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J A C K E T   #   T E N  
O C T O B E R   1 9 9 9


Chris Emery : three poems


      Mattress Thought

for Drew Milne

ecce worm so far nigh
in meagre hugs & fair fog
a low womb vending on him
as soon as whom to whole grunts
a thicket / neuter kids far off

my runt absconding puts
on cartilage thought / a mother
blenched / elohim / erring
& come to spend packets
in a low breath / devils plump

all solace is bestowed dust
even greedy nerves in dugs
covets doubt to rub rub rub
each dog of lymph / hefty
panting for the factory mullet

remember those foiled paces
still up in the tarpaulin grind
an evanescent lung tarred so
a post for giddy liquor or blear
shanks so still as seeps so

shored up again ripe a little
all splints again piled there
a combatant joy withered
while howling gut looms pert
in bent affordable promos

& the immutable crotch stifles
one positron / the dividend
of a zygote / infecting again
each pill nerve gantry
digging down in mono flakes

flames snagged idly in winter ash
or the salve of said stages
or the salve of a fritillary
or the lame spigot & monsieur
/ each idle wash of going

      Udder Music

tall glands lie mute above the fargo vein
climax on my palomino / the tracheas loafing
& ultimatum all talk / Mephisto bombed in cadre
me tearing my shift / chiffon / antonym / a sausage box
rainy in the bung light caught napping now
for a breeze greening the carer for ages ha ha la la

all cast in skewers & lovely abattoir a hung ratcheting
shelved in flames for the attic kilter / popes akimbo
slurry and harissa from my boys in white ties pinching it
(spent polythene crackles under the bonnet)
a veneer life as i surface rinsed to have you
veneer of / an abject fuel high-kicking for yaddo

so vexed i come as you please / a fungal atom
of sheen in a metal cage my axiom fisting for lacuna
all fur cobbles & blaring axles in the gun pump
then sobbing waves in pvc in the demi-urge pitch
i am shorn of things billing & tootling for scurf pensions
a bun gobbling nearby for a vanilla batista

just bowels faggots for insouciance & meagre skins
in the nation-weed a crux serves / a torpid loaf
all dormitory sessions / mauve / taupe envelopes
pickling the wretches (all tan & shaved) at the firm
song-bursting at marienbad / evenings familiar
among cables / chanterelles & pogroms

i have a film shrinking in convex nubs its infirm loping
for brown coronas / rimming the virgule in hock
for another mouth canvassing what lesion & cock hankers
for leather combos i love it on opening to litigate
our ends or pulse in for wattage / creeping the rum

no means but in algae / no means but in fish
chapped for a last time in stagy pigs a bulgar slouches
no more legs in the victorious mandala / a nascent slag
of which i am whoosh in the gullet / palindrome cow
for some last hatchet piece petitioned in a soft ruckus
at bottom redeemed in the leisure club


      The Mother

i am Shulamith strung out on this march
with my boys in tow my ankles scabby i suppose
i love my womb its fragrant pith a guerdon
i make use of in featureless care & the institute
romping among actuaries & surgeons so
get me across the river for i need a hit
& understand i am more than willing
to set my boys on you though i have my doubts
my doubts with burning toes & boredom here to boot
i shall wear a mozzetta & corduroys & have my fleas
& in this hefty frame enfold some holy blokes
in all honesty the commisars i bought in a moment
of weakness chewing on rye bread just
blabbing in coffins like puritans my darlings
pale in drag & whingeing for truth & equanimity
i will oblige each with a teat in Eden & become their
headscarved double hereabouts mistress of bauxite
and barley rendering distractions on each soul
the spigot of love traipsing about for some
countermanding zealot with a cart of meat
& Distalgesics my sons up top all mischievous
the clock tower bombed again above the pigpen
& Councillors in paisley shirts spruced up
what a palaver these blokes make gesticulating
wildly when rinsing down the compound i see you
make a few quid from simnel cake and borscht
& then i'm on my way again itching & turning
across borders fetching Kalashnikovs & sour bread
for other well-hung sons i've thanked mmm mmm
for setting mutton under blankets for my hymns
& set beside the pavement and limewashed walls
reticulating canes stacked up like rickets below
the Ministry of Absolute Redemption a recombinant
nation beside the lampshades and soaps of the Party
Collective pure gravy under the beaks of mountains
the chipped statues of bald farts staring & staring
towards the lathered Proletariat & idling tractors
& furrows quavering to all but this seamstress
i am delivering the lord's washed out & inculcated soil
fuelling imperfect tenses in the refurbishment of race
picking over crockery & a punnet of dollars
my legerdemain swish swish upon bright perspex
cracking cement in the purges as i collect my debts
my songs impinging on crepe banners while i point
& grin the fat lieutenant dropping loose change
in my hat indecent as a theorem as i wince impeccably
below the squirting panoply of men all verges & dogs
pert above the spittle on my lips i wipe a hanky
on the puce moon of my beautiful surviving head
above loss after loss on pillows my eructations
all smog in a city fingering tarmac for shell cases
as the trucks begin loading potash & flour sacks
the other women dissolving scurrying for haircuts
shorter than before amid the dupes & bruises
of pale concordance wishing for trains
& pronouns in the prime of what life


Photo of Christopher Emery

Christopher Emery was born in Manchester, England, in 1963 and studied painting and printmaking at Leeds Polytechnic. His poems have appeared in numerous magazines including Blade, the Honest Ulsterman, Oxford Poetry, Plastic, PN Review, and Quid, as well as several e-zines including, The Animist, Conspire, The Poetry Kit and Recursive Angel. He was anthologised in New Writing 8 (Vintage, 1999). He lives with his wife and two children in Great Wilbraham, Cambridgeshire, and is Production Manager of the Cambridge University Press. He recently joined John Kinsella and Clive Newman as Production Manager of Salt Publishing.


J A C K E T  # 10 
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