The shapes have come which turn clouds into pumpkin-ghosts,

swollen as cauliflowers with cauldrons of eyes,

pulsing with knowing, tentacle-furling,

distended by slow machines

of current and counter-current, the dreaming sad flow.

The will of something that just can’t be seen,

the smoke of an entity

hides in corners, barely off-reach

but still unresolved, the tangible potency

of an unformed beast

that is not right, not what should be,

or want to be, or want to be half-seen:

the haunches dissolve

before the dog-jaw appears, the tusks

and hooves are not quite there,

misjuxtaposed. The malevolence is real

and the intent to strike fear

can’t be mistaken. It seems controlled,

the constant shift around the brink of being,

neither running people off

with an actual, awful shape nor drifting away –

clouding the issue and draining the charged day.



Another Jeremy Reed-phase poem. He had a particular rhythm which he used again and again, and which was fatally easy to imitate. I was able to write quickly at this stage when I had that rhythm and had by then a substantial (but thematically quite limited) store of imagery of I could draw upon. There was a while when I was writing a complete poem pretty much every day. Most were atrocious though! ‘SMM’ was written very fast indeed, almost as fast as I could physically put the words down on paper, with virtually no changes afterwards. Pen and paper first, then typed up with a manual typewriter – way before my first computer… Before too long I eased up a little, which was no bad thing. It’s always better to think about what you want to say, rather than just writing because you’ve decided to write something that day and you can.