It was a brooding, dreamlike film, not entirely | to our taste | The search for a rare flower, initially | near the turn of the century | the black and white | lush, the noirish score | the lost expedition | Deep in the Amazon | upriver | days turned to weeks | objectives are missed | it seems strange to me to live in a world | without doors | The meal is somewhat tortured | you don’t say what I think | you want to say | I know | I don’t say what I want to say | We say other things | gentle, useless, irrelevant things | The brave cossack dies at the end, courage and honour lead him to do | stupid things | to sacrifice his life | tragedy | is stupid | And tomorrow? you ask | My desires | convince me not | to give a straight answer | she has elsewhere in her blood, perhaps | that is an attribute of her youth? | A succulent | restlessness | tides | simultaneously | ebbing and flowing | the lifeguards at their station | scanning the pointless, repetitive sea | the scalding white sand of the beach, too hot | to walk on barefoot by mid-day | he lies | on his back in the water | of the outdoor pool | his memories | suspend him | the sun comes and goes | the moon, too, of course | the pages turn | the plot unfolds | but the book | is not the plot | she thinks | reading | is not getting to the end | but delaying and evading the end | the end is promised, but even more | the promise is withdrawn with every further word | as the end nears | the purpose of the end is compromised | by the slow, prior | extension of the matter | that leads to the end | how pleasurable, in this arena — the arena | of the book — we find | the insecurity of meaning | He turned off the light | tired with the text | his mission drove him | perhaps everyone | I suggested | has a mission? — secret to ourselves | Or maybe life is just | a sequence of micro-missions | you responded | and the pearl | is accreted layer by layer | to arrive at last at some smooth | object of shining | though not at all | the jewel intended | by the poor old oyster | working in its mine of gloom | We could go, I guess | I said | a lifetime of mistrust and crabwise sidling | summed up in that one | non-committal reply | The steadily falling snow began | to mound up an impromptu grave | for the fallen cossack | flakes sticking to his hair and whiskers | his burka and blood-slashed | astrakhan hat | His death has no death | until he’s found | the forest will use him | the scavengers, microbes, bacteria | plants | perhaps | in his home, where loved ones | wait | there is grief, anxiety, an intuition of his fate | but his comrades | either missed his end, or were themselves | killed in the engagement | It sounds good she said | Coral grew on the hull | the guns fired a smoke of golden weed | which floated in the mild currents | and shoals of silver fish | swivelled and hung and shot and swerved | in the waters above the wreck | And the wreck maintained its evidence | of once being unmaimed, afloat | crewed | with motive power | her main interests | were in growing her business and increasing profits | she rather despised | idealists | Actually, dying | is not optional | it comes with the set | is part | of the operation — some might say | it is the point | Shall we?

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

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