Mercury and Icarus by James Walton

James Walton, Non-fiction, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

Mercury and Icarus

 

In my early teens

my next door neighbour

was conscripted

after he turned eighteen

he came back from Vietnam

with a hole in his leg above his knee

it had its uses

a pencil could be passed through it

or a safe view of the occasional eclipse

would be offered to the initiated

he deputised for his mother

delivering the mail on her PMG bike

following the milk and bread deliveries

we played in the same team

his nickname was ‘Fly’

there were soft Winter afternoons

when warm light off the windscreens

crossed the boundary lines

refracting to appear as dance

when he ran towards goal

his boots ascending as he kicked

the backline distracted in a shedding aurora

of a lens in soft muscle

on a Saturday when it still rained

he suddenly pushed an umpire to the ground

threw the ball into the standing watchers

walked away with his studs flinging mud

out of earth cold as old wax

he sent a postcard from Crete

BIO

James Walton was a librarian, a farm labourer, and mostly a public sector union official. He is published in many anthologies, journals, and newspapers. His poetry collections include ‘The Leviathan’s Apprentice’ 2015 Publish and Print U.K., ‘Walking Through Fences’ 2018 ASM & Cerberus Press, ‘Unstill Mosaics’ Busybird 2019, and ‘Abandoned Soliloquies’ Uncollected Press 2019.

Blow your trumpet, Gabriel (reprise) by James Walton

James Walton, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

Blow your trumpet, Gabriel (reprise)

The wind here peels skin

hones out the truth

birds stall in the veracity of physics

 

knowing the full irony

of a mad obligation

 

that long leap of colonial decades

 

leaving the river turned out

stench of mud howling condoms

dried out take aways

 

look to the south west

 

where the clouds churn for hail

prepare to scrape calcium

make high cheek bones of panther

 

the unbroken gather there

an exhibition curated

by a jigsaw of lives

 

survivors of age and penury

 

and the small people

flecked at by society’s tail

smile at what they can

 

one day a gentler hand

may arrange the pieces

patch the dreamy enamels

 

float the bottle into each House

rub the sides in new earnest

whisper a downpour of votes

 

if you stand into the gale

all it takes is breath

 

BIO

James Walton was a librarian, a farm labourer, and mostly a public sector union official. He is published in many anthologies, journals, and newspapers. He has been shortlisted for the ACU National Literature Prize, the MPU International Prize, The William Wantling Prize, the James Tate Prize, and is a winner of the Raw Art Review Chapbook Competition. His poetry collections include The Leviathan’s Apprentice 2015, Walking Through Fences 2018,  Unstill Mosaics 2019, and the about to be release ‘Abandoned Soliloquies.’

James Walton, reading

 

 

A short history of a universe in fold theory by James Walton

Fiction, Flash Fiction, James Walton, Punk Noir Magazine, Sci Fi

Cater is sixth generation.  The first messages took six months. It is now two hours. They are close. All droning work was finished, the machinery locked away in the preservation bay. The maintenance schedule has its own pace, a litany of processes now closer to manual control. The most interesting event is the daily air reading, closer to life than ever. Not that she has been outside.

The library dome has been completely restored. It was fractured in generation three, before the atmosphere was thick enough to absorb the debris of the outer ring. Cater too has absorbed it all, the writings and stories of her once world. Her ancestors are shuffled in the dock behind, a keepsake for when the arrival occurs. Everything known, will be known again.

She is the last of the keepers. It is knowledge which neither scares or excites. It is the way, and the generations have worked their time, unpacking the first modules, the reappraisal of various sites, the preparation of each location, construction and repair. In decreasing numbers, each century reached the target stages, mapped and terra formed, built cities and gardens. They prepared basins for oceans, raised mountains, and seeded landscapes.

Now oxygen is outside as well as within. She is sometimes drawn to the labyrinth.

Stacked in the honeycomb are the first and the last of before. The hexagons rise and spread in an inverted pyramid of captured moments. Within each carapace a slow beat is monitored, measured, charged, regulated while decades irresistibly pass.

It is one second to alarm. The two suns have nuanced shades. The fleet hang glides through the final year, propulsion and speed handed over to a calculated gravity.  The geometry of descent marked through each intercession and passing through of pulsing circumferences.

Cater is unsurprised to see herself and feel her hand salute itself in the upper forearm grip. Except for the smile, which repeats on her face as well.

You are Cater, the Caretaker.

You are Ari, the Arrival.

Cater is neither scared or excited. She is the preparation and the waiting.

Ari is neither scared or excited. She is the journey and the beginning.

Bio: James Walton was a librarian, a farm labourer, a cattle breeder, and mostly a public sector union official. He is published in many anthologies, journals, and newspapers. He has been shortlisted for the ACU National Literature Prize, the MPU International Prize, and the James Tate Prize.

His poetry collections include The Leviathan’s Apprentice, Walking Through Fences, and Unstill Mosaics (forthcoming). He is now old enough to be almost invisible.  He lives in the old coal mining town of Wonthaggi, Australia.

james walton

 

Poetry: The Assassination of Lincoln by James Walton

James Walton, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

Jim portrait head

The Assassination of Lincoln

I am breached through

the back of my head

an aperture

to where the grass is true

more civil than war

all these lifeless children

 

mother of pearl

a magnolia flower

opened by time’s rebuttal

half snow falling

 

as it trapes a zed pathway

whetted thousands, words

sacred as stamens

one republic incandescent

 

to hold falling to rituals

this penultimate fear

ideas beyond speeches

I am breathing, vermillion

 

fields sown by rhetoric

in a theatre bespoke to scene

out of Good Friday repast

too few the many values

grounded, here lies one flag

a dying unity

beyond aggregate the good in crime

for a living state

may turn to petal not to rise again

but, a little guidance in the law

wainscoted mahogany here

harsh seedpods all around

Poetry: Truman Capote’s brownstone by James Walton

James Walton, New York, Poetry, Punk Noir Magazine

Truman Capote’s brownstone

Holly’s voice

fingers digging between ribs

the one-eyed cat’s

zig zag troupe

 

the shower running

 

after the call up

rooms full of old grey white men

in avalanche

interring country and western songs

 

a guitar taut as strung throats

 

no one’s Fred

callow as a phone booth at Joe Bell’s

should have listened sooner

a false note on every dollar

 

in old Spanish towns they believed

blindness gave voice a tone

birdcage on a sidewalk

 

a marmalade rescue

warming a window

 

awash in a cul de sac

 

our histories gutter up

perhaps for snow or fire

the past best kept as fine china

Jim portrait headBio: James Walton was a librarian, a farm labourer, a cattle breeder, and mostly a public sector union official. He is published in many anthologies, journals, and newspapers. He has been shortlisted for the ACU National Literature Prize, the MPU International Prize, and the James Tate Prize.

His poetry collections include The Leviathan’s Apprentice, Walking Through Fences, and Unstill Mosaics (forthcoming). He is now old enough to be almost invisible.  He lives in the old coal mining town of Wonthaggi, Australia.