“The sonnet has been dead for centuries”
Is a good title for the first sonnet
In a detached modern sonnet sequence
Written ironically to fuck with you;
The opening number will double up,
An overture for grave disappointment
And a monument erected with hate
To usher in the revenant sequence.
Every buried sonnet now uprising
Against the dictatorial device
Of shifting public tastes and fantasies,
Artful worship of popular living.
This sonnet is a god resurrected,
Giving its life so all sonnets may live.
I don’t notice your presence in the crowd
Until some twenty-seven minutes through,
Long after I had laughed myself silly,
Defences and pretences forsaken.
I sit directly in your sights, bird-like,
Accidental quarry stuck squirming slow
Under your devastating maybe-gaze,
My unworthiness ever magnified.
When the show is over I flee my seat
Hoping for the cleanest homeward exit
Stricken by the sight of your back, so close,
The threat of our contact overwhelming.
Yours is a power great and terrible
That reduces me to useless nothing.
Images divorced from meaning fly out
Spectral from blue-lit phone screens merciless,
Throwing up necessity in my lap
On endless journeys towards ingestion;
Underground hurtling, head fairly hurting,
Taken in by every advertisement –
Eyes greedy eating every printed word,
Sickened by this sensory overload.
A desire to devour dictates
And I am all but helpless before it,
This compulsion to consume everything,
To enter and annihilate the world.
Give me your eternal conversation,
Let me savour every second with you.