Tag Archives: Life

On Saskia, written in early January 2017

Her right foot isn’t quite right. Not left, just not right enough.

The midwife told us she’s seen some feet come out backwards though, which made us feel better.

She also has twin constellations, crimson-coloured. One on her crown and the other on nape of her neck, just above the hairline. Apparently they fix themselves too. Which is neat.

Her umbilical cord, having pulsed its last, was clamped with a little plastic thing that reminded me of putting out the washing. The weird stubby, well, stub (which I remember from the kittens born in the hot-water cupboard) healed quicker than my last google search said it might. Which, again, was worrisome (for some reason).

Now the baby bullet hole is weeping a little and I’m too scared to touch it. Not even with a wet cotton ball. And actually the midwife said to me on our last visit “Oh, you’re the dad who couldn’t look while I opened it up!” Yes that was me.

We are more or less resolved to an outie — but it could still go either way.

What can I say, it’s as new to us as it is to Saskia — only we have stretchier, more exercised imaginations at this point so can more readily envision the infinite ways for fate to fuck us up. She can see shadows too of course, but only ones about 10cm from her face.

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On Reading Rimbaud, The Little Asshole

Is it possible to make one’s face so lifeless that it becomes invisible?
I think it might be. I know it
In fact, it’s as easy as an icebreaker through three-foot thick drifts
I’ll practice it, become a famed magician, conjuring horizons and bending light round my body
What time I’ll buy, a non-person, a no-one
Free as an asteroid out of orbit, tracing a silent arc through the endless dark
Only to reappear at will, saving face, playing the percentages
I’ll be a rich man, rich and redundant
The world getting along just fine without knowing my step
Energy distilled into a direct beam
Hot enough to melt sand and make a mirror in which my reflection is seen only by me
Self-sustaining, vampiric, in unholy, solitary, unfettered happiness

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On a Friend Showing Me His First Scan

Another human floats in its mother’s waters
A hydronaut exploring the womb
Trailing a thin, curling cord, with arms held close

In the coming months change will come
The little one becoming less little
Its incubator too

Dad won’t stay the same either
Growing responsibility
And yet more love for them both

When the timer rings
The fertilised egg come to fruition
Another human floats into its mother’s world

They’re doing what comes naturally
Building x and y blocks
Mandrake fed

If we’re lucky, we’ll make children as well
Choosing names we’ve scribbled for ages
And living for ever

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The One Year Itch

Big dreams at stake as we fashion the bed that we’ll lie in
Thoughts turn to aspirations, to motivation, to what ifs and whens
Of each breath and each crooked step in the right, or wrong, direction

We could turn back the clock, reinvent the wheel
Catch hold of the chugging steam engine
Maybe that would make the task a little simpler
Achievable aims, realistic deadlines and all that

The February heat is as oppressive as the decisions ahead
Though it’s worth stepping into the flaxen sandals of others
Whose choice has been curtailed by mismanagement
By God and the greedy people who pour pig sauce on their trotters

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After Reading Ballard

There’s nothing loftier than loss
No higher plain
When shoulders shift the mantle
And yokes run a stream, tributaries into the primordial soup

That’s assuming souls float
What if they sink?
Passing through head to foot like a draining bath
Carrying silt and guilt and hair into the forever black hole

That wouldn’t solve the soaring feeling we get
Through faces well met, children laughing, wetting a dry thirst
…even little wins have wings

I think when we die we must just disperse
No ups and downs anymore
Away from the push and pull of gravity
And the swirling mortal coil

It’s just everywhere, everything, and everyway
And all at once

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