patrick wright


Intermissions

 

Through the early hours of the horror channel,

what you take perhaps is a soundtrack

or webwork of narrative,

as you strain close to the plasma screen like a Cyclops,

infer from the strobing scenes

what the denouement might mean.    

Films, always unfinished,

or you’re left afterwards with only dialogue or melodic leaps.    

How easily it slips into waking dreams,

as you splice your own dailies,

stitch together the outtakes,

enjoy the hallucinations.    

Through your impairment, it’s the lacunae you embrace,

writing your own scripts, as I push, next day, for some sort of précis.

 

What unspools are two movies fused together

or it seems like your own edit.

And, since projected, you text me interpretations,

or sometimes you predict the ending.    

It’s so uncanny, just before the sky turns blue,

as you fugue on your sofa,

aerial lead intermittent, between stations, time zones,

allowing a Hitchcock to bleed seamlessly

into news reports of psychopaths,

how the clatter in the kitchen is a poltergeist,

the urban hum a spacecraft hovering over your social housing.     

 

What for me might be street frolics is, for you,

a banshee without question,

especially this hour, this distance,

more than a postcode between us,

where I offer no audio description.

I have to leave you to your clicker,

so you might hear amid the white noise,

messages, as sleep comes and rolls the credits.

Ghost Story

 

It arrives in strips     torn out of a compendium of dreams. It begins as wisteria

up the walls     a boarded-up window     a gable     another window     dark as

an eye-patch. It’s something I’ve meant to write for some time. Each night another

vignette is unveiled     as if viewing a mural by torchlight. It’s always a darkness

beyond darkness     like once in the attic with a shade no photons could escape    

or where such darkness festers     in oubliettes     undercrofts     outside with rooks

and a sense of the venerable. Often it’s a house I’ve once been in     one with a tumble-   

down facade     sheer cliffs on every side. Last night     the house of a married couple    

or mausoleum     its door-turned-tombstone carved in exotic ciphers. I chucked a  

grappling hook over the roof to the other side     hoisted myself through a spider-filled

frame. All I remember was a presence of husband and wife     how I kept opening

doors to bedrooms or staircases     or doubling back on myself     finding rooms

were running out     or floral walls closing in. Shut in the vestibule     I sought

the bustle of the streets. Shrieks out of a letterbox met with nothing but disinterest.