:: Article

Loop & other poems

By Joseph Clarke.


those mornings when you think they are there
sleeping next to you in crumbs & creases, two Lambs.
so real it’s as if a video of you two is being projected
over the now empty bed. But it’s a Monday morning
and the rain outside is giving you a slow clap.

just 2 more minutes please, you see, our imaginations
are the best time machines known to humanity:

lock the jawbones upright – fix the eyelids back
all Ludovicolike so I can keep still long enough
to take it all in. Let these images flow right through us
not as Photons do, but as a needle does.

let the heavenly polygons that made you
be forever suspended in a twitching black static
hit Play – watch the lambs begin to gambol

Swings & Roundabouts

I could describe being bi-polar
as like living in a souvenir snow dome
that gets shuck by a bored tourist
every now & then without thinking

but to say such a thing could be seen
as suggesting Poetry, romanticising it

which ignores the hollow screams,
this bruised tension of always, voices
over a blank space, a sigh to a cough

this alternating weight, falling, & flight
when even such a thing as light
comes at you like a ringed fist

so perhaps glossing over is best, poetry is a kindness
to provide everyone an easy image to process


most people really want to kill themselves
but are scared for what the neighbours might say
bunked up in fractal honeycomb streets
that wind then bind its inhabitants in glue.

thousands of Venetian blinds flit shut
in new luxury flats stood in hot lilac black
as a generation of limbs crash on sofas
like a piston coming to rest
in a most disappointed machine.

I guess it is easy to think of a loop as being circular
as we are blinded by its own inherent vastness
which renders our view of existence, lineal
& stationary, so we live our entire lives not knowing
how it moves, how it feeds itself from itself.

Joseph Clarke is a poet from Keighley, West Yorkshire. His poems have appeared online in Streetcake, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Bohemyth, New Linear Perspectives, & Bare Hands amongst others. He was included in the Burning Eye Anthology Rhyming Thunder – The Alternative Book of Young Poets. He has been featured poet at the Bristol Spring Poetry Festival.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Sunday, December 17th, 2017.