Friday 5 May 2023

2 Poems by Mark Goodwin

Headless Hunter

To best give tongue requires your getting ahead of the rest of the pack. – Lord Glost

his boots as brown as oak-bark

his jodhpurs soft

                          white as morning mist

his gold buttons stamped

with flowery fs-for-fox

his scarlet cutaway coat

flows & drips over

                          his flesh & bones

his black top-hat’s

swirling nap gleams

like moisture

                          on a dog’s nose

his fists clenched

his veins raised

his fingernails


his severed neck

bandaged tightly

with a white cravat

pinned with a silvery

                         thread of brains

Darkened Room

there’s nothing alive in here except you

although a clock calls to its mate

on the other side of time and reminds

you of the rhythms of the living

barefoot you edge forward

expecting a toe to be smashed

stamped on by some ox of an armchair

you try to stare through the room’s

opaque black air

but there’s only bloody beast-shapes & odd

sharp swirls of imagined light grate

across your retinas

somewhere there will be a door

and of course corners

where space like different seas merges

in this dark the dead-ends of corners seem

to go further than open doors

perhaps traces of hope linger in the right-angles

there is a new smell coming from deep within you

a standing lamp clatters against your neck

its flex wrapped round your ankle is reptile

you’ve left your hands crawling on a wall

the lamp that could shrink this room to a lit finite

with a hot thought in its head

is a dark figure more human than your self


Mark Goodwin is a poet-sound-artist & fiction-maker who speaks and writes in various ways. He has a number of books & chapbooks with various English poetry houses, including: Leafe Press, Longbarrow Press, Nine Arches Press, Shearsman Books, & also Middle Creek in North America. His latest chapbook – to 'B' nor as 'tree' – was recently published in Sheffield by intergraphia ( @intergraphiabks ). Mark lives with his partner on a narrowboat just north of Leicester, in the English Midlands. He toots poems from, tweets poems from @kramawoodgin, and some of his sound-enhanced poetry is here:

my books
Erodes On Air . As Eye .  
Rock as Gloss .
Else . Back of A Vast . Layers of Un . House At Out . All Space Away and In . Steps .
Portland : a Triptych, with Tim Allen & Norman Jope . 
Distance a Sudden .
Tones Fled All .
Shod .
Clause in A Noise .
my poetry on Twitter: @kramawoodgin 
my sound-enhanced poetry

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