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‘Just’ and two more prose poems.




END OF SUMMER, just coming down from the drugs. I had the impression I had just been eating nuts. Just before midnight a great roaring sound occurred. I opened my eyes, wondering just what this was. A shell lit on the bank, just yards from my head. Passed the following days in a railway cutting, just big enough to lie in, enough firelight to see the smoke was thicker than just smoke. Hurricane Island was the high bare island just westward. My daughter was just taken to Casualty, not because she was hurt, that was just where missing children were taken. A poetry program came on, just as I turned the dial. This bedroom was at T’s cottage with just planks laid across the beams and rain outside, and over a huge caravan park the pilot was just eating sandwiches and began to tip and the nose scraped on the grass just as he pulled up with a jerk. I was just going to go in the clothes I was wearing. This girl looked just like P’s daughter with gaps between her teeth but we had to find shelter otherwise it was just like he crashed on the bedroom floor, nor was I worried about the ghost, just flotsam down a river, the waves dangerous and we could only just see the city across the bay and then there were no waves just like the memory of a real event and I had just forgotten that her breasts tasted like condensed milk and I realised this was the test so I just mumbled something in the language which in the dream I was just making up as I trod endless moor, just scraping past the bracken and screaming up birds but unable to turn back or wait for others to catch up just moor until I came to the brackish tarn where I stopped to drink but a head just reached above water and P said that one drowns, just lower your foot and you move in the land of just remove this bandage all the stones on the beach were white with black marks, just like black-eyed beans and Z said why not let him into the bed just for tonight, but this turned into a battle and I rented an apartment just three blocks away. I had just moved in there, I paused just short of the door. He lowered his gown to show he had just had a major operation, many of his organs were still exposed and I had to cut a slit just under the incision, take out the inside, replace it with the content I’d just copied, some kind of just surfacing feeling that I was not ready to form coherently. Just letting the shapes and sun go on was a kind of grace, the open window in its formal whorl of leaves streamed in and still people just talked about trees, because that was the kind of news I wanted. The dragon-pond’s willow-coloured water just reflected the sky’s tinge. The same passenger who remembered seeing a fire stood up in her seat just as the plane took off. Just as before, the days were just slog made of flowers that came apart, that just slowly overwhelmed the integrity of the piece.


WOKE UP CONFUSED: tinnitus in the other ear. In the one, a white handkerchief; in the other, a red ball the other end of which was attached to a blue silk cloth-clot. She was the other girl. She was not allowed to enter the other reality of concentrate froths. As the cloud crossed, it permitted her to reflect other borders. Rumours reached her that mother-goddesses prevented other devices from connecting to her device. Brushing her teeth, she heard the people on the other side striking wooden shoes against each other. Life was an egg at one end and a remote desktop at the other. She inserted the other end in a beakerful of brake-fluid and the target and carriages came into contact with each other, accompanied by a thumb-twitch that spread to other muscles vacated by the destroyed terminals in the other cell layer. On the other side of the coffee-room the man-being abode. Other spirits came and spread paper jams whilst the other who was of a solar nature shared in light. They slowly approached each other, vibrating their antennae finely and alternately. The Bone spirit flowed from one nostril, while the other was blocked. I filled every other glass with water. Over the willows, the fine birds sang to each other. Other features included easy-adjust volume effective for high-volume dove hunts or other upland game. Add hard drives and other block devices to rock ledges and other sheltered places. Suddenly one angular bisector flipped to the other position. We named in one ear what came through the other, a womb: a gateway from other worlds.


GLASS VALVES STILL explode with a puff of inert gas. It is shocking that she is still alive. It takes effort to open her eyes but she still sees nothing. She still loves to walk out of a house and feel the wind trashy with thought. The thin Italian cypresses are still as her boat crosses, and silent. Her power still extends to the world, and exerts for the good. Still waters, flowing waters, she examines the green of the ocean, and still insists this is all. She reveals by carving it its still latent beauties. The air is still, it is the year’s middle, what occurs now is hers and still she sings. She lies very still on the floor, she tries, still trembling, to flow. Under this temple stands a still more ancient. Tomorrow, too, one of her eyes will still be unfinished, clarifying that she is still in a dream. The room and its contents move, and she stays still. The robin bends its legs to remain still on the moving branch. The child’s laughter still tangles in her hair yet she is still not sure what she dreamed. She is just there, still enough to pick up the waves behind the trees. She switches on the news to check if nothing has still happened, like looking at the clock to check it is still working; yes, the wheels still grind. There is still sufficient belief in moral authority to bear one person representing a state, but still, it would be quicker to stop driving, to step outside. As long as we have to eat we are still in nature. Those tulips still sneer full-lippedly from the dustbin. How she wishes shapes to hold still. If immortal would she still sleep, dream? Timber from the Coral Sea Battle still washes onto the beach. She buries her parents, still warm. The mind still flies up, she can only will height and speed and she sees others within sight of the ruined castle by the still lake. Her father may be nothing more than a heap of bones, but she’s still climbing. Here she is, still a child in a long shadow. Are there still swans on the green water at Skadim. They are still to be seen. The singed bird foretells the song. It calls out her names: a list that takes it its whole life, and is still unfinished. Songstresses will still sing the song composed by the captive king.

Giles Goodland is currently a lexical researcher and teacher based in London. His publishers include Shearsman, KFS, and Salt. His next book will be Civil Twilight from Parlor Press (US). These poems are from a new sequence.

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