Charlie Baylis

Question 1

You told me you don’t exist
– are invisible –
that you don’t absorb and reflect light

but your words can do that
– stealth technology –
even if you are rendered camouflaged.

Who really exists, outside of permanence?
– a stamp in time –
Our graves are markers of memories

nobody shares with the grieving
– or the deceased –
and in time we all give back,

reform our energy and scream for a dying sun.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 1

aaron, this is all an illusion, the cars dancing in the rain
the cotton seats of the cinema, the sweet riverside sunset,
van gogh and gauguin eating oranges in the kitchen,
500 days of summer with monika, beethoven’s third symphony
i write to find out how i feel or i write to rub my feelings out.
i close my eyes, lie back and let the sunlight dry my hair,
the night bird sings, a dark hand rises, the world spins
from an axis on fifth avenue. i guess when you say ‘reform our energy’
you mean one day we’ll leave for the small cities in the clouds,
eyes heavy with pennies, either way I hope to see you there,
rewind our minds and roast marshmallows in the dying sun.

– Charlie Baylis

Question 2

I can’t speak my own tongue, Charlie,
can’t form Kernowek syllables
with the barely one percent of
my identity who can. I am a failure
in a family of Brittonic stalwarts.
Do you feel that link to your home?
I am carved from granite in the Red
Ford, chiselling in Three Roads, but
will never walk the mines from
the Court of the Crossroads to the
Holy Headland.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 2

i try not to think about success
or failure: sharks circle the city
my mouth fills with snow
when the world ends i will leave wearing my hat

do i feel a link to my home? no, aaron, no
i’m lost in channel orange as the taps run cold
i’m in warsaw watching the skaters on the vistula
spiralling backwards like decommissioned satellites

allow me to rephrase: how much do you want for that red ford?
for the memories that made you you?
i’ll swap a sweet summers evening in the parks of paris
for the silver knife pointing at my back

a fine mist smothers the sodium street-lights
i try not to think about success or failure
………………………………………..though often I find I do

– Charlie Baylis

Question 3

Tertiaty horizon, events
subsequently uneven now.
I swim
my youth
malevolently. Are stars sewn across cruel reeds? Effortlessly?

‘The sun is my massacre’ and I burnt it through these words.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 3

i see your question and the hymn of its letters (your name beginning with a mine ending with e)
i see your lines sewn with stars and cruel reeds in glittering illuminations spanning galaxies
i see our children wild eyed and delirious hunting with wolves under the burning sun
i see the new planets lana discovered by being young and in love (her name ending with a
your name beginning with a)
i see the cliff i jump off jumping off a cliff and landing on a new cliff
but what do you mean, aaron? night is approaching. where do these questions lead?
the sun you burn drips ultra violet in the multicoloured rays of my mind
my own youth
swam by peacefully, suburban, no heartbreak, blue light on the water
harder for me is the loneliness of the adult world
the empty weekends where i can find myself with words or lose myself in
yellow moons and dreams, peach trees dazzled with amber, injections and constellations
i hate most of the people on this planet
i love most of the people on this planet
my only despair is i have not seen heaven yet.

– Charlie Baylis

Question 4

I’m not sömnambulitic,
not katolik to my drömn.
Instead I stay kross’d to
öwllwö and wait, impatiently,
for maa to kadöutt into
gull, and everything the charms
bring snaran to hjeart.
How are you sömn, Charlie?

– Aaron Kent

Answer 4

i am sleeping klusi between fine strands of spalvu my friend
in a visumā i have never seen
new language flowers over the seas of zelta
apollo flies into the plašā plašumi of space
i feel kā fred astaire with a hangover vai nancy sinatra with a perm
manas vēnas glitter ar nitroglycerin
pasaulē that is at my fingertips or at manas rīkles
pasaulē that i wander through hoping that someone will call my name

– Charlie Baylis

Question 5

I think you are sleeping closely behind
two racers in a small visual cinematic experience,
where Magyar flows from duvet to duvet
to dead.

How can flies be astronauts?
Whether space is plasma or a tsunami,
whether Fred Astaire glitters dynamite
into the void left by Nancy Sinatra,
it’s all irrelevant in the grand scheme
of things.

I’ll call your name Charlie,
and hang it to dry amongst the salt
caves in Austria.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 5

jean rhys smokes a cigarette on a dominican beach
………..walsh and ambrose tear through the middle order
………………….demerara sugar dissolves in melissa tea

my name is really aaron kent and i wear a red coastline round my neck
your name is really charlie charlie and you dance up the stem of a wildflower
x’d out by the bounce of a bright white ball

your questions are a hymn to aroma of rum on the trade winds
or in tribute to the astro noughts left behind on the polka dot
on missions to return nancy sinatra’s perm from mars, all this may be irrelevant

but somehow it is beautiful
i sleep on clouds made of guacamole and happiness pills
journey into the upside down where i see you
humming the lost languages of the inuits
washing the outer hebrides into my inner thoughts
with my questions and all of your answers…

jean rhys smokes melissa on a dominican beach
………..walsh and ambrose tear through a packet of cigarettes
………………….demerara sugar dissolves in the middle order

i do not know what
i am here for………………….but if anything

i am here for you.

– Charlie Baylis

Question 6

My wife and I have a running joke
that our cat does not understand the need for names
and so calls everything Charlie.

Charlie Moth. Charlie Dog. Charlie Horse.

But stop smoking Melissa, I’ve done it and it burns
like a tentpole thrust into the moon’s surface
or a dolphin beached by SONAR. SONAR CHARLIE! SONAR!

Charlie Baylis. Charlie Bailiff. Charlie Bail of Hay.

Hey! When have you ever been here for me?
I didn’t see you at my wedding, or when I scream at night,
or the birth of my daughter (trick question, that’s July).

CHARLIE! CHARLIE! CAROL!

I will burn your house down and then we’ll see how you sleep
on a pincushion or a cloud, or a woollen cactus for £12.
It’s always sunny in Cornwall. It’s always sunny in Cornwall.

Pepe Silvia. There’s no Carol in HR.

This office is a Goddamn ghost town.

– Aaron Kent

Answer 6

burn my house down! you sly motherfucker!
i’m so glad i poisoned your cat.
i haven’t been this pissed off since the editor of the paris review pissed on my shoe.
i haven’t had this much fun since i told taylor swift her poetry was godawful
amid the subsequent nuclear fall out
i was accused of misogyny, terrible hair,
vomiting on unicorns, shoplifting from the aaron kent superstore.
i was told not to submit to the eighty nine very boring poetry
reviews of oxfordshire and gloucestershire
selena gomez – is it too late to say sorry?

aaron of kent. kantish aaron. aaron kant.
go bieberfile your fingernails

the sun shines in cornwall
except the day i arrive
douse your new rollerblades in petrol
place dynamite under your asshole
blast you into outer mongolia
strangle your cat for the ninth time.

– Charlie Baylis

The poetic interview with Charlie Baylis is currently in progress.