Not in the thoughts you had | Not in the place you left | But in the place you left | most of the thoughts you had | those abandoned cities of the heart | some of my words once haunting | the eyes of dead readers | A little Grand Guignol | a drop of blood in | alcohol | to rooms rented from the devil | yet hardly lived in | why don’t we | make another date in oblivion? | I was younger then | reading the Russians | Pasternak and Blok | Chekhov and Gogol | stories of provincial towns | I read in a provincial town | where they made steel and chemicals | only one of which I lack | some things simply | never click | That was another | age of austerity | and I was down on my luck | looking for the kind of knowledge | you just can’t Google | This is my Coward’s Diary | my life’s breadth’s confessional | a deserted hive | where the faintest scent of honey | still survives | don’t you think? | Run your hands through my hair | and count on my breath | my skinny body pale | with a Nordic night | in midwinter | from the bombed-out churches | where the Christs | gather dust on their thorns | and their ribs and crosses | am I the one you deserved? | The budding | heads of tulips | grape purple and green | on a cast iron mantel | by the chipped bathroom tub | how could you have guessed | I faithfully served | a withered Beelzebub | when I gave you my soul | All Rights Reserved? | Cars drift down old streets | all Anglias and Imps | and they’re covered with the | same dust | Christ is, too | and there are spiderwebs | wrapped around my face | an ad hoc chrysalis | a knock-off | bridal veil | see | it turns out | I’m Time’s fly | who’d have | thought it? | Crushed in here | an obsolete model | in the fairytale sleet | a genie | shot from his bottle | among the heels | and the evicted | my eyes once the jealous | colour of aphids and emeralds | or a preying mantis | my morals non-stick | my spirit romantic | this is my Hero’s Diary | and if you really loved me | you would be in it | The last of the first exits | on the right | on the loneliest | road in America | the loneliest | mirror in town | your own | tomb raider | reaching some of my words | once seen haunting | the eyes of fresh readers

 


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

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