a magazine of texts and visuals

Ian Seed

Local vicar


Stiff curtains frame children on a country road

who form countless uncertain compounds

and sing of a ladder down into the earth.


I have raised a little animal myself.

But what was the name of the creature –

monkey or dog – with its troubled face


too close to the paper or the window pane?

Though these are insignificant chronicles

they help us understand that death is waiting


while the air of our village blows about.

I can’t eat my child, can I? But I can catch hold

of the shadow I have sold. It’s a complicated business


knowing when to abandon the excavations for truth

in spite of the clerk’s urgent invitation to continue –

an invitation made with a marvellous solitary smile.


Just look what is in it: a daydream of faraway things,

yet real and unquenchable, with something of our childhood

inscribed from the outset, falling finally into place.





We’re more comfortable paying.

Years ago on an April morning I was once travelling

through and there was only


the borderless green-blue sky, and for moment

ho avuto paura – you can fall

fast and cheap through the unknowns


of algorithms precisely because you don’t think

much of maths. What time of day is it?

You lead me to two diagrams


with three overlapping, like ice within.

I’m sitting at the bottom. Do not stain

everywhere you turn from my heart.


You begin to thrive at this trade, a man in dungarees

and a hard hat, your face never

so beautiful. There’s nothing wrong


with fixers, but underneath all the whizziness

of the assembly bits there’s a child without

a language, fatherless in the suburbs.


We’ve been too quick, but that Sunday

nobbling the mathematics from behind (the self

divided – again) you wanted it


held. The lightest of winds touched our faces.

Yet when we got home it was all about painting

and perfuming our bodies. I once lived


in Milan, you said. I noticed a lot

of Italian women. After that opening, we descended

with slippery rhetoric, cashing in where we could.


We thought it was impossible to fall. Too late

I woke to the measureless child. You sported

a tattoo on your cheeks, tackily brilliant.



Note: Ho avuto paura – Italian for ‘I was afraid’.





The surface gleams, but it isn’t the colour of the dream. I rise above deep waters, only to find myself cold in the open air. This is what you call entering the world, measured in units of time. Like a child I cannot stop twisting the knobs at the back of the clock. If only I could step into its veins, flow to the tick of its heart. This is the dream unopened. This is what you call fiddling, not coming clean while there’s time.



Whatever it is


To enter this foreign city is to re-enter

unending childhood, caught between

fear and expectancy, where the story

still unvoiced but eloquent, is not yet

pegged to the dark tilted foreground

of text on the page.

Through the street’s

muddy light, giddy as a boy

with brand new pennies in a fairground,

you wander towards the happy end

where it will happen, whatever it is

in the emptiness of what was there.






Empty, we can be either side

of the equation when things

go wrong. The perpetual


reverent comes to open

each time in earnest, his face

down to the last card. Light


we pass inside as balloons,

though we must be cautious with

parables and patterns. Best


pierce the order of

symmetry, the sentence truest

when readily lost.



1 Comment »

  1. […] Ian Seed […]

    Pingback by textVISUAL 1 « textVISUAL | June 9, 2009 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: