Made a shining locus, a hole | where nothing was | Attracts meanings to it, as fish are said to be | drawn to a lamp | Cancel your next moment, implement new plans | A tent in a forest | and a man made of cakes, too sweet, too dangerous | you hear him shuffling outside, and there are shadows of leaves | cast on the canvas | an overwhelming | scent of sugar and cream | who wrote him, originally? | A party of strangers, gathered in a hotel | a blizzard traps them for days | Imbued with a slanted spirit, the recourse to explanations is too easy, the fire too private, as | only your children burn that night | Hovering and shimmering, like a dragonfly | you’re not sure will disappear | into the woods or across the river | There is no vanishing at all, she tells you | only the apportioning of different locations | you add in the loss, but I don’t listen | Strength and control come towards the end, and then we are once again, explicitly | engaged in the honour of battle | The right conclusion beckons | and the race for the biggest coffin | We depart towards dusk | and for our adventures | remain | only a beautiful error | and our certain fate | to rise alone in another new weather

from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, July 2014)

Exile from Eden, Pt 1 | trying to find a phone that works | Strange bathrooms | blusher, and moisturiser | body scrub, with jasmine, jojoba | Three nights | of lightning and thunder | barrels of diamonds | splitting and spilling | Sleep, at bay | never quite… | … Trying to get… | … Oh! …

Raking through bones, looking for thoughts | In airliner time, somewhere over Kazakhstan | Roll your body clock down a dark hill | let it rest on its side in long grasses, cooled | by a dew of alcohol | Cloven- | hooved officials with clipboards and uniforms | scented moustaches, blonde hair | flown in | from the Steppes | Forms to fill in | fill out | fill in | fill out… | Go | Get a cab | Leave the country, and your old lover | who smells of fresh wet peppers but | lost years | So tired of the sound of that chopping board | Dereliction has become a duty | From this, you know it must be | Exile from Eden, Pt 1 | The first of a trilogy…

Idle on the crowded shore | The ferry’s late, Charon | nowhere to be seen | sidle off, head for a quiet bar | Slip away | from the reception, Italian | ambassador | nowhere to be seen | Dig your heels | into your smiling horse, spur | on the cocaine merry-go-round | ride away | into the sunrise | Find shade | under the creak and rattle | of a fat old palm | listen to the sea’s | liquid bulldozer | number-crunch the sand | back and forth | At the theatre, look for the most | discreet box | Shorten the play | Cut even the chase | Not to be

Exile from Eden, Pt 2 | No one wants their days, anymore, especially | not this day | Sailors, looking bored with the voyage | they only signed up | for the shipwreck | will it be long | till the storm? | all their faces say | they have no taste | for fine weather | And already, you’re | hankering for Pt 1, it’s par for the course, part of the deal | a cabinet | with odd | pills and lotions | and making love, like | raking through embers, searching for flames

So many ways | to be forgotten | knapsack on your back | stout stick | to build a life | of setting off | stout boots, stout heart | bright, clear autumn air | no need for a P.S. | no place for a memo | To hell with Pt 1! | This, you think, will do | A hangover | like the roar and clang of a fire | engine in heaven | and at night Mandelstam | kirsch | Turkish cigarettes | hours and hours | letting out the sleek | line of a wish | drifting alone | down unknown streets | anonymous and free | hop | from restaurant to inn | at dusk to the river | through nondescript alleys | nothing on your mind | when, on rounding a corner | quite unexpectedly | you bump | into the Italian ambassador

from the series bliss point | angels of disorder
(open-ended, 2012–present: this poem, July 2013)

Tumbled in, like Alice | It could be opals | from Western Australia | it could be dumplings | in a viscous gravy with skin | also there will be flies | Very highly coloured, but infinitely dissatisfying, so we are bound | to separate | there being more, always more, including up | Folded, like a paper crane, the silhouettes of trees | still in the paper | cut the full moon | with its scent of radish and soy, Tsuki-sama | Progression, apparently, definitely | And recourse | to the slopes and scars and the ragged | Orion of the freckles on your back | and in the aureole | of an illusion | some way down | to the pale hunter | the calm, obtuse, comforting — the classical | Crushed, not by the jaws | of junkyard compactors | or by the vacuous | momentum of the years | but by a thought | As light as that! — a few | vagrant atoms | and the mass | of what calls to them | what | calls to them? | And formally, just because | it was foretold by this reading | with the Hermit | the Wheel and the | King of Cups | there are more of those firefly thoughts | and a voice | from outside | making you | look up

