Gilberte O'Sullivan

Lizard Envy
for Vahni Capildeo

Sea Blast

Lizard Envy
for Vahni Capildeo

Wood slave sniper craved rapture
with me. He moved house, swerved
the stern end of God, deserted rocks,
trees, bower, for the broad back
of my reticulated abstract's
warm parchment.

His mistress inconsolable
comes to search him
taking with herself small-scale
memories of when he chirruped her
awake for their daylight ritual.

Now she sees right through
spine-shattered ice-capped skin:
sheer horny lizard.
She should have known.

He should be clapped
for his superiority
catching females,
aegypti and all
(the real reason
I put up with his crap).

250 aeons before, apothecaries took
the bane of snake to trade for legs,
so snake could never reach the sun.
Lizard more cunning stalks the light
in search of fresh wings.

In this selfsame semi-century
Jim Morrison crowns himself
Lacertilian king, His Squamata neurons
squirming, his mind high as wings,
his belt of iguana hung well and low.

All covet rule with blood just as cool.

Who else craves lizard life, who envies
triassic rules of detachability?
First, you must forsake the tail. Never turn back.

Sea Blast

Day clean in this feted land
That yearns to cure its pounding hangover,
bathing its wounds in sea water.

Enter the pirate,
in search of a new land
see the island from a distance
Dream in the language of confluence.

He rises earlier than the rest,
Sets the example.

Not like those before who threw
Up their hands to a civilised God
and sailed far from the serpent's spew,
of serpent's mouth
of islands that give no thanks.

Sea wife is expecting
you, she knows you are troubled by their talk
She stews blanched white ocean,
trails her spoon, settles the long bursting
creamy waves from the bed
of her pressure pot

                     Do not listen
                     to the hissing.
                     Do you hear?
Before dinner she will dive,
make you drunk with her.
You want to fill her with your effluence

Waves pass through your ears,
Salt blinds you with harsh visions
You hear voices through kisses,
Of what beauty was like when still forlorn.

Drift carries you across breakwater
Like a new groom testing the latent
Intentions of sea under heavy manners,
Not letting you slip free.
You should regard that a warning
there is only so much need of remedy.

Little fish scholars, twinkle
at your calves, awaiting oracles.
How easy to forget this is not your home;
Every tide wants to lap you up,
Drift wants to lull your body,
Hear your glug for mercy.
Sea-wife, drunk with you,
wore down your reason.

You curse this blasted island woman,
Wild in her motion, not looking on horizons.
Put her to bed to sleep it off; start the absolution.
You make the sign of the mast,
You will marry her into submission,
Soak-in the blue-green scene
Unbraid the helix,
Chlorinate her to zenith.

Bowlegged, still finding your gait,
You come to dinner
with scrolls of perishable ideas
No one cares to unfurl.

Your rhetoric is tiresome
You are spoiling the buffet.
They will put you out the party
Because you cannot reform the sea.

You drift to bed, lonesome wood,
one time used for beating
Knowing your bride will leave,
who was once the outside woman.
Nausea comes awakening
which means she cannot stand
for all you have done to her island.
Sleep engulfs you
But does you no favors
You heave at dreamers and their dreaming.
For dreaming means no motion,
too much motion has her sickening.
Then comes that awful feeling,
knowing all substance
will come to sand.

No court of mercy dares appeal.
Sea wife gets everything, respects nothing,
Not buildings, not wooden frets,
not cast iron rails, not books
For she cannot control the hunger,      
Licks with lime-water
Washing away the fresh,
Browning edges in burnt sugar,
frothing at her mouth.

So what?   
Wrought iron flowers and spears dissolve,
And the joints and bolts and bones and screws.
And the termites have learned to chew concrete,
at the hotel of sumptuous pleasures
where sea-wife first consumed you.

Can you not see these islands are omnivorous,
They devour skin, sawdust and iron powder
ground together wasting.
Stained fingers and clothes brush past your linen skin.
Now worms corrode your stomach and feast on your brain,
your own body is already turning to rust.