by SJ Fowler

I think to hide something under the bridge. Then to hold a balloon. Then bubble. I’m always picked last, paddling, having children read me back my animals.

Am I pretty much the same, sand without intention, whispering, as those who work for years on every word? When I copy, at least I mean it. I help no one, though.

You have to know reading as proper clown-shoes to have the following boat and busride. Painfully holding my piss when I’m bored is the meaning of my other poems.

Nikola asks Kalen if he knows what a bladder is.

In jail for having a fair fight. The strident poet bit. Powerful nocturnal. Cosmin has a compass. I wish I hadn’t asked why. The architect rubs her eyebrows.

When Adam reads The River of Never, there’s irony. It, like interesting furniture, is also not a story.

I ask Clara if she’s had any injuries. She points to her hip. I paint my eyes again. Shimon says if you pray, you might be doing so the wrong god. The crew makes me want all these people on holiday as my own.

Saints flooring heartbeats. I read I have met the enemy and they are ours. Then We bones that are here, beneath, for you await. I think Respice post te. Hominem te memento.Pauli has dipped into Augustine.

Reading that prison, it’s underfunded. It’s driving a toy, dragging a brown eye, almost pure hair becoming fur. It’s singing, kissing my own, burning. I’m noise warden to it, burning in rubbish.

Does our body hurt? Do we understand our name? Are we a useful photo on facebook? When will you look at your pictures?

I’m briefly Magda’s second cycle. I’m generously Vladimir’s son’s meadow. I’m laboriously Nikola’s hope. I’m potently Ghayath’s whisper. I’m ably Ida’s synchronicity. I’m Nastasija’s old age. I’m boringly Hussein’s powerful decency. I’m lookingly John’s hearing are you ready? I’m guardedly Pauli’s prize. Then Morten’s memory code, as he correctly calls me out a peacock. I’m also able to be Martin’s memory foam, informed by watching each other swim at night. I’m Tiziano’s cat born in a walnut and Anne’s hardcover spine used as a weapon. I’m Yekta’s real name.

Upon the split lake, endless buffet as the elephant repeats its stomach. I end reading while eating, thanking sincerity sincerely, mouth empty.

I am finally happily dogboy, sitting on stage, waiting. I am the foggy bee cloud, one sting then death. I’m insects attracted to the prison search lights, minutes after my useless escape, holding up the tiny ship of origami boats.

Whenever I write these words yours is the old poem of poets together.


About the Author:

Steven J Fowler is a writer and artist who works in poetry, fiction, theatre, video, photography, visual art, sound art and performance. He has published seven collections of poetry, three of artworks, four of collaborative poetry plus volumes of selected essays and selected collaborations.