:: Article

Duos #2: Down the Porcupine Hole

By Harry Man & Jonas Gren.

Down the Porcupine Hole
To be read while covered in a small amount of tap water

Dear Jonas,

I have sort of appled your fingers. I have sort of doorhandled your better angels. I have sort of pianoed your treasure-hunter’s drowned helicopter of second thoughts. I have sort of plastered your name all over the walls in letters large enough to be seen while on an exercise bike with the destination set to Rabat.

I have sort of xeroxed your oven into a bundle of barely perceptibly tarnished sheets of paper.
I have sort of planeted your rockery and sat there, wondering where the washing line ends, and would I survive a crash into it and at what angle?

I have sort of eagle-necked your lottery ticket, and spooked your milk-filled aquarium. I have sort of riced your cushion into a series of conversations about ebullient, yet understated window-dressers. I have sort of tentacled the moon into a fat ladybird which is impossible to see because of light pollution from Kebab Kungen.

I have sort of grandiosed some of my more questionable solutions to problems with reading the words This Way Up while those words were upside down. I have sort of argued my way into certain bursting coded gestures all on the theme of barnacles with water tight allibies. I have sort of hammocked and sort of toughed it out, opening out the flag of your arms while you asked and asked, Is it time? Is it time? I have sort of hagfished your striped socks, the good pair, the ones you told me later were just the ideas of socks.

I have sort of plasticked your vulnerability and in my y-fronts, riding a fox, I have murmurated, my life-work-balance like the little teeth of a mouth speaking in lustrous, broad, blazing seconds of pink.

Dear Harry,

I have sort of trumped every word of yours by reading the elephant’s palm. It said that you had appled my fingers, but I fingered your apples first. I have sort of towered your milk-filled aquarium and hovered over the placentas of dawn – who wants to put a baby into this world?

I have sort of mountain-top-removed the memory of your letter … something about a fox riding, or riding a fox? … Or Fox News being too politically correct? I have sort of power-planted your letter and sold it, sorry Harry. I have sort of planeted since you wrote, listening to the populist squirrels, trying to sell me the politics of vegetating on tree branches, shooting pine kernels at strangers, but who wants a squirrel to lead them?

I have sort of futured your better angels, and found them saying: it is murder.
I have sort cancered your Cohen; my mum said it was Trump’s first deadly assault.
I have sort of subcontracted the worst part of your better angels as strategists for my silicosis.

I have sort of mattressed at night hoping to find the supermoon next morning in my bowl of milk, only to wake up with the super moon already eaten by police, military, coastguards, trained water buffalos feasting ebullient, ebullient, ebullient.

I have sort of manspreaded my humbleness towards hateful men. I have sort of pianoed too, but the helicopter of second-thoughts turned frog when I kissed you. I have sort of Philippined my criminal behavior. I have sort of watered the dry pilots, they’re soaked now with future, Harry. I have sort of lullabied: things are going to slide … slide in all directions.

Dear Jonas,

I have sort of Mike Penced and exited from your public convenience, leaving your golden apples lolloping into the polis. I have sort of filibustered your cat and flamethrowering and flamethrowering I have seen in the dawn chorus the midwifing of the world.

I have sort of nine ninety-nined and newsified your foxes and sort of top-of-the-houred and trampolined and Trump-aligned your first successful biohack. It was a disaster, Jonas, I have had to soak my tie in the sink to try and get rid of the stain of elephant shit. I have sort of had a staring-contest with a few more electrical items. They are now worth more money, Jonas, sold as seen.

I have sort of porcupined and pepparkaka-ed the squirrels in the dips in your road and cried, and continued eating, and cried, but continued eating. Angel-led, I have sort of bumpkinned and hej då-ed your maximum sentences like a murderer raising their right hand and leaving without paying. I have sort of pussy-grabbed and sort of raincoated while splurting one of my more spectacular star-studded aerial vomits, my suicidal fatbergs, feeling up made great again, I am kissing you blue, until I ask, who is this who is this, and you, coming round for air and lawsuits say it’s a mirror Donald. This is so. Important. To me.

