Poetry by Marcus Silcock


In Warrington, father sheared sheep. His brother raced greyhounds. They watched John Wayne on the telly. It is hard to imagine now, but the lucky coin behind the ear meant something. Father followed those coins to Vallejo California. The trailer park. We all lived there. Hamburger Helper. I can still taste it. Also, The Fall Guy, with Lee Majors. That opening theme song was my life song. Lots of doubles. Behind the scenes. Plus bounty hunting even though I didn’t know what I was hunting. Then it was Vegas. Toothpicks, steak and eggs for 2 dollars, and a donated Nova. Father with angel dust and sneaky pokes with Cheryl. Then it was small-town Utah. By then, father had changed his accent to cowboy western. Two horses snorted me. Vultures circled the dusty fields. Tussling through the night with angels, claws scraping our ears. Every morning, the town crier shook the bell. The end was neigh. One day, father went deep into new cult. He lived in a shack outside someone’s house, white sheets covering his windows, dead animals in the trees to ward off evil spirits. I shook the dust from my shoes. It is an ancient curse. I was leaving behind the fellowship of the kingdom. Tainted. I leaked my guts. Slouched from one country to another. Searching for something. Shearing my sheep wool. Pulling out my wolf daggers. Trying to avoid father.

Feathers in Your Cap

When I lived in Seoul, my life was cake. There was even a swivel chair in my office. Not to mention a sink. It was bigger than my living space. I felt kind of important. Every day there were two options for lunch. Black bean sauce with rice or Korean pizza with hot sauce. Those were nice choices but after some time every nice choice becomes limited. On Fridays, I sat around the all-U-Can-Eat sushi buffet. That was a new thing for me. Watching those little fish boats sail by. After all that sushi, I felt the glow. It lasted for maybe two hours. Then my goshiwon with a tiny television spitting out gameshows. People walking planks and swallowing spiders. I thought yes. I’ve made it. I am really living the adventure. Then my new meds turned my hair orange. I kept looking out the window. I had the latest technology of 2006. A screen that moved up and down, and even horizontal and vertical. With all those angles I thought I was going to really find something. A man rang the buzzer and took the lift to my 14th floor. I didn’t know what he wanted, but I trusted him. When he opened the door he handed me his pinky to shake. Before long we were meeting regularly. Near the river. And then other pinkies came along. We felt the pink spirit of punk. My meds ballooned my face. Turned my face pink. I couldn’t sing a lick. The Pinkies left me. Flowers sprout without mouths, do you wish to speak to them? I began to incline my head towards visions of Poland. Riding this straw odyssey on bargain baskets wheeled by milk matrons on cobbled towns. A few feathers in your cap, but they fly away quickly.

The Narrows

Riding the wonder horse of feel good chemicals. Shins burning. That’s unpleasant. How do we fix it. Cream-cropped & sugar-saddled. That’s better. Riding the wonder horse of feel good chemicals. Slipping into your helmet to thought control your light switch. Increase pleasure. Decrease pain. Riding the wonder horse of feel good chemicals. Those shining glass temples keep reproducing. Kingdoms upon kingdoms for feel good chemicals. Honey suckling. Grotesque. Glorious. Riding the wonder horse of feel good chemicals. We visit The Narrows in Pioneer Park to resurrect the life urge. It is a tight squeeze. Stuck/unstuck in those narrow passages, we keep moving forward. The hand reaching out to grab you into daylight. This is a little like Plato’s cave. Sort of. But you are only back to where you started. You have to keep moving out of constricted corners.

Marcus Silcock

Twitter: @postpran

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