Question & Answer 3 – Jon Stone

Question 3

It’s the depth charges, Jon,
the underwater butterflies
that turn nuclear when fed
to the undercurrents.

This is a carousel in an
amphitheatre in an amphibian’s
beating heart, and you’re
the spawn we nurtured.

We’ve kept things whispered,
so far, don’t you think?
Kept our voices at a level
lower than that of the dusk.

I am Auster’s detective
searching for Kent who
has helped Kent team
up with a guy called Auster.

We are the spy and the
saboteur, and we are trying
to keep thing Guðless
from the Eyðileggingomb.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

Apologies for being out of town of late,
the town in question being [gestures to his mind].
I was in exile, struck off as a reprobate,
and only gained re-entry when the gates weren’t manned.
I hoped, of course, to find the place a dire state,
the law books full of damned fool statues to amend,
the streets aghast with rubbish and inanimate,
but no such luck. Things hummed. My absence went unmourned.
I took another name and job. I manned the gate
and listened for your whispers. Being thus marooned
inside myself, however, all the inchoate
and half-said things unpick me – all the me I’ve mained
gets snarled up with the not-me, and I wait. I wait
for this, for that, a card, the dark, my pants, my end.

– Jon Stone

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Question & Answer 2 – Jon Stone

Question 2

Silence, that’s the way we scream when tied
heels up, neck down blood seeping through
a pinprick. Your sleepy prince is my insomniac
knight, wading through the carpeted calm and
the lunar decided misery.

What purpose do these calculated guesses have?
We believe it is three days a month, because
we don’t count the other twenty eight. Those
silver-flints, they are yours to take, not mine,
I want the photo of apostasy.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

I didn’t catch the last few words there, owing to
the detonation carrying us off our feet
and tumbling us like jacks for maybe half a mile.
So just give me a moment to adjust my set.
Is this an amphitheatre or a carousel
I’m stumbling through the middle of? Don’t answer that –
in fact, if you could keep it to a whisper, ta.
The way to find one’s bearings in an aftermath
is through the things the hardly-noticed things reveal;
you have to play detective, spy and saboteur
in tandem, test the tensile strength of every breath –
which is the answer, I would just point out, to what
you asked back there, since after all, we bagatelle
from aftermath to aftermath, from mouth to mouth.

– Jon Stone

Question & Answer 1 – Jon Stone

Question 1

The mausoleum is full of broken brooches,
rusted pins, and enlightened bulbs –
quiet mischief hums the tune
of saints marching in.

A child withers away in the corner,
wrinkled with crow’s feet pressed
into the sides of fresh eyes.
They say the fairies

play pranks with hourglasses.
How will you attempt
to turn the sands
back once more?

In foreign languages, spoken to domestic
ears we hear dreams repeated
for eternity. In sleep age
knows only daybreak.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

I’ll tell you how, but first, hear that? The guard’s asleep.
He’s churring like a pylon, and that sparkling laugh?
I’d say that that’s the keys he gathers at his hip.
I wonder if the murmuring’s what did the trick,
what wormed beneath the door and switched the searchlights off.
Though yours and mine alone would never be enough,
there’s all these cells around us, always filling up
with what I like to call that sweet electric tick.
The double sense of ‘boring’ comes to mind. The erk
of undercover stitching or the whirr of surf.
But I’m just mouthing rumours. Here’s our sleepy prince.
The question now is how to reach those sliver-flints
that sit there at his belt, beyond our fingertips –
how to hook them, slip them in and make them speak.

– Jon Stone