The atmosphere in the room was subdued,
permeated by that heavy, peculiarly masculine melancholy.
And the girls brought all their uselessness to show the boys.
The geeks and dopes with their models and dinosaurs,
especially the dinosaurs.
Robots and flowers, and the disturbing rumours about Santa Claus.
Oh, no!
But that doesn’t matter now.
All the things you accomplished, and all the things
you didn’t set out to accomplish
or failed to accomplish
lead to the lake. The lake is also where
the cherry blossoms are falling,
sometimes to become a name, Sakura.
Trying to make peace with the moment,
somehow my head is full of hours,
so many hours.
The robots are in the lake, too,
and the mountains.
Everything, basically — everything.

I can get the afternoon off,
maybe we can meet up, lovers’ style?
And get a little bit illicit for a while
before the giant TV comes home, and the ceilings drop down,
and the wasted life
with the simple rules to follow?
The poor boy, translucent cogwheels falling out of his eyes,
it’s the end of the world, again.
Oh, is that the time? Already! Well, um, maybe…
Maybe tomorrow?…

In the warehouse of the amygdala, where you store the gold,
and store, too, what happens to the cherry blossoms,
the rats of chemicals are gnawing ropes and grains.
Saint Valentine was working in a bar that summer,
rumbas and sambuccas, and mermaids and angel fish,
the light took an age to glide away.
And he was still patching up his wings with glue
when the mirror took him.
The gold, the Stukas, the copper,
the mountains of wreckage and lice.
Her lips and what she did with them.
An epic of hazelnuts and lunar phases,
the things that stick in your mind.
The room rises from the lake, meanwhile,
complete with venetian blinds and yucca:
the lockers are Davy Jones’ in time,
their tiny gear of plimsols and gym knickers.
It was only one moon you cared for, however.
A great, full moon, among the gold and bombs and debris.
All saturated with lust and futures,
the rest were anonymous.
Who cares for the bit part players of the universe,
the gluon taxis and the eskimo songs,
so many trilogies and trilobites, lite bites and terrabytes,
and oceans of dust lying still
in the serene craters of alien moons.
But not on your moon. Not the moon.
Rising, out the corner of your eye.
In the background of a trivial liaison.
Gigantic, numinous, with an appalling shine.
But that doesn’t matter now.
You go into the lake, with the others.
The lake is full of York and roses, wheatfields and passing trains.
You pack the lake into a suitcase,
the case is thrown onto a tip and spills apart,
and out teem the tiny regiments of dreams,
with banners and drummers and silver trumpeters, too,
who march into the lake and slip beneath
its cool, unfeeling waters…
The lake is by a fine hotel,
where the kings of thought stand in a line
waiting for succession.
The latest king is holding court,
his head is a potato turning green,
eyes are cultured pearls, nose rotten through,
he slouches on his seat
and shouts at all the other kings.
His cranium too heavy for his neck,
his body totters on spindly legs,
in ruff and mouldy doublet and hose
he chatters on and on about Shakespeare
or allozymes or algorithms,
but all the other kings go phoo-phoo!
and wave their handkerchiefs about and pinch their nostrils,
for his breath smells of graves and garage sales
and besides, frankly, they cannot abide his rule.
And soon, bewildered by the fractious ocean of his subjects
pouring around him, the king of thought is overwhelmed,
goes gaga in an instant
to be swiftly succeeded by the next in line.
The old king meanwhile is dragged away
to rot in the mysterious cells of senility,
wandering the gardens of lost illusions,
gazing out over the hinterland of a great and pointless city,
staring at the rusting crushers in the junkyard of used theories,
and smiling occasionally, when he remembers a dandelion flower,
although he knows not why.
But that does not matter now.
I know, you must grow weary.
No matter how young and strong you are,
when sleep comes, your own eyelids are stronger.
No time now to think of your ambition,
or to dwell on the latest heaven-sent love.
Soon, you will be needed no longer.
And the moment comes when you must move aside
and make room for your replacement.
It is the same for all.
Some think of angels, some of sex;
some of nirvana, some of vows;
some of poems, of course:
but we all think only of what time allows.
Perhaps you think of yourself at this moment?
But that does not matter now.

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