Archives for the month of: February, 2017

One side slides down closer to the earth, the other | side rises towards the sky | Inside breast pocket, scarlet: volcano | Check | Right between the eyes, flecked pink: volcano | Check | Carrying my grave with me into November, sometimes | your grave, too | A handful of soil, too, enough for violets, primroses, sweet peas, is it | enough? | I wanted to ask the German woman to say sehnsucht to me, to | say gemeinschaft | and on such tiny, tender things | I base a heart, call it | my heart, today | The signs they painted on bridges, throwing your years under trains | One of the graves | is heavier | and grows heavier still in spring | None of the volcanoes | are extinct…

Towing a wreck behind me, hawser over my shoulder | Somewhere in the tangle is the ghost of the storm that broke the ship | and in the echoing carcase of the ghost is | the soft tumult of a breeze, air fronts, pressure, just before | the storm began | I comfort myself with names, “Gangster of Tweed”, “King of Bohemia” | but buildings only have exits, now, is it | my age? | Built antlers out of the side of my skull | a cottage where we hired some time and loneliness | all the loneliness in our grasp, near the sea and towards the end | of September | Lost on a dirt road, in a fly-over state | looking for stress factors | a way back to where | we already stand | Enumerating the fingers that are yours | checking and checking | Threads made of eyelids and glances | hold back the darkness but when | I am at my most tender | invite the darkness in and let it stay

••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

A trail of | words | The words are salt and ruins, forbearance, hands | You follow them, they lead to the | full stop, then lilacs, then a bus | heading into town… | When you try to pick up the trail | of words again, the salt | has lilacs mixed in with it, and the ruins | are rebuilt with | menus from | coffee shops and | a small | pyramid of sugar you | spilled | on a white table cloth | in a café | Turn the cut | gem | this way and that | you won’t | get to the heart of it, or if you do | a new trail of words will | lead you away again | maybe to a moral, or just | an otaku fantasy?

Tiny | stories | The narrative | of electrons | clouding a nucleus | the atom’s tale | of zinc or silk || Silence might be seen as the | cumulative effect of | billions of stories, and the billions | of spaces between | each of the stories || All the tales | all told | the sleep will be | tremendous, ferns | around a hidden spring, but quickly, I believe | ants will scurry hither and | thither | as a giant robot | of aquamarine and gold | crashes through the forest and leaves a trail | of wrecked vegetation and | disturbed earth | then has vanished | into fragile pixels and a | tenuous memory || When the money ran out, they | pulled the production

••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

Resolving into space | raw and mineral outback light | with my beautiful friend | colours to be mined or | overwhelmed by

<Sturt Stony Desert | Cameron Corner | 1991>

When the desert turns to a sea of flowers | gates of rock and ocean open

The red dirt road leading us into the new | exhilarating | so we tried to fit our hearts to this expansive landscape | our hearts | grew greater

Wisps of memory now | photos in a jade green album | mementos of a burnt paradise | where heaven falls in fossil rain

Existential | blue | powdery desert pinks and reds, the dunes | softly aggregated and pinned out | for moments under those exposing skies | baked lapis lazuli and lizard skitter | throats of ochre | hoarse cries of | pigments being born and | twisting or | basking | seeking to | survive

Give up the struggle to be different or | to be the same | to be yourself or | someone other | the stones say

Give up those lilac shimmering thoughts, the effects of | sunshine dabbling in water

England was a corbel town, fan | vaulting | stone worked like lace | style and culture and artifice, but | the gates of our hearts were parted, we | were pushed through | found ourselves | in thrown space

Giving, with | no thought of return

Building fragile networks of | breath and | glittering black bridges of | words | out into the nothing of the next step, the | place we call home, made of secrets

Don’t disturb us | the stones say | Let us sleep inside you, the real | ballast of your frivolous spirit, the | imponderable torpor, the | sheer weight to drag you back to | the long mule trains of molecules under routine burdens

Our mouths full of stones, and stones in our eyes, our caresses | making stones | part their lips like | young babies | eyelids | tremble and shift

Looking for a new venture | new forms of association to | figure out those days of wonder

