:: Article

Crash & other poems

By William West.


[Rules: Pgs 108-88 Harper perennial edition 2004]
the neon sign over the portico flared
london bound traffic
tell me if i’ve left anything out
flicking out the last drops of urine
muscles of his face opening and shutting like manacles
thirty or so visitors stared at the screen
the grace of the slow motion camera
a faint smile
marked with cryptic symbols
complete confinement in his own panicky universe
this sense of disembodiment
let my semen run from her vagina
some semen is saltier than others
working on a piece of gum
identity was a charade
her wrists were keyboards of perfumes
in this parody of the actress


time does not exist clocks exist
and clocks expire.
in the breathing city called planet hollywood
transfixed by surgery
and a transgirl screamin
i don’t know nuthin i don’t know nuthin
i think they used a cathode as
an allegory for clocks
hot cathode slippin in an orifice
so much pain relief
putrefaction around a splinter
it went on like this
drunken spit landing on faces
lubing nonsense
i just drank six coronas
and shut the fuck up
as instructed
of course there’s time
it’s a colour of paint
that makes the past feel like porno


I’ve already turned
England into you
I miss it
I wish it never existed,
that there was just a gap
where it rains
and now and then a boat
drumming shod-shad
by ol’ dogger bank
old filthy lampost
with filthy flowers
trinkets of crashes
duck taped together
just a gap
the watford gap, and nothing
I wish I’d been dropped
into the channel from
the vulva of a mute swan.
To think people have been
shot here
the chink still in the plaster
not for a pearl, a petal,
a prick, a rose,
not for a finger of almond
or for this swollen milk,
or for bruised, bitten necks
or brutal conkers
fancy trousers
magic sweets.
I gave you a country
I wanted your little wrists
you smell like tree sap
and crisps
Why should I be ashamed of lovesongs?
Not everything is honking, giblets,
burgers, ha ha ha,
some things
are sad some, disgusting.
Here it is:
The way you sit on barstools
reminds me of Querelle.
I’d take out your eyes
and pickle them with mine
I want to rub caraway
onto your flanks
stop you from screaming
you are younger than me
that is how it will always be.

William West was born in England and lives in Paris. He has published writing in Iota, Nthposition, A Tale of Two Cities, some other magazines and on a thing called the Internet. He has written four unpublished books: one about Sea World, one about being best friends with Ezra Pound in Hell, one about a Teletext cult and one about taking drugs to alleviate the paranoia that comes from breaking the law by taking drugs. He works in the service industry and (as of Aug. ‘12) has not yet killed anyone/himself.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, February 7th, 2013.