Palaeontologist Jones

I saw God’s bones.

We dug into the ontic ground
and found them there.

Whilst out shepherding Being,
we tripped over the tip
of the long submerged
jagged rack
of vast ragged ribs,
knowing not just what
that jutting upthrust hid.
And when we subsequently
did, post-dig,
we were thunderstruck
at their size and cried,
‘Thunder God!’

Dinosaur deity we deemed
him from the great beams
of his bones,
every man jack of us,
every Ali, Hsu, Zilliac,
Okafor, and Jones.

And all were awed
at the Shape
the bonework took.

with fear and trembling
from the globally scattered fragments,
some shattered, some close-grouped, some whole,
divine femur, tooth, ball joint, and skull,
every segment was pieced into place,
and our mysterium tremendum
only increased, for we faced
the unmistakable
poly-faunal skeleton
of Pan-Therion.

Rapt, we observed
that the lordly horns
and claws and fangs
were apt
for both predation
and protection.
Mega-organs and hide,
we surmised,
had been hot
with pumping life
and unturnable purpose.

The wingspan
wreaked us mute.

But no one could agree
the colour or contour,
the ‘look’
we felt
such meta-ocular engines of sight
would convey.
Would they blast you away
or ravish your heart,
tear you apart
or burn you crystalline—
what would it mean
to be seen
by such a Gaze?

We museumed, for fun and terror,
a full-scale model of the mighty Theo-Saurus,
whose head touched the sky
(open-domed the museum was).
It looked a lot like the stories, the texts,
the faith handed down,
the claimed experiences
(though competing sets of eyes
were displayed in alternation).

And some are now claiming
that from time to time
(the actual bones: the vacuum-vaulted
and camera-watched skeleton, not the replica)
and for an instant
they say
the deity rears up
in livid meat and mass.

And some claim a Voice
thunders from
the sudden-fleshed revenant
words of awful love
(heard crackling through
the monitor speakers).

in protective suits
have gone in—
some confirming the reports,
others denying.
They’ve set up tests
and some say these detect
and others say they do not.

You can visit the simulations
at the Museum of Natural Theology.

Some knuckle-draggers, of course,
have been cave-art worshiping
the primate-ive deity all along,
behind our backs
and in the cracks,
openly, and yet
we had shut them out,
embarrassed for them,
though tolerant.

Ah! Forgive me.
Though I speak in present
tense with the immediacy
of the memory, this was all
long ago and I know
you Young New Worlders laugh.
Don’t worry,
I do too.



Hell’s Pawn Shop

I didn’t want to call you devil.
Honestly I didn’t.
You made me do it,
speaking in your best
Father-of-Lies voice:
the learned lecturer,
enlightened elitist,
Professor Figured-It-Out,
Doctor Know-Better-Than-You,
orating in your best
Benevolent Dictation.

And as soon as I name you
any of these,
you already had me beat,
already had me cast
as The Outmoded,
The Throwback,
me and my kind,
The Knuckle-Drag Dregs,
reactionaries all –
indeed, you called me devil first!
(‘Odd Fish! Devil Fish!
Cut the suckers! Cut the suckers!’)
Beat me to it – flawless strategy
of The Accuser.

But I know you’re not literally
the Devil’s Pawn
or Hell Spawn
(there’s too much Heaven in you
for a start).
Hell, we’re all in
Hell’s Pawn Shop
and it’s just a matter of who’s
Bought Back.

I know that,
and I hope you
come to know it too
and change tack.

Look, you hear that?
The authentic gold specie
has been laid
on the glass display-case counter
with a distinct clink,
the seedy-eyed clerk
begrudgingly ringing up the sale.

Come on.
Step down.
Let’s go.


‘Masks and Death: 2013’ by Bill Rogers (aka Giveawayboy)

Green-Blurred and Orbital (1st go)

At the speed of mad-rushing-stillness-of-eternity I traverse
the pearl-world, travertine and yet hell-bent for leather,
a bioluminescent fleck flicked at heaven, rounding the opal orb
in a screaming face of goblin-fire, the father’s son spiriting me
into the gift-worn catcher’s mitt, black maw packed with stars for teeth,
taunting the bat-outta-hell batter to miss my spectro-curveball redshift,
cosmic spitball to blind eyes seeing men as trees fly by green-blurred and orbital:
‘Put her there, ya kidder, the kid’s a killer, bring ‘em home, right in the kisser!’



