Rob Holloway




Water is always first a bullet, a
pointed gun that loves a market
it swells lips inside a cage
halfway in I hold a rope
to the ends of your fingers
quips Pete, “The territory is squat,”
a ladder by any other rung.
Scars grow back, so relax
I use my friend for a cough box
but who beat your son on the grass?
The martinis are smelling of pork.
A spike in a barrel of skin’s
for ease of breathing.

I wondered how much like butter
this ghost of an effort to be great
would appear
on Alphabetical Avenue
eating only orange pigs
spun into a glass picture
by a dear little machine
these black yellow spitting days.
The horsehair turning
resigns itself to rust
in the house of the engine
heavy as mud more
spinal than a staircase
O cloth come replace
a pride in flight
with a more
coral, no, pumice tone

As when a relaxing mechanic 
clings fast to water’s lick
at the thought of a penitentiary spigot
so charcoal waves
dip oil in crows
sat concretizing on a tree
staring sadly back at me
between incompleteness and what’s lost
by your shifting sunlight’s box
of metal layers, its feather doors in
sight of ochre’s smell
opening on a second son
in a funny kind of nuclear
heap, lately ‘coxcombed by the Reds’
now ‘neighbourly’ in socks
playing truant with an
inconvenient tooth (the light
appearing at the end of the tunnel
he hopes is not his candleabra).
Lancing with beak tips
protruding from your masks
the fruit found bunching
in the corners of this bruise, more
a rattle than a mote
the kind an ageing pump
blowing elipsoidal air
under regulation owls‘ll
bust on breaking, a
river’s banks’ll snap
ll      what? Vermilion
dye it deeper than
ever hands subdue? ‘ll
the agricultural merit
of the patience of my horse
and its taste for Venice paper last just
until that monkey skeleton
talking hotly back at me
becomes the lawn o’er thy fair pap
bores holes so deep no
bee inside’ll trade
not their wings for stings un
stated, leaving dogs and their writers
too down on their luck
to nail the army down
to the steam that’s belching from their leaves?