Friday, February 1, 2013

Carlos Blackburn


[author's note: The dictionary poems started as something akin to a pianist's finger exercises. Their departure point was words drawn from dictionary entries, hence the page-number titles.]


Sailing through bombs, fire, 
strife and strong smells, 
casting sorcery and spells about like
chicken-feed, intent to cause white-hot riot.

An incandescence generated
without the normal articulation
of understandable speech gives
actual form to infinite space.

Incense for empty heads.

Rotate the cargo
of the animate, the
spirit, the fluttering
cardinal caged in the belly.

Unite a shoot to
another gleaming
with its own quality


Cross-country happy hour
or ritual suicide by disembowelment,
the question plucked
remains one of utilizing internal calm.

With barbed spear the harpooneer
brings into accord the lip
vertically split
laboring on the wind instrument.
Blue bell-shaped lips like
water protected, and
deep enough.

Watching lights and the dark.

Sex amplified
on paper
combination of progressions,
harnesses, tones of draft
and hopeless cheer of evidence.

Demon horseman in the dense clusters of pink.
Mountain edge etched against flaring glare.

Problems hatch
into bony action, saltless certainty,
born with eyes open
and fur slick wet,
such a tree.

A clearing, ranting
speech with a wooden sword.

Night blooms.

With long loose ears
and an unseasoned core
probe out to the conifers, the
inerstitial giant flowers of the hunt,
keening for harbingers that contravene
the mythical predatory, the dumb,
bedeviling, dreamy
quest hatchery

within which
careful demons
look for bared,
real teeth.


A small button-like flower
in the hardwood poor box,
one’s own loom, inefficient,
undernourished, fluent
in total adversity.

A gift of translation.
Crossing a pomegranate-red
floating bridge between
a hard-etched black sea
and a soft center
with a half dozen fish
skewered on a dagger.


With flea efficiency,
no illusion of depth.
Spread of flame between
origin and duration.

Dragging a liver-colored
furnace through laterally
compressed London.
Sensations evoked by mouth.

A specified note, blowing
and breaking, water-occurring
and burst.
The city generates streams of wind,
and at the bottom, flaps in it.

More or less chimney and roof,
more or less battery-operated,
forthright and unprepared,
more or less pigment-derived and past.

More or less sudden, zoom
of microscope focus;

a local flood
burns all the sailors,
all of them.


Chemist: guillotined.
Mountain: upholstered.
Woman: discussed.
Continent: timed.

Vowels: relaxed.
Laws: propelled.
Cities: hung.
Nuclei: painted.

Ribbonlike reactant: obeyed.
True perfume: beaten.
Laugh-track: mitigated.
Molten rock: divined.

Authorized symbols: launched.
Celebrant’s hands: added.
Inherent textures: crowned.
Equivalent clusters: tongued.

Cause: written.
Flush: flown.
Base: won.
Church: sown.

© Alison Stirling

Born New York city, resides in Glasgow, Scotland with his wife, where he works as a physiotherapist. His publications, in addition to poems in various journals, include Portraits (Shearsman Books ebook) and The Selected Poems of Hamster (Ugly Duckling Presse, in print and online). 

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