...My Reflection (Poetry Monthly)
I’m driving and it’s night and I can’t see anything but the blackness. And the road ahead and cat’s eyes being devoured and Lost Highway did it better. So much fucking better. The road must stand for something, but I fail to see anything but the journey and that’s literal and that’s a cliché. But just ‘cos it’s a cliché don’t mean it’s not true. And I’m driving and it’s raining and the water on the windscreen forms pure silver droplets and worlds reflecting worlds. There’s fragile gleam in the droplets and potential and destruction and the wipers dismiss them and I blink so I can keep looking ahead. And I think of rain and teardrops and know I’m one cliché too close to something that’s shitter than shit. And I wonder if I’d notice a black cat coming out of the darkness, growing fur and teeth and a rough, red tongue. And I think of Hieronymus Bosch and the demons and creatures that lurk unseen in the black of his paint. Even in his Adoration of the Magi. Even in front of the tiny, out of proportion Jesus. But turn on a torch in a low lit gallery and the fiends are there. They’re always there if you know where to look. And I turn on the ipod and connect with music for now. For midnight. For old, lonely roads with trees that bend with concern or threat. Or even indifference. An indifferent, bending tree. Odd, like the world’s odd. And Iggy sounds good in this moment. And early Beefheart does. And The Gutter Twins. And the happy, dark jingle of Folsom Prison Blues makes me think of the car crashed on a bank, driver door half open, me slumped over the wheel, Cash tinny on the radio in an eighties’ apocalyptic film set in a northern town, while the camera pans slowly from the car and on to the moor. And Lucretia My Reflection comes on and it’s cold and uncompromising. Ridiculous, awesome swagger. And I wonder if prose poetry can use paragraphs ‘cos it’s hurting my sensibilities not to. And I realise how deeply un-rock ‘n’ roll it is to care and so I dance the ghost. And I’m driving and it’s raining.