EIGHT BREVES OF NOTHING
Silence. Silencio. Keep schtum.
Chit chat verboten.
Let all noise be gone.
The great bronze gong made still with trembling fingers
All I have an ear for is the mermen grieving-
silence beyond belief; the diamond sort:
that old reported quiet of our carbon grief,
those vast blubbery creatures blubbing mutely
seem not so far removed from us and our
At the seaside. Our birth canal. Our hour.
no-one’s been emboldened yet
to laugh, to barf, to chuck-up prayers,
to dance, by chance, with the ghosts of the gothic
choral noises in five parts.
I would. I should, drop a pebble in this pond
of desperately gilt despond
to paint what lies beyond beyond in ripples, stippled
saints. No Pointillist complaints from them save
for horrendous martyrdoms that drum da drum.
The Pontiff’s at Christ’s stained glass feet
too overawed to confess- their unfair muteness complete.
The melted sand beyond all understanding.
Women from the corvidae clan- high heels, high hats,
taller than a man; their veils a way of disguising deceit.
Defeat and embittered beaks cleaned of road-kill.
And roses red as deep as blood. The blood line
quivering. Ill from the scissoring.
You- or is it me- in the elaborate barque of ebony
or just a mere bark canoe
being lowered into one perversion of eternity.
Read me- this profoundly tutting me- utterly powerless.
A bead of death commingling with my passion’s sweat.
Alive and dead I am.
what dead man could survive this arch pretense?
I find a paddle and start to paddle. Glad. Glad. Glad
to be going on the orbit of souls.
The river fast flowing to where it kisses the sky
high above Karnak.
This new comet was once tested for age deafness-
sealed into a soundproofed booth.
No sound to be heard
other than the absurdity of being me.
In there- much like in here, I listened to
my first experience of sheer bliss-
thinking immediately of death and afterdeath.
How final breathlessness
delivers us to an absolute silence.
Eight breves of nothing being played by instruments.
Even the heart staves being evenly quiet.
Death is this riot of nothingness
still, unfortunately, light years distant from a home.
Hush little baby don’t you cry
mummy and daddy are going to try.
Of course. Of course. Oaths have been sworn.
The lies all ritualised.
Divorce a distant phenomenon you both scorn.
Picture by Stephen Linsteadt
Poem by Chris Madoch
Music by Stephen Karn