No birds today -
the garden empty
as this envelope, before I started writing.
It’s a funny sort
of curse. Although I look it up
several times a year, I can never remember
means. Time travel
is often suggested as a remedy
so I’m waiting in
this garden to ask Jesus
what he’d like to do with his second life.
He still hasn’t shown. I was only
kidding about the indelible thing, btw -
now I’ve written it I’ll remember. No birds
today either. I must’ve got them all already.
Somebody once told
me about their cousin
who fought on both sides of the Texan Revolution,
had a grackle
named after him and rewrote
the Bible in his own words. One morning
his car was found
purring on the Golden Gate Bridge.
So, I said; what happened to him in the end?
Abseiling to Byzantium
Should I risk my dick today, or not?
Is the interrogative an effective method
to hold your attention, forgo your disdain, or
is it more of an Is everything okay
with your food? mid-breakup interrupter?
That's okay, I’ve got other tricks.
Repetition. I’ve got other tricks.
Sideshow Bob steps on a rake.
I’ve got almost as many internal worlds
as you, e.g. historical angles, I tell you
about the Byzantine emperor who had his nose
hacked off but won his throne back, hacked off
his successor’s head with a golden prosthetic
fixed on. What do you reckon; putty?
String? You need just the right magic
to pull these things off. Facial mutilation
was a political tool because the emperor’s face
represented God’s: unblemished, at least a seven.
The frenulum, aka the banjo string, also best intact.
Confessions offer more than honesty, hopefully,
you mustn’t bore the priest. Enough.
Here is the big screen, here the emperor’s face,
here the God you deserve – plonk!
Another heedless compulsion. Repetition.
Guy Elston is British and lives in Toronto. His poems have included by The Moth, The Honest Ulsterman, Anthropocene, Untethered and other journals. His debut chapbook Automatic Sleep Mode is forthcoming with Anstruther Press in 2023.