Double petals | And the old-fashioned rustle of paper | a milieu of fountain pens | ink that runs | old-fashioned gunshots, the drop of suicides’ | heads on desks | the discipline | knowing | the old-fashioned | turning of chrysanthemums | serious | discussion | sitting up all the old-fashioned night | debating policy, the new | manifesto, the next | move | and in clouds of powder | under the lights | the ballerinas’ | sweat glitters | dedication | to the craft | the earnest, solemn faces | engaged in old-fashioned | steamship missions | to preach modernity | the beards, the whiskers, the empire | line | the marble | pallor | in the lamps | the | signature put-downs | the usual | crush at Mendellino’s | no sign of Krystal | and she won’t | answer her phone | so | subtly done | the tip of the lips | to unbalanced hips | of the bottle | of Coca | Cola | the waft and | flutter | of a silk fan | and the soft | insinuating fingers | in the white | opera gloves | all accomplished | with the touch | of Zola | No, not that Zola

Sleeping serpents | drowsy | looking for water | They miss their garden | their roots | Really, the way you die | will be comical | perhaps | you won’t see it | that way? | My eyes | are so vagrant | feckless | when everyone was cooing at the full | moon | heads tipped back | I was looking | at your shoulders | in the light | summer frock | I had no taste | that evening | for Albie’s jokes or the sublime | And incidentally | your nostalgia is stupid | as if a butterfly | might wish to | visit its used cocoon | And as for all | the things you want | seriously | do you really think | we have the time?

 


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

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