Sea of Souls (James Walton)
There’s a cove. A house straggles
a sagging beach, where behind a patched blind
the Hendrix version of All Along the Watchtower
sends its summons through the wave speakers.
God opens the door, a stubby in one hand
and his left eye bleeding from a blood vessel.
You’re late he pines at me, I’m too polite to say
what I think, that’s it too early to be drinking,
but how do you chastise an omnipotence.
I was the only anarchist, let it all run free
and now it’s turned to shit, he’s telling a dirty sheet
of an angel that’s being used as a coat stand.
On a love seat. Straight out from underneath
a window, Miro sculptures are smoking cigaroes
and whistling Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony
the movement that makes the walls cry.
Do you by any chance play bass
Jimi’s last assistant went up in smoke in Cross Town Traffic.
It crosses my mind that he should know the answer,
he’s lost interest, retouching a forged Picasso.
Gave the little wanker everything and what did I get
suddenly angry, he grabs my throat beer breath in
my face, and you cut your wrists for freedom fell
into the street and a car finished you off.
The other side of the ramshackle. Sky and ocean are joined
by Siamese lightning, sacred ibis in ancient shawls gather neon
cockchafers placing them in mother of pearl wickers
rippling at the iron magnetism of each shock.
The wattage sighs as each basket comes and goes
a drop from his cornea sets the brimming protein.
I sent a boy on a man’s job once, Jesus what a debacle —
here, you’ll appreciate the irony in this
see if you can pick who’s coming or going journeyman,
for the first of the first time in all these millennia
I’m going to have a lie down, this whistling sphincter’s all yours
welcome to heaven and take care where you step.
James Walton lives in the Strzelecki Mountains in South Gippsland, Australia. He has been published in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers, and many journals and anthologies. He has been shortlisted twice for the ACU National Literature Prize, is a double prize winner in the MPU International Poetry Prize, and Specially Commended in The Welsh Poetry Competition. His collection The Leviathan’s Apprentice is now available. He’s been a Librarian, bred Salers cattle, and was a public sector union official for many years.