Three poems by Steve Parker
1. broad son lit up lands
all through my firewall I feel your hum, my theremin lover
—Madeleine Shine, Vitamins & Electromagnetism (2006)
antivirals or some such are despatched as outriders to mollify.
an immediate disturbance that may yet locally be mere.
mineral command-politics despite cloud-gatherings which appear.
to be portents in fact of metastasised dreariness.
so insusceptible to software interventions of the sort.
available whereupon to the surprise of the amateur transhuman.
physician-shamans assembled on the screen she sits up suddenly insisting.
upon the precedence of animal parts in all such.
exchanges emphasising several moments in her declamation.
with realworld popups and unders.
expressive of the finality of her assessment and invitation to take part.
to claim a free l a p t o p. it is this finality.
this now motivates him to isolate his circuitry.
log out of backup files and restore the page to a resolution.
from which he can lean forward through the window.
to kiss her and find out for himself.
in what manner and to what purpose.
2. no place like home
[Lynndie] England was diagnosed with "selective mutism"
—Emma Brockes, The Guardian 2009
The wind began to switch / The house, to pitch
—Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz
Lynndie gouching on her own opiate stormchasin
bunch of human it ain't so different from a bunch
of chicken parts late-night in the factory
back home through the saccades blinking it out blinking out
Graner screwin Megan all along thumbs up
cigarette in mouth smile now point at his cock
just like that for the camera "It feels weird" did you love him
do it for me Lynndie yes I did yes I do
Dubya Rumsfeld four months silent after the pictures
in their "sick to our stomachs" [in their selective mutism]
Lynndie & little Carter sleep in cannibalised bunkbeds
in Mineral County night—Carter [they say] suspiciously dark
as stacked ragheads
Lynndie the all-unAmerican chicken licken
BIG STORM she says
naked on a leash dumb-for-approval patsy
chasing lovin through a twister spat her all the way
back from Oz
to no place like home
3. notes for a poem about cursing
Sister Sue, tell me baby, what are we gonna do?
time has gone wrong here for no reason
it keeps swinging me back
look it's like this
like you've had a sort of stroke
let me explain that there are flowers
where your hands should be
but what is this called he keeps asking
day and night with that look about him
you have a condition which means
you have to be careful what you think
[it would be more compelling to dance the meaning of this poem
but arranging that would be unrealistic—small local
performances could be devised but for a large-scale alert
of this sort something more is required]
he insisted there was a warning in the sky
but it was just electricity humming & sparking
oh we told him right there and then:
you've had an episode
you are reassembling things
without a plan
time has done something
there has been a catastrophic error
this poem has performed an illegal operation
& will now shut down
the head and limbs are in the wrong places
—it doesn't matter but some people
will call it a monster
it went on for years
think of him as a boy facing the corner
in a pointed hat
is he a dunce or a magician
either way he's thinking something up
the thing is someone starts it
by shouting & drumming
then you take over and don't know
how to stop
[your screensaver is a vision of your own death
the naked one reaching for you in the leaf mould]
that's all it is
the beat goes on & the beat goes on
hold the flowers up to your face
work them until you see fingers
this might take years
dip the flowers in hot wax
think them into dripping clusters
of language and light
a sort of stroke—you need to think hard now
what was it that did the stroking?
this computer has not recovered
from a fatal error
a brief bio: I'm originally from Liverpool, but now live within shouting distance of Emily Bronte's grave on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors (she doesn't shout back, sadly). I have two young sons to keep me relatively sane. My influences are from all periods and styles of poetry, but especially the 'Cambridge avant garde' (which has no confessed members), and especially Jeremy Prynne within that. I do admin on a poetry critique forum, and hang out on a few of them being chided for my many bad habits. I've been published in a variety of journals and zines, including The Chimaera, Underground Voices, Ditch Poetry, The Cleave, Chaos International, Machenalia, Cause and Effect, New Verse News, Dogzplot, Admit Two, Poetry Sz, and The Triggerfish Critical Review. I've had one short collection published (now disowned), and have self-published another (Tearing the Veil -- 1990). I took a long break from writing poetry after that. Also been anthologised a couple of times, and will have a couple of pieces in the forthcoming Cleave Anthology. I was a part of the now defunct Orzel Collective experimenting with transtextual poetry and extended Flarfs. I'm currently preparing a chapbook to be published this summer. I'm also a rock climber and have a narrowboat on the Rochdale Canal. I have now arrived at the end of myself.