an Aotearoa poetry journal | ISSN 2744-3248

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Tarot #07
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Tarot #01

The Art of Substitution

Pain is inspiration but never spell hurt, don’t
words are clumsy damp won’t hold the slip if
sensation spikes in what to say when fray of
days hunch minutes linger exquisite porcupine
hours display rows of quills in perfect poise
if you must, tie it down in microfiche decree
bind it up in ribbons shelved keep pith in sight
don’t fright the people busy working greasing
filling need diversion need anything but pain
it has no substance only inspiration,
writing in the vacuous calligraphies of skies
lines of moon shapes in looming cloud scapes
don’t dwell on ink blot blind spots savour thrills
complicated angles conspire in idiosyncratic spy
games of life aside via leafy wigs nod mindless in
winds blow puff with luck catch the strange creep
creatures of mindsight their glistening carapaces
in the half-light might be an ambulant jewel or a
blowfly, hasty tastes your arm hairs with hungry
feet drops pebble quick floats away slow takes
corpuscles of you to cavort together on fleshy
petals musk and pepper scented, wrap them tight
those limping weeks close your eyes let it flow
the way of rivers course beneath long dry braids
of shingle, unremarked pin the sting to paper
hidden under wings that lie iridescent in
the wavelength interference
of a well-ridged phrasing,
bathe in a preservation
of succinctly tinctured terms.