Friday 12 February 2010

Jake O'Leary - Apocalyptic Weathermen

It’s late or early. Channel 4 explores
Trajectories and consequences of
Potential nuclear winter underneath
A fallout residue of dirty plates.
The makeshift fort erected with a sheet
Beneath a table in the basement hides
Apocalyptic weathermen from sight
As I attempt to write my memoirs, The
Medicinal Jacuzzi Years. With each
Completed line I smoke a cigarette
Composed of previous lines and coffee beans.
If exile for a night is self-imposed,
Why pine away an evening in a daze?
They’re different kinds of days. ‘You’d better scrub
Yourself before returning’ Bill had said
As I’d begun to leave. ‘Malaria
Is bad for business’. Vaccinations hurt.
‘Are you a communist?’ enquired the wrist
Of my companion on my sleeve. ‘Why, no’
Came my reply of tugging free. ‘Why not?’
Besieged the loosened grip of grief. I am
Enlightened by my frantic scribbling and
Emancipated by the medium.
Across the room a painful humming light
Incinerates a cockroach drawn by warmth
And clearly taken by Channel 4's
Sensational prognostications. Down
A stone or two today. Could pass it off
As hunger striking or religious fasting,
Whatever fits the bill. It’s Ouija night
At the Patisserie but I can’t face
Another ancestral lament about
The wireless having had its day. Tonight
Is insubordinate, unruly hair
That sprouts from sweaty crevasses at will.
In no fit state for human interaction,
I lay my head upon a telephone
Directory and dream in technicolour.


The author writes: "I'm Jake O'Leary, and I live in Falmouth, Cornwall, where I'm currently studying English and creative writing. I've been writing poetry for around a year, and have a blog where I occasionally put up stuff I've been working on: I've had a poem, 'The Sigh-Cried Loaf of an Engels', published as part of John Bloomberg Rissman's '1000 Views of Girl Singing' project (different translations and interpretations of a Jose Garcia Villa poem), which can be found at Three poems have also recently been published over at These were selected from the same body of work as 'Apocalyptic Weathermen', a collection called 'The Cactus Cake Patisserie', in which I've attempted to explore themes like mysticism, psychedelic drug use, Cold War memorabilia and industrial/economic decay."