Archives for the month of: September, 2018

You think you are reading, but what is that? | Most of the world isn’t in the poem, therefore | why come to the poem? | when there is so much more, so much else, so much better, endlessly | elsewhere… | Her father was a painter of signs | they made a fire for him and burned him in his own house | and I remember | undoing the buttons on the flies | of her jeans for the first | time, I didn’t feel any shadow pass over me | or sense the presence of | an accidental god passing by | Towards the end, a postman wanders into reality, wavers | is cut | and then there is just the individual and the clouds — mostly | the clouds…

Numbering the flames 1 to 7 | or some such foolish venture | The savages came whooping out of the woods | the music tilted everything towards a dream | like a lyric poem | makes the sigh of | the world rushing off into itself | sound | for a moment | like bare feet cracking twigs | on the forest floor, or | the hoarse calm wrath of the fire | consuming a home | and a whole collection of truths | If I say, “Why, look at the world | from the point of view of clouds, what | sense does the traffic make, or the people | waving their guns?” | it can’t stop the postman | walking out of shot | or the loss of innocence | being found in these words, over and over again…


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, September 2013)


Sir: ‘Tis a tribulation of genius | to be patronised by inferior minds | Whirled back by the London crush | the vampires of old times | something as tired as a milieu | Cabs drawn by dead horses | tuberculosis in December | etcetera in everything | the rickets of the game | Days I had to work | to make it seem like love | Other days, when it was easier

Softness in the mist, more softness | in your damp cashmere | The material… | Vanishing again into yourself, things the sea takes back | Until there is nothing but the sea | Set out my ocean stall, stale old wares, the brilliant | sculpt of gulls through salt-washed air, sailor tang, seamen | innuendo… | How the sea wanted honey | the ships’ horns | weeping for honey | Spoon by spoon, the medicine | is taken | this is | all we can offer you | Palliative care | What happened? — parts of sentences covered by blah blah blah | that’s what | In a village of idiots | the least stupid idiot… | To feed a zombie memory | caged and groaning | they are doing George A. Romero in FS | Polishing smoke | Snatching back | the picture they got | out in woolly-back country | glitters in a pouch of glance | a greenhouse | engulfed in ivy and weeds | no farmer, I guess?… | And do you know, some of them even have the gall — Darling! — to ask | “Why the sea? Why only | the sea?”…


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, September 2013)

When she talks to the cherry tree, it belongs to her just a little more

And when she puts her ear to the cherry tree’s trunk, she swears she can hear the beating of a tiny heart

There is too much of the calm summer day, she lies on her back on the grass and throws little questions up at the sky | When they fall back to earth, she has gone, and the mystery around them deepens || Then the evening star | is unendurably beautiful

All things have set out on an adventure | Some of the planes | don’t return

Vortex and YouTube, building a pyramid | with sugarcubes | why do I endure | the indifference of your beauty? | this waiting around | examining | all the fashions of your ignorance?

All these days of ‘but’ and ‘perhaps’ and ‘maybe’?

By praying the cherry tree tells her in her sleep you create a god

And truly, none of the planes return, their base | is no longer there | it set out, too, for the next pattern of its incarnation | a cinema | rice paddies | a place herons stalk

The young man in the café with his love and his time | doesn’t even know the cherry blossoms are the roads | he will take out of here | he only sees | the sky in its most insatiable mood of blue | most fatal | most acute | and too entire

Why can’t I bow my spirit to the spirit of the matsuri, run and chase the procession? | clap, and stamp, and dance | and sing?

Why do I want to drag down that sky | and give it even a moment’s rest in pointless words?

You won’t look at me anymore | and erase me with each breath, but I | stupidly faithful | each night | give you a handful of gods | for you | to toss casually away | onto your heap of useless things

And after all the things have set out on their adventure | why am I so stubborn | refusing the careless matsuri inside me | and loving you | my style of treachery?


from the series bliss point | angels of disorder
(open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem: September, 2012)

