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Poems by Kyle Allan


There are those spiritually hungry
who should be left alone
to be allowed to suffer
and fight for the self
their way
and not become colonised objects
of pity in the news
or tomorrows anthropological

There are those who are lonely
who hunger for a god
that still won’t be named
or mirrored in human alphabet
or given a particular face
except the face
of everybody.
They should never be hidden
from loneliness
or given a place
where they will be hidden
from the tragedy
of reality.
It should enter them
in the eyes
in all the curved horizons
it will return to them
they will recognise it
in all directions
where they see
tangible living truths
that keep changing shape
because truth is a living thing
like a rainforest or
a colony of ants
or a stream of mountain water
or a compound of people
a low cost housing
a taxi with a sliding door
a man selling chips
your barefeet hardened
by years of walking
old newspapers
and not a word
or somebodies pure idea
it is here
and it moves
keeps moving

There are those who evangelise millions
and have never fallen in love
or been intimate with one person
or even slightly aware
that the self
keeps dying
somewhere inside the mirror
and all photographs
that are being taken by the media
are images of that which
has already died
and become another.

But none of this really makes me unhappy anymore.
Not even the peace in your eyes I will never fully understand.
There’s too much restlessness in my love.
This moment I am yearning for you doesn’t have to end soon.


American power.

America boasts
that it has a satellite
that looks down on Iraq
that can see everything
a stray dog walking in an alley
a woman collecting her washing
children kicking a rubber ball around
nothing can be hidden from this almighty eye.
it can even see where
the hair splits on a man’s head
but it can’t
look into
his mind


The heat.

The heat is a ladder,
a sheet of wet minerals
turning white in the blue silence.

The heat is a word
spoken between two people
a thing neither living nor alive
neither dead nor dying
a place where birds
roost silent
in a tree,
a pair of folded wings
a place
where a man sees the
whole of himself in a mirror
as he is, sweating, hot,
hairy, human,
dirty armpits
everybody’s political fairy
and your own human subject
who can remove all
his clothes
but can’t escape his skin.

The heat is a place between
two people full of sweating
and clouds building up
where the night comes running
out of your watery skin
and sweaty
with every stench
that comes from
you breathing
your identity
in and out
like running water

The heat is where our bodies
cannot escape.
Every word becomes a sweat
enveloping our skins.
Every word an entrance
into a sulphurous storm
made of lightning
and rain compressed in stones
that will shatter this heat
with violent force.
Every word a place
of agony and the realisation
that lightning tears
the shining water
of rain
into transient rainbows
that nobody can ever

When you ask for water.

I dreamed you as a bag of bones and flesh, saw how the cartilage was joined delicately together. You lay on a bed asleep. Then you sat up and mumbled a strange language. Then you collapsed many times. People came and held your hands and mumbled inanities. You did not want them, you wanted your glasses and a glass of water but your tongue wouldn’t lift. I heard you. I bought you water. You gurgled. You drank. They carried you away in a black bag in your pyjamas. They did not forget your false teeth either, which were in a glass of water next to your bedside. They zipped you up, and said nothing. This is why you can only speak in my dreams. It is the only way I will understand you. Where you rattle and make my memory dance. Where you come to me and ask for water.


At the destruction.

At the destruction
of the world
there was not much heard above
the dark hunger
that tore light from the sun
leaving silence
except the peeling off
of layer after layer
the presidents hiding in disintegrating
small voices crying no no
then an unfolding
as everything turned
inside out
the petals of the flower
unfolded themselves
from the centre
one by one
rain thunder earth
split mists mountains
heave metamorphosis
she said goodbye
to him
his body pulled apart from her
by dark gravity
to get
further and further away
the words unfolded
from themselves
in the warm heat
of their human magic
in the time before the word,
before life, before death.


The only thing.

The only thing between
me and her is the
black jacket
that rustles
like a skin unfolding
and its zip
sliding down to earth,
a helpless
gun metal colour
disconnecting the spiny
ridges that join
the black leather,
and the cascade rustling down
like a cloud
dropping a thick mist
around our ankles,
a shower
of black falling stars,
a soft black rain
dripping to the ground,
you unfolding
layer by layer
as word becomes
on an evening
of stars
and houses
with doors
that wait for hours
saying nothing
like closed eyes
to the night
as the mist slowly
covers all things
and touches with a wet chill
the hollows of our open palms
the sweat on our faces
the gravity of our hold
our conjoined bony ankles
the fallen black



Sometimes there is not much else we can do
but be close to each other
as a people
deep in each other’s silences
knowing pulsing journeys in our blood
that cry like muted uprisings
a jazz of narrow streets
a poetry both flesh and spirit
a place both home and exile
where we stay
a language of roads numbered and marked
we breathe through our silences
a time neither beginning nor ending
with uncertain boundaries
a skin that has only one language
a mouth that knows only wordless answers.