Mark Scroggins


The commodity strolls through the shopping mall,
peers into each store, turns over
price tags, casts a cold eye
over advertised specials. In the movie

a four-thousand-years-dead Egyptian boy
finds his way to his parents – among
the stars – with the aid of a giant
yellow bird (species undetermined)

and a long-haired, tuskless dwarf
mastadon. There is a proper way
to turn these things inside out, unravelling
which no optical contrivance

can blacken or occlude. Sunset
lavenders spin their ways down
through a tall cool one, a hand-held
tracking shot that lingers on palms

and corrugated fences to beat back
the constant drumming traffic. Culling
over price tags and casting advertised
eyes on exposed breasts – the polished

leather, laced and tightened around
white-and-peach-fuzzed thighs, the pins
of heels and woven rattan mats, home.

'The spillage of sunlight...'

The spillage of sunlight into
     the still bowl of a windless
afternoon, humming with insects
     and a distant, unidentifiable
clatter. Something comes next,
     follows on. Time's logic, coded
in our very synapses, demands it.
     Spillage of sunlight into a
bowl of windless – but for a small
     breeze – afternoon. Flowers
purple, blue, bricks bleached grey
     and tan. Spillways of
attention, never settled or direct.
     Enter SECOND ACTOR, tottering
on chopines, face a horrified mask.
SECOND ACTOR: (strikes pose, right hand on breast,
     left hand outstretched, chest heaving magnificently
Exit SECOND ACTOR. I sold my vote,
     recalled the old man, in the election
bazaar. For a handful of magic beans
     or a mess of red pottage. Spilled
like ochre cat-sick
     on the hem
          of the histrion's

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