Turning To Visuals

Collection of visual art by poet B.T. Joy For poetry visit http://btj0005uk.wix.com/btjoypoet

After The Nightshift An Ascetic Stops For A Cigarette

B.T. Joy          

          By cigarette light in the slow-pulse speaker of his open hands 

he’s holding either a woman’s genitals or a rabbit’s nose-bone.

A man who was never breastfed weeps milk into his handlebar. 

To neuter a dog before she’s birthed a litter 

increases the chance of cancer.

          He knows now that the cog of his head always turned anticlockwise. 

Though sometimes under his shirt-and-tie he feels 

a clockwise gear grinding on the others. 

He watches lonesome strings of porn through the thumb-holes of scissors. 

He keeps the sequins from his prom-date’s shoes in the safest place he knows. 

          Snow and chains of tugboats are the order of the day. His 

is all the dynamism Bernini put in stone. What does a rock do when it’s frustrated? 

How can Daphne finally become the laurel? When will the damned soul stop screaming? 

There must be a way to get Pluto’s fingers 

out of the muscle of Persephone’s thigh. 

          But for now he’s fucked and that’s the truth of it.  

The caribous have reached the tundra in time enough to freeze. Still 

at least there’s Tennessee Williams and John Steinbeck and Baudelaire; 

at least there’s those evenings in July when the smells from cooling leaves convince me 

I too might write a half-way-decent line.

          Slowly he closes his fingers like a mesh of wires; throws away the dout 

and slips that piece of flesh or bone into the pocket of his jeans. His phone turns on inside 

the rabbit’s smile of her opening lights like a flashback. 

The moon is a cancer patient. The stars are smoking 

the last cigarettes they can afford. 

          All the way home he thinks in beaches grained in hail; 

in the tail of a humpback rising from the sea in search for the missing pod;  

in white bears greased in blood-loss, tracking the female’s footprints for twenty miles.

He wishes everyone would stop calling love a human need; would learn how the body

can survive for a lifetime in this way.  




A UFO Drops Me Off In My Late Twenties



This feeling is the swan

that turns up her bill

so spectral light—

seven past midnight

chalked the underside

in the lake’s grey shift.

Even when you cared

enough to lift your eyes

all you saw in that turn of neck

was the old…

'What Was Spoken To The Rose,' collage, September, 2014

'What Was Spoken To The Rose,' collage, September, 2014

'These Fields Are Her Body,' collage, September, 2014

'These Fields Are Her Body,' collage, September, 2014

'Chained To An Iron Ball,' collage, September, 2014

'Chained To An Iron Ball,' collage, September, 2014

Haiga, January, 2012 

Haiga, January, 2012 

Haiga, December, 2011

Haiga, December, 2011

Haiga, December, 2011

Haiga, December, 2011

His Geography- B.T. Joy


I paint you by heart; round

pale oceans and a dark coastline.

Your hair is airy as though blurred

by sudden bird-flight in the quiet rain.

The swallow dashed rivers

run up into the hinterland a mile; water

coiled by wings and their reflections

as a helix…

A Moose’s Corpse On The Lake



We say moose’s corpse

as though being

in possession of the corpse

the moose might be something else.

Something about fencing

with the semantics of that

makes me want to graduate

onto suicide.

The cleft between

its limp tongue and firm palate

is a home for life that…