Poems by Terry Jones (UK)
Published in issue 39 of The Ofi Press
Trodden by the pure white feet of girls
legs red to the thighs
damn pretty girls with shining black hair
treading in a dance, squeezing
the flesh in their toes
pulped by these girls, their faces lifted
splashed with the juices
streaks on their legs, drops of blood
on eyelashes, on lips
they hold the wooden rim for balance
each one tipping back her face
rolling her eyes to look inside
lifting her knees high in a rhythm
pressing a white heel, soft instep
into the purpled pooling vat.
Ah, the climbing vine of the wine,
the untethered bull dances the field,
the glistening sepents intercoiled
and the girls, damp-haired, white-eyed,
crimsoned with heavy swaying
and from the opened tap juice running
stopping and starting in flood and spurt
in trickles and sudden gushes
veined purple-red as a breast,
as a breath, fermented as shadow.
Bring me wine, uncork me red dawn
its chaos and purple stasis spilling
from the horn; fetch me, taste me,
hold me to shining clusters,
Sew me in the thigh of a god and dance.
‘Word are ideological signs.’
Marxism and Language – V. N Volosninov
One got knocked off, as if it wobbled
on a shoulder like a stitched football;
another, say ‘butter’, slept in brown paper, leaking a portrait of greasy sweetness;
others were set by the fuzz, or memory,
those old agencies hived in tall buildings where everything leaked or bled,
and nobody, but nobody spoke out.
One gathered in the East, watchful, more dangerous than the sun’s hammer,
moon’s sickle: borders were shut,
elements redefined ‘en bloc’. Still innocent, we listened in: who would say brass,
who gold to its new ring?
For now, I mean just the blunt word, a passport for stops and releases, and drag it out
for the scum intimacy of a sound
to remember, like a shiver on water, the wet muscle and clay of its shape.
I say bloc[k] and balance a shadow on the tongue; say bloc[k] and again,
bloc[k] for the lost weight of history,
and because it is an old, heavy word, one eloquent and dumb as a breeze,
stoop to lift it on the shadow of a voice.
Terry Jones' debut short collection, Furious Resonance, was published by Poetry Salzburg in 2011, the year he was the winner of the Bridport Prize. His poems have appeared in Poetry Review, The New Statesman, Agenda, Ambit, The London Magazine, Magma, Iota, The North, Poem, ShoP, The Dark Horse, Poetry Salzburg, New Welsh Review, The Interpreters House, Wasifiri, Planet, TheRialto, Orbis, Brittle Star (and elsewhere) and online in Mascara, Ink Sweat and Tears, Angle Journal of Poetry in English, The Literateur , The Bow-Wow shop, Antiphon (and elsewhere).
Image by enki22.