:: Article

from Sonnets for Billy Barrix

By Angus Sinclair.

new markets for riceboats the Captain says
   and takes you on a trip from The Venice
to see village life ring-nosed parakeets
   in large numbers roosting communally

   it is going like ripe jackfruit Barrix
   a coconut fermenting on its branch
  as the banks come narrower I finger
the oily backwaters’ stream of reason

split differences between the word Search
and the word Look   think of drinking water
evenness of floods the traditional
divisions   over saturated fields

   bird-circles over a coloured canal
   Captain says some of them are owners now

such a swift-goer baba chewing paan
proceed in western-style and denim-sure
   autograph on carbon paper Barrix
  Captain says actually I show you

it is between cheapest and best Either
the right hand gives some denomination
to the left or sweet masala chai slips
one stainless steel tumbler to the other

   representational   of your country
of residents   of tartar of the teeth
black copper hair green copper ring around
the ego and soul   swells of parakeets

     flap black and green make memories colour-
     copy of samples skies like betel blood

if it is not happiness well what then
so frequently your share of exciting
happiness thru beeds thru various jems
   drunk in the eyes fermented coconut

the side-door of government liquor stores
   Captain says it these men of mixed or vile
caste Mama I speak a green & ginger
type of metre sing my little mantra

do not swallow holy rivers do not
swallow holy rivers do not swallow
dying blue after the downpours &
Barrix he’s going like a rowyaboat

     a soft guttral sound the g in give
     the g in government or Ganesha

Angus Sinclair‘s poetry has recently appeared in Ambit, clinic online, and the anthology Dear World and Everyone in it: New Poetry in the UK.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Tuesday, August 12th, 2014.