New Poem by Joshua Jones

Eyewear is pleased to publish a new poem by Norwich-based poet Joshua Jones.  He edits Etcetera.  Jones has a debut collection forthcoming soon - more news when that happens.

Four Perspectives
(Movement; Hitch; Paint; A Skewed Perspective)

After Lynch’s ‘The Straight Story’


Find the most static place you can and
stand, let the movement of scope make
moths of your eyes. The flicker, breath
of a photograph, like the heart
untroubled by the lungs.

It is a natural destabilising, a de-
familiarisation that only brings to mind,
at its core, fiction. Which is a lie – it’s just
so difficult to tear the outside
from the in. But on the horizon

closing in from smudged heat-air
come cars, scraping off the certainty
they were a mirage. Of course they
only shake past, but leave in the air
a kind of exultant exhalation.

It is boring at the side
of the road sometimes, but steady,
in-the-world like a bed a bit too big. I stretch
my ear to the grass and listen
for the sound of the sun.


Stepping through a door in a dream
                                             the thud
                                             of a car door
undressing like a satellite
coming back down to earth – shedding
                                                      green & blue
                                                      for something less

but more soily, more soil, wet soil
sticking like moisturiser and meaning
like something that never happened.

If there is someone at the wheel            (not that that means it is another)
they talk to [me] in gull-                          
yelps, stalking overhead: removed.       

– That’s not important               (doctor-in the lens flare
                                                        on the windscreen, it will
                                                        feel more authentic)

The bugs in here are blacker, behind
the eyes, clambering against
the corneas still as dead moth wings

                                                                    But the sound
                                                 oiling up the skull
                                    so you can hurl
                                    yourself in, like
         you’re blindfolded on ice
         & maybe aiming at

the sharpened bones of branch

or some drop
                         that is the only flight
                         the only thing that never stops
            you never knew
                                         you’d ever want or need.    


Paint it on – chugging along
                       like spending a day
                       putting in a comma
                       only to take it out.

If the sky is wake-up-with-purpose blue
that doesn’t mean it’s because you saw it in a film.
But it doesn’t mean the opposite either.

I am not alone out here. The heat
is buzzing like a swarm of insects.
Even if they leave me to go
about my business in peace.

This view, this
ever moving always static landscape,
this flashback to a shot you may have missed
with the front of your brain
but not the back

is like bones – bones
that carry dust in the grooves of their insides.
Bones like old no longer used engines
you glance at, tight in their silence and bursting
with the heat and kinesis of all the roads
it’s stupid to believe they could remember.

Deckchair weather, strongarm
sun, letting it pass with elbows
entrenched in bedsheet dust
and warm, swimming pools
around your blood and in
the cracks of your eyes.

Cars in the distance, un-
seen, mosquito screeches
in the night, carried
away like sand and thoughts,
pupils slumped
on socket desks, as hometime
approaches –
                          But school
finished long ago, enough
to know that nothing
has a source, a skewed
perspective can branch-bend
back to what it
wasn’t in the first place.
                                              Breathe in.
It’s somewhere between evening and night.
You wonder what the moisture of your eyes
tastes like when they’re spending themselves to focus
on something that makes them wonder, as if they could
see right through to the centre of all things
and find something other than an image
of themselves finding an image.
The sun buzzes like a fly
around its own face.
                                               Breathe out.     

poem by Joshua Jones


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