I have sort of wrong-doinged your supermooning, and sort of asked you to stop, and cramming for exams, I have sort of hydraulic-giraffed your first cousin, her triboluminescent head is a bobbing egg of frabjous dimensions. I have sort of re-greened and rye-breaded and multi-storyed and therefore dioramaed my feelings towards men who snow spit, mistaken for a town, these feelings are now twinned with the abstract concept of forgetting where you might have parked the car.

I have sort of amphibiously kissed you, I have sort of closing-down-saled my composure and all that is unsold are two left gloves with which I will punch the air, Stallone-ing at first, then crossing the line of a headphone-lightened self-awareness.

I have sort of blast shielded my completely dreadful personal-best and kept my gym membership as close to my chest as fridge poetry, Jonas. Tired of altitude, I have come downstairs, sort of driving your house to the next town and the next town and the next. Every time the postman must follow me. Sometimes I your socks and some red boots protruding from the front stoop, say, Why do you keep trying to deliver to Jonas? Can’t you see he is dead? Have you no heart?

Dear Harry,

I have been busy, I have sort of Englished my Swedish to make you understand the true roots of ‘democrazy’: it was born in Skara Sommarland. I have sort of Bert Karlssoned our poem – sorry – but it wasn’t my fault, it’s coming through the crack in the wall, this visionary flood.
I have sort of cul-de-saced – and it wasn’t even my cat you filibustered, it was my sister’s. How do we get through, Harry?

I have sort elephanted in the room long enough now. Your tie is like the one’s in Canary Wharf, hung round the neck of a thousand sales and acquisitions sharks. Why don’t we move to the coral reefs straight away? I know a bacterium there who is quite hospitable. I have sort of moneyed. Try to talk through the pain of the world yourself?

I have tried to sort of preoccupy my porcupine with potholes and motorway projects, but it constantly talks back to me in German.

I have sort of half-truthed, but it wasn’t truth, not even anger, but grabbing, grabbing, grabbing – it’s very important to me, that we come together – and a little private-jetted tour de force around the world.

I have sort of supermooned your wrongdoing. I wake up every morning, and suspect that your last letter is the self-hate manifesto of a middle class hippo hunter hipster hypocrite homogenocene horticulture horde – but I find your words saying something else. Love in an awe-full place, place in an awful love?

I have sort of carparked outside your house. Don’t be scared, I have not come do deliver anthrax powder, or power plants, or stale elephant meat. I come with a tiny plate of deeply felt affection. It is very important.

I have sort of left-gloves-punch-in-the-air-wondered what you meant: you have no right hand glove? Take your longing and join me, I have sort of mountain-top-removed decency. There’ll be phantoms. There’ll be fires on the road. And the white man dancing.
I have sort of electrified every village on my private Goldilocks, rabbit-hole planet. When we have sort of shit-hits-the-fanned, I’ll take you there: there’ll be gyms for every kind of longing, Harry.

[Concert pitch]

I have sort of…


… sensationed that this heart keeps beating.


I have sort of

[Inside Voice]
… single malted your nerves; it’s time to become multitudes.


I have sort of


… eared your chest.


I have sort of


… skinned your skin


I have sort of


… earthwormed our future


… it was less murder than I feared it would be

… before we met.

Dance Poetry Artist Residency at Hurst Castle.

Harry Man is a poet based in the UK. His first pamphlet, Lift won the UNESCO Bridges of Struga Award, he has been Poet in Residence at StAnza Festival, and his work has been translated into Slovak, German, Chinese and Swedish. His latest pamphlet created in collaboration with the artist Sophie Gainsley is called Finders Keepers and is published by Sidekick Books. His latest project is Wordsworth Sounding

Jonas Gren is a writer based in Sweden. He has written three poetry collections in Swedish, the latest one Antropocen (10TAL Bok, 2016). He sometimes refers to his poems as “Planetary Poetry”. His second book Överallt ska jag vara i centrum (Everywhere I shall be in the centre) is based on the manifestos of Sweden’s two largest political parties. The book also includes a phone service where Jonas reads poems, which is opened four days a year.

The Enemies Project: Duos is a new series of commissioned collaborative poems and texts in conjunction with 3:AM Magazine. The series will showcase brand new works of avant-garde and literary work between contemporary writers, paired and provoked especially for the enterprise, often across nations and languages. www.theenemiesproject.com/duos

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Sunday, July 16th, 2017.