All the day a | brink | each moment an | embarkation

Our union | to recall or fabricate | a common purpose, the logical | analogue of kisses

To be at the heart of the desert | a human heart

By belonging to others, not to die

At any time, and particularly at the present, the self-respect of all collaborators, from star to prop-man, is sustained, or diminished, by the theme and purpose of the film they are working on.
– Point 5 of “The Archers Manifesto” (Emeric Pressburger, letter to Wendy Hiller, 1942)


from the series hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)

Lie back, look up, let your faces one by one slip off | rise | float away like leaves | of burning paper | serene as Noh masks | those petals beyond | the wanting and the not | wanting | Or come to the bank | of the river | rest half out of the water | your face buried in the grass | weep | as I shelter you under an umbrella  | We say nothing, just | listen to the incurious | rush of the rain | as it falls, something to do with gravity | a certain poignant inanity | and we two | very close to it | You kneel | sheaf through a book of | samples of me | I am on my side | I’ll never have any children, but still | you stay faithful to me, kind of | The mammoth of what we were | going to be | caves in for eras | Dying without pain | so slowly | we don’t notice | that we long ago | threw away the black | salt of each other | tossed it into the wind | and if | we thought it might just fall | back into our shapes again | is that the reason | we wake as normal | to start a new day’s regime of haunting?

••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

Lost inside, these / memories of spring, sometimes / all I hear / is the exquisite sound / of doors closing

••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

Patching up | heaven | Fixing the holes | in place | Is potential | a myth? | How does it die off, all that stuff | we never get to see? | Wrong claws and | the beak too subtle, all around | the flowers are changing | bells to trumpets | sulphur to cocoa | A Victorian gentleman | illustrates it wonderfully | We didn’t love | and that’s enough

Seeds thrown down | recklessly | Air | hazy with spores | Gauntlets of pleasure and necessity | To fight a duel with | the chance of death | the loss of love | Did we take a wrong | turning? | Ghost flowers | stir in negatives | Through a slit in blossom | angles of sky | on the mica | gleam of petals | parades of small animals | passing by | Torrential | life in the summer dusk | What could it be, all we have | missed? | We never get to see our own thoughts | do we?

••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

Steaming off the last fat before | the big fight | Postage stamp | flakes away | Rules | The brutal | left | The game | is played | The scales | shine | The weight | is made

Iota | of flesh | runs in sweat | atom for speed | the pounds are set | Some | King of England | a bard’s skull | nightingale | who gave delight | trilling and | trilling… | Famous | train | famous | son or daughter | a | species of mushroom | Glistening | to less | How a boxer | kisses | Power’s | light | The brutal | right

••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

It’s important if you think it is | On the way to Marsha’s party | in a pink devil costume | left the trident on a train | The hospital lit up | Butterfly and glacier

Fretting over the fate of things | earmarked for various kinds of oblivion | The cargo hangar at night, fork-lifts | wheeling and loading | Mind and death | Frankie puffing in the smoking area | thinking of giving up | Irreversible evil | seeping into the veins like snakes | Subtly vanishing mass | slowly | Cocoon

••


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)

The eyes are tied to the snow | Later there is no snow, and there are no eyes

Snow comes again, a different snow | Snakes | sip at the cows’ milk, it must be | spring

Eyes, tied to the daisies, to your lover’s skin, the weight | of your lover’s shadow | Like tiny insects | lashed on threads | the instants are bound to her, and the snow | comes again / the same snow, but a different | memory

Open the graves, take out the dead, they are not needed | in this form any longer | they have ripened and faded, and so have their | children, their surviving | friends now | the earth is needed for other purposes | Later there are more dead, but there are no graves

Into the spaces we cram our lives, this | is our life, we say, this | is our world, it is | the world, it | is not

Peeling the stars, star rind | falls | so very slowly in these | especial moments, the lovers | are like | everyone | consumers, but | the pitch | of their consumption is | high and | pure, they can hear | the spiders in their webs | moving

Later there are webs, but there are no | spiders | Later there is snow | the spiders’ webs are clumped and strung | with frost, the graves | are emptied, where are | their inhabitants, what is this | war’s name?

