Martin Jack


Zero Event


approaching the hour of Zero

its thought


words misbehave

make death bed


confessions out of the little

we can cough


into life –

some cheated, put on a smile


for the length of their experiences

alive in a mirror


before zero was

a glint in an artilleryman’s eye,


overlords throwing

obituaries at the Third World


of us without

the power of attorney,


the power to recognise Zero’s

masterplan working through the exclamation


points of cities-

they have statues in which to tomb,


we’re still surprised

each time the absolute claims


 a roundless mouth

tackling what is unseen


 with an aphasic sponge

a silent screaming across the sky


for the prayers

we can’t make into art


On A Stance of Marianne Moore


 With a stained napkin, she stays

sensibly cool as a scalpel,

her grip austerely cut, unflappable,

the rag’s temporal storm

fronts held in watchful pallors

of the skin, which sharpen

keenly like an owl

to police them.


 After one wash, should I pray

like a pauper, Miss, that you soften

with sermons the dirt threatening

in your sleight of hand?

Will my faith soon flutter

to fright the heart?


 Stalwart, enchantingly

sound, palmistries meet

wrinkled souls with a quiet fist:

her clean sheathe for scuttled

perimeters of pain that live

on in fabric as a family

of schisms by which she writes,

soothes troubled time and place.


t p u

Readers this month

Sentinel Poetry (Online) #45August 2006   ISSN 1479-425X


Editor: Amatoritsero Ede

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