from THE UNCERTAIN FUTURE [Risk Assessment 2]


an interest in music & movies   a pile of broken dreams
flecked with too many colours   laughing until it hurts
searing pain rips from my shoulders   arthritis down below
high hopes & expectations   response learned long & slow

listening to music that you love   want to learn something new
a serious involvement with silence   smoke from under the hood
a sign of stubborn insistence   what do you think of change?
identification with the other   angels in their cage

live like a working class hero   gulping down mugs of beer
he too might be a stranger   occasional feelings of fear
better late than never   brawls at closing time
only one pub in the village   level crossing sign

familiar with brilliant freedoms   never playing ball
scorch & crackle & burning   morning's blueness on the wall
I feel the sadness gathering   how does this world endure?
alive with sorrow & lament   now we are even fewer


tangled fear contention   the gap between the wars
learning to kiss mouths   you haven't kissed before
shuffling like a zombie   be satisfied with facts
box to check on census form   infant on your back

meaning through translation   misappropriated dream
obstinate clot of people   who appreciate & believe
guest speakers on the day   defined and built the world
no compass or guidebook   ghost map all they had

the passing of the image   the simulated god
cultural superstition   perpetuated myth
describe the scene as follows   self-mutilation & embrace
the dominion of the dying   sacrificial death

twisted loops and drones   traditional living space
not his friend or buddy   the audience transformed
regime of complicity   muted talking books
beautiful indifference   world destroys itself


the fierceness of paper tigers    night terrors & grinding teeth
tornado   plane crashing   drowning   sleepwalking through old dreams
my escape & obsession   rivers clogged with dams
all about people & synergy   blurred handmade taboos

infectious care & attention   what happens when you leave?
I can only write emotion   it's something in the genes
independence or rebellion    are distant cousins of mine
sliding toward conclusion   answering chain of command

you became a nostalgia addict   perfect smile of the past
we don't have to be superheroes   we are what & who we are
the laughter of liberation   certainties will dissolve
forget ideas & tradition   the sun came out today

wordplay disguised as an essay   obsessed with text & sound
watercolour postcards   fathers we never see
hurrah for our eviction   obligations up against the wall
the mechanics of illegal squatting   a metaphor for soul


this is a one-page wonder   see my alien life
a multimedia opera   a long involving tale
I want to believe in UFOs   I want to find out more
there's a real shortage of idiots   (the opposite is true)

waterbed inertia   rolling seasick dreams
frustration's wider   deeper   the river's just a stream
'stream' is just a part of speech   washing land away
a wealth of new resources   tiny hands at play

we know your views on intention   how change will change this town
don't think of all that heavy stuff   press the button down
don't think of all that heavy stuff   this town has changed with time
plunder texts for language   press the button down

cold damp in my studio   getting used to paint again
words have suddenly run out   colours in the rain
tried to draw by moonlight   evening charcoal grey
the window wasn't even glass   plastic melted right away


walking barefoot in the morning   writing songs about the moon
formal elements of composition   stop us being moved
production and consumption   impact of the sign
cultural condition   the ways we think and speak

attempts to resurrect history   consistently miss the point
create a speaking body   with standard speaking parts
dignify the occasion   I have nothing more to say
never is always a long time   instantly replayed

cars are in the distance   acquiring interpersonal skills
noise is sometimes echoed   voice sometimes replies
music overspills intention   sound remains intact
a good deal less pretension please   what we need is facts

grab me by the neck   enter into public debate
mechanical aids are encouraged   submissions should be sent
note that I've said nothing   this will end too soon
rudimentary business   writing songs about the moon


rupert loydell is lecturer in English with Creative Writing at University College Falmouth, and Managing Editor of Stride magazine and Books. He has many individual and collaborative collections of poems and prose poems in print, including The Smallest Deaths, Ex Catalogue and A Conference of Voices. An Experiment in Navigation is forthcoming from Shearsman in 2008.
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