Craw Nancy


headpiece stuffed with straw,
your wisdom-ing dry with neglect,
the burnt-grass plenty now wasted
takes up residence in a scary-man brain


the man that fools the crows a moment,
outstretched wretch on leaning staves,
browned brow beneath crumpled brim,
chest of chaff in tatty shirt

Craw Nancy, Craw Nancy
standing in the rows,
will his head turn?
Nobody knows.


(‘After Image On Ceiling Upon Waking From Dream’ by Giveawayboy)


Worrying That Bone in the Gnawing Dark (take 1)

‘In my head is my only house
unless it rains,’ said the Captain.

But my mind is homeless, shattered, hovelled, beggarly,
a half-assed collage, assemblage, semblance of

drawings of creatures alien and earthen, ghostly and beastly,
machine and organic,

                                    a homeless man’s poem in print-out,
from his blog (that’s our world, where the homeless blog,
not just the mentally homeless, like me, but the bodily homeless),
he with whom I exchanged words on George Square, swapped verse,
mine sounding like the housed, well-fed, self-taught luxury-lexicon
it was, his sounding like the history-full, conspiracy-cracked, trickster
logoi it was.

                    A friend’s art photograph is in here,

                                                                              in my internal
homeless shelter,

                              and a bad snapshot photo of my deceased father
sitting in shorts so high and tight it looks like he’s in his undies,
holding our firstborn when she was a wee and spark-eyed curly-
topped toddler on her grandpa’s lap—bad photograph of a happy
memory, sweet pain,

                                  an illustration from a children’s book,

unused and useless printer,

                                              the corpse of the computer with its dead-
eyed sightless monitor-head,

                                                a taped-up crumpled list of books I
want to read this year (from years ago), written on a torn envelope
in hopeless handwriting, most of the books still unchecked off, unread,

the rat-tat-tatty bookshelves double-stacked, piled, stuffed,
extracted volumes re-shelved erratic, the too-many teeth of
permanently jaggy-toothy smiling mouths on both sides of
my brain casing, jutting further on one side and gap-continuous
in adjacent rooms of this homeless mind,

                                                                   allegedly homeless and yet
a multi-roomed shopping cart full of tumbling and worn possessions,
trash as well as treasure, squeaking down alleys in a city not its own,
homeless only because rootless, uprooted, extracted and retracted and
grafted onto an island-swatch across a great divide of tide,

                                                                                               a mind now
swimming in a whole other ocean.

                                                        And ah, the beloved green-glowing
numbers of the bedroom alarm clock that my mind nightly clings
to for ragged comfort in the lovely folding dark, the standby sleep
mode, though unable to sleep full nights half the time, waking and
remembering it’s homeless and worrying that bone in the gnawing
dark, trying to slam itself back to pseudo-oblivion or sly-slip itself a
micky-track back to dreamland, but usually flubbing it and ending
up wandering soft-lit cityways like always for another middle-of-the-
night wear-out session.

                                       So maybe my head is a house after all, O
Captain, a homeless house. Like the stories I’ve read of walking, living
houses that wander the earth in search of occupants,

                                                                                       that’s my mind.


(photo by Flannery O’Kafka)


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)