Omnivorous EP

by Colin Dardis

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Show Illness 02:12
Show Illness Sitting cross-legged in bed waiting for the vomit to come. I hope it is high-class vomit, undisputed calibre of disease that traders will offer me a high penny for. I will take that penny and throw it away, so that in starvation and loneliness further vomit will come. Then I will return to the traders, and they will say, ‘but this is just like your last vomit, we don’t want any of this’. And having lost their interest, I’ll turn away, penniless frightened, and then I will truly be sick.
Explore the Angles There is nothing so repetitive as existing: shave – growth eat – starve sleep – wake wash – dirt speak – hush laugh – cry. We go around in our little cycles barely knowing where we are on the circumference of things, plotting our radii against dreams, comparing diameters, looking for three πs to appear on a scratchcard. Hold on to the events that force you to form tangents, the small miracles not repeated day-to-day, those bits of magic where time and space breaks out from their rigid geometry for God to move the Universe for you.
Vacancy of Days I perhaps have taken on too many words; but within this vacancy of days what else do I have at my disposal to quell the hunger of time? I count the books like pockmarks on the face of the year; freckled chapters, poems hidden in the cluster of moles, biographies bleeding from the razor nicks. The television holds unplugged mockery, tempting me with reprieve from the silence; if only silence was a viable entity I could shoot it down to sleep with my pen.
Hubris 02:34
Hubris At fifteen, they told me to restart me life, conscripted into an imperialism not of my choosing: their hometown, their great homecoming. Lost in the great reunification of West-meets-East and handed a wall of thirty miles between birthplace and settlement, a border for youth. Given a new straitjacket of identity and marched into a classroom where I was taught to believe that transformation was not akin to destruction, expected to add the veniality of a neoteric sun to our daily prayers. It killed from above, without the whites of eyes to trouble it. On playgrounds, found kulaks resisting commonality; seen as strangers, kept as strangers. Taking place in the sharecroppers' breadline of dinner queues, I was the great usurped of Guernica, my hunger a token no one would trade for. I was Abyssinia to this Italy, my infancy bowing to an alien League of Nations: the League of Emptiness, the League of Contempt, as I nodded along to all smiles: their pride, my downfall.
Bear the Frost The absent heat of November stops you from reaching the train on time, pinning you to the mattress, posturing the abandonment of a new lower while longing for the elegance of the butterfly and its pins. Morning passes, hours protecting yourself from frost. There is no comfort here: no cups of tea or warm smiles, expansive conversation filled with fluff, no glittering artwork to widen the pupils, only the preservation of a passing comfort. We must bear the season’s bite on our cheek and charge stomach first into the world to prove we are hungry for the day, eat our fill from the orchard fruits, then in evenings, rest well by the fireside, knowing our labours at least shook the soil.
The King Arises Go tell the king I am no longer dead and have returned to claim my old throne; let him throw his grey head around these parts and flaunt his peacock robe throughout the land, a paper emperor, now dog-eared and old, unworshipped, unloved, and worst, unwanted. In exile, I festered, with folk unwanted like myself, skins of slow rust seen as near dead. knowing what a curse it is to grow old; stumbling down from my comfortable throne and made to roam throughout a sterile land, bagging to my chest the heart’s broken parts. With each month, I would lose one of those parts, not that any were ever unwanted; now seeds, repatriated to the land, some finding flower, others damned to stay dead, soil taken as their grave or gallant throne with some spat back, deemed sour and far too old. Forsaken and dry, a statue to old ways with no real moving or working parts. But those stout pieces that found new throne defied my status as grand unwanted king of yesterday, refusing my dead man swaggers and thirsting for homely land. These flowers of fighting hitched from the land and wove themselves around my limbs, grown old but now regenerating; indeed, once dead, now fresh warm blood flooded into their parts and told my thick rust it was unwanted, then marched me back towards my usurped throne. I found the new king lain across my throne, spitting cherry stones onto my sweet land; proclaimed his reign now over, unwanted by a people fond for a return to the old. Handed him his own broken, rusting parts and gave him his last rites: adieu, you’re dead. I sat on my throne and recover the old soft groove of its fecund land; picked off parts of unwanted thistle dropped from the dead.


Six poems exploring themes of hunger and starvation: physical, emotional, spiritual; enforced, voluntary or delusional.

[Link into each track to see the text for that poem.]


released October 6, 2019


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DARDIS Northern Ireland, UK



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