Butterfly Antennae a poem of James Midgley after Alexander Calder’s Antennae with Red and Blue Dots
Tonight there is too much interference to think. In a town’s scattered Rubik’s cube of televisions one face is switched to static.
In a wood of slow electrical pylons sparks of butterflies make it difficult to think.
There is the brain’s confetti, as if shaken into the air by a petal-headed child.
I heard of a man who was lighting a film set when a hawkmoth mistook his ear for an escape and writhed against the eardrum’s straitjacket.
Then it was always raining, even on the train, where a fly caught against the window travelled the length of the country like a rumour.
We travelled weeks in search of the wind’s bellows, a slack-cheeked god,
our progress overseen by the moon’s persistent surgeon’s face.
Locked in my palm the butterfly loses itself amongst my fingers, and the hand knows only chalkdust.
This is how the word ‘butterfly’ was first absorbed – with the rubbing of palms, and prayer.
Tonight all thought is interfering. I never shook that intruder loose, a rhythmless drummer.
The rain of untuned radios is swarming
above the buildings, over the river which is a shifting mirror made of craneflies with so much to observe it has shattered its attentions.