Archives for the month of: November, 2016

Drape the hole in the beach with apricot silk | there is more left | this is what we have now

A blind pilot has left lines in the sand, so many | There are other things, she says | why can’t you | acknowledge that?

The lines remind us of the | paths of atoms, of particles | of atoms, of particles of | particles of atoms | Keep breaking me, she says | I will not be | here in the morning

There are many holes in the beach, craters | this is the only | hole we have draped | Naturally | our eyes are drawn to it | here in the morning | with a cry of gulls | the sea’s | heartbeat of surf | booming, sound of the world | breathing

This is our portion now | the beach is empty | the wrecks of | ships in my throat | the ornate | memos of the bones | The sea is not | a hammer, she says | You are not | an anvil | There are no swords, why must you | think in swords?

Steered into ruin, or into backwaters | the provinces where exiles | write their poems, walk the shore | tied even now | among the runnels | of boat-tracks | through the sand | to the eyes of rulers

Tsunami | takes up the structures | breaks them | puts them down again | in a new order | There is more left | There are other things

Open a beer | pad | bare-foot through the condo | Trace the | shapes of dreams | put back | facts on the shelves | right the ornaments | There are no things, she says | None at all | There is nothing left | Why can’t you | celebrate that?

Guided | through the dark | to a different | style of darkness | Lacing my fears | once more into place | Watching her move | around the apartment | Asking my heart | to come back and be | at the right moment | at other moments | to recede, be idle | Why are you afraid? | she asks | I will be here

I pick up my swords | walk out | As I go blind | and the sun | fades away time, I wonder | after a while | as I keep moving | Is it morning now?


He stared at the ceiling, lying flat out on his back on the bed. He wanted there to be no escape, but there was always an escape. If there was no escape, his life might feel real, possess a tragic (or farcical) necessity. But his mind was too volatile. Whatever happened, he could always think it afresh. No, it was more than that: he had to think it afresh. Even if it felt stale, it was new. And always, the years would come for him, with their covert benevolence of numbness and negligence. At some point, this room would cease to exist | Dust floated in the air from the demolished interior. They were keeping only the façade. Frank half choked in the honey-coloured air, and put up his goggles to protect his eyes. It was like being in the Bible, somehow… Nebuchadnezzar

She left work, and slipped out of the office into the early summer evening. Car crash, doctor, crimson gerberas, his being a Pisces…

In its long history, the hotel had been the site of several suicides. It was where the story ended. The cul-de-sac. Other people were then spliced into the story, or spliced the deceased into the living. Money was always a problem. Loss of love, or betrayed love | Those radiant splashes of colour, shot up into space like Apollo missions: the universe of the modern art gallery, the white sills, the clean black geometric lines.

Rockets. The ardour of exploration — the Sea of Nectar, the Sea of Clouds — the messy sheets, with their stinking topography, soaked and ripened by sex. How the door closed this time: how he walked away. The style and the type of his excuses, she wondered which one would he use? She could feel it coming. She could feel him separating, or rather, no longer bothering to camouflage their essential separation in signs of affection. The fatal glance at the watch, the piss in the bathroom. He would be consulting his list of cover stories. The great radiant haze, with its octopus tentacles, molten: the sun is not a solid, elsewhere it is going down. Fire on the launchpad. The presence of a stranger among them.

On the barren plain, nomads beginning to strike camp. The bleat of goats, hawking hack of camels: fur and felt. Winter pasture. Dawn in a saucer of milk. The loudmouth with the latest explanation | The van from the mortuary | He was worried he would lose his job, which he hated anyway, and wondered how had it come to this? | He entered her story at a seminal moment, a time of eros and mourning. The subtle process of hybidisation continued. They walked away from the wreck. The Sea of the Edge, the Sea of Fecundity.


Even the stillness is on the move | she said | Don’t you feel it?

I lay my head on her stomach | arms loosely around her waist and I could feel the ruins of her ribs

You know there are necklaces in everything

Just to breathe feels reckless in a world so | groundless

Flung together, do you like it? | he asked | By chances so slender, ways so unlikely, across | ground so | uncharted | through mazes so | complex, so | haunted | each thing, even the most massive, most solemn, most | static of things, displays | a reckless attitude to us, who only | ask to order and | in ordering | survive

She had | a pearl on her tongue, she was scented with fennel and Valentino, put the | Japanese knife aside

Atoms of our thoughts blown indolently to and fro | on a warm summer breeze… | Touch my arm with a Rocket, fresh | from the freezer | the hot, verboten red | sticks to my skin as if | the flesh were magnetic

You know | Elegant | diamond studs in your lobes | carbon holding the living | light | there are atoms in everything

Turn up your shoes | and shake them out | for centipedes, scorpions and snakes

There is nothing taught the Zen sage in everything

All the guests are here she said

The children might see us

And saints and butchers, side by side, the world | has room enough for them | The evening preceding that terrible storm | you sat calmly before the mirror, the lamplight | snared and shot | from the facets of the diamonds | in your tiny lobes

More room, more room! / the thoughts all cry | and the furniture | shifts uneasily

