Tuesday, 29 January 2013

POEM: 'I WILL BE YOUR ARMALITE'



I WILL BE
YOUR ARMALITE /
CHYMICAL NUPTIALS

“When a bullet is fired from an Armalite AR15 rifle
it travels 3,285 feet a second, at a third of a mile
it will pierce both sides of a steel helmet
and leave a hole the size of a fist
in a man’s head”
              (‘The Observer’ August 1975)


I will be your Armalite
flesh tearing, life devouring.
Stalking midnight Belfast alleys
where burning-bus barricades
fill concrete canyons of urban
fly-overs with arabesques of flame.
Crimson gnawing at sky,
at streets, at rooftops,
reflected in lenses,
in shattered glass, in pools of blood,
in faces gauging patterns of light and shade.
I will be your Armalite
firm at your shoulder recoil-absorbing,
growing hot and trembling
beneath the caress of your fingers,
opening to you, accepting each
magazine clip pregnant with death.
Cradle me with your need,
feed me with your thirst
and I will destroy for you,
death-pouring, fear-spawning,
white-flame spitting,
splitting shadows,
splitting silence,
splitting bone.
Armalite tearing, Armalite maiming,
Armalite devouring clean baptisms of flame,
purging cities in the white-heat of vengeance,
chanting litanies in terse bursts
of cyclic angry precision.
I will be your Armalite.
I will be your Armalite.



Published in:
‘UGLY DUCKLING no.8’ (UK – November 1977)
‘HARD LINES’ anthology Faber & Faber (UK – January 1983)
also in collection:
‘SUBVERSIVE ART AT POPULAR PRICES’
(Purple Heather Publications) (UK – January 1988)
on cassette:
‘DREAMS OF REALITY: BROKEN SKULL TALES’
(UK – C60 – September 1981)
and used as part of a theatrical presentation by
Northern Ireland Schools Education Authority (1984)

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