sean burn

     (after david lynch's film the grandmother)

the rising howl
that rising up
that uprising
how howl begins
the idiot-son
this groan-couple
snapped to boundaries
ov their glitch-pad
throats stretched wide
by roots ov house
& all too soon
the routs &
the rotting ov
mouths basic
a clown-slash
gash two or
three times
wider than
usual function
cheeks knifed
in rare error

birthed from
beneath that rot
lad rockets off
furthest corners
his mouth is
not slashed
howl    howwl
they press
the meat
ov this boy
a joey-clown
his eyes
the patterning
ov joey-he
the motherfather
unclean before
that pale streak
ov whelping
they spin circles
on dirtied knees
dirtied hands
dirtied elbows
dirty collars
filthied thighs
so many turns
to ensnare
their lad-load

to the green
kitchen table
to drink down
the wormwood
ov absinthe
a verdigris dress
ov make me better
or make me bitter
washing line replete
w/ off-white vests
greying wolfbacks
ov howlllfathermother
joeys idiotfather
their slashed mouths
wide az cheeks
howllling scratchily
w/ fat-faced meats
fatherhowlll eat
joey has no hunger
for their shovelling
into the slash
that fat-faced meat
they howl    seize more
tear it up
         it apart
like chainsaws
joey shaken
in his seat
az they scream
they shout
they range
about the table
joey-mouth shut
refusing their
fat-faced meat
yu must never
eat food in faerie
or yu will remain
behind    forever
joeys grabbed
by sausage-fingers
towered slathering
in nightmare    tho
he refutes the meat
ov their cement mixers
grinding mouth-wards
replete in noisesome
its neat this trick
ov birth & lie
birth & lie
our love will
never die
but what motherhowlll
what fatherhowlll
cant deny is
the julienned truth
love will
in unguard & ...

joey-lads off
in a flash
locates the bed
strokes bedspread
a wistfulness
to his wrist
has joey-lad
pissed this creek?
but no    his is
the caul-firthed
a yolk ov sun
to sheet
chases howwwlll
howl howlll
wipes joey-lads-face
into the dried yolk
hurls joey-clown back
to the fear corner
for motherhowl
to tend    her clamped
thighs arising
all marbled carve
skin scurvature
but motherhowl
beckons joey unsure
she steadies him
she sturdies him
& then she grabs
a tight hold & hook
demands lip to lip
across her slash-
smashed smashers
the gouge (out)
& joey-clown
slumps to forlorn floor
but even she retreats
from this yolk
not built in a day

joey-he shrouds
in the yolked-sheet
scratches arms
he scratches
less bruising
more blood
a flood ov rash
which grows & spreads
& spreads & deepens
arterial sprays
a ragged bouquet
a bouquet ov thorns
plucked from out
his fire-ringed flesh
his fire-ringed flesh
sits w/ this earned
bouquet ov thorns
on placing joey-head
in joey-palms
wraps yolked sheet
around ever
more tightly until
the hoot-hoot
itch bewitch
glitch enough
                to ascend
hoot-hoot from up
where theres nothing
so its been said
never inquired
what lies up
out    beyond    yet
the calls inexorable
joey-he races from
traces the hoot-hoot
lunges far out
their howlll-territory
frail-light not fail-light
beads bannisters
door-handles rim
he is carrying
yolk ov sheet
& veined bouquet
joey-clowns face
is ov expectation
this upwards call
his first glitch
singing quick he trips
all arms & legs
arms & legs
raggedy up-up-up
& skewering
the staircase
the starcase
rips on a sack
a sack ov seeds
takes out a handful
only they are
not good seeds
discards these
takes a handful more
shakes & rattles
& they are not
good seeds either
repeat-repeats until
he finds the good seed
an out-sized wonder
outwith howlll-territory
here is where
joey-he can breathe
& believe    free
ov the father
the mother
their trashed
incessant howlll
& their slashed
impossible mouths
that slather to kiss
the child unbid
direct to mouth
a child shd not
have to feel
howlparents lips
in rip against his
joey-he triumphing
in emasculation ov
the fatherhowlll
evisceration ov
the motherhowlll

& here & now
on the before
forbidden uppers
joey toils unbidden
w/ buckets ov soil
buckets ov soil
fills & tips    fills
& tips to middles
the yolked sheet
smooths & soothes
earth to crater
places good seed
dead centre the sheet
beds in this seed
watering in
thunderous downpour
the deep weeping
the ablutions ov
the good rooting
pushing on thru
tumbling on down
roots admit
the possibility ov tree
now stump on upwards
growth is ringed &
more than possibility now
a pollarded crown
joey-he plies
this outsized ear
with encouragings
relishing this up-grow
oozing stupendous
in fat & moonlight
trumpets his desire
into this sear
requests birth
to accompany him
instead ov howlll
birthing the lung
called-for    his
rooting is for
a grandmother
slow thru ooze
swaddled in
her own ambergris
joey delivering
this magical
all black & white
except her mouth
ov red berry burst
& this red berry burst
is his mouth also
a smile crossing
generations    no
slashed-howl these
clown red lips
& nothing further
needs saying ov kin
on these uppers
where roots are
still downward
the earth still
spilled outward
& all glitched outwith
the howlll territory

& joey-he are
a house on fire
she takes the fist full
ov thorns graciously
he kisses her
bark-like cheek
waltzes round
& joeys soprano-sweet
lullabying grandmother
who rocks & rocks
birthing his own grandmother
is a song that deserves singing
joey-clown grins
white-faced / red-lipped
wearing the same face
az his grandmother
they have the song ov soil
they have the song ov yolked sheet
they have the song ov birth
they have the game ov pointing
they have the game ov pushing gently
they have that game ov smiling
there is enough light to catch
                both their joey-faces
the only blade they’ll ever need
languaging everywhichway
this fine dirk ov soil
they are possessed ov

grandmother whistles
her red lips a kettle
that will not stop
her infinity ov steam
that will not stop
issues precious ghosts
twisting just beyond
what will they root az?
his eyes liquid
his mouth red
& where it shd be
unlike those
extravagant slashes
the grimoire ov
long gone now    anyhow
grandmothers at it
like the clappers
her steaming & streaming
breath whispering up
whistling up a whole
panoramic meadow
ov fescue & rye & vetch
this meadow overwhelming
& all from live-steaming
grandmother joey-he
birthed at top this
staircase    this starcase
& joey walks where
no-one else
has walked
thru foxgloves
& goose-grass
& goosebumps
        his reward
this slight rustle
this light rustle
the wind tending grass
no more rending
two hearts healed
grandmother leans forward
whistles between them
the glancing freedoms
ov this sweet meadow
singing joey-he's
praises    no howlll
only the open mouth
falling to this
sweet sweet grass
this meadow
ov his grandma
he keeps rolled up
in the yolked sheet
this yoke ov his is
his song slowed
to a drone
this drone
to tectonic
joey-he smiles
in the birth
in the birthing
ov this

sean burn's third and latest full volume of poetry is that a bruise or a tattoo? (shearsman press. isbn 9781848612945) www.shearsman.com/browse-poetry-books-by-author-sean-burn
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