A poem by Benjamin Mullen
The Aral beach
‘My lens is emotionless.’—Laura Hocking
So situated we can only stand:
overlook from a long
thick-and-great-windowed room the tide’s errand,
then type. The crass dock circulates a song,
we jeer and shuffling grouse—
what’s wrong is we can’t quite say what’s wrong.
Enjoying there the fluid world—its spit and douse—
call this utopian place
immense, enormous, the size of a house
with toxins downed at million selling pace
where knotted men keep watch
over the chyrons as for Vitti’s face,
where thinkers wield the solaces they botch.
Here ruins lean unmarred.
That keyhole of a legginged haunch-notch
gains the hostess multilateral regard.
Of her impounding spite
internal clouds that build, cough and discard
drizzle consist for their half-metre height;
beneath, an umpteenth straight
stern missionary nails a sanguinary rite,
the standfirsts panic over people’s weight,
and stare. (Career’s romance,
unbroken darkness squares with him to state
Loss making PROPHET-POET feints and rants,
overplays his lines.)
Resources wait in verdurous expanse,
the rubble’s bullion the roof confines
we’re paid until we’re broke;
for photographs we frame the spartan pines.
Personalities claiming they misspoke—
all fiddle and alas—
fluff the many many many stars’ bleak joke.
Laboratories radio their impasses
over a shallow range.
Just protocol detains a pent ripped mass
from rupture; espressos and polls arrange
Deep blankness gives a period feel to change.
Aspergery with withdrawals
stays the year.
Pity the late the clarities they bring:
from the end of our quests—
solipsism’s dumb dream—we die waking
and hymn the fears to which our faith attests,
we lunge to clasp at some
future’s roseate spectre, and hug our chests.
Spume of misspellings, in the comments come.
Each has itself to heft;
spells Take me out of this and who’ll be numb?
—but Llangennith: relapsing waves have left
for seconds on the sand
the Channel’s soapy rind, proof of their theft.
Spectators of our losses, even we disband—
reacting it with joy
we void our peace on threatened land
far from the rilled pall which issues us joy;
but abreast of its beach
We can only stand and stare at England’s joy.