Alex Skovron – Nighthouse

Alex Skovron LEP&W V2 Dec 2022

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume Two December 2022.

Nighthouse, poems by Alex Skovron.


A creak, a tic of the clock? A flicked match could explode
the odd free-to-air ghost casing the corridor.

So no, no need to jump—just a slack tap’s needle tattoo,
clicking water, or maybe the mind

dripping? Tug on the cord—what the drape had shuttered
is beaming like that pared nail men walk upon

not for a while now. Nothing forever phases it,
page on cratered page, this megalegendary she-sage,

or chaperone—or super-simpatica granny ready to host
a tryst when a girl feels her tides collide.

But mind the corridor, its arthritic age much tiptoed upon
and vigilant for the merest whispered aside.

The Hourglass and the Pledge

‘the ocean seldom repeats itself’
— Stanisław Lem, Solaris

Or make that never. Channelling Herakleitos,
I look up from the book: Nor does
a grain of sand, each one a crystal totally unique,
I remind myself (tautologies aside)—
then hear myself elucidate a fresh conceit:
‘An hourglass should possess a built-in bell’:
to warn the watcher not to be distracted
just as the stream accelerates
for the concluding grains to carve the rising cusp
to its destined geometry. Until the tables
are turned … A new quote comes:
‘The cost of flight is landing’—that’s Harrison (Jim
not George), and the poet should know.
Those specks of dust, trajecting in a quantum
beyond count, would have intrigued the atomists,
but Blake finessed the case. Not so the sea.
It dances on its bed of sand, a skin concealing
a pledge never to reveal what it is thinking,
while its warning remains the same:
Read in my undulations the fluid glass of time,
and dare to fathom the poem I never repeat.

I told her she was fulgent

it was another episode more or less
in our lusty twistory
like the memails we used to shoot
to ourselves never
to be shared nemos we called them
& when we made out
we dubbed it closing up because
(she glossed) love is no more
than a fully open art once
i told her she was fulgent
a real gem a pearl to which
her viscous retort pearls
are congealed oyster spit
she’d dug that jewel out of
the handmaid’s tale &
when i shucked a chuckle
she confessed her dill mother
zany father had grown a habit
of swiving in his & hers
bling they adored the jangle
nihil obstat i indulged so
long as they adore each other
like us she interrogated
lifting off me a moment
i’m sure they do & i licked
her crumpled elbow bless
them your dum & mad
i said lusting for a grimace

© Alex Skovron

Alex Skovron is the author of seven collections of poetry, a prose novella and a book of short stories. His most recent book of poems is Letters from the Periphery (2021); his earlier volume of new and selected poems, Towards the Equator (2014), was shortlisted in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. As well as bilingual editions of his poetry translated into French (The Attic) and Chinese (Water Music), Czech translations of his novella The Poet (2005) and collection of stories The Man who Took to his Bed (2017) have recently been published. Alex’s work has also been translated into Dutch, Polish, Macedonian and Spanish. His numerous public readings have included appearances in China, Serbia, India, Ireland, Macedonia and Portugal. He lives in Melbourne.

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