Back to the party | No one is interested in what you say, except the boy, and he is later | when you are dead and there are palm trees | If you had money, this place would be different | it would appear to be | more under your control | and though appearances can be deceptive | deception sustained for any amount of time | will do for truth, and besides | appearances can be veracious, too | They say it was her greatest work | her most radical | I say | it is full of tired modernist/postmodernist clichés | most of this was done | back in the day | the 19th/early 20th century day | and the rest | no one gives a fuck, or if they do | they should get out more | go where real things are happening to real people, principally | to me | Back to the party | the brains being peeled one by one | and the drugs kicking in | all the promises you made | about loyalty and beauty | flushed down the pupil | into the unverified place | a darkness | conjuring the various spectres of faith | the tried and tested | routines | operates | And Jim has this great trick with matches | he looks pretty cool in his cowboy shirt and hair | slicked back like a windswept sumo’s | while Ted is hawking his theory | of itinerant concepts founding a groundless reality | but no one is interested

Turn up the music, turn down the thoughts | a beat will get you through | when logic breaks apart | Go to the bar where the pilots go | in Shanghai | where boys and girls | dressed as mermen and mermaids | swim in glass tanks | swim and dance | of course they have plans too! | Or go to where the crowds are going | will you find | what they are finding there? | Though England made me, MDMA saved me | now haul up the golden anchor | and listen to the glassy sound | of the breeze ruffling crystal sails | make landfall on a weekend island | of furballs and murmurs | and paywalls and murders… | On background TV | in a serious programme | a trivial guru is asking | Of course, doesn’t it follow that | if, as life goes global, the intensity and regularity of the state | we may call solitude grows, then | now, Jim, my man, tell me | how did we find our way | into this Killjoys’ Kingdom? | We make the choices, or so | we are told | We are in control, or so | we are told | We are making progress, or so… | We like the rush | the forward momentum | infinitely prolonged | or the illusion thereof | flight without landing | cruise without ports | dreams without sleeping | When you wake | crowned with seashells and pearls and intricate bones | your body smells of decaying kelp | on a humid shore | where Jules, dressed as Pierrot, stares catatonic into a mirror | and the avaricious waves | paw pale sands | Back to the office, a few hours now till Monday | reaping less and less | what more and more | strangers sow | And though one is lonely | in her cap and braid | and one is lonely | in his sequins and someone | else’s  hair | if you are a passenger | go to where the pilots go | and stay there

 


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