I wait for the moment | It’s what I do | Not yet, the dragonfly | although the leaves are dry and ready to fall, so they are right | and the sky is right | a poised, complete, exhausted blue | The bullies are in the correct position, they are so taut | they’ve been in the sun all afternoon, and, stripped to the waist | are sunburnt and lithe | they are on time | they’re not carpenters | and they shouldn’t be | they’re out of work | the summer has been too long for them, and they’ve been drinking | Who will they hurt? | Maybe no one | but I think they will | hurt someone… | Everyone falls quiet when the ambulance goes by | its siren sounding | then, although people eventually start speaking again, it’s as if there is a hole in the day | and so evening comes on | It’s a delicate matter | perhaps all things | are delicate matters? | the stones, as well as the flowers? | It might be the wrong century | or the wrong latitude | and the heart must be ready | the balance | needs to be perfect | the callous against the tender | the innocent against the wise | perhaps more defeat than victory | there has to be sadness | you will surely have lost | the people who held you up | when you were young | and those who | with the terrible gift of their departure | announced to you that you were young no longer | another | very delicate matter, do you know? | And it must all fit in | not just the lightning but the whole storm | and the sound of raindrops dripping | from the branches of motionless pine trees | not long after the storm has passed | a lovely sound | so peaceful | and much can be learned from it | even if this is not | the moment | There will be lovers | Not necessarily | nearby | maybe far away | but they will be involved | their potential must always be promised | or nothing would quite make sense | Children should be there | in the same way as the lovers | even the ones who are screaming | because they have dropped their toys | fiery little emperors | tsarinas of a whole world’s court | their lack of perspective is crucial | the distance they will have to go | the awful | vertigo of understanding | the nature of the impersonal | The bleached white concrete by the pool is right | the zoo’s flamingos | ruffle and preen | their sumptuous pink | that shocks still | is right against the concrete and geometry | of the pool | the sky | has remained right | even the dragonfly is right now | and I wonder | am I actually waiting anymore? | So | delicate | Perhaps it will be me | they hurt?••


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

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And actually no thought or voice, but keeping place, marking | the silence | with a made-up sound | say, “meadow” | and a blue-and-white striped marquee | empty, overnight, after the wedding | the guests elsewhere | No longer building, but, with the sea, staving off | ruination | with moving lightly | like clouds in a dream | Admiring | the prettiest scar | driving at 3 a.m. | the radiance on the horizon | is the sleeping city of Detroit, where they built the cars

Also, as knights in a fable, lost on quests, pursuing phantoms | of a sorcerers’ agenda | a slow, inglorious fizzling out | drowning in their heavy armour | at the bottom of clear streams | among the lush, quiet green of a mythical England | skulls in helms | Those wounds | which bleed and bleed | enrichen and weaken | simultaneously | much to say and more to care | as supplies grow scarce | and the ocean’s porous fists | pound the crumbling shore | and every place more an island | with each melt | and fiercer thaw | Like castle towns in the distance | rendered vague by mist or storm | no grounds for betrothal | or at least, this was the feeling | of one of the parties | Like those wild, evangelical spirits | who embrace devastation | from calm rooms, down elm-lined avenues | As if, through a series of moments, each a puzzle, to arrive in a starving nation | where no puzzles matter anymore, but how to eat | Broken down, changing the wheel | of a sixties’ Packard | worried | we would not get there | Like being happy with the outcome | even though we realised | we had been conned | And actually, no ear or word | no call | no sound at all | but the chatter of wealthy brokers | proposing new problems | to evade love, an old solution••


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

Taking a train to the city | Contributing to the economy | Leaving your mark and your | lack of mark | Everywhere central | the June evening | diffuses people through the streets | in plazas | of course, we will | come to the flowers | waterlilies | floating in a pond | What do they want with you? | who survey but yet | do not notice you? | Step out of line | the cameras bloom | with struggle and pepper spray | Flee the disturbances | the cracks in the order | drive for miles, out into the country | sleep in the back of the car | a bruised | copy of Heine in your pocket | it just | happened to be Heine | At sundown | far from retreat | the moments assign | greater or lesser graves | And will you | go to the sea, or will the sea | come to you? | Willows, very still, and life | set to zero | stays at zero…

Ich Kann Es Nicht Vergessen | the shadow of a ladybird on the page | but then the white horses in lush meadow | seen from the car | somehow the sea | is coming for you | Riots on the news and fire | are the people coming back, after so long? | realising again | they’re not just people, but “the people”? | They are covered | The mood drifts | We were happy, laughing at the party | watching an antique magic lantern show | but the morning after | beside the canals | was subdued | a classical melancholy | The soul | is out of fashion | the body | all the rage | with its pertinent flaws and needs | then | with a shine like blurring aphids’ wings | a dream rises | tigerish | mauls the sodium and the clay | An “incident on the line” | delays your train | at rest in the warm evening | in a foreign country | the breeze | indolently stirs | fields of ripening grain | Don’t struggle | Be happy | You find | you can’t recall their name | find the e-mail | or the photos you thought | you’d saved | The years shear off | take a different path | but you’re content | and settled in a smaller grave••


