The warp and woof of the working day. He slid between its thatches. Sick wind.

Twentieth century modernist wallscapes, whose facades, like cancers, were slowly eating and staining themselves. In some distant future, their collapsed remains, running through consolidating veins Corbusier and van der Rohe progeny, powderblue and cornflowergiallo, will make a fit marble for the inconceivable palaces of shrimp and uranium barons. Basileus. The compacted rock containing plastic fossils, industrial remnants, kettles, vulcanized rubber dolls, air-conditioners, and refrigerators. Mosaics to match the pagan treasures of ancient Greece. What will be prized; a child’s dummy? A copper pot? A wastrel stem of plastic flowers unwittingly preserved in an unidentifiable oil. Palm. Deep-fried former lives from a shlocky Chinese restaurant. Mysterious Solidified God. Manufactured to be so sure. If not natural, we would have invented it. Mono Sodium. Lonely salt. Lonely sailor. But right now they stood, gangs of feral pimply kids, whooping and whooting through the not-yet-compacted crevices. Blood in the building veins.

I’ll smash you! Can’t smash me, I’aint made’a glass. Sung-song arcs, wildly coasting thither and yon, contorting otherwise dour mouths. Yer-can’t-smaassh-mee-ah’aint-made-ah-glaarrss. Impish rhythms, demiurgic satyrs, filling bodies for all time. In their crushed marble skulls, perhaps a whipping tail will be felt by the chosen son of a bluetime Basileus, chancing upon an eye-socket, Pompeii-staring out of delirious marble. The corner, near the floor. Something tingles in his spine, tail bone feels a’whippin’. Archetypal inhabitants surfacing anew. Strange to think we believe in personal reincarnation. More eternal recurrence of the same. Satyr is faun, is pickpocket, chimney sweep; nymph and naiad, urchin and ASBO. Recognise in a look. Simpler than a mason. Eyes aren’t feigned. Can’t learn. No handshake. Fiercer in the girlies. In packs, more. Whatcha lookin’ at? Huh? Huh? Ah har har. Hey, hey. Orr. I ain’t gonna rob ya. Where ya goin? Home. You been dancin’? No, working. Dancing, why dancing? Want to touch those little imps. Give them tea. Impossible. They will not look into your eyes. Only their kind. Dancing.

The warp and woof of the working day.
He slid between its thatches. Sick wind.
The inner world is so sacred.
You slice a tomato for lunch.
Glacial swaying tones in an aeroplane
Whispers and snatches of speech.

Inside voices inside the head. A fabricated highlife of glazed celluloid, sucking gelled vortices of suspension chaos. He was not at its centre, but the cooling plate of glass that licks at the passing world without losing any of itself. Scenes of avuncular and then leering boymen, wild Calibans, most soft and most pitiable. No bow and arrow. No standard initiation rites. Trapped in permanent packs, unable to take the test, though, what test? A quick fuck with whichsoever chubby minge that’ll take you behind the toilet blocks. Did you fuck her? Crude akimbo elbows, ploughing hips. I wonder if he brushed his teeth? That lecherous mouth, gaping open. How I’d like to stick my dick in there and make those eyeballs gag. Yeah, I fucked’er. HHHHAAAWWWWW! Guffaws. She's a minga! Did you make her groan? Shez prolly just hungry. Hoots. Guffaws. No bow and arrow. Not the kind of meat I can bring home. Not the kind of home I could bring back to. Where are my elders? Our child-parents, not their burden to bear. Sad Atlas. Drunk Atlas. “Mama, mama.” Hold back her hair. Too many sad pills. Too much gin. Mother’s mothers' burden. Why orange? Quite beautiful really, on the milky porcelain bowl. Cheetos? Twisties? Recognition in her leached eyes. Boiled, peeled moons. Could something have been born in there? Were you planning a grand life? Candied, flossy girl smile. Watery happiness. “Jacob.” She raises a floppy hand to his cheek, smiling with teeth a toothless smile, all slack-lip and gummy hollow.

words, soslow hand on cheek, 
soslow face slackening around cold porcelain.

“Look at
my boy
so handsome

Vomit from her hand on my cheek. The burdens of our forefathers. Where is mine? “Come on. Let’s get you to bed.” Looking at me with her secretive fairground smile. Her each drunk a child anew. Beaming looseygoosey proud. Your stillsoft hand on my face. “Jacob…” He wanted to take her hand and cry into it. Mama, why did I do it? To wrap himself in the curve of her stomach and lap. But then, where were you? When I was… when I needed… loose-legged slipping in the hall with some brutal uncooked ape. Akimbo elbows, ploughing hips. What teeth I could kick in. Or better yet. No. One child’s slip and it would all be over. “Let’s get you cleaned up.” Opening her blouse like several other men before him, and mostly not much more of her hazing from within, though different intentions. Naked, she looked like the little girl of her smile. Small, vulnerable, sleepy. He bundled her damp humid into a towel and carried her to her bedroom. He sat at the foot of her bed listening to her light slack snoring and thinking about Daisy. DaisyShe knew. I saw it in her eyes. Didn’t I, Daisy? Such tender humiliation. Willing me to. I know what you are doing. She knew. Stoic caryatid bearing the weight of her drunk. Fuming in her eyes. You did this to me. Those eyes. Looking at you. She knew that you knew that she loves you. A sickened desperate kind of love. Daisy. A cow’s name. Those eyes. No bow and arrow. What could I bring home to him? A pat on the shoulder, calm fingers older and more experienced than your own. “Well done, son”-fingers. How soft to share in what was once hidden. This is your right. The mountain man does not need. The wind moves through me. I own nothing of myself. Chewing: feathers; plucking: a single note; letting: it fade away.

Excerpt from Michael Waser's Small Chronos

old days at Sheep Camp...

The wordlessness of the slow-moving stream

told her something of her father,

his silence, not stony, but slow-moving.

Wood that lay splintered in more or less 

arm-length blocks and the excess, 

innumerably-sharded next to the pile.

Neat, like her father.  He sometimes 

held the wood,  or shaped it for pleasure, 

because not everything  is useful. 

His rougher hands in steady,  

lulling rhythm, like the neighbour boy 

she had caught by the river.  

That wordless river, and her, wordless.