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Once, in the attic,
a marble - black as holes -
rolled to me - came to rest
on the floorboards -
below the rafters -
cathedral and coarse.

Once, in the attic,
among the dustlight
and distended grilles
where I stood, a marble
rolled to me - came to rest
in a joint, sprung from frost
and heave.

And once, in the attic,
a man took a marble
into his palm, into his pocket,
and some forsaken boy
closed the trap,
descended the stairs
and with his hands,
ate breakfast.
Devon Brock Jan 11
What was it, that chocolate crust
scalded in the *** from yesternight,
leaning, off-burner, with the dangling
spoon, wooden and stained?

Best give it a soak, my love,
that tomorrow we may find
its nature framed tight in stainless,
framed tight in the soap bubbles
that have raced and cling
to the round squat walls.

Perhaps we may find, tomorrow,
among the gray pepper-flecked film,
risen to the surface, a few plump kernels
of our own yellow yesterday.
Devon Brock Jan 9
From once to somehow to somewhere,
The brittle language of hope cracks
Between my teeth, much as ice
Cracks beneath my boots as I,
Unhurried on a wax gibbous morn,
Make my way to the car.

For what is hope but an admission
That what is is not enough. Take this -
The assertion that on this day,
In this winter, it is the care of a step,
The purchase of a sole,
The purchase of rubber on ice
That holds this teetering balance
Upright above the ankles.

I’ve little hope beyond that.
I’ve little hope for I know come April,
In the surety of swelling streams,
Each once somehow somewhere
Dripped from the mind,
Stripped from the hope-bound winter,
Will babble on to the sea and die,
While the earth sinks a little
Beneath my feet.
Devon Brock Jan 7
The pin is broken,
And the wheel has slipped from the rod.
The mechanics of our passage
Are broken now,
And all our worldly ventures
Have spilled out onto the ground:
Her red backed Bible,
Your cast-iron pans,
The lens we used to burn down ants.
All there in the muck:
My bad corduroy pants.
Jerseys of just so much
Victory - and victories
Counted large though
Lying there in the brown ruts
Of just so much passing,
Garbled there in the treacle.

And yet we stand here,
Mute to repair with dumb hands,
Mute to the simple truth
That our eyes must now,
As they always have,
Wander vagrant away
From what is now untreasured,
What is now unburdened garbage,
Beside the still spilled cart,
Beside the wheel that dragged us here,
Beside the sheared-off pin
That left us here
On a muddy track
That will never lead home.
Devon Brock Jan 4
The orange slim line of the chopper overhead
Means only one thing here - certainty.
Certainty that northeast of where I stand
Is a near departure,
Perhaps wedged behind a wheel.
I will count the minutes
As I count thunders and strikes.
I can do nothing else.

For in the next thick hour
In the next thick breath,
A mother may weep a son,
A father may curse the winter ice,
Perhaps wail a daughter’s name.

We must all then pause and wait,
Listen and turn away from this moment
Of our own sure circumstance
And bow our heads to the certainty
Of another, out there,
Uncertain in the crumpled snow.
Devon Brock Jan 3
It is red brick and steady.
Though the herefords tread the floors these days,
She is steady. And though the window frames
Carry little paint - it was white - and hold
Where they fell, and though
The creek has wandered, no carved,
Deep against the footing stones,
She is steady. Steady as the ma’am
That taught them. Steady as the hand
That scraped the chalks and simple maths,
Steady as the wind scraped eyes,
The chaff chapped hands
Tracing letters onto boards.
Yes, she stands forever
And only the bell is gone.
Devon Brock Jan 1
Otto rode filthy down the slumpline onto Cowpers - past Bleaker's Brick, Mole Rat Slim's and Dave’s Sour Onion , on down to quayside all hooked and hungry. Flyer said Gracey Mae Beam was hoarding the stage at eleven, hitting the planks of Varlot’s Velvet Rope with no back-up - no thunder drum brass or strung out string section to stifle the hoots and howls of them mongrel boys scrapping over leavin’s. He knew the drill. Gracey would lead with “Heaven” then lilt dissonant into “Hell and Lula”, spin down into “Luna”, swing out riffs of “Hypnosis” and barrel into “Gun Metal Blue” and run “A Lass To Mara.” Yes, he knew the drill cuz the set was theirs, arranged in a one bedroom walk-up shotgun with a Wurlitzer and bad plumbing. ****, has it been that long? But Otto knew, felt it in a rib, it was coded on the leaflet - Gracey was playing Varlot’s - the first haunt - going it alone this time, no Wurlitzer, no Otto, just a dim lit backdoor black-smudged around the ****. He’d wait for her there, three smokes left and rationing. Three smokes left and hoping for a glint-eye nod.
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