Thursday, 31 October 2013

An outburst for Patti Smith

She comes loaded with double-barrelled genius.
Vicious, with an evil beauty, sowing graceful seed.
Her mastered crafts are spoken generously,
Violent giving, incantations of terrifying pureness.
Krishna reborn as Christian witch.
She has the eyes that Blake espied.
Black defined diamond bulbs
That burn the souls of men.
And yet, she breeds mothering loyalty.
She is weathered but not smothered
In the tides of grief.
She is steady in her wildness.
The wrath of Jehova does not scare her.
She scatters, but does not chase,
The rabbit souls of her words in the city's concrete thicket.
She makes sublime the body's weary destiny,
By fixating the spirit's aperture on the truth,
As sunlight burns the blades of grass through glass.
But her rebel's soul is joy, the anger of a child in freefall dances.
She is an intimate rage.
She builds courage by catastrophe.
Death, loss, heartbreak, toil and sadness
Are the shapes by which she stencils beauty.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Haiku for Lou Reed

The black rain's spoken.
All I've got's a guitar pick
Carved from wet willow.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Saffron's graduation poem

You know what you know
That which can’t be written down
That which confounds 
The pierced eyes of the lyric-bound
That which slips past
Religious fingertips
That which compels
Aggressive scholarship
Which shuts the fuck up
The noisy expertise
And the one-penny tricks
That make all love 
Turn to helplessness.
You know what you know. 
That passion is intelligence
That hard work 
Is not the same as persistence
And that dreaming
Is what makes us human.
You know that art
Is not a question
Of statistical chance
And that the empty page
Carries in it the 
Trapped beauty of the poet. 
You know that it is the insane
That will save us.
That all murder, all evil
Is just wounded courage,
That anger is what
Our first sacred breath 
Looks like. 
You know that redemption
Cannot be captured in
Petty argument,
That healing is no theory,
Only that which happens
To the lonely – when they are sick
Of their own punishments.  
You know that for every 
Heartbreak, death and scarring,
There exists ten thousand
Lavish dawns
That hope, romance, and life at source,
Are one.
You know
More than you can stop to express
That wisdom is a movement
That knowledge is musical
And that a day’s work
Should make you windswept
But not winded or spent. 
You know that those that cuss
At love, are just those that
Are cursed with longing
That they too have
Needed some light in their doorways
Some stories and silk-like voices
To stroke their brows to rest. 
You know that they too
Are children
Petrified of their own innocence
So much so that they will
Force the world to answer their assessments
While they themselves are always failing. 
You know that no one can mark the heart
That no red pen can correct a song,
And that to do anything right
We must enjoy doing it – wrong!
You know more than these cloaked brotherhoods
Who congratulate you on your genius,
Who do so only for their own smug politics.  
Your waking thoughts outrank 
Their long, elastic logics,
Their pencilled experiments.
You graduated at birth,
With a raw knowing
With a first class awareness
Drawn from lifetimes like libraries
Stocked with philosophical dances.