It was Reunion (Panther) | I carried around with me, all the while, a bag of shattered glass | which made a soft clinking, crunching sound | and you can hear it, now | though no one, in the past, heard it | A branch of red coral, and the Greek coins | a Pegasus from Corinth, a Minotaur from Knossos | Such things | And you were the go-to guy for beating up | for rape or to kill a little time | drinking Zwetschgenwasser, keeping the fallen plums from going to waste | on the hillsides, on hot evenings | before the true disaster overcame us | And is it right, a friend always needs an enemy | the same way | an actor needs a cue? | You hear it? — that gritty, glassy sift | whenever I move? | That evening, you were the go-to guy | and so I went to you

To be far away, it’s the fate of everyone | and not to care, and not to understand | Coming to you at a tangent | I remember that terrible evening | I think I was in shock | and the event is crooked in my memory | inevitably distorted | like a black stick | from an old plum tree | seen through the clear medium | of a jar of clean water | as if broken | and I suppose it is | broken | I still | can’t quite | process the events, you know? | We only meant to kill a little time | to kiss maybe | to glance in the mirror | watch the planes | heading for elsewhere | to read and perhaps to kiss again | and then talk about what we’d read | You deserve to be hated, and so I wonder, why it is | I love you? | Oh, no — wait | My mistake | This is hatred


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

We know only what the music knows | I want to | say | But that kind of saying is over | for the time being | Maybe it will be back one day? | And the winter isn’t perpetual | the ruins are ruins for a while, for sure | but then soon are re-developed | or covered by forest and then | re-developed | there’s business to be done here | salt and cashmere to be traded | lambs | derivatives | Ruins are in the structure | the gamble of stand and fall | part of the music’s charm | as fatigue belongs to the metal | the plane’s wings preparing | to fold | the plane | to sleep in a bright | re-direction of atoms | a new swirl | a river’s re-flow | This, we tell ourselves, we know | or we used to tell ourselves | We used to say: We only know what the music knows | and we would say that | while listening to music, or dancing | very slowly to music | in a half-lit room | when the destination of our journey | was like a bud | opening on a branch | And in our love | there was business done | lambs traded | cashews, salt | and slaves and guns | it was | how the edge | belonged to the core | As we stopped dancing | we tried to remember | how the music had been | but, well, we’re flawed | and we couldn’t get it exactly | and besides, the ruins were already | walking in | asking us to go | We had no choice | And if the silence came then, would we know only | what the silence knows?


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

The air is eating the soft fruit of my lungs | and the stock market is falling

Slowly all the cities are connecting up by means of infinitesimal threads of quicksilver, and | I am in a mood

Autumn rests against my skin | the fine hairs on my arm rise a little against the cooler air || It will be vellum

She bites her lover and he spills tiny seeds | Small frills of his flesh tighten and loosen, he will run to the temple, where there are pictures of beautiful trees

Stars are forming all over the surface of her skin and her darkness is expanding, the small points of luminosity | drifting further and further apart

The books ache not to be books, and the words | chafe on their pages || they feel autumn coming, too | the damp, the fogs, the mildew

The long winter night of her kiss frightens him | the beautiful trees are letting fall | oranges | persimmons | pomegranates | lemons

Exquisite as a Persian miniature | his sorrow | is not really enough to make up grit sufficient for even | a single pearl

She doesn’t love him | although they are called “lovers” | There will be no more summers | Only the empty bourgeois walks in walloping galoshes across wet fields and woods where purpose runs out and will fails and his body grows as frail and as pointless as a child’s balloon | slipped from moist little fingers | given to the air’s indifference | blown and floating

When she cries, the tears are tiny wriggling caterpillars | They glisten and glitter | She never sees them take wing, and perhaps they never do?

The chemistry of grief is well known and the famous “next words” are written and read | and another of her kisses fills him with snow and delayed trains and she can’t leave her phone alone, in it is stored | all the devices of his irrelevance

She dines on her own heart, it no longer satisfies her | Why are happy people so contemptible?

They will never hear the clink of goat-bells again, the high pass in the dust and the rapture | They will never establish the basis of their relations | with other people

The crowd yearns for celebrity | The wedding dresses of her cells | unwind their long trains and the silk snaps and whistles | Always, the groom is changing!

Entire cities fall prey to storms of amnesia | When we find them again, they are ruins, their citizens | mummified in ash, their bus passes | no longer valid and their homes | hold no interest at all for anyone, surely?