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

Alone in a new town | Washed-out synths, shuffle of pads and clicks | You bring your music with you, the rooves, seen from the metro | train are glazed in early 00s’ | ambient or languid electronica | floating like leaves down a conduit | angular, rotating footprints of maples | trail of an autumn god | Time to put | your affairs in order | Fix the ontology | into position | back up the hard drive | lock snow in the Cloud | perfect the iambic | nod to the Masters | draw a line | under the freefall | pay off your debts | The office | rejects you like a grafted limb | Capitalism | sits uneasily with you | but isn’t it because | it gives you the hours | to ponder its magnificence, to observe | the glistening, radiant worm | of it twisting and mouthing | things like words | in your head? | Was the received wisdom all | gobbledygook? | Google it, Kyoto by Air | a tint of austere | melancholy | water-colours of | Japanese irises and frogs with long | slender feet | catching the tail-ends | of translations | the fall-out | fragments | the ghost you never | quite | turned into love | Building hotels | to watch | the glaciers crumble | panoramic views | of the disaster | you have made by your | exit | a connoisseur | of nymphs and wastelands | folding your treasured | flock of atoms | into the past | and leaving the most beautiful | poems so late | they simply cannot | last

Outside the apocalypse | paring your fingernails | the mighty | individuals | stomp over the world | gobbling it up like | Pitt and Boney | Allow me please to draw back | the curtain on your style of death | the carbon footprint | the dinosaur | dandy | the celebs | the glam | the self-expression | Uncouple | beauty from policy | what is left? | Throwing a rain of | particles against the glass | declaring your independence | by pixels and logos | on your jacket and T | your only answer seems | to swoon | leaving you out of it | a tearful | rebellion by champagne | subversion through tenure | Well, and when | shall we 3 meet | again? | A broth of grumble and whisper | sub-whispers and | bits torn out of an index, is this | all you have? | Failing | to make the junction | docking | with an empty ship | packing the sea-shells | with rumours of | the Devonian or the Cretaceous | getting ever more | remote and obscure | retaining your purity | by taking the hermit’s | path up the mountain | always higher | like the old Zen monks | preaching to stones | explaining the pine trees | to the dust | taking a late train | to a new town | finding your post | not all you expected | but manageable | disregarding | both the bells silent | and the bells tolled | threading the dusk | through to the dawn | passing your time | gilding the gold••


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

Larry couldn’t get high | Cut-up ships stowed in rooms | tarpaulins and buoys | stuck to the ceiling | a formalised wrack | forty years of sand | in stoppered bottles | and from a silver thermos | an acrid scent of brine | memories of beginning | of a watery love | in a white enamel bath | tiny purple starfish | pink diluted blood | a mound of scales | too much to fit in or to | take with us | so we throw it away | Everywhere an overboard | and the storms | tame, following us like pug dogs | In the eyes | compass needles | And the mouth has fragments of coral

Kidnapped! | Torch under the covers | A Barrett house | breathes | in and out | slowly | oxygen from a newborn typhoon | Splinters of shattered masts! | Crescendos of waves | the shock and smash and grab | chopping loose rope with crescent-headed axes | stoven barrels with a slew of limes | great upsurge! | Sleep and school | Street prices rising very fast | and his taste had changed | he found it surreal he had ever | admired Rimbaud | The ticcy-tac of their uncut claws | on the concrete | as they trot | Apricot fawn or silver fawn or black | clean fast strokes across the placid bay | the odour of pitch and fresh-sawn pine | At DECOR gallery, until the end of October••


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

“but instead of an answer, there came only intenser longing”
— Kawabata, Thousand Cranes

What is the boiling point | of honey? | Warmer these evenings, with a scent of grasses | across the veranda | moonlight eases its wedding shadows round, or the gaga | moon drops lumps of bone as it passes | Through the soft vent | we slip | asking for a single thought, arriving only where | it always varies | Hand slipping from the tiller | stars gape and beg for water | their silver cherubs’ faces like exhausted children’s | but we don’t | yet have children | So quiet here | helicopters circling over disaster states hardly | make the stalks of young wheat | sway at all | In this hot cell | know the wet flesh and caresses | so intimate as to grow confused | as to who belongs to | what, but | at the edge of the moment | still sense the snow’s flakes of dice | starting to roll | while the journey we beckon on | recoils but calls | endlessly, forever starting our only answer

Not enough | beauty to go round | not even in the wind | moving through May willows | therefore we want, therefore | we suffer | Brilliant as we are, what brings our brilliance | will not wait | to settle or to satisfy, it is | in the distance | Dry as we grow, dizzy | tottering where every | step is our first | we can’t | stop dreaming | or even for one instant | put down our thoughts | to quench with stillness | the ceaseless horizon’s gliding thirst••


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

Into the twisting | silk of | all of these | delicate things – mountains, oceans, stars – we | tie ourselves for just a | little while until | other hands come to | untie us and | our tears and | fingernails | made of the same stuff as | basalt, saltwater, helium | fall from | other eyes and | stroke against | other skin

Leaving before the end of the film, we hurried to | kiss in the lobby || In the fluxing light | of that cool feature | hundreds of eyes | flickered and shone••


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

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?

••


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

A child of my era, I worked assiduously towards | questions, not answers

Evasive as always, you | hid your voice in a lustrous echo – didn’t you?••

 


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

Losing the sun’s feet, so the day grows even lighter | leaving no trail for the trackers to follow | Episodes, stored in journals | like shadows in mirrors and wine in underground vats | Where the boat went after our glance ran out | and south was turned | As always, an edge was waiting

Surrendering the final | And even the gesture of surrender, the classical | figure of the athlete in marble | racing still under dry, yellow leaves | Kisses, dropped one by one like twigs and pebbles into an old stone well | Words waiting for words to find them | and the night | not the last | bringing new ways to love, new ways to be lost | Sunlight, on the side of a kettle | A note with a date, scrawled | on the back of an envelope | Eyes, very calm, watching | Are you seeing the past?

 


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