Question & Answer 2 – Simon Barraclough

Question 2

I drowned in the river at birth –
Aaron 99, or ’89.
Left a gunnie years later
as a sign of the baptism
I never wanted,
Wesley preaching in the pit
so I could be full, be empty.

[black tin]
[wolframite]
[arsenic]

I played the role of Joe Roberts,
for my family.
They needed a scapegoat.
They needed the sacrifice.
Have you ever been the lamb?
205-fathom and still digging.

[March ’98]
[man turns his back on his family]
[well he just aint no good]

Hundred gaol, hundred
pound, hundred court.
Not a fisherman,
not a miner too,
all the fish and tin have gone,
what are my brothers to do?
[look the other way]

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

You cannot drown in the same river twice.
I dunked three babes in the River Styx,
the current took the first two, leaving this
swift runner with a ring of tenderness
about his ankle, his breast a target
for the arrows of desire trampled
underfoot. So fleet, so fucked-up,
such a super-sulker, I sometimes wonder
why did I bother? I’m thoroughgoing goddess,
could take any lover, am instantly over
those who betray me, who’ve ditched me,
and yet even immortals fear the grave,
fear the moment you choose to cease to believe.
I have an invulnerable hand to play,
dipped in the river, so I will just have to grieve
way longer than your Universe exists
and all the galaxies that remind you of rivers
are nixed.

– Simon Barraclough

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