Iain Britton: Events of My Future

self portraits



pointillist spots


make all the difference



a therapist holds me to her theories


on which coloured balloon


should I choose for survival



for anonymity should take us further





the bell on the roof


pulls its rope


and make-believers shuffle


through months of periodicals


glossily detailed for leisure reading



they bookmark pages


go with the herds         the flocks


the girls ripped open by the moon


they live for renewal

ticketed pilgrims              clicked and stamped and


cleared for departure


the girls run red



along wet streets

where idols hang

where light bulbs swing

in half-formed faces        and  phones flicker





self portraits


live cooped-up in houses


damp suggestions of another life


glad-wrapped      into equal portions





I want to believe there are consequences for going early from the party



at the door       a girl


is happy to give me a complimentary pass


and a red balloon


















last night’s heaps





shop the fluorescent dens


for Rapunzel’s makers


the caged-in operators


of scenic towers



you climb the backyard ziggurat


advertising your day              silhouetted on a heap




this is the season


of wind and rain

of trampling


on a storm’s

rough stones


of tails            wrapped around legs

heads huddled into coats


your body            my body


back to back

explorations of where each isn’t going



you wonder at the strangeness   the detachment


the wearing down of the carpet


dreams pensioned off


the plucking of narratives from Gothic illuminations




you winter out        amongst              last night’s        lambs


dropped in heaps


in the continuing song cycle of


our Lady of the Poor


in the shattered smile of her remains



I crack the day


as it comes








a hymn         or something like it



accessibility is straight forward


a turn of the key


and I’m in



streets /  pavements /  populations


emerge from a horse’s mouth


a light bulb flashes for one more picture


of a scream         a laugh


for the sound of a Neanderthal’s hymn



the river


writes it’s prognosis in ink /       / splotches of manpower


take up residence amongst houses


of debate / debacle



I see him under the hood of an eyelid


draped like a wet blanket


across a woman’s lap with cupboards firmly shut



no diminishing of the concept – what’s done


is time-capsuled in her thighs



he’s said to be asleep /  has been for a while


intravenously fed through scars


bought cheaply from dispossessed marauders


for he            when awake


enjoys visiting the iniquities of people



scrubbing porches


brushing footpaths


washing red stains from once clean sheets



his centrality is assured



a disinterred species


living in the comforts of his own cornered plot




I walk the events of my future /       / the buckled curves

the floodlit horizons /      / coral atolls stacked on the backs

of turtles


I wrestle to accomplish


the reasoning for each unhunted success



and a French fighter plane fires the first shots


at targets writing graffiti on some legless Buddha

holding onto stones






Iain Britton is a poet based in Auckland, New Zealand, where he is director of Maori Studies at the King’s School. Oystercatcher Press published his third poetry collection in 2009. Kilmog Press his fourth in 2010. The Red Ceilings Press published an ebook “Ten Poems” last year and an Argotist Ebook “songlines” has come online this year. A full collection from Lapwing Publications and a pamphlet from Like This Press have just been published. Beard of Bees (US) has a chapbook of his now online. Forthcoming poems will appear in Peter Hughes’ Sea Pie: a Shearsman Anthology of Oystercatcher Poetry, plus a collection with Department Press in 2013.


He blogs here.


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