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Five Poems by Brendon Booth-Jones

Canal Saint-Martin is Frozen

‘Do I bore you,’ they shouted
over the Saturday night
winter wine bar clamour
laced with body heat, pouting
lips, bespectacled faces,

+++imminent sex,

clinking glass.

‘Do I bore you. You look so
They were accidentally right,
though can you ever be
truly impartial?

Outside for a smoke I saw the full moon
shift above the city and sit there
glowing coldly in pure light,
a pearl of mottled stone,
silent and statuesque over Paris.

Back inside, over the wild slosh
of haute couture slur (sensuous selfies,
fashion faces,
crescendo laughter, parting

+++ dissolving inhibitions)

they demanded to know:
‘Chez toi ou chez moi’.



Well Gazing

i greet de lyaans

in their roar of marble
frozen in their gloss of postcard

++++++++++—Seitlamo Motsapi

Your eyelids are like blue petals,
the blue-white wash of screen-light
like looking down a face-shaped well.

Could we open our eyes
a little wider, until the white
really shows?

Don’t we see the shacks
that thorn the horizon?
Horrid glitter, sea of tinned dreams.

Our glass kisses won’t
leave the BMW bubble.
Our good intentions alone

won’t scale ivy sprawled walls,
won’t fix a thing.




The Holy Ghost
of my childhood:

spectral illusion
or special inclusion?

He must have been
just passing through.

Later, candy-flipping
astral projections

seemed just as real,
superimposing our DNA

onto the speedway of stars,
though the kaleidoscope glow

of mandala has since faded.
These days, to live in sin

seems barely a sentence.
The wonderland in Alice,

the dazzle of God’s dark side.



Shadows root under your eyes,
black fangs that lance you,
reveal a glimpse of the depths
that your words don’t mine.

To you, the sunlight of television
childhood would have been sickeningly bright.
Your vomit splashed in shades of black
on the hospital-coloured walls of your youth.

Unlit valleys beneath
abyssal eyes, weary shade.
Molecules of memory
that gather like blood to a bruise.

And when you fall asleep first
I see your unconscious eyes
rolling behind your eyelids
fine and delicate as moth wings.

Your mind’s eye pours over
a tangled reel: memory and ghost.
There is a tiny fold of skin
across each eyelid

where faint red lightning strikes
the sealed horizon of your unfathomable past.



What is lost are the little thoughts,
waiting for the toast to pop.
A million motes in an inch of morning light.
Abandoned cobwebs are ragged sails.

Or a stranger’s subtle glance,
missed on a metro commute,
that might unravel
a tome of wordless fiction.

Even rich flavours deregister
in the lunch of sugared reflections.
Brazen ants rolls boulders to the
queen of their labyrinth.

On the busy street corner,
the homeless man washed
in Rembrandt light: unseen.
Every grog-blossom is a microcosm.

In the trees outside of town,
the volley of birdsong sung,
the forest falls to silence
at sunset.