Society Poetry: Pocket Sized Wreath by Cassandra Swan

The elephant-grey, cracked walkway clacks with alacrity:  
as the tedious, stiff facades in a talentless circus of mediocrity  
plod, and trek to their typical, mechanical homage – a life my   
insurrection rejects!  Instead, at a lowly, junk-ridden, rickety   
desk – on sixteen-hour, voluntary shifts – I regurgitate injustice.  
Will I ever switch my rabble-rousing, misanthropic existence  
for a steady salary, car and otiose days off at Christmas?  
Swivel chairs – in an unholy, goldfish bowl – with chains!  
Pub jaunts, cream cakes with petty, civilian saints,  
and dreary, clock-watching years, with lottery syndicates.  
This rantipole poet re-mortgaged her lifeblood to repossess time:  
decrypting the tangled-web of a tortured mind’s production lines.  
My supernatural re-incarnation – as a poetic, psychic surgeon –   
pledges petroglyphs of Donatistic lyrics, and complex lamentations.  
I survive by devouring plentiful plenilunes in valiant dimensions.  
Jekyll and Hyde’s allotment cultivates fine verbs and nouns.   
Fifty years devout, sterling service awards and android-head,  
with an ingot watch, a pension and an orthopaedic bed!  
Yet, starving lyricists live eternally in folios: their cicatrices  
flood like wordy blood, as knife-edged, quality-controlled rectos  
cut into eternal ebbs and flows of etymological, mystagogic tides.  
An android’s watch – rasped by retirement, coronary and death –   
ticks on as a by-passed heart, gasping for breath:  
under a charity shop counter, it flops; limp as an amaranth,  
in a swiftly-decomposing, demoralised, pocket-sized wreath.  
This wage-less wordsmith’s spine-chilling lines will outlive  
the hands and face of mechanised life and time; by sculpting  
denticulate epistles – with a scalpel – into epidermis then epitaph. 

Copyright Cassandra Swan


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