Tuesday, 1 July 2014
The City of the Yellow Eye
Roll up roll up oh you People of the City of the Yellow Eye! A second sun dawns for light indeed I bring! Moons for the blind and blade sharpness for the dull of eye!
The crowd that fills the market is a field
Of flowers, burning like flame driven by wind.
Each silk is tuned to brightness, yellow-gold
Like crowns of summer kings. Oriflamme. Blood
Of a disease that burns in the veins,
Anti-arterial blue, fading to
The storm-dark grey of piled-up pregnant crowds.
The slowly-present yellow-green of spring.
The colour wealth of hoarded insect-shells,
Or painters dreams examined in the night.
I, Hark Addui, optical energiser and expert in the jellied orb! Late of Strongoneisis, Demi-Kaz and Pluvial Town, soon for Smiling Lalieth and Shining Idnadir! But now! For one week only! I place my wisdom in your wallet! My thoughts in your receipt!
Colour-block knaves of symmetrical farms
Are bound to wear one pigment in one shade
Blinding primary like young people’s art.
The peasant families make neat crayon blocks,
Bright young ones straining at their parents hands
Reaching for the city kids that run past
Free, semi-naked, waving monster flags.
Parents holding scented posies, scowling
In resentment of the city smell, ox
And man, bullocks, urine and organ flies
Or the acrid scent of Alkali Men
Moving through the crowd in ones and two’s,
Free momentarily from their endless
Employment clearing the warrens of salt
That re-grow in the twilight hours.
Can’t read my sign? Then come on in! Eyes diagnosed for free! Whatever your irritant my balms shall soothe! Wherever your focus be I can find and shall correct!
Wear single colours still, veined and un-picked
Waving around their heads and necks like flames,
Pigments each like individual seas
Shifting tidally. Some Fragmenting Men
Of Collapsium are here, their gazes
Are not sought, and their wisdom, though correct
Is rarely loved cold, perceptive, too cold
To earn friends.
Can’t see my cart? Then come towards my voice! I stand upon the steps! Can’t find your feet? Then crawl!
On stages, caravans and
Trucks and big-wheeled carts the merchants stand
In robes coloured like clots of awful blood
Or oozing mucus, many holding parrots,
Watchful shoulder-mounted guards against
The Birds of Crime, and in the crowd are blots.
Smooth ovals of black silk from which eyes gaze,
The pupils of city nobility,
Wives of the Yellow Eye, their husbands masked
Similarly in the faces of state.
The black visards are held in place by pearls
Gripped between the teeth. Gags. Humility,
Or its seeming, and a shell of silence
Washed in street-rivers by currents of gold.
Can’t find the street? Then fly! All welcome, arial or plodding so… (and what is this?)
The crowd parts and frays
The smiling faces of
The people of the Cit-
-ty of the Yellow Eye
Frown now, and turn away
Avoiding the strange sight,
The limping popinjay
With dislocated jaw,
A hand where only one
Finger remains, and thumb.
Pale cloak, scabbarded sword
And tied around his head,
A yellow kite