Correspondence Course. & others by Rupert M Loydell

Language migrates into dregs of being
as the postman puts a letter through our door.

Cut open, it spills selected art reviews
and new poems onto the dining table:

sometimes you discover more than
I thought I'd said, sometimes you

miss the point. I will write a letter
all over again, it is like going into fog

and wondering what I've confessed,
is about chemistry and shadows,

cuttings filed in appropriate books,
and the mixing-up of stuff. If you can

sidestep the life of Riley, words
may then arrive from out of the dark

and say hello. My theory is that poets
but not poems have always existed,

that the distance between stars
is no more than wishful thinking,

a desire for conversation and new vistas,
the only place for our dismantled dreams.

Reinventing the Wheel.
I never developed conversational skills,
which explains a lot about my memoirs.
They have an exaggerated sense of scale,
gradually became encrusted with fiction.

Mistranslation means miscommunication,
which means I often misunderstand,
end up mapping hedgehogs in the garden
or teaching neighbours to suck eggs.

I have learnt to drive several times
and can fall of my bike as easily as
limping to the doctor's or attracting
the attention of a lifeguard at the pool.

It is all so suburban and manageable.
I emerge from hibernation every Spring
and start work immediately: bike tyres
to be pumped up, guttering to clear,

windows to be cleaned. Soon, I will
rescue the garden chairs from the shed
and get to know the sky again. Our cat
is seldom amused, rarely deigns to be

sociable, especially late at night.
If I am good I may get to sleep inside,
if not I go for long walks and reacquaint
myself with myself, have a good chat

and listen to tomorrow silently arrive
before we finish talking for the night.
One day I will reinvent the wheel,
circle the square, and then depart.

Collapsed Senses.
Windows propped open to mist that tastes of salt.
It is always a shock to the body, the way autumn
arrives one summer night like an old friend.

Winter will be next, scavenging for food
in a poorly secured lunchbox. Persons unknown
are recently departed, a door swings on its hinges.

Nights are floodlit by stars as it turns cold
and I am looking for possible exit strategies,
dreaming of sunshine and a paradise breeze.

Impossible Delays. (Relentless Irrational Remix)
'Poems from poems, songs
from songs, paintings from paintings,
always this friendly
   – Adam Zagajewski, 'River'

I have never felt the threat of poverty
or resisted incoherence. It is all talk
and communal provocation, all the same
but different, a swerve of understanding
so we accommodate impossible delays,
endless understanding and cancellations.

If you refuse to use the magical recipe
and flee Paradise, then good luck with
the struggle. I've never had much money
but it is too late for tears or gratuitous
introductions. I defer to tramps, barmaids
and utopians, arrange my words by rules

of my own invention, all borrowed from
transcendence or folklore. No more baubles
or autobiographical squibs, no procedures
which don't assist us to respond to human
experience. We need to know what we are
crying for, it is a joy to be incommunicado

and forget the things I can't forget. There's
little to be lost by discarding what we seek:
unknowable truths and conspiratorial webs.
Disreputable fictions are beaten and tortured
as the future performs its vital operations
without any fuss or lasting repercussions.

Rupert Loydell is the editor of Stride and a contributing editor to International Times. He has many books of poetry in print, including The Age of Destruction & Lies, Dear Mary, The Return of the Man Who Has Everything, Wildlife and Ballads of the Alone, all published by Shearsman, who also published Encouraging Signs, a book of essays, articles and interviews. He has co-authored many collaborative works, and edited anthologies for Knives Forks & Spoons Press, Shearsman, and Salt. He also writes about post-punk music, pedagogy, poetry and film for academic journals and books.