Editing poetry: Where is it alright?

Rules. I dislike rules. Especially social rules: I’ve never really understood them. In particular, this piece was inspired by my thought that we consider it strange to hear someone singing on the street, and how much time we spend telling others to be quiet. Some of the lines in the second section are inspired by the Radiohead song ‘Polyethylene’

At work
they say
you can’t sing
while the phones are on
those tiny pulses
break me out in ambilateral fusions
down the lines cold lava
keep your mouth shut[down]
or the children will fall down
and spoil their pretty hair

on the crouched busses
music is not allowed
there are signs
we used to hang from
the monkey bars
undulant rider soundwaves
scream the name of the station
happiness, ulceration, earthquake zone, plastic wrap
you must sit with your mouth closed
polyethylene doll

out on the streets
you may abuse your loved one
while the dark hides under the horizon
carve threats and spray wars
leave threatening messages
drape yourself in cured flesh
you should not sing
even close harmony
tubular bells
screech along the delicate
tendrils of the proper noun
we clutch at shame in emotion
search for it
in reflected streetlights
the slight hint of moisture on your skin
hairline faults in
the network stretched out across us
drying and shrinking
the heat generated by
potential difference
broad outside smiles
claws inside

via Editing poetry: Where is it alright?.


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