Aftermath

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2015

When the wood
turned up dry –
no satiny fish skin
under the layers,
nothing bendy
between the posts,
no rust scud
amidst the sapped
crisp breaths
and no sharks –
he went crying
and heaving
and screaming
for creatures.

Advertisements

Gumshield

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2015

The Kingston Crab Fighter was
a real contender, they said,
but I killed him on the sand.

The beach, they said, was what he had done
to shells, cliffs, cartilage,
maybe all beaches
with his hard, constant-curved
glaze cherry red
Everlasts –

he smashed the rocks, ground them
every time he chose not
to lift the fists above the land – –
imagine, they said:
every time he let his flex down,
beneath his heels,
sand in his wake.

I saw he was all glass jaw, I called him out of the
salt-grit water, sweating from somewhere soft.
I just roped a dope and
cracked him with a clench,
took my money and went.

Poseidon on an Oban Bench

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2015

She scraped the chippie box off her blue jeans,
squeaked the plastic fork from the polystyrene,
dotted the sea air with vinegar and steam
and parted the batter, slid it off like frogskin.

The antiseptic smell of exposed, white, hot fish
was everywhere along the pier. Haircuts began to itch
as the scents lifted. My neck went greasy and stiff
and she smiled cleanly, nodded past my face:

a seagull trod air behind my shoulder, impatient
with a slate-hard, orange, downturned bill waiting
for its moment. I was close to its eye.
I almost kissed the bird in fight or flight but then
with a sharp splash and a salt mist the girl was gone.

Brush

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2015

He stood rangy, stretched,
fur lining climbing from suede sleeves –
pale, rained clean.
He tilted his long head.

I’d been with better-looking guys,
he’d been with prettier-looking voles,
but this is to certify
that what I did with him was presentable.

The badger-man dug us up a jug, no cups
and an abandoned shed
and we did enough
to get four posts up.
We drew moonshine after dark and I drank
from his hairy back.

Grubs

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2015

Nob Ed.
He’s a grubby little bastard
and he lets the grubs out, dun E?
He wouldn’t keep the blood flow out
of his grubby little tuber spout if he could, wood E?

He likes to pitch a big top
tent and in his white make-up tin-pot head
it’s meant as a compliment. Ignorant
wanker is what E is innit? Wham bam thank you mammy
when his clammy little mussel’s slid its way down your neck
and you’re sleepin with the fishies swimmin in your keks,
hung out to dry like his shrivelled little swiveller,
grubby little fuckwit in E?
Not like me.

He let his little chicken-bobbing, apple-handed,
izzy-wizzy-let’s-get-jizzy, smutty, silly putty
bouncing turkey baster masturbater out din E?

Like that bluebottle you swatted but it didn’t go flat
on the window, did it?
And its abdomen cracked and a million grubs came out
and it was beggin to be burst.

Dracula’s Really Dead

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2015

Dracula’s really dead this time
and he’s not coming back when
you bleed on his bones. He’s still
in his tomb this time, still as they
go and when the wind moans
on the mountainside no-one cares
but you and no-one’s behind you,
no-one’s there with a big
bloody
smile for you.
No-one knows that you got scared.

Dracula’s neat black suit is slung-up
and will never be steam-pressed again.
You can put it on and cry on the sleeves.
This time tomorrow you’ll be still
there by the window, still in a frame,
hunched in an arch, eyes red, rolled
back, scrunched-up deep in lid skin,
wishing on a certain
star
and thinking of him
and how he used to watch you sleep.

DRACULA (1958)

 

Hatchets

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2015

The foundations of the house were brushed iron and wood
– hatchets we had brought and slung, then
dutifully buried, forced into the ground, pushed against
’til the bones in our palms were whittled weak,
and then stamped down by one of us
while the other stomped hard, must-covered soil
off the shovel.

The practice had made the walls stand strong and stay up
– the soil was thick as clay with hatchets
packed into space, lumped in, crammed like a pattern
’til there was no white left showing underground.
And we had made the minefield of their
edges – barely blunted, hardly missing their factory shine
– flat as a flag.