‘Need any help?’ In the labile porousness of an extreme hangover you interpret the pert shop-assistant’s civil enquiry on multiple levels. Adrift in the mall, putting off everything, stationary objects and strangers keep grazing against you. Wiry overhead light-fittings, exposed by operatives from Third World countries (stymied Whittingtons in corporate overalls), threaten to tentacle down and incarcerate you.
You hole up in Waterstones, staking out the Poetry shelves for any ‘spark of sedition’. (It borders on Fiction, not Autobiography, mind).
Ambushed by random dipping, caught unawares, the Levine poem suddenly protrudes out of the book, like a Magic Eye Picture turning 3D.
Back home, suppurating with toxins, you carefully remove your liver, lungs and heart and rinse them through in the kitchen-sink, wringing them out and leaving them to dry in a row as neat as an upwardly-mobile butcher’s.
Standing there eviscerated, you feel so feathery and hollow, you must be held up by whatever ‘spirit’ might mean.
Try praying now: how will you fit the pieces back inside?