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Digital Poetics #5 On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry: Dom Hale

Stop yakking. They’ll cotton on yet.

We love the colour coral, punch-drunk on the

UHT of paradise, and I’ve got one foot firmly sowed

In the cruelty of baroque conditions as they stand,

The other planted with a sinuous dedication

On the bright auxiliaries. We’ll be hying round the panel

When we come, with garlands in our outgrown hair,

A living ocean by the back pocket and no end

To skylit triumphs or the daring escapades

Of midsummer. The audacity, a feel

For strawberry, feats gracing the taste buds

Before melting into an unread email,

A fable from the mucky pups, my finest archers,

Familiar aroma of deluxe descent. Illegal chaos, ours.

I will never be sensible; you will never be proper:

Between us this might just frame a way of doing things.

The agents of atrocity fret before the deep

Azure and backstabbers embezzle every pill.

Their CEO performs a sacrifice onboard

A grounded Boeing jet, but Tooting Market

Has a charm for me. Your music is the insolent kind

And it was ever thus, the wilful contradiction

Of governing necessity, yet nonchalant

As a starling on the open palm of the lollipop worker.

So do it, rise up from the ricks. Get on your feet.

We can cross now, sweetheart, if you take my arm:

Our luck will raze the sane malicious sky.

I’m sobbing in my dressing gown again.

Show up for me. Poetry will be the whole shebang.

We walk the unbelieving streets. I know

The watchword of the nonpareil.

You yank me back from the abyss.

And do not for one second listen

To that drivel on the timeline, damaged

Hierarchies of the righteous. Ignore those wounded

Who calculate a fresh career move in their grief.

This is a penchant for my cherished troubadours,

Streamlined sele, swimming with delight, vicarious in truth,

Strung anciently, big as a billboard. But I’m filthy,

Always had a magpie’s eye, throwing riffs and voices

In a frenzy over the caryatids. Back in a jiffy

From the balcony, ruffled plasma screen,

In two ticks of a sphinx’s tail. Hit return.

Obviously you can’t just brainstorm for the food

Riot. It has to be spontaneous as wildfire.

And it’s okay to miss your people, let them be,

Set them right, watch them fail. It’s alright to launch

The full abundance of yourself into a grazed

Outgoing atmosphere. Indulgent negativity wipes

Clean off the phone. I’m all out of riddles

But I’m really on one now. Clinking glasses,

A melodious scheme, one tremble in the weather pattern

Dominating over there. Pitch a UFO or frisbee

Through cerulean sprays, just don’t

Run out of steam. I know I’ve been behind you,

Tripping over my belongings to catch up.

Well here’s another wager, boys. Here’s

A bouquet for the next world, something sweet,

Unalloyed. I turn in fury and dissatisfaction

To the objects of my life, a card trick

Up the sleeve. No skyscraper stays vertical forever,

The fields are ripe with battle, I tip

Out of my hammock and the rest is seized.

We get it, it’s over, we must pack up our things.

The councillors of multimurder take the floor.

They say it’s only inevitable that I should pass away,

And soon, scattered singing to the waterfalls of wicked data,

Systematic misery. And yet with a hand on my hip

Utopia is everywhere in evidence: to feel it

Is to hold ourselves. Everyone awash with promise

By the ragged rainbow. For I’ve got the hang

Of how to look through contradiction

Not as something to be abjured, rescinded

In the veils of social night, but as a floodlight

On our weltering in place, a fusee in the whirlwind,

Pendant of activity through hating days.

Such bank statements shouldn’t have been possible,

Not now, with endless grinding bullshit to ingest,

Every other interaction just a headache to avoid.

Still, it doesn’t have to be this way. The International

Space Station is gladly out of reach, glimpsed

Barefoot from Blackpool beach, as we drift

Together, payout of further spiel. And therefore

These are counter-messages to contract or shirk,

Announcers of distorted spring. Nod in the

Spiralling street, when the sun keeps like a dandelion clock

Low on the horizon. A dead cert. There they go

In the green shiel. To love is like an asymptote.

So much is taken away that something has to give.

Does it hurt like it used to? Do I slur?

You’re my best friend, lullay,

Walking home to work.

May 9 2020


Dom Hale lives in Lancashire. He edited the magazine Mote and helped to organise the reading series JUST NOT. Addons was published by Gong Farm in February and a book is forthcoming from the87press.


This publication is in Copyright. Dom Hale, 2020.

The moral right of the author has been asserted. However, the Hythe is an open-access journal and we welcome the use of all materials on it for educational and creative workshop purposes.

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