Monday, February 22, 2016

Neil Fulwood- Three Poems


The lock broken and the gates
off their hinges. The driveway 
curving up to the house, gravel
clattering under the wheel arches.

The garden snag-wreathed 
in vines and nettles. Scuffed
shoes and lacerated ankles
your reward for quitting the car.

The house abraded by time
and weather. Broken roof tiles,
guttering clogged. Silence; 
memories you’ve suppressed.

Suddenly the face at the window.

Roots snarl the ground,
stones work themselves
into your shoes. Puddles
are filmed with scuzz
and find your feet unerringly.
The woodland tells you:
go back, go home.
Branches put their mark on you,
efficiently as paper cuts.
A slap from a wet leaf
chastises you for not listening.
The woodland tells you:
turn round, go home.
It is late in the day. Distance
is merely a concept now. 

It’s not writers block any more
than the wrong turn en route
to the building site is trucker’s block,
or the blown fuse and mild shock
is electrician’s block; it’s no more
an inability to do the job
than a product turning out a crock
of shit is quality assessor’s block.
It’s more like a thief in the night,
a sprite with stretchy arms
stealing your tools and material,
tinkering with your capacity to spell,
disrupting punctuation,
corrupting coherence,
making gibberish of grammar,
slaughtering syntax, taking a hammer
to what you want to express
and your way with words.
It isn’t a block: a block’s a halt.
This is a glitch, a bug, a fault,
a piece of code that’s rogue,
a saboteur that wreaks havoc
and disappears; gets away clean:
a Trojan, a ghost in the machine.

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