Lilac sleeves and | sleeves of lavender | cuffs of velvet | woolens | buttons of | jade or pearl | a scent of camphor, a | blaze of spring | it must be | winter now | and our blood | lies quiet in our veins | like snakes in sleep, the darkness | gathered around them and the tiny | fingernails | the long blonde | hair on the | cashmere jacket, the | wiry black hair on the | lemon collar | Is this war | ours? we ask | is this our dream | is this | our lot?, the empty | sleeves and the | baby’s | pink | mittens…

Into the spaces we fold our lives, inside the spaces there are | further voids, hands | delicate | fingers never | reach or touch, never mind |
grasp or | hold | this is our time, we say, this is | our moment, it is |
this moment, it

is not


from the sequence hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)

From its own decay, it finds joy | and vanishing is its guide | The splendour of a wedding and of a sea, with the white foam-white, with the white a bridal white, and the blue the capping dome of a cloudless sky in summer, over the meadows and after the wine, and the white | of your eye | and the white of the horses | connect, though you will never | be sure how…

It is a matter of revelling | Certainly, there are reasons for it, but these cannot | entirely explain its ethereal glory, the mood it has | of a calm day in a still room with | two children | bowed, absorbed | over a book or a phone, and the sunlight | seems to fill each atom completely with a sense of | space and ease, there is | no force in it, existence | has no need of alibis today, and you | can stay here, if you want, and sleep with me.

Because we have the time, we have the leisure | It is not to do with the quarts or the watts, not to fuss over pumps or cylinders | it doesn’t | dig with its bare hands, anymore | desperate for roots | looking for shelter from the cold and snow | If it thinks of the dreams of those days, it does so | in metaphors, playfully | or to experiment | with attitudes and options | Style is its apparent necessity | for substance, it has | trends and fads and | the glittering debris | of freedom | Its affluence | trees out | it still has nightingales, it still values the young

Supremely articulate, it has no end – and yet, as in a riddle, is ending always | Think of fireworks, think of petals | Think of what it asks you to think | Follow its tributaries, follow its tweets | Its horses rush down from the heavens, today they are rain | so malleable are its organs, so diverse its agencies | It clips and splices into each article | a tiny sliver of infinity, the gap between | forgetting and knowing (for instance), between | rock and Rococo | Upon an ottoman, so idle! | with a cornucopia of books, lifting one, tossing it aside, raising another…

It accretes itself, builds out from encrustations of jargon and slang, the hip and the square, the raw and the cooked | With each instant, it extends with life its possibilities for comparison | it burrows off into diamond arteries of artifice and specialisation | goes missing for years | über-geek in ecstasy of task and invention | bearded and monomaniac excludes the magnolia and the passing cars | focuses | on the curious hybrids in the labs, the oceans of code and proteins | generates more and more complex laws for more and more complex societies of more and more complex individuals with more and more complex psyches and senses | of doubt and identity | for these, its fertile abundance | is a maze and a co-incidence, but what a | strange co-incidence! | Abrupt

transitions are inherent within its sleek modus operandi | its cafés are full, nightclubs rammed | subatomic particles have their sneaking | secrets and mystique, it has no | qualms about misleading you | for as long as the money holds out and the need to banish the fear of the stale and the old and the known | grips us | novelty will hold sway | the perimeters extend, the style of barrier | increase and the number of barriers | increase, including | the number and style of barriers | seen to fall | it is | talking in its sleep | it’s just | so easy!…

The cults proliferate | the priests don | fine suits | display | emblems of their order | and the people follow them | into their respective enclaves and cadres, divisions and folds | find themselves upriver | find themselves in strangers’ bedrooms | holding strange guns | annihilating or embracing strangers | find themselves lost in personal crises | it offers them only | limited infinity, then | given | the factuality of bodies and the limited time | but this | is for another day | one more | dreary | because today | is for pleasure and a very particular manner of forgetting | the bliss of chopping away certain | relations and obligations and | instead | enjoying the fête | the blunder and trumpet of the elephants | cry of the hawkers | jewelled | costumes of resting acrobats | smoking at the back of their tent | talking about the weather and the stars, and the take


from the sequence, sentence (2012–present, unfinished)