With no anchor, it is a ship, drifting.

With no captain, it is a crew, seeking orders | within itself. The ship is attached to the stars | by means of the journey, the journey is attached to the lack | of a port, the fact | of the sea.

With no sea, it is a wave | passing through space.

With no song, it is a Siren | mutely staring | at a Greek ship | the oarsmen rowing, staring back at her.

Its surface? Honed to a mirror’s facility (with no ship | drifting). | Across it the world is sliding | back and forth | we are so | used to the movement, sometimes | we hardly notice | how the cars slide, how the trees | slide, the | sky slides.

Nest of atoms | a bird has sought rest here, bees | have sought rest here | wrapped themselves in a limit, but the limit | has no limit and the bird | sings for no limit, the bees | are entered into the mill of their honey for no | limit. Sensing this, we hurry to call up beauty (with no | captain, by means of the journey) | we must lash down the stars, by means of the storm | we arrive at our wreck, the wreck | is attached to our | failure to land, to make | landfall. In a crack in the tree | hollowed by lightning | wild bees have sought their share | of the dream, the play | is attached to our orders and we, too, sing and surrender to the production of nectar. The dream | deepens and the ship begins.

Its surface? Impossibly smooth, across it | all the things of the world are skating, sliding, slipping. | With no end, the stars are attached | to the burden of the journey, by means of the journey | the new day is sought, the sun | attached to no limit | burns and we stare at a Siren, crouched | on her island of bones. She looks | tortured, by means of her silence, her pain | is amplified and her routine | of agony and thirst | strikes us mute, we | feel sorry for her who would | by means of her song | lure us to her and melodious | slaughter, with no | song, she hungers and, parched of blood, writhes, it is | her part, therefore, it is | our part, with no | play to enclose us, only | the song of a mistle thrush | in a landowner’s woods | only the soft | assemblies of the bees | making of their hive | a nest of atoms.

With no voice, it is a song | attached by means of the journey to | nullity.

With no anchor, it is a wreck, drifting | by means of the currents, it is a wreck | drawn to an island, compiling a home.

With no song, it is a voice | croaking. With no time, it is a clock | neither still nor in motion, it is no clock, attached to the wreck | by means of a nullity | with no voice, it is a song | wandering, seeking a throat, with no | anchor.

We row, and our ship | resides in the classical | we row and our hands | no longer blister. When we come to an island | to find fresh water | a new | order of paths begins, we sing and surrender to the consumption of nectar, with no | limit, we | move on | the island | is attached to the stars, and the night | holds us, but is no mother. We remember the Siren, we forget | our purpose in coming here. The purpose was attached | to the moments, to commands, the moments | have slid away | across this, the surface, the commands | have been wrapped in leaves, and cooked | on a wood fire, we may call this | an idyll, we may make this | our hope. In the morning | I remember the gates | to the village church | the steep damp | green of English age and timber | of graves | slumped and leaning, sliding | with the ivy across | this, its surface | the song of a mistle thrush | from a landowner’s woods, by means of a memory, I am attached | to a past, I recall my labour | to reach the next lover | how she waited for me | by means of the journey, how as she waited | by the old church gates | she held in her hands | a small song | wrapped in lilac mittens, so my youth | slowly escaped me, and I woke | alone, on the island, how I slept | by means of a nullity | how I forget.

Its surface? Infinite, with no subject to geometry.

Its surface? Infinite, wrapped in the clapping | of slender hands | clad in lilac wool, and the cold, damp | northern air…

Its surface? Finite, a clatter of limits falling, in this case | like sticks from a bag.

With no praise, it is a pure | song held up | I hear the oars | biting through waves, by means | of the dead, I | clatter on my island | this is what I own, I long | for the voice of a mistle thrush | can’t you | hear?

Her lover is unshaven, his stubble | scratches her cheek, he has no | aim, he drifts through life, looking for thrills | a humble beast | researching the next | source of his slavery, she | sighs and orgasms, he | grunts and falls | back into that space he | only recently vacated, has it | changed? | Attached to no | thoughts, he is herded | slowly through malls | slowly through offices, toilets, beaches, she | despairs of the love | she has come to feel for him, this | jovial | slave | cigarette in one hand, phone in the other | ordering drugs, grinning with such | pointless boyhood, where can she | go that is not | this ruin?

In a storm, the thunder | sets off car alarms | right down the street and in | neighbouring streets | the rain plunges and the horses of the rain | gallop faster and faster, for a moment | she loves her fear and the chance it gives her | to leave her heart and be another.

The rain goes on falling, has it lost all its horses?

He chomps his lips and murmurs | something fretful into the ceiling, churns and | slips off back | down the burrow of his warm sleep, and she | is left waiting on the surface. The room | is very still, except for the rain.

Through the semi-darkness, she looks down at him.

The dream deepens, and the ship begins.

 


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

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