Pete Spence

Cleaning Cacti by Candlelight.

the brothers grimace
at the metal ferule
dragged in for a moment
and let rot for days

you chuck berries into a bowl
from the top of a ladder
its a short ladder cut in half
by your pressing need for accuracy

a map of Australia is pulled
like a rabbit from a hat
startles the magician once again
o habit! o hat rack! o laundromat!

the French Alps are delivered
to your front door they are gift wrapped
the dead skier walks slowly back
to his delivery van and drives away

fester festoon KonTiki Railway
good morning slipstream the oxygen
tent is a little hazy this morning though
clearing up on the eastern horizon

the franchise for Elegant
Icepicks in South America has
finally closed one sale in near
100 years is certainly unsustainable!

the Dervish Society is in a spin turning
the sand traps of a golf course
into glass and a lake into steam!
what an experience thought the lake!

a rest-room is (yawn) sleeping
in a hammock worn out
by a herd of Wildebeests
in town for a concert

the brothers rot for a moment
after being dragged for days
through a Russian novel
as grim as metal

meanwhile back at the destination
the arrivals approach like a dust storm
while the staff polish the cacti
and the few remaining rocks


now that April's almost over
may i take on May stealing
a little enthusiasm through
the limpid days ignoring
the dark horizon where
rain persists to insist
or completely fool you
taking the by-pass!
Callas cuts the air through
walls who's listening?
who's not listening!
suddenly the volume
is turned down the air
in shreds! days...go...by
                it's April
                no it's May!
it's May the 1st
some flags are out
and above
the billows eagerly
scurry by

On The Range.
      For Laurie Duggan

you take on the job of designing mountains
for Peru though the orders have yet to come in
you enjoy drawing erosion into your designs
you file complete mountain ranges into the drawer
marked Mountain Ranges right next to the drawer
marked Foothills both just above the drawer
marked Coffee! and right now i could do with a coffee
though i'll keep the coffee cup away from my latest
design of a glacier inching down a mountain range!
the good news is my design titled Bluff has been
accepted by a casino! i began Felt Mountain as a homage
to Joseph Beuys an enormous glacier of lard slewing
down one side! though now forgotten and neglected
i'm happy it has become a home for wolves!
and as soon as i get the optics right Rainbow Mountain
with a permanent rainbow overhead will be up
and running and for Laurie i designed a long sequence
of Blue Hills "its blue foreground secure under glass
how else to avoid this expensive design
!" a fraction
of sun behind the spurs livens a serious sky! Christo
offers to cover The Peak in bubble-wrap a work
of art erased by a work of art! i can live with that!
a problem has arisen how to repair Tarn which has
sprung a leak! i look for Gargoyle a design from some
years back it should be in the drawer marked Outcrops
that should give the leak on Tarn some purpose! it's
June 23 i wrestle all night on Bald Mountain another
fantasy i'll probably shelve! after days of mountain
block i have my photo of Silbury Hill to aspire to
and on the radio Fats Domino sings "Blueberry Hill"

Pete Spence was born in 1946. He is a poet, visual poet, and filmmaker, and has worked in various jobs to cover the ongoing deficit. He is currently retired from work but not from any of the above.

The quote in italics in "On The Range." is from one of Laurie Duggan's Blue Hills series of poems. Also one line is a cut up from a couple of Blue Hills lines.
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