The slow storm of time has blown down the pyramids and the Empire | State Building | we are looking at the cheval glass as it is manoeuvred up the stairs | a palm of such intense green | is sliding horizontally into the sky | a prisoner | and a token of nature | tremulously rooted to the dark, star-shot waters | of a distant oasis | and the Babylonians have completed their ratios | and the dressmakers of the Ancien Régime have mislaid their needles | tremendous wars have been fought and troops have died | in uniforms of scarlet, of grey, of cream and khaki | and meaning has been erected and subverted, chased, worshipped and despised | and so here we are | by the wallpaper of duck-egg blue | printed with white designs | of baby’s-breath | doing what we do | being what we are | and the rest | for us | is nothing | even the Trojans

Put your fist in my mouth | just | shut me up | Hang me from cords you bought online | from a marine outfitters | and cut me with razor blades | not too much but | cut me a little more | if you like | we have the time | and I have ample reserves | of grief and confusion | and of course | blood | and if I pass out, then, well… | So this is the good life | Like elegant mules, carrying their supplies in designer bags, five | bags to a hand | and in their designer clothes and sunglasses | the shoppers emerge from famous emporia | the escalators will take them up | or down | as they require | this might be pleasure | it has no moral | You put | my head in your hand | and begin to squeeze | and we talk in between sessions | in between rooms | in between sleeps | and we muse | on our fates | although the confusion is, perhaps, inevitable, have I come to like | the grief? | Squeeze and squeeze and squeeze | and crush down the matter | to a point of singularity | the state where others take the stage | and perform their plays | and indeed | build their own theatres | Our friendship has become | entangled | the puppets with intertwined strings | only the sunflower boy, allegedly | can save us | personally | I doubt it | when every remark we make resembles | one of those insects | we inadvertently kill | when we feel | a light contact | on our skin | which unsettles us | Where geology and climate conspire | from the desert an eye | of fertility | figs fall | and at night | a young girl’s dream | is nested inside | the dream of Achilles — the creak of the ropes as the ship | sails over the water | and every so often | as the bow smacks a wave | a momentary coolness | against the refreshing flesh | of atomised foam

 


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