the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




THREE WORKS
BY PAUL A SKEC

SHOES

you can tell a lot
about a person
by analysing/observing
the shoes on their
feet
it's a bad sign
if they can be smelled
at any distance-
close up is worst
i should know
a veteran parttime sales assistant for Speeds Shoes PiLted
i served at sunshine plaza footstop
a secondhand shoe dragonhoard:
castoffs from past seasons
cheap imports reeking rubber
patent leather
sinus twitching canvas
bins & bulky cardboard boxes
shoes ov every shape size & style
i've still got the time sheets
might add up all the hours crammed into shoes
remember the bonghead manager
forever fixing his slavik mane
in the submarine cabin ov a storage room
remember the tattooed assistant manager
drank bourbon-rocked out to covers-tuff chick
took no shit, sherlock
the submarine cabin ov a storage room
years later i had nitemares
about being buried alive
by walls ov shoeboxes
& eternal stocktakes with disappearing tallies
ah, but the customers ov all
shapes sizes styles & smells
feet cracked & beautiful, anorexic or puffy
the customers… the customers…

================

EVERY SEVENTH DROP

i dwell in a house ov many timezones
here yet not here
out ov phase with th storm-out ov favour with th swarm
eye am a mad mad man
meditating on melding mi brain's 2 spheres
seeking balance & union (onion even)
near vast hoards ov chemicals
waiting fr th rite moment
2 ignite/explode/seep lyke biblical wraiths ov deth
down south-there b petrochems
simmering in their squat silos
vapourising th future in shimmering haze
noxious fume
out west in swamplands
lie explosive factories-secretive research facilities
mysterious lites in th nite sky-airborne engines droning
echoing insectland's symphony
exponential menace-expensive victuals
the dying orbits ov erratic comets-splicing hissstory out ov myth-
conceive a new generation-in mathland x multiplies th known
as i sed-ringed by these things
life is a long & everwinding road
tollbridges & timezones are legion

================

MY SHOES ARE TOO TIGHT
(FOR UNCLE JOE-RIP 2001)

this morning i feel-lyke i've been carted around
the ends ov the urth-inside a backpack
splashes ov colour flit past-my eyes
this void i call a stomach-rumbles for food. coffee
my heart wants to speak-to all the people i've missed
but i've forgotten what to say, & how to dance
i don't know if i'm moving-or just being jostled around
lyke a cork on the waves-
my children grow & play-learn & laugh
i'm trapped in a fluorescent cell-5 in 7, repaying debts
i remember uncle joe-sitting at a table
cracking jokes telling tales-stable
amid the kaos ov family-so that's why i'm crying

================

LAST DANCE UNDER AN ILL STAR

greenskinned & trainbound-messages to call numbers
caffeined & sinused-storms build in heads
harmonic resonance-temporarily interrupts
service between memory & hearing
still riffs loop thru nodes
tempted by numbers
rushing thru dark cables
to you
tapping on my skull beats insist
riff persists
all the train's a blur
deaf to worlds dead to newness
this hive eats numbness
numbers sucked into black holes ov the cartoonish kind
railroad to rendezvous with reality
ever tried to wrestle lite?
lines bend round corners & into curves
still hur voice dodgeming thru breax
what stains cloud yr eyes?
the sun is a tree
dare to climb hur branches?
on the tip ov resolution
decode this black heart
sunspot transponder-bloodclot nebular
great maker-have you need ov gender?
what music moves you underground
dodging pills ov lite basking & burning
in full moon's fog's glare-
rapping at yr window
doors allow only certain shapes thru
none guard neglected portals-
all dances cease-