Print Rivers. After-images

Selwyn Pritchard

From heartbeats on still Australian nights ships tower the lawn with lights weird as galaxies, checkpoints, Kantstrasse ...
After, rice grasses hiss like static
on the airwaves where jokers spin, spiel to zany cartoon life all night long.
Sick of Homo Geneity, Multiple Universe Theory, I crush them out,
in silence begin the internal audit
which sank ('In gold we trust') Pound; froze on the Arctic air Mandelstam's
white words for some future spring, or bore
Auden back to Isis's barges,
graspinr his asp, ancient cottager.
Soon the river will mirror cloud maze, flight thread, but there's no escape from the beast within, turning words back to growls, barks, whines in supermarket alleys.
Once his steel tread in the pre-dawn streets standardised heads or made them drinking cups but now, by ratology, he makes amazing offers, cons check-out on closed circuit TV.
Priapic choc bars stand next to razors,
musak's white noise soothes the piping till, currency floats away, devalued as words, smiling, laden we are impoverished.
Today my classes, raised on prime time
blood, will find Lear's gabble, the Fool's, Poor Tom's, dull as Gloucester's vision loss or Cordelia's vertical slip (the world
crashing into blank meaninglessness).
Kids with televisual access
to the presidential rectum, with
yankeedoodlings junk 'WORK-CONSUME-DIE' above commuter tracks.
Reason breaks. 'River run past Eve and Adam's door.'


Page 75, Poetry Ireland Review Issue 24