Something Slips Through Lock Gates at Foxton

by Mark Goodwin - poet-sound-artist

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BEST THROUGH HEADPHONES

Foxton Locks are in South Leicestershire, England.

This sound-enhanced poem was commissioned
by Writing East Midlands in 2013.

The accordion player, Mike Beech, is also
the Museum Keeper of Foxton Canal Museum

lyrics

SOMETHING SLIPS THROUGH LOCK GATES AT FOXTON

noise like wind through
a complex of twigs

as notes are blown off

-key through the

crack by the hinge
white froth rotates

a lock-keeper’s accordion’s
white keys tremble as

the black ones thump

algaed blue-bricks are
loaves of a gone

-world’s bread

listen a metal smell of sluiced
utterances about ocean

water’s noise creased
between lock jaws

a sky being wound to rope

the lock-keeper’s fingers curl
round his lock-key’s startling iron
as frost’s revolution inlays

scrolls along a long black hull

each lock’s mechanism holds
repeated glugs & crick

-cracks of past’s silence

the judder of a paddle
travelling its ratchet is
every boat that’s

ever passed here all

hulls water’s held

the lock keeper’s brow seeps
salty silvery threads as August
sun cooks ditch-stink each

peninsula of
lock-lever boasts

a lit tip a

water-white light
house on
a black head
land poking

out in

to a sea of
green mid
land hillside

peninsulas repeated as
steps up through

a house of water or
a house of hill

a lock-keeper’s pressed
wet glistening bones stretch
from hill

bottom to hill

top

his whole elastic
skeleton is rills &

roars &
trickles &

hollow

passionate glugs from
hill top to hill

bottom

each paddle winding-post has
a toothed bar like a child’s

vertebral column

dark grease glistens
on the column’s metal notches

on cool mornings dew
collects on the grease

air delivers some

thing a lock-keeper’s wri

ggling accordion
is a cage of cla
cking ribs or

fingers of white
aerated water &
black lock-levers of

flats & sharps his

wife’s voice hides
in the faint hiss
of spray

gathering on grass as a

lock-keeper plays

like minerals dissolving
in water or water’s

patient evaporation his

music is
a cold

wet flare yet
dry as by a

hundred years
of fireside




First published by Shearsman Magazine

credits

released June 12, 2017
poetry, vocals, field-recording & production: Mark Goodwin
accordion: Mike Beech

image: Nikki Clayton

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about

Mark Goodwin - poet-sound-artist England, UK

My profile with
Writing East Midlands: www.writingeastmidlands.co.uk/writers-directory/mark-goodwin/

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