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.

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Isn’t This Worth Fighting For? ENLIST NOW

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2010

We fight for Bayer Heroin,
unsubtle assassins with knives tied to rifles.
For duty.
We fight for King and Kaiser,
for homes and lovers, real or imagined,
for sweet milky Weetabix warmed in a tin
and brothers, alliances we’ve steeled between us
for good.
We fight for the Internet access
the minister promised to keep us connected,
to keep us alive and listening to Lily Allen
here, where even Geri Halliwell now fears to tread.
Sometimes we just like it. Drumbeats tied to violence.
We fight.
Circumstance, conquest, convictions,
feathers or leaders, posters or sons.
For Hannah or London
or some other capital
we care for.