:: Article

The Herbals

By Tom Chivers.

The Herbals

Pale globe inset,
you hive.

To crumble yr vision
into backstreets is to
interrupt certain large
unwieldy (or rather
profitable) structures

& who
would
desire
that kind
of mental
collapse.

In any city or text-based
practice to be confined
in such articulated coffins
collapses desire & its
attainment causing

sweat
to
gush.

Now if unit cost declines
& free creative expression
requires a constant hum
please define yr target

market
or at
least
revert
to type.

I am frequently asked
for directions & am
too polite to shake
you from yr dreaming

left
left again
right at the end –

You & I,
alone in a node I barely
recognise –

towers
turn
&
shimmer.

Censorious streets,
how you suckle me!

Router is a deep blue.
Certain interests of a
mercantile nature
such as speed and
theft.

You’ve worked out how to get here?
Timing’s key.
Through snowfall,
radio cars,
bank collapse
the visionary
comes –

Cherished pathways
back-mutate
to nodes.

Insist the marshes, the herbals.
Static blends.
Blue is righteous accident.

Pastel turns
and we unfold like
an aircraft hangar
in a field of gold
translucent rape.
My name is Simon.
I am your train guard, your
personal shopper.
Hardware
flocks. Green
beyond limits. Cartilage
locks a vista –

Light spilt across a
mechanised trackway,
Eileen House
absorbs the solar
flares. Petulant orb
commanding eyelines,
level and rise.
Spliced in
international waters,
the body, you told them,
was still inside you.

Pale globe inset,
you hive.
Resist the flatscreen,
heavenly musics;
turning towards
a mirrored wall.

Yes, pulse thickens.

You

Silver orange blue

tom_liamdavenport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tom Chivers was born in 1983 in South London. His publications include How to Build a City (Salt Publishing, 2009) and The Terrors (Nine Arches Press, 2009; shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award) and, as editor, Generation Txt, City State: New London Poetry and Stress Fractures: Essays on Poetry (Penned in the Margins, 2006, 2009, 2010). He has won an Eric Gregory Award, and in 2009 presented a documentary for BBC Radio 4 on the poet Barry MacSweeney. He runs publisher and literary arts producer Penned in the Margins and co-founded London Word Festival.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, August 18th, 2011.