We could plot our end by the phases of the moon | throw in our lot | with the inebriating | roll of the tides | gallons of lucid wanting | shape | falling and spreading and rising | it only makes | a difference | By the sea, because it is | traditional, because | there’s a certain charm | in establishing an attitude | to the neutral punch | and counter-punch | of waves and rock | they are not battling | there is no bout | no prize | but there is a measureless hiatus | and then the full moon | drawing in the arrayed | verticals of bamboo | quite still before the dawn | The prey — and it is prey — eludes us | so we pretend | it meant nothing | we put down our guns | pretend | we never carried them | and in any case | that was a long time ago | among the feathers and the moccasins | Safe in despair, we wait, let the days pass | they have no choice, being days | Abruptly, the current of relevance | re-acquires force | still moist | with the water | freshly expiring from the shower’s rose | you lie face | down on the bed | then the perfectly cut | block of darkness interrupts | with hints of lust, and love, and satisfaction | but when, after the dreams, our lives | turn back on | I am not thought through at last | and there is no touch | and no Orion••

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

Oasis, implying deserts | Dunes of pale sand stretch away, surrounding us to no escape | If it is the void we must deal with, then the architecture of the void | is what we must use | to build | Sipping bitter coffee from tiny cups | under a pavilion | putting an edge to the sky, the edge ourselves, the sky not requiring | an edge at all | The night, inferred from stars, very cold, very wild | The heat from our fire, as we await | the arrival of the nomads | wakes | across the desert | in another fire | Feel?

And also, the silence has an architecture, a system of building | into and out from | Dwelling, or the hope of dwelling, attends the impulse | dwelling even in devastation, such devastation as inheres | within the casual caress of two mouths | into a kiss, or two eyes | glancing in a new direction | Glaciers, panting | The stars, very cold, very wild | shining | also used for distance | The bitterness | is living | The nomads, although they understand | the nature of shelters | in the oasis | still smile when they arrive | and sleep | we have incubated for dry hours | hatches in the sound of many pouring waters

from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, July 2015)

I dream of a silent world, such a one as might exist | on a deep seabed, miles below | the surface

{Some things can only be reached | by dreams}

Inaccessible, and yet utterly mundane, perhaps it was a place of happiness?

懐 [natsukashii] || between the seashells | and the sea || Our mouths | our lips || a time | of | cicadas and drought, an end to school…

Is it so far off, that silent world?

Isn’t there a moment | as you’re translating | 懐 | to English | [natsukashii, ‘nostalgia’] or | vice versa | when “it” | is | in neither | one tongue, nor | the other?

{has left English, I mean, has set off for, but not yet reached | Japanese?}

A time, too, between || all things || when your love
has left one moment | but not | yet | arrived | in the next?

In these slipping senses | we once passed a summer || A place like the silence, now it may only be | reached by dreams

Great summer clouds | passing across a high blue sky || Our throats were dry | even though we | kissed

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

You don’t understand, but I understand | Summer runs into a culvert | We take off our skins of lions, what | skin will we find underneath? | If things were different, maybe it would be | the skin of birds in flight | seen from above, through an airliner window? | In any case, the skins | never run out | always another below this one, the skin | of wild deer | gazing from the woods | over the fence | at tame deer | languidly grazing in the Royal park

I don’t understand, but you | say you understand | Water-levels drop, the rivers dwindle | gaping for melt or rain | Day discharges into night | sluggishly | For a while, we smash the bottles | holding genies prisoner | feel those stately djinn drift away | into the shapes of flocks | of large white birds | migrating across African skies | All the time | we take off skins | below our heels | the skins of lions, and we | peel those off, too | Stripping and stripping | and the rain | doesn’t come | Under the skin | of my eyelids and my lips | will you still find | when the rain comes, and the wild | deer have moved on | the skin of honey, ticking down in | buzzing drops | and beneath that | a skin of maples, a skin of flies?••

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

Lies aslant | just fallen | Meaning howls outside it, wanting to win, but this languor | has no victors | Call out into the snow, see how it answers? | Stroke a sleeve, being | glided to rest | breathe a stillness | back to the roots | the source | very young | moves an eye | trembling

Victim, not started yet | not called out | Peaceful, in a drift of gestures | waiting | quietly, blindly | patiently | like unworn clothes | hanging | Dew slips down grasses | moon | still visible | Carnage after, not now | Thrown and landed | just so | Dreams, neither | ended, a glisten | of scales, gills’ deepen | a slow | panting | Rolls, and opens | Fresh | birth, rain coming, also••

from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, June 2014)

Abandoned | cities of the heart

The empty rooms, decorated with photographs of the dead, the wallpaper | dated to a sunken decade | all | flooded | by the waters of silence and passed time

