Trilobite is an arthropodologist's delight:
many bizarre creatures; no two alike.

four poems

Maria Sledmere


Warmblooded, a ruminant sun-eating mammal 

of no corporeal certainty yet 

these flowers are people? We get 

high on the music of the starfish harp

overabundant to browse these seedlings

and the hay-scented fern we hate to eat

but slenderly against fences the humans are 

fucking us into excess chrysalis 

that we go extinct is their passionate mistake.

A dose costs six hazels and feels like god

gave us back / the land of painkill

will fold into the fallen child I am 

dearly from chariot borne into autumn

the barbed arpeggio of our heartbeats 


fallen on my head the aluminium blossom

is enough magic per annum

to pay you slumbering momentum

all the same


Out of furzy infinity

retiring myself as a wild child

running the whole common land

grounded by digital piracy, eating

seldom cloudberries for breakfast

the abuse of more substance

unmarried in the middle of a trance

owed to celestial heart surgery

skullkid wants what he wants

how do I make room in my

heart for him

like what I like

the white blood

cells are on strike

my love ulcerates

in middle distance

seeping oil of

every failed pearl

how will I cope

growing strong with

fallopian insolvency

aromas of coconut

solar innovation

xanny the name of

my firstborn poem

The Way to Keep Going in Arcadia

After Bernadette Mayer

Stronger than the Nasa retrospective

you could fit this heart in a star ship

cut the quantum mustard, be very afraid

of the name of the lakes on Mars, super-salty

like god took a hangover and dissolved it

subglacial into nature cure, the northern lowlands.

    Who ever heard of utopia?

The plaque says: dark volcanic rock

     or equivalent lunar maria, Spirit Rover.

Mars is full of sass in its equatorial region

the dark slope streaks of what sent you

   upwards from loneliest feldspar, crying

                 tiny particles of no feeling.

This place is gullied by dry ice, lubricated

   by dreams of human exhaling, the dance

         of once-skin, formerly-rock, fka-meteor.

Hydrogen rich so we could make beer all day

like in Australia with liquid solar, but you

can’t carbonate with hydrogen you need CO2

and the double moons of Phobos and Deimos

meaning fear and panic, I’ll have the craft ale

of the latter

to arrive with gravitas and a dress

of crystallised lava, its runs and folds

the drapery of my water

or excess ice, which is the blue

less dusty variety.

      If we know Mars

as I do in my heart to have come from it

wrenched alien at birth

in cadmium plasma, I’m sorry to know

you could not be the first one to set

dumb foot in the dust, as climate changes.

Andromeda garnished by rainbow olivine.

       I am always aged fifteen in this line.

I set my alarm for the morning after

the end of all things in a lovelorn song

of melody’s permafrost stuck in my throat.

Look at all the spooky, beautiful dust at a distance

the horrible phrase, ‘oesophageal rupture’

which has haunted our youth like a plague.

It is too much to fit this all inside you

red-pilled by the dream of a father

who lit his polyvinyl chloride daughter

on fire

but the flames were invisible, and her soul caught blue

with hunger

he was our boss.

More journeying to the northern lowlands

and returning with rarest clays

made of how cold it is

in your bones to believe in thinness, I kiss

the nape of your frozen brow

interplanetary crockery

we make dust together

now that it’s winter

we’ll sleep in the garden

wild upon aprons of lobate debris.

During the Amazonian Epoch, there are huge error bars

as to what time is, hyperarid

and dormant moon, many aeolian processes

         of the lungs, I want to keep going

    where everyone has been before like toddlers

you are solar flux and stumbling

for the want of milk.

       The crater is the youngest

       loss of them all

   at war with pubescent masculinity

the sun is boring

          holes in red rocks.

   Iron, nickel and sulphur. My pica

  makes it hard to sleep, eating it

               until I start floating


          I dust you.

       My cycles are menstrual or terrestrial

   jealous of Jupiter

                 yet proud of the spidering frost dynamics


by glacial trauma of ancient dimension

   favourable to all mission

am I yet

                  wanderer of the fever world

      bloodsylvan, unprofitable commons

spread on the sunlit lakes below all of this

       watching us strange thru

saddest perspex

      said as dust

if spherical words surround us

the special melancholia of all life here

rising all the time with our hearts within

    clear membranes

       traces what’s always been, Mars

         if I sipped the solar ale of you

                not to speak

                  not to sing

                    keep warm

           this isn’t the journey