Sunken Astroboy

Poetry, Pulpit

This is a poem I’m working on to debut my re-entry into the London open-mic circuit. Talking about it to no-one in particular helps me work out where it’s at. Usually I talk to myself, because that’s easier, but being as I’m trying to spool back up into writer mode, I thought I’d write to you instead.

I’m supposed to read it in a JCC-esque vocal range: think steady pace, bass and a bit of blocky nasal influence.

Wilful postulations around the subject of farts
Bring an ellerdine tranquility to the dereliction
Of home comforts and fanny flaps, smells of fish
And excrement, alternately bringing me
Conclusions of the wandering sentiment
That I’m your fast pedal Fuzzbox, your gilt hyena,
Your Quodrophenia, your Swedish Astrodoll in the long cold night –
These niche incantations and silverthread joy:
Like a suckling bottleneck.

I want to touch your hoodie.

Down by the canalside on rubber dinghies
Among the paraphernalia of incontinence
We have the shining glass shards from nearby
Office towers cowering in booze from the babies
On the bank, demanding rubber thingies
And sugarpills of inheritance, they sing a wordless
Melody of near-vomit hiccups extolling life’s
Flambouyant virtues: it comes through the window
And shits down my earholes.

I think of past lovers and friends.

Turning to your feet with their thin film of city dust
Clinging like fine shading to your textured sole
My hands are already fingering and kneading
Your tread, the phalanges in metatarsal embrace,
They are ten tongues speaking to your essential skin,
Reverberating in body parts while you drift, as though
Sea-bound and meanwhile murmuring known songs
With the tickling tide, it’s points at my fingertips.

Something quivers amid the elastane blend fabrics;
Your hands engage it like tongs considering a lump
Of metal that might, eventually, be called sword
But only after furnacing in a sheath of fire: you
Never liked my medieval metaphors; and the balloon
Goes up, the skyrocket inclines toward the moon
In banal American movie symbolism of misogynistic
Idealism, which idea lays me out on the bed early,

Bubbling canal passing by while you’re left unsatisfied
I think I remember a phrase from somewhere dank
And pleasant: I will go to the Cellar Door, the most
Beautiful phrase in the English language, tongue
Those words with their pink stalactite detailing,
Mouth the whole phrase into you with a seething cultured
Joy that moustache tickles round the edges…So lapping up
The canal I sink into the Cellar Door more meaningful
Than skyscrapers, more loving than rockets.


At the moment it’s about men, or a man, and alienation. About drifting from the traditional discourse on gender, but specifically the discourse on relationships and conventional love.

Sunken Astroboy: his immature dick “Astroboy” sinks early and so he goes to the vagina which we usually link to cave/water/earth imagery. Sunken Astroboy is meant to be the poem in summary: the moment a sub is created by the powers that be.

I’m trying to do this properly for a change, hence the attempt at breaking it down/analysing it. I need to see what it is to properly work on it, so I thought I’d let you people in on the “creative process”.

My main issue right now is that it sort of fades out in the last two stanzas, which I kinda want to do because it reflects what I’m trying with the narrative, but I’m worried that it’d just piss people off.

I have Eddie Izzard in mind when he says “I like to finish my shows with a sort of ‘oh’. And I think I’ve achieved that”.

It’s like the narrator gets bored because he’s finally dropped out of the dream and is literally face-first back in physical reality. He switches to the other extreme: the thought drops away and he’s all about the moment’s sensations. But is that asking too much focus from the audience?

I mean I probably wouldn’t look that deeply into a poem I’d just heard at an open-mic. I kinda want to do it like this anyway though, specifically for that “oh” feeling. Like a secret I can keep from everyone to laugh at when I get back to my seat.

Not sure. I’ll keep at it.

Headlines Breakdown:

Stanza 1: the male narrative voice philosophises about relationships and love vs lust; it’s trying to get a sort of hot, hazy afternoon effect. The fairly dead-pan delivery will reflect this.

The hoodie: in his near-dream world, the smallest contact becomes a huge act of commitment and intimacy. A simple statement of the complexity/depth/stupidity of his feelings.

Stanza 2: the wondering takes him out of the window to the canal, either next to or below him. Drunken weekend warriors of the alcoholic world float around, mocking life.

Lovers and friends: I needed something to bridge the gap between the shit and the tenderness. I actually invoke names of certain people when I’m stuck in a bad place. Like making a spell of positive experiences. I wanted to include that somehow.

Stanza 3: he runs from the sadness outside back to his partner. He goes to her feet because he’s a knowing and wilful sub. It’s hopefully starting to suggest some sort of intimacy.

Stanza 4: he gets an erection and sex happens with awkward and weird metaphors. The meta sentiment is about how he holds this knowingly outdated relationship ideal: medieval romances. At the same time he’s struggling to fix this alongside the role that and modern love gives the woman.

Stanza 5: having cum prematurely he follows his instincts and either deeper or almost sexless desires to express a more important love in cunnilingus.

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