'A Thousand Characters' a new poem by Luke Beesley

after Koch/Cohen, Malley/Breton, Roussel!

This, too, is about a thousand characters. It’s much like the
last one. I wouldn’t even read beyond the following sentence.
The following sentence is a silky thing – purple in the late
day, drizzled in afternoon fog. Inside a microwave oven is
milk rising to warmth. Inside the dusk is an excuse for certain
birds to frolic on the freshly-cut lawn too long, picking at insects.
They’re eaten by sparrow-hawks. It’s pretty gruesome. The rugby
team on their regular jog start slipping on the mess of birds. From
a distance it looks like a scrum or naval exercise. It’s getting dark
remarkably quickly and the clouds, just above the line of trees
which form the horizon, here, are salmon-pink. At the local gelati
shop they’d call it grapefruit. Navy tinges fringe the pale pink.
Fish await. It’s beyond human understanding how someone might
have reached this sentence. I could write about pork. The sparrow
hawk eats well and feeds the parts of its name to its young, and its
young feed parts of their own name to their first flight. Nature as
documentary, now, and it’s where we slip. See the magpie on the
end of my sandwich? It knew it was to be written, probably, and it
curved here like a ball in a stadium. But there is no crowd, bird, alone
in the credits. Some gaffers. Giraffes with appalling footrot trot
over to the microphone and discoball concussions the wild shining
toffee of the dance floor on this afternoon as the moon pierces in.

Published in April 2015, no. 370

Luke Beesley

Luke Beesley's most recent collection in New Works on Paper (2013)