Boston Bombing by Michael Brett

What haunts you after an explosion
Is the eggshell nature of things,
The art forms and the dreams of madness:
The red pools, the Jackson Pollock zigzags
On grey paving slabs;
The houses sliced like cake; paper doorways;
The darkness, shock and night snapped shut
Like a pocket watch whose machinery
May be glimpsed like anemones
Waving – phosphorescent – on  the darkened floors
Of barroom confessionals and consulting rooms
Whose bulbs overwinter in silent places:
Basements, lock-up garages, rucksacks and holdalls;
Or sometimes in those man-made wild places
Where no-one goes
Save the homeless and detectives, pathologists,
Under motorway ramps and railway arches.
These and subleased apartments, paid for in cash
Are sometimes states in waiting,
Like Lenin’s in Percy Street
With a policeman hiding in the grandfather clock
Who does not speak Russian;
These are the invisible other cities
Plotting against our kingdoms of the necessary nonsense,
The fables agreed upon
That stop all Romes collapsing beneath the weight
Of Sistine ceilings and marble angels, oil;
The Dr Dee levitation of shared assumptions and paper money
For – in truth – bombs show us everything we need to know:
That everything is just a house of cards
Save our need to eat and who we love.


Date: 2013

By: Michael Brett (1955- )


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