It’s Called The Moon

(I fell into one of those riffing dialogues which are among the pleasures of Twitter with the Bird King himself, James Knight, and we exchanged a few phrases about some of the ghost moons which haunt our own dear satellite. Neither of us realised we were doing this on the anniversary of the moon landing, so, when we did, both thought it would be nice to record the coincidence in that small way known as the blog posting. Here, very slightly edited, are the results. As the B-52s so helpfully explained to us all those years ago, ‘There’s a moon in the sky/it’s called The Moon/and everybody is up there…)

if you hold your tooth up in the light of the Fool Moon,
you can see all your dreams recorded on it in Tooth Fairy Futhork
if you hold your light up to the teeth of the Bull Moon,
you can see morsels of dead Athenians stuck between them
if you shine a torch into the mouth of the Cool Moon,
you can see the remains of hubristic hipsters
if you line your porch with pieces of the Cruel Moon,
you can see the ghost of Neil Armstrong, strapped to a rocket-rack

Santa crash-landed on the Yule Moon, and had to fashion himself a spacesuit
deploying wrapping paper and the lungs of reindeer
Satan crash-landed on the Ghoul Moon, where he discovered jazz music,
bubbling up through the Sea of Tranquillisers
Thomas Crapper crash-landed on the Stool Moon, and flushed the whole place away through his porcelain space shuttle
(Neil Armitage was the 1st man to walk on the Stool Moon –
Buzz Shanks never forgave him. ‘That’s a small stool for a man, but…’)

on the Renewal Moon, a species of Librarian Beetle stamps books
from across the galaxy with its official mouthparts
the Boule Moon found itself knocked out of orbit by a nonchalant Frenchman
la Lune des Moules a une «mer» fourrée à la crème en poudre et le vin blanc,
bordée de forêts fossilisées de persil et d’ail
tha Frmoon gloozes gloticiously un tha werry wunto.
Smoomtim, un shepwish shteep guffles en tha gud

there is no such thing as the moon

About Bill Herbert

Poet and pseudo-scholar W.N. Herbert was born in Dundee in 1961, educated there and at Oxford, where he completed his DPhil thesis on Scottish poet Hugh MacDiarmid, and now lives and works in Newcastle. He is Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and his books are published by, among others, northern publisher Bloodaxe Books. He is also the Dundee Makar, or city laureate.
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