From Paradise Lust Book II: Transferences

John Kinsella


They take approval from royal state,
to shine with rubbed-off wealth,
all delicacies stolen from the East
displaying imagination’s textual
fetishes; beneath atomic chandeliers
and ancient woodland diminishings,
grab their lime-lit moments,
spread the British Petroleum love
and widen the gulf, claiming betterment
of all through gifted art: driftnets
collate a school, cities scrawl night,
but accolade and dismiss all challenge
as envy at the gates of dawn: little
thundering on plains, for love
of nature in poem-environment
redacting all like garlands: caring
is an endless pain to share
as granted. Dominions. Centre.
Peripheries. Guardrails. Trooping
colours, what covetous union
minds inheritance? Its lineage
of oak timbers, its debating space,
its need for recognition to stay
on straight and narrows, occupying
steps to heaven, gaping ambition
to speak one’s avatar, fierce spirit,
tales of rich men shedding loot,
sprinkling artistes with deductions.
War-weary with distance, such syntax
bores in casual conversation,
gathering multitudes to deflect
themselves ‘neglected’ forms.
What puns take science
from algorithms (designing
computers from scratch
doesn’t take from bounds
of dictionaries), logarithms
contrive a resting-place: crossroads,
gallows humour, those ‘millions
that stand in arms’, our lingering
dark, opprobrium in dens of shame,
hardly quote a tyranny and degrees
to cite a bird not get inside the bird,
nor Buckethead’s tormented chicken stance
and greasy mask, to lead-break variant
Temminck’s Stint or Stonechat where Washes
would spread archaeological soil turned over:
what’s stuck to transport confused responses
(I feel the subterfuge here, as much as there)
a hindered language lightning black fire
to name a tactic or pointed weapon,
Dungeness to light, all day a guild house
remonstration, where were you in 1972
(all year every moment), code DOUBLE
(don’t eat the vegetables until ALL CLEAR),
reference promenade or yacht delights
on smothered seas, or thundering up,
hides red-throated divers to bask
kittiwakes on shingles storming
leewards, surveying the claws of Axos,
hell-flames, and admiration for the Bosses.


Spreading sulphur over the garden,
insisting he is organic accredited.
No torturer or tormenter, he ignores
blasphemies from neighbouring
plots: all ‘black fire and horror shot’,
all bluster over infinitesimal deaths
on leaves we eat, those foes
descending/ascending, falling
and flying. He wads beds
with sheep’s wool and glimpses
flesh between rose and mulch,
vassals pruning away, whittling
deadwood into nautical shapes.
Water-beads lap up excess,
hold tight in sunless heat.
Gentle moment, he whispers.
Gentle moment, penance.


                 for Thomas Glave

Penance is not forgetfulness and the passing
crisis made past in reportage and chit-chat
is no less agony: the seepages and accumulations,
stocked-up fishbellies in stock standard measurements
of ‘stocks’, quotas in net islands abolishing
and expiring in reducing and consuming
their own denials. Perpetual roads
with working woods clustered about,
as Roman as permissions ordered through decrees,
a recording of dissension is divine or worse
to sound the bells, make fatal thrones
of all our coaches and swivel chairs,
or shucked up with newspaper
beneath dual carriageway, a rumpus
of transport warmed by the victory
of vibrant airwaves: the Tetra tower
nearby hummed through the night:
homelessness denounces lesser gods.
Which heaven ranks a fairer person?
I won’t stand down, renege clown antics
you grow weary of: O the plangent
wistful insightful (little burst of incendiary)
troubled sensitive invigilator of trauma
with clinical but rouge-like distancing,
that fairer person, that not lost of Heaven.
We subjects of colonial disordering.
In the pompous buildings a calmative
or restorative tempers invention:
pragmatists and idealists rubbing toes,
their tonguey mannas respectable for all
seasons they shift like cards: wisest
counsellings. And noble to boot.
Some peers already who might lament
the burning in pitchworld, lament
the regressive, gingerly nibbling the ‘bestial’
over their classy humours: O for the blue waters
unhindered: yes, indeed, the clear waters of lagoon
or just extension of blue water wishes; I should explain,
my shifting allegiances of many years not in politics
but in embodiment: and in the beatings I received
I hand a plumage to all sufferers (I have not forgotten you
and would never abandon): it’s true, and fear will leave
letters floating among the security services,
nation and exclusion bedfellowing semantics
to smile through urges and persuade wars:
‘cast ominous conjecture’ to unfurl their
success, that regular gruel all might ingest
without the posse’s revenge. Dire, the towers
of Heaven looking to ancestry for the clarity
of air, the rights of flesh, untrammelled love.
Dire, the legions’ fear of obscurantist wings.

4. Trail Blazing

Nightrealm scorns surprise of lights
out when lights are up at Hinkley Point
and cooling reactor ‘A’ nuzzles up
to rip-roarin’ reactor ‘B’ (local legends
say, lured by sirens?) with reactor
‘C’ getting legs and outpacing protesters:
I saw a wheatbelt parrot (O sacred 28)
stuffed and cased in a gallery, a stately
national trust accountancy lest we-they-all
forget, eyes as bright or dull as rapiers,
touring children elide their metaphors
and straying on weekends are encouraged
to visit to get a season pass to know thy selves,
to latch onto work sheets and blaze nature’s trail,
pick out the birdlife habilitating the Bristol
Channel’s flank (‘8 different wildlife habitats’!)
with Marbled Whites blown out to sea,
brilliant as the keyboard, the viewing screen,
memory, lifeblood, entertainment,
to power what visioning flat screen despair,
blazing fire, light as whispering wind
on a gloriously mild, sunny day (hey hey)
playing the quasis and demis of insurrection,
confounding the pure light of windfarms
with their prospective flying blades (watch out,
the nuclearists warn, they can really put a spoke
in your wheel!): repulse and exasperate,
aspirate much safer incorruptible aura
of polluted throne and ethereal mound;
so say all of us carving our way through
backroads and backtowns, roundabout
eternities of white horses and Tescoes,
to carve a path equidistant, to never go
inside say fifty miles (briefly) or a hundred
miles long-term (our half-lives being
indeterminate of mischief and inescapable
fire) of the fiery furnaces, past incapable stains
and victorious in fossil fuel expeditionary
despair. To be repulsed by Aldermaston,
weapons to meet all his mustered rage,
an age of hegemonising gravespace,
what waste we store to hedge those bets
(granite beneath the vegetation),
to make our way through ancestry
and Tracy’s family farm still bearing up
and bearing name, a few clicks from Hinkley:
assassinate eternity, perish by expansion,
to gather in the wide womb of foe and motion
and will: all tidal in the buoyancy, the keel
to find its resting place, held down in tension
to be swallowed by returning waters,
and the click click of gears changing,
quickly past, parsed in recirculating air
as if it’s a cure for pain and ideas.