Mark Russell

Pistol Lips

Johnny Kick is dead. How are you?
Put your hands up, make a weapon.

If you violate this we will leave you
waiting for news, unharmed on the sidewalk.

Comfort Massimo, he is flat.
It’s time to give up your spirit for his.

The whole sky becomes a game
in the underworld with black points.

If you want to see the sun tomorrow
ask for two dead doctors because this ain’t heaven.

You can lose weight in the workplace
but you have to say Johnny Kick is dead.

I Say No Magician

I can not endure
each of these music business types

whenever the young sing
Brighton and money that’s you.

I do not agree with my eyes
I do not have ears

It looks like a toy
a window, full or external.

I’m not familiar with snooker
but I do know they shall not pass.

I am afraid I did not hear the bell
I avoid flashing

remove odours
insert comments.

In fact, I think the device is faulty
I want a table, the best I can remember

Spirituality is ok
I want ear buds

I’d like to have fun but I fear
defective equipment.

The Flaming Books

Book of Berlin (1-5)

On Child Day
you are unhinged.
See for yourself
if there is wind.

On Child Day
he blew his nose.
If you have a job
you have the right

to choose a name
like Bezeq
he who fell into his work
and people like a flash.

Book of Taiwan (6-9)

He became great
in the months that remained
he willed the facts, the ID,
the wind machine
they all came running,
the artists, the inmates.
the resulting spices.

Book of Diamonds (10-14)

How close it is
Nobody knows

The new board of directors

Our location
Can be traced

Now there is free wifi
And impossible faith

Other poems in the sequence by Mark Russell from which the above poems are taken have recently appeared in Molly Bloom and Shadowtrain, and others are due out shortly in Tears in the Fence and fourfold.

Poetry that is not part of this sequence has been published in pamphlet form – Pursued by Well-being (tall-lighthouse, 2013) – and in a variety of anthologies and magazines such as Poetry Salzburg Review, Gutter, Antiphon, and The Frogmore Papers.
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