from The Autobiography of Don Whiskers
He was born under the sign of Aries with restless birth winds. The port o potties are tilted. Nicole rubs his hair. There is some kind of celebration. Bricks in the oven, pulled out, put together with a tasty filling. Around & around with little boxes, if you smoke please try Carlton. She tries Carlton. He gets a Mars bar. They watch the balloons, not the little ones, the big ones. You stand in a basket, the hot flame shoots you into the sky. The rain patters into mud muddles. She takes his hand, the blue colouring of the lolly drips down his chin. Someone is standing on it, next to the meat truck, a pound note. Under one foot and then another, he waits for it, the wind kicks it away. A hairy stranger blows smoke through the nose, a thick fingered stranger counts back the coins. Try not to draw too much attention, you don’t want someone else to spot it. He makes himself smaller and smaller, in and out of the crowds, he tries to catch it, the wind kicks it away. The balloons rainbow the sky.
WARRIOR OF LIGHT
There is someone in the bushes, hugging a bottle, their feet sticking out. They kick him in the ribs, roll him over, kick him some more, the pleading, no drunks allowed, they chant, he pleads, but they keep kicking. He retires to the fields, and a little further, the hole. He peers into it. His secret stash, a red journal, the ink soggy. Scrubbing under the skin, it is hard to scrape it. He can never feel clean. Beneath the ink, more ink, smudged forever. The nebulous human of the fields.
In Milton Keynes, during the conversion, they watch E.T. with the branch, the branch is a small gathering, if it is a larger gathering it is called a ward, they don’t have a ward, they have a branch, it is a bootleg copy and the sound is not fully synced. In the movie they are eating something called Pizza Hut. It is not liver and onions and potatoes, it is not pork chops and potatoes, it is not the fatted lamb with mint sauce and potatoes, it is not a shepherds pie with mashed potatoes, it is not eels with potatoes, it is not bubble and squeak with potatoes and left over vegetables, it is not at 7-Eleven. What is it.
The water is cold, his new father holds up his hand in a square, it looks like a slap, his foot keeps coming out of the water. After the bomb they made him write eight, over and over, he drew two circles joined together, you start sinning at 8, sinning is infinity, the spirit is supposed to stay white, go inside & give it a scrub. Don Whiskers was always dirty, 8 is the beginning of wisdom. The new father gets a new job in the new church, it is called a calling. His calling is to convert more converts. The new father brings new people to the house for conversion, it is the new hope, everyone lives in government housing, with the dole. Pre-knotted brown ties and almost starched shirts, the rush forward, for something better, here now, and also, more importantly, later, in the heavens.
Born in Portadown, Northern Ireland, Marcus Slease has made his home in Turkey, Poland, Italy, South Korea, the United States, Spain, and the United Kingdom – experiences that inform his nomadic surrealist writing. His poetry has been translated into Danish and Polish, featured in the Best British Poetry series, and has appeared in Tin House, Fence, and Poetry Magazine, among others. Currently, he lives in Castelldefels, Spain and teaches high school literature in Barcelona. He is working on a trilogy of nomadic surrealist novels. His latest book is The Green Monk (Boiler House Press).