Eratio Issue 17







by Stephen Nelson







Music piped from baguettes,
a mild threat
coils around the shells of molluscs
inhabiting tender inspiration.

Birthday lunches rule the lunchtime lovers
rush of saccharine onslaught,
even in time’s dissolving glow.

What corporation enhances corporeal this
if meagre requested solitude
sighs the river.

Through silver veins undulant soothing,
they part aperitif
and soil the present parting.

Under hawk the carrion lay
and carried all the way
to him an end of years in sibilant bliss,
cemetery sounding board for delinquents
she caresses.






Otter’s splash an orgy
for my earache, without
which I panic through lunch.

Soothed by outward flowing time,
I lie in the rushes between orders,
host to a quiver.

Faith is beguiled by conformity,
as much as platters of bedding plants,
colour drained to aisles.

Yet picked of plum perfect,
I carbon burst a billion blanks,
tasteless carrion refracted.






Acrid bales on rolling soles
through soaking pelts pugnacious.

Mendacity of breakfast requires
a sacrificial loin cloth I’d supplant.

Glitter glued to sharpened teeth
rewards monastic gutturals,

without the sublimation of
roasting genitals like chestnuts.

We don’t indulge her harvest
breath of pallid morning so

sequentially misplaced between
disco lights on rabid feet.







Wheat powered by topaz like a Midas seduction

reversing from the soil she speaks in secret.

Where is the ultimate garden utensil deliberately

interrupted by a butter smooth ball gown.


Or if she retraced the river to the tomb with trombone

pageant of fables, would I enquire of the planetary

diamond oracle, locked in packets of miracle grow?










Stephen Nelson (b.1970) is a Scottish writer and musician.  His books include Lunar Poems for New Religions (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press), Eye Jar (Red Ceilings Press) and YesYesY (Little Red Leaves Textile Series).  Much of his visual poetry has been published and exhibited around the world, including the Text Festival in Bury, Manchester, and the Parallax Art Fair in London.  It also featured in The Last Vispo Anthology (Fantagraphics Books) and in two chapbooks, one in Dan Waber’s This is Visual Poetry series.  He has written a journal of Christian contemplative experiences, integrates a difficult kundalini awakening into a contemplative practise, and is currently working on the autobiography of his thrilling life.  Check out his blog of visual poetry, minimalism and other writing at afterlights


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