The Poem: In Defence of Excess
But I want it to run on, spilt;
to look out of control,
to lose the run of itself
when really, it’s just
a certain kind of drive or desire,
body urgent to burst or spill,
words weeping a little
to bring us together in an
act of public tenderness.
Why must I scrape it thin for you;
carve it to a marrow-slim waist,
discipline it to cleverness,
take the breath out of it;
tell the lungs, don’t breathe now,
when I want breath inside these bars,
or a sigh or a sob?
I don’t want it opaque, starved or strangled.
Why should I tighten the poem,
take the deco out, un-brocade it,
tidy up baroque flourish,
when all day long
everything I see is layer on layer of excess,
the ridiculous glory of peacock feathers,
the mackerel’s opalescent skin?
Why should I bow to form that contains,
chains up colour, dams the flow of my veins
when rainbows sweep past in floating bubbles
blown down the Hippodrome in Istanbul;
crowd the barrels turmeric through cayenne
in the Spice Market?
should they take back all their childish glitter,
so overdone, so unnecessary,
so many cluttering up the dark?
this room is black
as the shade in onyx.
But outside the window,
full moon is ripe, swelling radiance,
its blown light pushing round
edges of the blind.
soft and full of white
is puffing the window shade
then drops back,
as if like wind, it were
sighing through the cracks.
Reach out fingers to
curl around the
tassel spilling like silk,
falling from the hard edge of board.
Simply lift it. Let go.
all dark mind;
this flooded ancient ground.