(photo by Flannery O’Kafka)


Rusty John in outline (1st draft)

Just who is this
concatenated Rusty John
you ask me.
In what sense is he
why is he ‘rusty’?
Well, you can see for yourself.
Look at the tenuous links of him:
the boy, the teenager,
the young man, the
middle man (who’s been cut
out), the old mean man,
the old kind man—just look
at ‘em latch onto each other,
tussle a spell, break up huff-
ing, lock horns again,
brawling all across his
sack-of-bones body;
and hell, the rust just comes
with the years, you know that
(somebody told me no one
says that, ‘you know that’, in
real life, only on the page—well,
ain’t we on the page here?);
I’m saying, you know as well
as I do the rust just comes with
the years, specially in this rainy
city; and all those parts of himself
fighting each other all the time
make him a scrapper with those
who are not himself.
The barber shop, oh, that,
he just came for a haircut he
didn’t want to pay for and
never really left.

Anymore questions?
Anymore ways I can
help you use your own eyes?



‘The Old Hero’ by Bill Rogers (aka Giveawayboy)



All the animals were gathering into it and hubbing themselves up and up into a hive-mind  affirmation:  I can do this.  Fox bit rabbit’s foot and rabbit’s other foot thumped badger’s nose just as badger was clamping teeth onto bear’s thick excuse for a neck and well, bear was just kind of luxuriating in all the cute little teething going on about him and upon his hairy hard-to-harm hide.  The vast layering and undulating wash of animal sounds was not a cacophony, but a busy-convention humming rumble that rose and splashed and heaped again:  yaps, whines, growls, chirps, squawks, hisses, snorts, hoots, purrs, shrieks, and quacks.  An outright roar or two was voiced, and here and there a grating screech or a quavering paean.  And everywhere a continuous undercurrent of snuffling, slavering, gurgling, and wheezing, out of which rose up yet more of the caterwauling, grunts, barks, moans, squeals, warbles, gobbles, snarls, squeaks, bellows, bleats, croaks, and calls of all kinds.  Gazelle gashed ape just as ape grasped hold of hawk while hawk was flapping upside buffalo’s scruffy head and buffalo had been nodding off to the hectic-gorgeous exhibition of a bird of paradise stropping about before him as if for all the world the ravishing little thing meant to take the burly bovine down with sheer showmanship.  And just so sweeping horns and spiraling horns and curling horns and cloven and solid hooves and unsheathed claws and bared fangs and slashing beaks and batting paws and beating pinions and clutching talons and thrusting tusks and limbs and snouts and flanks and muscle and fat and fur and scales and skins collided carnival and kaleidoscopic.

Yes, the animals were gathering into it and hub hub hubbing themselves up into a hive-mind determination:  I can do this.  They shoved in and shoved in and snapped and raked and champed at each other in cooperative menace.  And the brain case fit them all, snug but always with room for one more as they poured in and in, battling and mauling and mangling and goring with good humour and team spirit.  The bites and stabs became more sincere and at last pelts were pierced and pain-shrieks erupted in tandem with gouts and fountains of dark hot blood spraying and spouting on brown and gold and black and auburn and blue and grey and white and tawny bodies that turned crimson-splotched, deep-soaked with sopping scarlet.

And the brain case began to glow, dim first, then brighter, and its casing gleamed and buzzed and juddered and throbbed, thrumming all the animal sounds into a careening vibrato that would scare the pants off any hominid hombre west of any place whatsoever.  The copious animal bloods mixed and ran down the vibrating walls and pooled down into the grates in the curved bowl of the flooring and began to wet the mouthworks below, a huge smacking of huge lips licked by a vast tongue and a vast sound rasped up out of the throat yet further below and then the vocalisation was released from out of the great animal-packed, internally bleeding head into the hanging air:  I CAN DO THIS.


‘Mass Distraction’ by Bill Rogers (aka Giveawayboy)