Archives for posts with tag: fleeting pixel no. 370

By the time we got there it had already changed | We wanted it to be like it was in the photographs | from the 1950s | Arriviste summer | spring overwhelmed and the green gross | blasé | Given head, it rushed and sprinkled | in its veins, it was its nature | a cathedral drowned in grass, butterflies | adapting to a drier climate | a camouflage of dirt and concrete | Winter gold was how it should have been | not with fruiting persimmons | lovely enough to drive the monks to burn it down | not a replica | Sure, it has its secret, but we feel | it isn’t the secret, anymore | not the proper secret | allure has spilled and leaked away | we don’t really care what it says, and perhaps | it doesn’t care, either | It made me weep | to listen to you on the plane | home | to feel the old pull | stupid and hopeful, as are we all | that should we go back | we would find | the buildings had flipped again, the mood | turned overwhelming, like a first sight of the ocean | that the day | had been carried into itself, once more | and had altered everything | to remain the same

Indifference massed around it | shaped in photographs and flashes | the sluggish yammer of guides and tourists | hiss of bag on slicker, plump | billow of stiffened umbrellas as the rain | (ageless and inscrutable) | gathered the temple into a thunderous shower | a pulsating bag of murk | with enough silver to betray | millions of gods and buddhas | A stick broken off from the main plant | somehow survives a long journey to | split out of its skin | first burgundy buds, then | green of the youngest and most delicate | of mayflies’ wings | Everyone was writing in those days, not because | they were any good at it, but because | they felt the pull towards | the notional audience | but there was | nobody, for the most part | just empty theatres in flatscreen | LCD cities (also | abandoned) | and the cruel | goblins of vanity | slowly scratching away at our spirits | making us more desperate, bitter, hungry in the name | of others and beauty | We made it a temple, but in truth | it was gold leaf and ancient pine | tile and bronze and teak | it trapped voices as it always had, though | dwindling numbers of them | and, oddly, we were either stupid, and stayed on, or | we grew less hopeful | it was a strange | time, given the wealth we had and the luxury | of hours and | resources to burn… | Sometimes, you do still find one | among the longer grass, at the woods’ | edge | near dropped nests | slumped in its own muteness | hurting itself to shine again | as if | nothing had changed, and words | still meant something more than | words do | as if | you could take it entirely apart and discover, at the end | a secret, perfect and intact | the significance | of the skies and rusting | prams and | weeds and tiny bones and scattered feathers at the heart••


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

By the time we got there it had already changed | We wanted it to be like it was in the photographs | from the 1950s | Arriviste summer | spring overwhelmed and the green gross | blasé | Given head, it rushed and sprinkled | in its veins, it was its nature | a cathedral drowned in grass, butterflies | adapting to a drier climate | a camouflage of dirt and concrete | Winter gold was how it should have been | not with fruiting persimmons | lovely enough to drive the monks to burn it down | not a replica | Sure, it has its secret, but we feel | it isn’t the secret, anymore | not the proper secret | allure has spilled and leaked away | we don’t really care what it says, and perhaps | it doesn’t care, either | It made me weep | to listen to you on the plane | home | to feel the old pull | stupid and hopeful, as are we all | that should we go back | we would find | the buildings had flipped again, the mood | turned overwhelming, like a first sight of the ocean | that the day | had been carried into itself, once more | and had altered everything | to remain the same

Indifference massed around it | shaped in photographs and flashes | the sluggish yammer of guides and tourists | hiss of bag on slicker, plump | billow of stiffened umbrellas as the rain | (ageless and inscrutable) | gathered the temple into a thunderous shower | a pulsating bag of murk | with enough silver to betray | millions of gods and buddhas | A stick broken off from the main plant | somehow survives a long journey to | split out of its skin | first burgundy buds, then | green of the youngest and most delicate | of mayflies’ wings | Everyone was writing in those days, not because | they were any good at it, but because | they felt the pull towards | the notional audience | but there was | nobody, for the most part | just empty theatres in flatscreen | LCD cities (also | abandoned) | and the cruel | goblins of vanity | slowly scratching away at our spirits | making us more desperate, bitter, hungry in the name | of others and beauty | We made it a temple, but in truth | it was gold leaf and ancient pine | tile and bronze and teak | it trapped voices as it always had, though | dwindling numbers of them | and, oddly, we were either stupid, and stayed on, or | we grew less hopeful | it was a strange | time, given the wealth we had and the luxury | of hours and | resources to burn… | Sometimes, you do still find one | among the longer grass, at the woods’ | edge | near dropped nests | slumped in its own muteness | hurting itself to shine again | as if | nothing had changed, and words | still meant something more than | words do | as if | you could take it entirely apart and discover, at the end | a secret, perfect and intact | the significance | of the skies and rusting | prams and | weeds and tiny bones and scattered feathers at the heart

••


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