Friday, 6 December 2013

Matt Bryden's 'Brest Litovsk' from Boxing the Compass (Templar, 2013)

Brest Litovsk

Drop a shroud over a country –
food aid, shelter, nightfall,

enough to forget about it, let
it get by.

You can walk right up to it,
whip off the covers –

an angle-poise lamp under sack,
a starscape.

Silent, contoured, like camouflage
netting pulled over a tank –

there are handholds,
footfalls for the blind.

You like to imagine the conundrum –
an ant crossing a table-top comes upon

a sugar cube 1cm by 1cm by 1cm:
how far is added to its journey? –

that a shirt hung from the nozzle
of a tank might obscure it,

that you could walk across
a country covered in such a fashion –

tottering over plate, doll, bone
and crush them without noticing –

a sprawling landfill, a Milky
Way teeming with animals,

a bee in the hand.

Matt Bryden's first collection, Boxing the Compass, is available directly from the publisher for £8.99, postage free worldwide. 

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