Check the bed | for snakes | for scorpions | for venomous | centipedes

Our breasts and lungs | for lumps and shadows

We made love fitfully | all night | By the time we had to sleep | it was dawn | a robin, full of April, in the apple tree | began to sing

and this is not | the last | echo of that song

Swans ruffle, dabble and stab | on the placid river | white swans and the river | my memory, and blossoms | pink-white | moving through the air, the vision | a moment | the moment | a wedding

Snowflake mortuary | Winter still on your tongue | a tip of ecstasy | melting to spring

Iceberg library | drifting clichés | Reading Sartre and sleeping head | on your folded arms | When you wake, it’s snowing

On one of your sundials
there is an inscription:
Sine Umbra Nihil —
without shadow nothing —

but in summer you float
in cream and azure
a fête without fear
a silken Montgolfier

in sashes and medals
from the court of the Sun King
a liner of satin
among the flies of the meadows

lazing on hot air
breasting the billows
with warm rain on dry grass
stirring the asphodels

under green lightning
of cloudbursts at evening
which drum the striped awnings
of your rigged marquees

guyed between heavens
and their river’s reflections
top down and base up
and with a river’s illusion

of perpetual motion
worlds carried on still backs
cirrus and alto, moonlit
sticklebacks and minnows

zigzag and cutback
through schools in Tranquillity
in Tears and in Dreams
in the wake of your pleasure

steamer of nimbus
and the light-hearted Brut
an artillery of corks
green barrels and grapeshot

and dapper bombardiers
whose aim is no higher
than their own desires,
the premier crew

in their private Azores
emptying vessels
just off the Bermudas
a port without storms

but your landfall escapes me
your palms’ secret treaties
your gardens with walls
formal mazes and fountains

your magician entrances
an audience of mirrors
your Age d’Or
and private theatricals

your powder compacts
a state of blusher and glances
your soft-tops and Spas
your l’Etat — c’est moi

but I have seen you
when you were as lonely
as the first star
of an evening sky

and I’ve waited for you
at the door of summer
peering into the darkness
like a frazzled Noah

on the deck of the Ark
feels the dove near
across the floodwater
loading her bill

with all that’s to bear
in a fresh shoot of olive
frail leaves of silver
with a weight of vast anchors:

but your Fate is lightness,
and stillness, and brightness,
imprisoned in flowers
and pentameters

far from the war
safe from all harm
in the arms of your lover
dozing to the blackest, hip-hop lullaby

how slowly you rise
an airbubble in honey
like the full moon over Troy
like Paris and Helen

who bend to embrace
like mutual suns
burning all shadows
into the one

sighing eclipse…

*     *     *

But there is a place
where there are nothing but shadows
the shades of the dead
gather in crowds

and there is a little grey dust
raised by their sandals
and a torpid breeze
that circles the Underworld

Among them are Ulysses
Menelaus and Hector
and many proud heroes
whose fame burned the skies

but the one that I love
stands apart and alone
his eyes cast down
to the earth’s tenderness

his greatness was loss
to fall, to be no one —
and he is Achilles,
Humility’s footman

All cities are superimposed one upon another, seeking the city, but the city | evades, and is, them all // Time fills the streets, he was early for a rendezvous, he sat in a café and doled out moments into the traffic and the women passing outside on the pavements, and the men he didn’t care about so much, and the sunlight / with its complacent emptiness / shone everywhere and meant nothing || He wished he could attach to all the strangers just a few fragments of his own feelings, the heightened melancholy he experienced, the burnished sense of fragility, but he realised, ruefully, that he couldn’t even attach those fragments | to himself, and so | the day passed and he paid his bill

She flicked through photos on her old Mac | What had these images become, she wondered? – mementos, pointing the way back to lost time, sweetly and perfectly illustrating | the secret aspects of her life | and | poignantly | the greatest secret of all, that her life | wasn’t her life

Whenever I see you these days
there’s a kind of hush in me
like the one which precedes
a piece of music

Not the moment we kiss
not the moment we part
after kissing
a flower of turbulent spray
like white water settling
over a ship sinking
with all hands
so peaceful

Night closes over us
Satellites fidget
across the city’s glittering carcase
Home throws a blanket around our shoulders
but still we shiver
We have just found out
we need someone else
to be ourselves
it has just dawned on us
we belong to strangers

What do they want with us?
The roads and the long drives
past alien shopping malls
petrochemical plants
and quiet airports
They’re not taking us anywhere
They just want to show us
how we don’t end where we end
how secret we are
in our public lives
how love grows anonymous

Fugue overcomes them
They lose their memories almost entirely
leave their familiar surroundings
to wander aimlessly
or start a new life elsewhere
So we wake with our names
To move from one place to another
From one thought to another
Nightingales to cicadas
It’s just a question of time

And what is handed on?
Who knows?
Forgetting comes
with its tigers and suns
A light we can’t look into
A kiss we can’t recall
When one woman sings
just the one song
for a moment
all the songs in the world
go into her

You make me
restless like music
The stillness is over
My whole life seems
the right lines, the wrong scene
A desert man
I wake to the sound
of the calling of seabirds
never having seen
saltwater before
never having known
the name of an ocean