:: Article

Modal Auxiliaries

By Colin Lee Marshall.

Prior to Modal Auxiliaries


lichenin’ up the headstone

gathers the dehiscent capsules
of horse chestnuts ready
fruit for the gimlet

does another agnate fall
to masons chipping away
a triple antanaclasis of “grave”


stinkbomb ampoule snapped
TWIXt hymns

Sundays was always
tingling in the narthex
for drusy liquorice belts

really hear it
Simon Finn’s ‘Jerusalem’


next generation lolz up
a rideretive mood mocks
yr fusty gelatologick whittling

catch ’em at the analytic limit
dropping grey mercurial phonemes
tears sublated in emoticon

a tweet away from neticolous


walk’d a grumous lawn
squelching with the mess
of primogeniture

your conker wizens on its string
soaked through with humectant

spread a gludge of Vaseline
on the head of the paterfamilias


dug out a milk teeth
the old cheeser

Nostalgia 90’s finished
Cannigia’s beautiful locks held
too long in striations of VHS

Subbuteo ref filipendulous
from own boot get it more wrongest
e.g. My favourite Turtle’s Des Esseintes’


Hotpoint’s calefactive drone
leave your kids mesmerised
fat with daydream at the window

so boiling one’s own Lucozade
wrapped in a bitty & awaiting
the Test Card is never coming back

read it for decades finally
tear out that page from Caldecott
for the old future


a skulk at Woolworths
peeled off əv jewel cases

remember circa 1998-97
Vaucanson’s Duck Erith Tour
mob coprolally for pellets

like, DFW 1,079 check
the entry of torchecul
out əv Old Anthronese Usage


Coke up the cola cubes
Disgusting English Candy Drill
bring it all back to purge

my Beckett’s Molloy’s Moran
finally coming to terms
that first Mum’d up suppository

read a G.H. sooo good it was
better than Lispector’s


everything made real love
full on erotoplasty beaming out
the city’s benthic zone

with new osculation map
tongues Keats’d with honey
nailing it to a ridiculous degree

somewhere in Lewisham hospital
a brined & severed prepuce
continues to have been formative


moment of cleaving al-
ways too short & indefinite
a surfeit of White noise

by winnowing we
complicit in the harvest
of sustentative semblance

to lattice out a Happy Meal
by neat little tricks of gob

Posterior to Modal Auxiliaries


O cartoon inflorescence
effaced by crude little calices
on a hospice corridor

forests existed
even when acknowledgement
signified to pallor

the quacking you hear
as goslings lallate
in an anserine tongue


Windeye® is ramping up
the latest “love” pejoration drive

that ♥ing bunch of haters
sprinkled some anacampserote
on the Fruit ’n Fibre

said we were at 85% wanderlust
p’raps we visited soon


how they went to school
spooned blanket imprimatur
before the press ever beckoned

was greeting “All right”
Sennockians trembling to these
same phatic bonds?

pronoun case of what is me
who was ever close to decked
with Thamesmead vambrace


slap a reverse attainder on
the bubblegum dynasties unfolding
in menarcheal stain

and friends stare you larval
out your shamed exuviæ

plucking those noxious arpeggios
from the heartwood


an ur-Thames swells too much
we damaged in the Square Mile
of that alluvium

needing something more lacustrine
then what this “lake” seems to proffer

a definitive childhood Christmas
choked under accretions of Christmas
& 28 suppositious Roland Rats


called it the Disney entreaty/
demand i.e. getting to choose
the parallax

consoles a sphincter-quiverer
glutting with tinsel and Neo Geo
Luxe & Reduxe forever

but mum had to sew double
lozenge onto the right breast
you weren’t real England mate


mainlined those traditions yet
now synthesize half the staves
the barrel

trying the new Brora 40 primeur
at work to exhume † latebrous
from Blount for our dream pubs

your basic nightly annealing
the throat for tomorrow’s vibrations


subscribe to this Laura

trowelling a rude impasto
some exotic confiture
on basic first world bread

tells you precisely where
foreign “fucks” are on
various spectra of profanity


research grant for domicile

a deviation improves
counterpart in the assumption
of “house” clotting

the appropriately misplaced
magnitude or lacuna
an invitation to mine


palpate the grammar
a gift was withheld shovelling
ground for new datives

to want to going to have done it
something tickles on the horizon
ash about to combust into esteem

moving beyond the time standard
was our greatest transmensuration
update to the latest Fifth City


Colin Lee Marshall is an Englishman currently based in South Korea.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, March 27th, 2015.