It’s true, I can’t do emotion anymore | or perhaps only melancholy, which is a feeling slightly | askance from feeling | So, the ice comes in, the freighter | the freezing fog at the quay — then hitching | a ride on a lumber truck | anaesthetic | Patagonia

More a mood you say | You mean, “melancholy” | Our neighbours are restless, we have little in common | they die and so change | we appear to remain, but slowly, with the turgid evolution of the season, from the monuments of a humid summer | to the snow-plough’s fume of ghost | close to the horizon | we have died and have been packed up, our neighbours | are peeled gently from their shells, and their skin | tastes the air for the first time, their eyes | sip at light and close and open

I am afraid, inevitably, then, there is rain | and rain’s colloquial language | the simple ping and pung of droplets | hitting in an empty paint-pot | in the long grass, near the shed, DULUX Raspberry Bellini | and the esoteric spectre of the story | attaching to each object | how it spirals away in an x-rayed ammonite sprawl | our limited patience and powers of concentration | rendering it arcane and stale | ultimately | discarded

Like snatches of music you hear from cars, tracks | you don’t know and have no means | of identifying | the cotton wool on the manger, and the Virgin Mary in blue, with a missing arm: the Dominicans | We bang on the walls, but they don’t listen | so we frequent the seedier dives, then | as the spirit is rotated through an array of planes | as I come and you | don’t come | we are habitués of the chicest clubs | with their gorgeous backlit bars and restrained, sophisticated beats | I will die a beggar | it is | a matter of honour | so we try to warn them | but all we hear is their protest | they are banging on the walls, but we | must break up, and I | must go into my room with the harbour | at night | in southern Argentina, where our enemies are | and pray for the blank slate of sleep | and the clouded hands of dreams | appearing from the rain | to write out their mysterious messages | “At the mirror, with the lipstick — 999 Rouge Brilliant, by Dior” | and, as always, at the end | no one waiting

Is it an emotion? More a mood I say | The summer has a mausoleum | and bees leave their bodies with it | and the Palmerstons moved, and left no details | and it seemed strange we would never see their little white dog again, and then | as they always do | things turned out differently

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

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