[Poetry] — Michael Sutton

A Storm Arwen Song

I dream of medicine bestowed, a small velvet pillow in Palestine.
See how dreams can slice through the true dream of reality
like razors through egg flesh.

I never seem to chew my dreams, they just dissolve in my mouth.

I see the goal posts, I see the jagged islets of rust
chewed through industrial paint.
As a child I would trace the edges of strange shapes
the many-dimensional teeth-print in an apple
the sensual embossment of a scab, or a self-
enveloping orifice, that inwardness was enticing.

Looking from the pavement into a star starved sky I slither.
The car which from distance seemed blanketed kitschly in leaves
I soon see bashed with slate and bricks felled by night winds
and there goes the shape of gust embedded in tree tapestry.

It is not only the names of gods which elude me
but here in the warping darkness
an obelisk of light shines on your face
there should be freckles there, on your eyebrow

if only word-light revealed these stained intricacies.

No Smoking Mirrors

All spidery legs of rain fall through the universe
laconic, lacking all counterpoint.

Shrivelling cold as a cab driver
struggles with his seatbelt, thwarted once more
by the blinking barriers of a level crossing.

Back south limbs entangle, mirroring obscurely
their trickster god of roots, rain turned oblation
seeps through pavement cracks.

My grandmother fed me soup and a sponge pudding
showed her as a child with shadow eyes
while Norman dreamed of rowing down the Mersey in a shoe
shoving notes in my palm, forgetting the name of his daughter.

I wait for the crude illuminated phallus
push button and wait for signal opposite.
The glare of white streetlights on rain-blotted lenses
black raincoat, torn pocket.

Enduring Violent Rigors 

This is not the first time they injected me with poison.
Spent six months in my adolescent bed, witnessing within
the transformation of a cool liquid expungement.

     I knew the tumour would die, I prepared a smile
for the perverse eventuality. They looked at me like a baby
like I look at myself in the mirror, opioid eyes
twinkling dully in hazes of vapour, blinking in time
with the wondrous music of a car alarm.
    Now, with nothing better
I wander the haematology department of the Royal Hospital
slowly rolling down the aisles with trollies of depleted pill bottles    
kicking public information posters along the dappled linoleum.
    These are the good old days

now, with something nested in my cranium.


Michael Sutton is the author of three books of poetry, the most recent of which is Superpositions (2021) from Beir Bua Press. He also edits Overground Underground, an occasional magazine of art and literature.