Failed Sequel

fellowship of balance unrest the stars

moody-hung & spread like towns –
that galaxy of lead
planets, clouds of granite, upon
a buckling clavicle
oppressed my arm.

Half-drownd beltway flood the cork
-strewn delta with oil with salt: flood
the tenpin alleys full of metal, wrecked
rollcages, springs & seat-foam hailclouds;
yr holed frames & popped boots
sadly gappy, hanging wrong. Cross estates
slime parks pollute every wood! Arch yr elegant
bridging flute of light & noise
over land ónce pleasant. Repent not,
gorgeous road. A–B you take us. Soft brush
day & night of subtle tyres on silken tar –
it’s the sound I want to wake up to
wherever steering column or fuel-fire
or knifing shard decide to take
us when they strike.

when they strike. Which I know
is never now, is adverted
constantly but which I have
avoided without lapse for seven
years & fucking counting. Ha!
Ghouls’ make-up on telly,
tall boxy cameras, dayglo
men with lasers won’t
perturb the grace of speed, the sense
with yr foot in the floor
that you’re approaching flight
it’s unrobbable, inviolable. Fuck
the pigs, their useless rules: I just
passed their monkeys’ test, so why
not lend a little freedom? Why not
license a flight or two? I’m safe –
safe as bricks, safe as highways
rainless at four o’clock at night.

Or so I say. Your choice
whether to believe my patter.
I won’t intervene; I have
a story to tell. Been driving
since I’s sixteen, when dad
let me change gear, flip the lights
before roundabouts, taught
the basics in a local carpark
& at seventeen got a banger
third-hand out the classifieds
for under a hundred quid. No
licence, no tax, insurance – whatever;
just road & cheap wheels, the liberty
of petrol, internal combustion,
its risk & reward. Luck or bad luck.
I was never caught.

Course in the end I caved in
& went for lessons – three in fact
before I tried the test. Instructor
did not know how to drive; not
naturally obsessed by mirrors
he was, attention, priorities –
none of which’ll ever get
anyone to work on time. (Should
say however he did a funny
sideshow commentary on female
passersby.) So: I decided
to go straight for a test, &
was that confident I’d make it
I brought two bottles of fizzy
wine along in the car. Five minors
the result. Had to fork out
shitloads to get the seats cleaned.

People, I live off tarmac, the stuffy
car interior, radio blazing; no pink
dice to decorate the mirror – pure
whimsy that is.


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