Labyrinnitus by Chris Stewart

The radium clock dial in the sky was dialling a

10 o’clock ringtone.  The morning chorus was a static caravan

Of expanded polysterene.  Street streamers warbled

In the autonomic carpal tunnels of the workers shuffling off

Conveyances of pubic transport.  The dead end clapper boards

Determined the sutures of this persistent derealisation

And you could almost sync yourself back up.

Sadly, like a bad billboard poster job

Your smile will just have to look wonky for the remainder of the month

The national anthem is remembered somewhere by a fox

Doing over a wheelie bin.  It takes no heroes.

The level tone is tinnitus in your semi-circular canals

Their locks/quays full of drowned cilia.

There’s no policemen to dredge those bottoms

The Dr informed you.  The coroner’s won’t ever

Return an open verdict.  All those sonic frequencies

You murdered.  You kid yourself they submerged themselves willingly.

Like busts of the unnamed dead you can only imagine them



Your head sets like a cement overcoat

Every now and then.  It lands like an anvil at your feet.

There is no cure.  Only bedrest.  And the possibility of praying.


You are told to avoid waltzes and rollercoaters

You feared them as a boy and a teenager

Now you have an excuse you want to go.

The bucket list just got smaller

It was rewritten.  It was out of your hands.


You were never one for music anyway.


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