Eddie Heaton

good night campers 

we are the words of others hoping that the 
mutineers can tame the unacceptable we’re 
what’s unsaid with tender force against all 
other cunning minds it’s progress from 
necessity up to the reign of liberty sincerity 
and violent awkwardness the blind delusion 
that we’re all prepared to fight for he who 
speaks of struggle speaks of sacrifice and 
death there is no face that can’t be drawn or 
calmed or egged into the underworld you’re 
swollen shut churned butter foam packed 
down a commissar with crabs and still you’re
energised by trips you’re slowly sprung 
from long-forgotten traps through london’s 
bunker drains to back lit westway marches 
acting on a gamer tag sweet swinging leads 
to frantic economic flight from rifles as from 
roman spears the retail vampires drinking 
and then scalping vagrant sounds into the 
hour when water’s turned to pinot grigio 
according to the shaman’s weird tattoo the 
dusty re-imagined rows of heads are 
welcoming our hatred it’s the party that 
controls the guns the guns must not control 
the party those in favour raise your hands 
madame la guillotine is needed to discourage 
common thieves not elegance or purity of 
mind we counted mortals with our precious 
lesser calm and simultaneous commands 
assurances of fun fairs with the coming of 
the new road system avenues with grand 
warm central rulings expect news we’re in 
the business of your interests so tell no one 
about the cables at the bottom of the sea 
for words that lack aesthetic value no matter 
how politically advanced will lead to cultural 
asphyxia and the silence of eternal space 

we will bomb them on the beaches

one of your threads has broken loose 
and all that remains is a grainy 
silhouette of high rent housing bent 
inside a national crisis all the donkeys 
have expired and the storm troopers 
are raging on methamphetamine so 
leave my infestation be as clanking 
hulks alert the shapely beasts behind 
your slide you grab the iron bars that 
gird the moonlit institution and you 
talk to us so lightly and explain that 
truth can block out left alone by touch 
the clean bed act still hoping to return 
with cabbage red and called in sick 
and from your chest he looked his 
flickering yes until she rose up neatly 
with her trembling posed and by an 
unseen hand though no-one’s had her 
briefed against just yet assume 
coherence crypto dreams invisible 
all-knowing threats you lived there 
for a year or two but nothing can 
disturb you now in your flying costume 
nearing hackney cashing in your second 
home it’s quite like being just a thing to 
have that’s been connected by nostalgia 
from a time when all such moments 
threatened to reduce yet somehow 
overwhelm and gather round the 
absolute contrariness of shapes and 
innovations rustling your eyes the more 
alert the more advanced the flow of 
astral streaming from that other world 
can slice it open with a simple aspiration 
to reduce those deadly dream land useless 
startling ways contain deficiencies can be 
no colder piece of strife than one that’s 
been described as true and cleansing 
certainty as if the city’s freak-like populace 
was meanly spread out as you slept and 
not much was resolved the fascist state 
was left to die but was re-born perhaps 
to never die again  

hidden hand

names dates minutes crossing darkness 
freshly mohawked howls of futuristic fits 
into the golden armature while shadows 
beating under observation within minutes 
hours and dates illuminate the crucible the 
warming glowing shining chemistry of one 
last sucked up glob of visionary shard the 
quivering watching coming after years of 
in-blood preparation hot muscle and bone 
the seen-again interrogation newsreels help 
this lady rehab rush from images of nefertiti 
however long the road the damp and slick 
exciting times the sacred flea-borne 
infestation consciousness ends up in land fill 
lullaby projections from an audience of years 
one of the dogs is very close and now she’s 
watching me there clusters on the high road 
where infection meets gestation lost as wild 
untethered tentacles reaching into other 
scratchable affairs much tidier than rats’ 
nests there or machiavellian epiphanies 
in walthamstow and hasty camden town 
those sinister disturbed lost smearings 
well-remembered veneration of a blurry 
grayscale image of some restive ancient 
chamber as you shoulder half-formed 
burdens that become you once there’s 
nothing left at stake the dates and 
minutes and the hours the fable of the 
silver fish a side of well-spiced alpine 
goat a mixture of ancestral traits like 
all the other time-worn clowns who 
didn’t need to bother to reveal the 
how or why or who still holds the 
last black eight so wilfully obscured 
the light on which you’re standing 
has transmitted all its brightness to 
your room and something coming 
from that other street inside your 
woollen head has rubbed out all 
your inhibitions just in time for one 
last self-inflicted penny kiss with 
vaseline and now with all your 
reasons narrowed it is time to take 
you to the cleaners abstract 
processed repetition pathways 
wrapped in callous downstairs 
laughter drowned in waves of plastic 
sea-shells warming glowing shining 
spinning hours thrown out by mythic 
creatures as the silence soundly blossoms 
tangled wires between the channels 
bulging out of salted nowhere bolted 
shut with padlocks on the mouth those 
seen-again interrogation newsreels 
that will travel on through time

Eddie Heaton studied innovative and experimental poetry under the tutelage of post-modern poet and educator Keith Jebb, achieving a first-class honours degree.

He also won the 2021 Carcanet Award for Creative Writing.
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