Offcourse Literary Journal

Two Poems by Michael Kinnaird.

Sleeping Men Viewed as a Living Francis Bacon Installation.

Collimated lines surround the men propped
into the clinical recliners,

Lines of rain dripping from the viewer's hat,
of age in the faces behind the glass,
of intravenous hope slurring down from pouch to port,

Their eyes a mystery blurred in shadow,
their mouths drop-open squares of cavernous black
deadened by distance, strung in a series,
the screaming popes of cellular process,
lucky recipients of scientific collapse,
candidates for adenocarcinomic attention,

Our fathers are in there, being shaken to the core,
Lined up, stage four, and thinning.



riding with your uncle john to church on the presbyterian sunday, he said,
'the angelina runs into the rayburn', you think,
(words are trapdoors, endless mirror mazes,
violent projection screens, adumbrations of memory), you think,
(NO-he's talking about rivers), too late, you think,
(angelina, angel, wings, flight, risk, icarus, sun, ray, burn-
icarus forgot he wasn't an angel
so he flew too close to the sun,
was burnt by its rays), you think,
(we can't help but see it,
we can't help but talk about it,
it's in our language
on the map
in our minds and in the rivers, yes
the angelina will always run into the rayburn
they are ineluctably tied forever-STOP), you say,

Michael Kinnaird's poems have appeared many times in Offcourse since Issue #5, Fall 1999.


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