Poem 32 In Solidarity: The Nightwatch

Simon Haworth

The Nightwatch
(for Orhan Pamuk)

Ships are dozing on the Bosphorus,
seduced by an unbroken tide-line.
A Dervish shivers on the mezzanine
of a crumbling apartment block and listens
sleeplessly to public transport, car stereos,
the cumulative noise of reincarnation.
Clutching as the coarse stage falls away
and sends me sprawling in my studio,
I dream of museums and family portraits.
A pendant of Westernised moonlight
strays through clouded panes and into
a cypress lined cemetery,
delicately making for oblivion.
Some result for the suicidal ex-girlfriend,
her eyes reflected snowstorms and dried up fountains,
my Great Grandfather who lost
an eye in Gallipoli. His freshly flagrant socket
mustered only the relic of an all-night battle.
I am an expert on dead-end myth, frostbite,
enforced barbarity and dressing wounds with bitumen.
My erratic itinerary endorses
acts of vandalism, taking into account
a bread knife for hacking at the ensign.
A long time since the last paradox scattered stones
and stars. I have almost reached the point of speech.
Retired heads of state reproach
the appropriated voice that hates them anyway.
The metropolis stares over cupolas,
switching inflection on a Siberian wind.
Patiently I have proved my love with words,
roved avenues, while an old woman
talked to herself in the infinite space
of a sex cinema, about miniaturists,
mannequins, barbers and Cadillacs.
She has been forgotten like a childhood illness,
a birth mark or phone call,
and anchored beyond recognition.
You could almost call it self-reflection,
this banging of heads, this past in which the hüzün-
filled God does or does not exist.

Istanbul drizzle - Simon Haworth

Istanbul drizzle – Simon Haworth

Simon Haworth is a poet who has studied for a PhD in Creative Writing at The University of Manchester where he also teaches English literature. The Nightwatch previously appeared in The Wolf Magazine No. 17, Spring 2008.


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