I’ve Planted Poems Everywhere

Don’t move. This house is a booby-trap
I’ve written in tilt-switches under the salty plaster,
typed them into the dark between floorboards
and have pulled a razor tripwire from this pen.
Thin inklines of gunpowder crisscross the carpet.

Under the bath, a poem ticks down to zero,
it’s full of frustrated TNT and its Mickey Mouse Timer
keeps slipping on a rusty spring.
If it goes off there, you’ll be left breathless and watershocked
You’ll stumble from the bathroom spattered with liquid soap;
words sliding damp cordite into your nostrils.

This tin has a poem of sweaty gelegnite
perspiring in the hot dark of the oven.
You can smell it cooking if you get your nose close enough to the page.
If it goes off there’s going to be a plume of dead recipes
fluttering down like shot birds.
The windows will melt like scalding cheese.
Your kitchen will be a funeral for food.

You’ll pull the pin from this poem by accident,
and it’ll go off in your face. The words will be sharpnel
and you’ll shell-shock your way into the street screaming.
I lashed it to the bedpost especially to get you while you slept.
It got tangled to your hair and it’s waiting for you to roll over.

And when I come home,
be careful how you pull down the zip of my coat
and unbutton the strained cloth front of my shirt.
Suicide poems are pocketed in a vest primed to explode
when I recite my terrorist prayer about God, loving life,
riding eagles into heaven.

They are poems about death and the clawing of life out of death.
They are filled with the bolts and glass and screws of the bits of this house we’ve dismantled.

I swear if this house falls below fifty poems an hour it’s gonna blow.


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