Saturday, February 25, 2017

Kit Kelen - for godsbother - making a map of the world

making a map of the world

for Anna Couani

boy's thing I suppose –
how far can you
toss your hat in the air
throw a stone

I think of Yao Feng's road
running like a horse that's bolted

it goes a long way back

Hatshepsut takes a Punt

I think of Hanno
skinning girl gorillas

to sail beyond the wild world's end
for Mad Tom it's no journey

the map of the world –
whose idea was that?
Columbus died thinking he'd got to India
Magellan died in a rain of spears
Cook face down in the surf
Mercator, Mollweide, all their improvers –
what did any of them know?

what if the world had no end?
that's where I'd like to entertain
consider Monkey pissing on Buddha's fingers
just to mark the spot

think of a fold in the River of Ocean
and not just Hades, Elysium
but let's give endlessness a go

under the blood
fast past the clouds
in womb-light
there's a bible to read

girl rats steer by what they know
boy rats have the grid in their heads
and those lines off to infinity

of course this could all just be rumour
no one has yet opened the sky

we live in the same language
that's the miracle
of how we mean at all

so let's see how far
you can
toss your hat in the air
throw a stone

be a flea
and see
how far
you can jump

and how far can you get
with a story like that

you see why it is men rule the world

litiluism – the old Viking lore –
how little it is men know


  1. This is really powerful, Kit. A kind of epic feel (maybe it’s the Nordic runes reference) and the title is inspired. One tiny thing only bugs me--smoke (how far can you smoke?).

  2. I guess I'm just thinking of relationship between
    nth degree/ hyperbolic behaviour and forms of self-abuse ... in this case how much dope can you smoke ...
    and the idea is to throw the reader beyond the expected pattern... to go too far with going too far