Elizabeth James

Gun Detox


         'A "cure" of the word is never certain ... What lets it succeed?'
                                             Denise Riley, The Words of Selves (2000)

tears torn steered twenty thousand characters in search
                                                       of a change of blood
metonyms planted openly on the grass
                                             a slower gun—pipe or hose
homes they could return to safely
                                what was it to 'stop', in what name
marching, from Marcus, a hammer, damned            mad
                                                               if I can't samba ...
if a bad word isn't bad twenty-four hours                dumb

dad carried out           laser-guided                         damn
new arms you can play with, urgent
nursing, a tongue check, mail wash                         damn
a Gatling gun the size of the family
indoors all burst into flame                                      damn

under the dome
the echo answered for almost a minute         no long-term
                                                                        long term
possibly from the woman's name, Gunhild      the word
sparkling or stilted      its inbuilt capacity to self-irrigate


From Words of the Weak:

Cough Rebellion
Christmas Pension


© 2003 Electronic Poetry Review