The jewelled cannibal of her wristwatch nibbles away at her, the piranhas of instants school and glimmer | And light pours down through the trees scented with milk and nostalgia, weighted with the memories of November evenings when the light itself | has gone

I won’t come to this place again | I think | It is hateful and | the silence that follows it is always so very, very long…


from the series bliss point | angels of disorder
(open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem: September, 2012)

Dragon wreathe, over inner shadow

China space from space | conjure

The void put to use | water | flowers

The story flows over the scene, and the scene flows with it | Pots with Sung echoes, with Cornish glazes | the tang of flung salt burning |     | Some hidden destiny, no destiny at all | and side by side, always side by side |     | cloud wreathe over dragon image | passing | Ancient vessels for a new spring’s flowers | freshness cut from the ground and put to decor | we grew introverted, like the Sung | at the crash site where the wreckage smoked | the story flows by |     | Passing |     | The rules to order meaning | and the fate of thinking | is Syntax


from the series Syntax | series of poems, commenced 2018, ongoing
This poem: September 2018

We want to run, for fear of perfection | He doesn’t know the state of the stones | she will tell him | agate, basalt, carnelian | Do shadows possess weight? | she wonders | as she bleeds slowly | Some infinitesimal substance? | They know and their certainty | places the dragonflies over the path | a Banded Demoiselle, a Vagrant Emperor | an Azure Hawker | They are a shadow colour | she thinks | turning her head as the sun | threatens to blind her | all a shadow colour | Do the stones talk? | He isn’t sure | Do the stones | live in their names? | When you look away, do they move | open | their small, stone mouths, mew? | She cannot stop bleeding | for now | When you look back, do they freeze again? | What shyness | fills them? | Why won’t they come | true for us? | They are true, she says | Look: agate, basalt, carnelian

She doesn’t know what to feel | Will this be sorrow? | she wonders | His mouth is very small | his lips | unused to the stature of love | are particularly pink | They embrace | How great is this kiss? | Will she hurt me? | Is she hurting me now? | Across a pebble beach | they crunch and slither | soon, they’ll reach the sand, among the dunes | things will be easier | Her mouth grows smaller and smaller | to fit | On her side, curled up, head propped in her hand | she’s reading | a short novel by Uhlman | Her skin is light, floating, she can’t hold it down | the words in the fragile book | won’t give back the weight | she’s losing | the dragonflies | hunt along the path | the temperature is so | poised | in a moment she’ll shiver | and oh, God, the coolness | of evening | the lamps | the keys | the phone | with its date | flicking over | He’s in the kitchen, perhaps, what, five metres away? — and she can’t tell | if that is far enough, or too far? (It feels too far) | She longs | to know what to feel | about this perfection | she feels | Outside, on the beach | the stones are on their way, migrating | they have abandoned their names | the younger stones | mew | and the dusk is full of their distress | no one can listen | they are too bound up | in casting their spell | We can call it bliss | she thinks | as his mouth | begins to grow | She hovers, equivocal | This is all bliss | As she is unsure, she wonders: Will this be sorrow? | And as she well knows | it already is


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

Dinosaurs of icing sugar, pink and blue, and gelatin, and caramel, in whorls and whirls, candy-striped, plod around the parking lot

The classroom is supershattered | as if a discreet explosion has belled and bloomed | and, in silence, rearranged all the furniture and fittings | and especially the books | into shreds and angles | illicit | bends and tangles | mangling the struts and shards into new formations | glistening among hazy morning sunshine | the concrete floor | littered with the confetti | from a physical wedding | nothing of spirit | left in | but the ghosts’ | wandering

A little boy in the corner | from his eyes | streams of tiny skulls, instead of tears, are falling | they make a small pocketing sound | as they land on the floor | and bounce and spill | rattle and roll | collect an ivory pool | spreading slowly out around his feet | his name will be Ivan | and then it will be Saul | then Terry | then August | When the soldiers come again | their boots will crush these dainty | skulls like sweets | and inside the soldiers | the skulls, each one, will open their mouths and begin to | croon tales of the “old days” | when the soldiers were young | and their mothers | taught them right and wrong

Through the classroom’s window | a ferris wheel | not supershattered | but extant | among the supershattered landscape | even the air is supershattered | Don’t go there | Aren’t you curious?

