Onset of mood | with wealth more moments | for feeling to flow | nuance and half light proliferate | and new flaws in mind | to nameless modes of living | suffer and bear | fissure and further | fissure | gnaws in space where once spirit was | no action to evade | nor athlete to exercise | but leisure and lethargy | leaving one prone | to looms of anxiety | more abrupt sourceless laughter | more subtle woe | For we, the frontier | first part of the wave touching on shore | seeking escape in fables and stupors | bring poor countries to our chalets with fast trains and wifi | with affordable fees easily render | distance our fief | make natives as theatre | backcloths to stars | in white yachts long sculpted to sleek lazing in bays | or in private planes lofting on cities | cleaving through clouds | to unknown streets in towns | spoken in tongues alien to our own | and at dusk | separated from partners | the strange breeze blows | through the branches of strange trees | and each moment says “no” | when you ask for an end | by bright modern buildings | an ancient fate | to be yourself | but yourself alone | a feat of the lost | fought for pain’s hoard | outrun the fleet | but only buffeted by others | sole guardian of a silent fort | in sterile iambs | to frigid flutes | left on an island | of want and device | foregone by children | deserted by “friends” | and forgotten by fête

They were cajoled or tricked into helping the traffickers, threatened or blackmailed. They were just teenagers from poor coastal towns in Egypt or other impoverished African communities, and were put in charge of the boats carrying illegal immigrants across the Mediterranean | towards the “promised land” of Europe. Many of these kids were caught, arrested and imprisoned, while the traffickers themselves, who never set foot on the boats, remained free to continue their activities. It seemed trite to him, but the economics of grief and of pleasure were part of the same economy. The key thing, he thought, was how to get away from this place: always, only, how to get away. Life was relentlessly cruel: it made anywhere unbearable. Just watching his lover turn over in sleep was proof of that. Indeed, sleep itself, the condition, was proof: the body couldn’t bear itself in a conscious state, it had to flee. Life was unremitting flight. He was rolling down an incline. What was shaken around as he rolled, in dreams, could never be accessed. Sleeping and waking were not the same. A sleeping person is not a wakeful one. He lifted his iced mineral water, but didn’t drink: instead, he was overwhelmed by a sense of disdain for his own sadness. Too much sorrow slowed you down. You needed to have only the right amount of sorrow. Outside, sounds of preparations for the carnival punctuated the evening calm. He would take photographs, of course.

 


from the series construct (2012–present, ongoing)