Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Last Day of the Vic Reeves Show

Everything’s closing.
The butterflies are folding
their wings. The beetles
are shutting the black
lids of their backs.
The birds are testing
and preening their feathers,
in anticipation of migration
to the basement. The jaws
on the skulls are closing,
their no-eyes are heavy
in their sockets. The skinless,
tissue-less snake is shedding
its bones in the un-breathed
air in the glass of its case.
The canvasses are peeling
themselves from their frames
and rolling away
with the bath-chair. Even
the spotlights are sleepy.

On this last day, I will climb
inside a painting: this one,
with the sea and the white-
bottomed bird. I will float
in the spout of the kettle,
steer with the black and white
pole, and follow the bird,
through the storm, through
September and the surging
equinox tides, through the rain
and the smudges of clouds,
keeping my eyes on the white
spot on the tail of the bird.
I will chuck my badge
overboard, put my feet up,
whistle a shanty, with a brew
on the go, bubbling beneath,
as an albatross circles
and sings in the voice
of the mistlethrush.

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