1785 c/o Eley Williams

Along the towpath into town, everybody is waiting to win any number of things:
Have a Pamphlet.
[That is to say, have a simple, ample sample]
Here is the church, here the steeple,
here all the offices with the wigglefinger people
suckling conditional air from tickboxes set in the ceiling
rehearsing a bedtime story for tonight and
wearing-in shoes so red-hot they'll have you dancing on any number of tin ceilings

but I digress. Please, progress
along the towpath, into town I find all the fleshless bins and blankets tell dirty jokes to
the canalbed and, as back home, a crow eats a pigeon,
a mouse, a bird and a sausage attend a wedding and
yet still the buildings blink their blinds, blankfaced. A talking bus tells me
if you care to look now out of the lefthandside of the vehicle
there are four poor, bored brothers choking on their ‘Cheese!’ for your viewfinder,
playing Tetris with the hail.
I can't for the life of me remember not knowing you and your stories.
At first the weather was voiceless but, upon hitting the window, fricatives from overseas.
These flats syringe a daytime into the sky.

I let the town sing its spittlequick songs, its sweet porridging of vowels and
imagine you POSITING and DIRECTING and ALLEGORIS/ZING up the situation
by my bedside table:
Where'd you lay your wig?
Who let slip the skein of a tale and gave up Rumpelstiltskin’s ghost?
You were always going to be buried next to him, but not in alphabetical order;
unindexed soil, warm with Nixie blushes,
the city’s slack sirens primed pimped and pumped for you,
plumped fat and thick for you through knots of wires that grow tangy in the bloodstreams.
This street is just right for Willow-Wren & Bluebeard, attorneys at law.
Music trails from sockets in our street-clowns’ heads;
our hair fairly splits its ends with the static of it.

Spoiler: don’t let down your hair, take up an interest in masonry.
Spoiler: I can’t read the timetable and have to ask for directions.
Spoiler: the first obstruent lost its labialisation.

I’m sorry? I didn’t hear.
Your whisper curdled into white noise in my ear.
To turn such sweet nothings into hard somethings is not so hard
if you wanted.
If you wanted a flail from heaven! or buffalo-skin, with tabled crumbs!
if you wanted when you wondered
when we wandered along this towpath
bedtimely, hotfooting it along the towpath
singe-braid skeinedly and tripping across town.