Paradise Lost

text by Declan Pleydell



Scene I, thin stems

with a quartz fever
make to dive:
at an ozone edge
of cloudless sulphur

through to a space within,
melt of a mind
that perverts and works
a place of summer

where the thin stems
of climbing plants
are loose of mildew
on Marsham walls

and circling noise
and basic horror
gulf at the shores
of sinking seas

and with them I sink, or not;

Scene II, how fallen, how changed

what I have lost
in you
to see you in that light

but I fill with longing
when alone
to coat us in veneer

and it is wrong that
when brave
I am made to hurt

and beat vengeful,
your fault,
fuck that, my word

Scene III, interlude

Scene IV, chaos

crevass ing
across a pit
a void:
bridg ing
confus ing

Scene V, the garden

Scene VI, the itch

right to my gut a
waking alarm
that hums

and I for one
don’t like a change
my world is weak,
I make the names

Scene VII, the lake

look at us
in the drink

many selves
mirror from
my waving arms
above the pond

Scene VIII, the argument

you are set to me - you are set to me
in a sea fret - like a mould made
and you always take my hand - for a token

as you kiss me - I won’t be
I am here but - of your body
I am drifting from the land

and the brines that - but now you
fix our bodies - watch me
they make me want to wash - at a distance

but I used to - with the terror
drink across us - of a star
but then you used to close your eyes

and I loved you
like an alien

Scene IX, the give

there's some growing need
for a questioning
so I reflect,
but if you ask me
I'll throw a stone
but if you ask me
I won't know

cos I never combed
through any part of
my dull and violent mind,
full with fear that knocks about

so, uneven
I paint you as the rift
and believe in shit

but I’m feeling
my sense has gone adrift
only just seeing
you are not my gift

you are not my gift

Scene XI, stones

through a rind of sleep
at my lids:
a vision of total light
that makes my iris weep
and force wide my other eye

to toppling worlds
of knotty beauty
where axioms change
and living sediment
makes light of buildings
and unjust design,
where sadness and error
are natural and fine
where compost worms
eat up men who vote
on women’s bodies
and churn out new hope

move to knowledge
move to me
embrace me wild
with all your teeth