Out-takes


Something fusty. The moths
avoid this particular drawer.
They are not fooled
by the false first layer
of sweater, the silks
and folds of thin tissue.

I take them out.
Here is a scrag of adjectives,
a gabble of epigrams,
whole shanks of blackened stanza.
There's mould on them, too,
miniature outcrops of fog.

At the back,
slashed by a carbonado Bic,
clusters of lines, gruntling,
kicking their commas.

I feed them fibs.
One day, I say, you'll see the light,
you'll star in an epic.
Then I drop them the latest starlets,
some images I've snipped at,
after the first few rushes of blood.

On airless evenings, they squeal
with delight. I listen,
stropping my cutthroat slowly.
I will take them out.

From the book Robinson Crusoe's Bank Holiday Monday

(for Lawrence Sail)