Surfaces

I walked towards my own ghost,
Floating only as ghosts can float;
Like a drifting bouy, slow
On surfaces strange and remote,
Where no sounds exist, no
Harbour alarms, no tired boats.
As certain, yes, as infinite
As armadillo scutes wrapped
Round a universe’s components,
Defending flesh, soft underbellies
And then bones, shrew-like thoughts,
Or the scent in my kitchen
I left behind of burnt toast.
He beckoned me into the folds
And fabrics of his being as
He smoked new fogs through his nose,
Billowing over a greying coast.
We were the same shape, for
Sadness bloats the lonely minds
And comforts like a winter coat.
I stepped inside his fashion,
Morassy cold moments, bitterly
Cold, where he stood and told me
About his life, such unrecouperable
Losses as though he had gambled
At the great southern casinos
Where everyday players lose
Their chips and notes, he wagered
His soul, and now pays
For his choice, which was not
A choice, by taking listless nightly
Walks along the seawalls draped
With grieving molluscs, barnacles
In grim mourning costumes,
Along the shores
Of consciousness.

My pillow drenched with sweat,
I moved to reduce the clammy sense
When my hands fell through
Where the pillow had been, and
I remembered then, with unending
Awe and horror mixed at the
Contemplative designs of
Suffering, there was no kitchen,
No burnt toast, no rendezvous,
For looking back I realised again
That I was the ghost
And he was the man.

Widdershins

Dream-time, to university returned,
The professor said as one who knows
This semester will be earned.
Widdershins, the east wind blows.
I had not seen the man before,
Subconsciously hosting his atoms;
He asked collegiate ghosts to draw
Comparisons in speech patterns
Between a cause célèbre and trigger
From forty years before, in dialectal forms.
But he applied the wrong name for the rigger,
And misquoted a decade of snowstorms.
So in a rage, I left the class,
Found between the gymnasts’ hall
And the toilets by a second molecular mass
Who urged a return to my downfall.
The academic, he divulged, was highly strung;
His mother had not long died and was dissected
By his brother; he has her micro-parts hung
From a window ledge, with prayers reflected.
This was of no interest to me, unaffected
I wanted this interloping subject to feel
The limits where truth is neglected,
Garden shears in my hands are real;
Of profuse upset caused by objectification,
Without thought for the graves and pearls,
Veracity or ethics, an inconsideration,
For two unreturnable girls.