Obsolete cartoon professors | with huge balloon foreheads | and white beards | in lab coats | carry clipboards | as they drift around | checking the debris | If they could speak | they would speak in fake | German or Russian accents | or maybe be Americans | sound real dorky | but basically | they would be fake Germans or Russians | if they could speak | because this is the Old World | corrupt and stained | fungoid with empire | rotten | toenails in a mouth | ankles where the ears should be | before the march of freedom | before the arrival of CG

No one in the sports hall | no one in the swimming pool | No one in the forest of my empty heart | after dark | but the remains of wolves | phosphorescent and snagged on instinct | heading for the town | to leave tracks with foxes, birds and horses | in the sports hall | the changing rooms | snow on the floor | the showers | is this Heaven?

Big Toy General | in Soviet-style | peaked cap | drifts over the town | watches sweetshop dinosaurs | munching on building tops | and gangs of feral teddy bears | roam the supershattered streets | Wan sunlight | through the winter mists | picks out Big Toy General’s gigantic | shape | his field-grey | uniform | stripes of crimson | down the legs | opera of gilt in candelabra | epaulettes | medals depicting | hearts and stars | violet and purple | yellow and Arctic | blue | Big Toy General | come loose | from his moorings | drifts gently west | and the shy spirits | of all the raped boys and girls | slip out from the supershattered | cafés, offices and houses | and cry “Come back, Big Toy General, we need you | to protect us, please | save us” | He floats | horizontally on | and all we know for certain | is that soon | there will be | cool moonlight falling | on his slickly | polished boots

The Moral of the Story | is hunted through abandoned towns | by skeletons in furs | with sniper-rifle eyes | very old grins | from Empire Fables | of folly and reaping

Wound-up | the President | marches as he must | crunching traffic | in the hallways of his cranium | advisors march smartly with whipcrack steps on cold stone floors | bringing figures on gains and losses | propaganda and the supply | situation | supershattered | clockwork | sounds like early | Detroit techno | and when the President | sleeps | it is like a whispering | clubland

The President | has burnt out paths | to follow | scorched earths | handed down to him | He will be strong | and lead the tumultuous | ghost of his nation | back into its history | of smoke and corpses and ash | Glittering | snakes where | he believes his | thoughts are moving | glide and wind | down the slim | sticks of lollipops | He has never wanted to | murder anyone personally

The hospitals | were ready | now they are | supershattered

The temples | were sanctuaries | now they are | supershattered

The weapons | were primed | now they are | supershattered

Dead children | eat the jelly | snakes | When they are grown up | they will never | let anyone hurt them


from the series superstyler (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, September 2014)

She couldn’t keep the sea inside her | Likewise | he couldn’t keep the sea inside him | and there were hawks

This is the day she thought | I will keep the sea in | She knew it was there | he was less certain

They called the sea by different names | but the names floated on the sea | wreckage from storm-struck schooners | branches of tamarind, garlands of hyacinths, given as offerings | tennis balls

Days, he seemed a shore | evenings, more delicate, like the shredded glitter of insect wings | caught in high beams but first in glances

And there were hawks | diving | Threads picked up and put down | He thought they led to dry land, some at least, but he didn’t know | the land was inside the sea’s heart | the sun and the stars, too | They both believed | they could escape the sea | but when they couldn’t sleep | all they could feel | waist deep and overturning | was the glimmering conundrum of the waves | rolling and breaking | and their bodies being slowly dragged | to and fro | in the cold jaws of tides

She couldn’t keep the children inside her | and there would always be a slant, the way the moment | signs itself, under pines, at dusk, say | or couched inside an air bubble rising | from the seabed | half asleep and wings crumpled | eyes like a lynx, and daddy far off at the wars

Days, she was so capable | she understood the rules | She kept her loneliness | sewn away inside her, at night though the sea | swelled and tore down | the wallpaper with orange trees, the efficient | circulation of the blood | loyalty | the weight of the moon | things like that

Amicable | the conversation, the subtle currents | of gestures, timbre with rainforests, sadness, just the right | shimmer of levity | they had so many names for the sea, but the sea | outran them all, and the sea | had a name for her | she never heard | and for him | even for the hawks | flying so fast, over the coast, who knows where?

The sea | kept them inside itself | and sometimes | this was called drowning


from the series hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, September 2014)