chest-deep
sleep. And pass while on the way
your last family
in an antique muzzle-driven
curzon-ledgered, pleasure-forged
slick. Oil… slick.
But all the clock we knew the time,
each writing the sixth chapter
of her latest book.
Oh, what a really game —
every book’s sixth chapter are both the same.

Puzzling at best.