L I t T e R

Back to Leafe home

Back to Litter home

Mark Goodwin



I. Shine

(after the Beaumanor Coach,

stored at Snibston Museum, Coalville, Leicestershire)


put shine    on the wheel-rims and the iron will

be owned    by our rich    we will    balance


our ladies & gentleman in a little cabin    a little

hut in motion    a segment    of their mansion


we will    hang    their jewel-names    in a Chinese

-like casket    we    will rock    our ladies & gentle


man    on the muddy roads as we    travel    the rich

green lands of our kingdom    how bright they shine


from their dim box    we will    make    our rich sick

with light    their box bounced    on leather belts


jostled slung    between    the whirligig wheels    those

casino    -spinnings of    their    carriage our    wills



in    visible word    ‘priceless’    stamped    in   

to    cracked    leather & caked dust under    lock


& key    subordinated    by lock & key    lock &

key keeps for keep’s    sakes    tongue of gold glued   


into a half-rotted skull    skull    of the coach cabin

bobbing on its cartilage cords    the wheels spinning   


out    their shadow/light flick    ers at speed    their

illusion of reverse revolving    whilst moving    for


wards    the spokes a mist of solidity spinning out   

mess    -ages telling the    future    the dead    were   


wealthy    telling the pre    sent some    living will

be rich    always    as long as    gold    is spinning


through their eyes    polished iron


muck carefully scraped into a test-tube

dirt analysed    bingo!    a price    it is


worth    worth the years of its    delicate

rotting worth    the death of its first owner


shine under dust under ragged under rough

worth gleams    brilliantly    with & in the


       right kinds of eyes




trickle of rich carving dribbling down proud wood

now    smudged under dust    cracks &    currency


split    leather with Frankenstein stitches    the bank

-teller will tell    how each stitch is a tooth    collected


from the rich    the teeth of the rich    spit    each split

a mouth gasping years whilst the    polish    of history


& gleam of fame lingers on    the wrinkled    edges

of the gasp-cracks    hear    the wrecked & rotting loud


        with worth



four horses    pull    a tonnage of privilege

a weight of rank    a casket of titles    O


flesh bullion silver bones & ruby meats

of captains & dames    bounced    & rattled


jangling shiny sounds of a shaken piggy-bank



II. Weight

(After abandoned mining kit

& assorted ‘junk’ at Snibston Museum)


very heavy    slumped    iron weigh it in for    quids

cracked dials    rust-burnt    electrical switching


gear curl    your fingers    under    the rusty slab

of boiler-plate    try    to lift it it    sticks its worth’s


immovable glued to ground by squashed space    stacks

of rusted rails    stacked distances    dismantled valuable


travels     curved    rust-red rails like rinds    iron rinds

iron rinds peeled    from some huge industrial fruit rotting




I open    an incinerator’s door    a punch

of burnt-plastic-stench    pushes    me back


wards fast    the metal-hinge-squeak &

interior-echo as I close    as I close    close


the iron door     hangs



manriders full of cobweb faces & cobweb body-frames

& cobweb voices & cobweb lamplight & cobweb hearts


old sticky fear cobwebs of trembling clinging to bodies

pain paid out    the gain    left in the ground    the bent


& broken wondering without brain or soul    clink    dull

ring    stacked    rail-track (& its rotting sleepers attached)


carries    this moment nowhere    the manriders    were

once bright-white a white to deflect    to fend    off the black


of the coal-hole    the white is now    rust-reddened creamed

with umbers    the paint peel    ing off in thick stiff skins


waves    of rust like ground’s strata gone through    a geology

of sacrifice    clings    to the under    side of the paint-peel


rust erupts    through the paint-peel    pocks    of rust & curl

ing paint bloom    these    are fruits over-ripe with    time


        waiting    to be eaten by future’s histories    pit




-wheel segments: huge    iron citrus fruit slices

amongst    writhing    briars & grass    cogs


clogged    to still    ness with    rust    dis

carded red    telephone boxes    laid    to rest


on their sides    algae-glassed    caskets for dead

ends of voices    and every



where in this 3    dimensional catalogue of abandoned

this pop-up book of rusty objects    I wander around   


there are words scratch-scrawled into rust    curatorial

instruction & labels:









the ordering    of worth    less into worth    the weight

of metal resting    on the cobweb    scaffold of a history

tons &    tonnes of dead iron    dead     heavy but afloat


    on the weight    less gas of souls

III. Shine-Weight


put a shine    on the wheel-rims & heavy    slumped

iron    balance    our ladies & gentlemen in electrical


switching gear   hang    their jewel fingers    under

the rusty slab of boiler plate    we & they travel bright   


glued ground by    squashed    space from the dim box

we will make    our rich stacks of rusty rails    between


the whirligig wheels    the casino rust-red rails like rinds

cracked leather & industrial fruit a tongue of gold glued


on the past bobbing on cartilage    cobweb hearts & old

sticky fear where    gold    is spinning through a broken


wondering    and our eyes & the    muck    of carefully

scraped souls    the shine    under the white is now rust


-reddened    what will now    emphasise the eaten-by

-future’s-histories    wealth’s interior echo    as I close


        the iron door