Iain Britton

Iain Britton’s poetry is published widely in Australia and New Zealand, but his work is also available in many UK and US magazines. Oystercatcher Press published his third poetry collection in 2009; Kilmog Press, his fourth in 2010. The Red Ceilings Press published an ebook in 2011. Forthcoming collections are with Lapwing Publications and a small collection with Argotist Ebooks.


the psychology of a river

this is only an earshot visual
of a story
    of blue cords of flesh
twisting through rapids
    water babies being throttled /         as if abandoned

a black-eyed Madonna
prays for a mosaic sign of peace
promotes miracles
by rubbishing her mortal coil /       

                         for a price
          she takes off her clothes
and like a keen carnivore
I’m supposed to be impressed
        roll over Shostakovich
              I wish you were here
roll over homo erectus / homo sapien
homo anydamnthing
         the hunt is on
               is ever elusive /

           the river starts its plunge
                    by cavorting with girls
                        washing their bodies
                 by hyperventilating about them
    sucking their prattle into swirls of foam

           the river
                  pulls at substances
        that drag down each day
        that clog arterial reflections
on glazed horizons –

             in their idolatry
   hump against trees
   skim flat stones
   tread water

             the talk is about multiple progressions
of one flash flood after another / one tumult
one invasive
          white-wash of inherited gruel
it’s all good / all okay / says the talk
around this colonic sluicing out
of a worm’s full gut

      I drown messages
          as they come
     depending on mood-swings
the quick
the slow       
            some are gabbled
            some bloody too long –

I push them under
until the gasping is all done

  until the
       dosing up on daylight
       becomes too much
       the toxic beverage
of hallowed be thy name
begins to kick in

the river is the extroverted pretender
of this team / the builder of excursions
      it fends off the claws of blackberry
                   under a sun
firing         melanomic slugs

it’s about running with the team
       keeping up
          spanking arses
and not looking back
     at the pillars of salt
of particular people I know
       already crumbling  

     the river
convulses at the idea
        of sharing its stench its evolution of fake shamans fake prophets
        failed water diviners decomposing amongst rocks

best scenario ever

and Dmitri
I wish you were here
to witness this virgin
         squeezing painfully
                 from her grave