Places lovers tried to keep themselves | in reach | with lovers | sought to | keep pace with each other | though one was forever | running ahead, losing | touch

All the gestures are archaic

Immersed in nostalgia, in a green summer, traffic lights turning from amber to red | the ghost cars and | aphids | queue for the translucent | door to the past and, under the smoggy, humid stars of dusk all | eventually | go through

These streets have petrified, their map | outdated | sits in an atlas in an obscure | second-hand bookshop which, itself, has turned to stone

Through all instants, the sublime | glacier of the ages | seeps, carrying and freezing | each delicate and each | monumental thing, even | our | dreams

Here, at the centre, where the statues of | broken-nosed | soldiers and | laurel-crowned | poets and | late-coming | angels | convene an atmosphere of | stoic endurance, the | mayfly atoms of | forgotten moments | tremble and float

Of course, here the traffic is at a | standstill | and as you wander, searching | for a way out through those | same | translucent doors, you start to | lose track of time and | cease to recognise this | shore by the | interior ocean where | all your drifting life has fetched up | in pavement cafés and on | dusty ledges behind | the broken blinds of the windows of | obscure museums

Your friends and your lovers have fled | the punishing | heat | and even the strangers, too, are leaving, but you | drawn to a detail | linger as | the night and the day | melt into one | silent | modern | event

Abandoned | cities of the heart

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

Over and against | the storm, the solitary raindrop | that touches your face | is out of balance but is | what you feel | a sharp cool | point of salience || I am empty | like a ship that has | had its cargo removed | grain or salt | tractors | toys || Float lighter | without purpose | awaiting the grip | of a burden which | never arrives || She wrote that the clouds were like mourners | awaiting the birth of rain || Trailing a squall of gulls | up the slope | the farmer | steers and climbs | the ploughed earth’s | pleats curve and | swirl the field | When the wheat comes | and takes off its dress | the ripening is so | naked…

Holding up the next sign, the new | sign | the one you care for or are | paid for | the horned sign, the crooked | sign | the most pressing, the inevitable, the essential, the necessary | sign | this sign || that sign || How fast it all | seems to happen | these days || Yes, and he was | right | how the current of the | past | takes us and we | push on into it | ceaselessly with our | future wishes… || Night is gliding | over the face of the Earth and the dawn is | breaking | over the face of the Earth | one chasing the other | a dream subsiding | into the grind, the grind | shot through with | threads of Eros, strands of adventure! | on-rushing | to subside in | a new dream | or maybe | an old dream you have | forgotten? || Bonding | all by | choosing some and | losing all | that is the scrape of | fiction and life | the hot | gates | we form, for better or for worse | we open our global | mouths and | bite off | some fragment of a | desired locale | the quiet bed, the | orange trees in flower, the | nursery with BingBing and yellow | velvet-skinned | Boulogne || But don’t be | fooled || Like the carcase of | antelope or | deer | In the Graveyard of Ships | the beached hulks | rust and | are lit | by the abrasive | stars as | angle-grinders | take back the wounded parts | towards the shining cave | of another whole••

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

Wanting the cups back into shape again | and the salmon-coloured walls with their screens | of sleep and unloving | projected | Our shadows, though | aren’t quite right | some novelty has | crept into them | What is different | about our caresses? | How did that hint of a | river slip into them? | What has changed? | Why do they feel | less intense/more | intense, less | natural, more | desperate?, less | passionate, less | rehearsed? | More | strange? || Focus | once again | has slipped, there is this | shimmer under | the images, an | uncertainty to do with | moments || How did we | reach this point, our bed a | memory of hands reaching up to | feed voracious gulls? || When did this | process begin? || And where are you going | with those trees and their | footsteps of roots and earth so steady, like the tread | of armies or of blinded hearts?

Coda || The calmer times | How the wake settles | after our rowing boat has | surged on a few more | cycles of dipping oars and floating | oars with their | images shattered and | collapsed and | forgotten || Put the walls up again | sip tea | out in the courtyard garden | Hang the south in its | usual place | needing the sky | to behave like a sky, to be called | a sky, to | make its standard | connection with the tops of the | pear trees and the memory | of the sycamore the storm | broke some | years before || ‘H’ after ‘G’, asking | the hours to honour | their order, even to the point of | moving too fast, now, taking too much | now | Wanting the eyes in my heart to stay | open | the paths to lead | back home, to the office, the deli, the theatre… || Or do I? || How does it work out | in the end? | you say | your voice | dropping crumbs of | toast and honey | the edge of your mouth | tingled with silver || How still the weather | seemed that day I | can’t | remember || Building the wreck may | take a lifetime || Call this poem, “rain check”?••

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