Thursday, May 25, 2017

James Walton #58 Leary Presents at the Writers Festival

(In this world
love has no colour –
yet how deeply
my body
is stained by yours)
Izumi Shikibu

What remains struggles for the hand grip of language, the shake of letters, the whirly get you moment of transparency in this ever expanding universe of no departure intersect indifferent to the eternity of loss, and how he draws a profile in any reflective surface, through all grains of  furniture. Undisturbed by answers, a scent of daily grief, the vanilla of her vapour trail sky writing in every hotel shower.

The M.C will introduce him, still living off his seminal ‘Aspects of the Aesthetic Dialectic between Long and Short Prose - the Powershift of Form’. It chased him down, that title, the whippet pack of ideas to his skinny frantic rabbit, wanting to join Alice or Aesop, disappear into a picture edition fable. His working title ‘Barbed Wire in the Soul – a Treatise of Meaning’ unacceptable.

Leary pretends to be attentive, shuffles papers, now in larger typeface, tries not to pick his nose, or do that ear thing Marjorie complained about. Soon there will have to be a beginning, but his armpits are itchy, and concentrating on the front row, all he can think about are piano keys and how sitting is an unnatural algorithm, a human is more of a tightened spring, no wonder then that people have back problems or fucking haiku.

Fucking haiku, flash fiction, found fucking plagiarism, discovered poetry, witnessed presence, closing in, this oily slick of a black hole, each syllable putting out another light, quenching meaning, dragging down lanterns. There’s some mirth in the audience, a joke about that Title, a quip about models and electronic start. He puts on the appreciative smile, the knowing in joke, the clown’s cosmos enlightened by occasional surprise.

Leary knows soon there will have to be a beginning, but fifteen dollars for a fucking chapbook, stapled with tetanus and bloodied fingerprints. A slow soft hammer of depth through the temples, resounding in afterthought, a volume you can get a bookmark in, or remember the page number chapters later, a handwritten line you keep beside the chair, twenty five dollars of light years.

A Plenary Session, a stage, there’ll be questions. His short piece should be to the point. Enough to tantalise, provoke, not offend. His notes are becoming origami, his fingers holding kite strings, the meniscus between earth and that fucking dialectic cumuli brain matter eroding. Dressed in clandestine hunger a Greek eats de lapin with sage and onion sauce, fish get their scales by weighing submerged thought.

Leary knows she’s a maize year in decades a saffron ticking weapons grade love that is metered in care of oats the flowing in plainsongs all intimacies drawn to the sane touch of palms reading lines of brine coast mourning departures by fountain pen gifts to breach the past. The imprint of gesture when she waved away his idiosyncrasies, dropped the commas from his tongue, closed his mouth with lips of reason.

Death defying chance comes uninvited paradigm of genius and clothes of the Imperial Court kimono courtesan love abridged between centuries trees felled for pages a big bang created all birth truth is found in the deceit of clay feet in synopsis is interred breadth her absence in every room. He is being introduced, and he knows there is a beginning for every conclusion, as short or as long as every fucking haiku, written in a Komachi or Shikibu smile.


  1. every fucking haiku
    a senryu
    in disguise

    1. It's the way of the world, if you don't look, too close

  2. Leary sure gets around - therapy sessions, writers festival - I'm enjoying your Leary series. Can't wait for the collection but yeah get rid of the fucking haikus, plagiarism and chapbooks :))

  3. A great stream of consciousness and rant! Especially like the phrase 'stapled with tetanus'


  4. The wind blows through
    the skull's eye-socket
    whistling a song
    singing for a beauty
    long since passed

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.


    2. the windowless
      is the idea behind
      we say never mind
      when we most mind
      being left behind
      Leary at the podium
      no eye contact
      no warmth
      no laughter
      people get up and leave

    3. Oh i think he'd have been Ok, he's obviously secretly in love with haiku, sees his departed wife as one, and throughout the several included in his private thinking, and in his thinking of Komachi and Shibuku as he rises.

    4. Well, I think it's all terrific, James. Read it 4-5 times. Keeps getting deeper. A reader alludes to more Leary poems. Is my memory faulty, are there more that I can read here?

  5. fifteen dollars for a chapbook! Where do I line up?


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