The money slides away | it becomes like gas or mist | evaporates from accounts | and their homes | too | start to evaporate | the bricks and mortar | the roof over their heads | the streets come closer | the concrete | the bathroom and the | street comes closer | the money slides away

It was like | What am I going to do now? | For 15 years, it was like | living in a gigantic aircraft hangar | sleek and cool and cavernous | and I was working on that massive plane | The wings stretched out and almost touched | the hangar’s sides | and I kept busy, you know | the plane was so compelling, and it filled the space | and it took up my time | sometimes it was even | hard for me to move because | the plane was so colossal | we were cramped for room | But then one day | we finished work on the plane and | it was rolled out onto the tarmac | and it flew away | and then I walked back into the hangar | and it was so empty | I can’t tell you how empty | only, a word | even a softly | spoken word | echoed in there | now the gleaming fuselage | didn’t take the sound | and soak it in… | It was like | Jesus had left the building | like Lazarus had deserted the grave | and you know | a lot of people came and looked down | into that empty grave where Lazarus had been lying | the coffin broken and the litter from | other tourists and sightseers | around the mounds of earth | and it seemed to me that | when Lazarus got back from the commotion | around the grave | when he slipped into his apartment | put on the espresso machine | sat down quiet and still | on the balcony | overlooking the sterile | unfriendly neighbourhood where he lived | after he’d showered and removed any odour of the tomb | and put into his hair instead | scents of strawberries or jojoba | he might have looked up | and seen | very high in the sky above him | a plane passing overhead | and he might have asked himself | What am I going to do now?

The money slides away and | your knees graze on the concrete paving stones | when you fall | You couldn’t | carry the roof | from over your head | in your pocket | You had to put the temple down | put the aubergines and the organic | carrots down | the street came closer and closer | and there was no bathroom | in the street | no landline | and Mahomet goes home at night | and Rimbaud and Mrs Kelly | and Signor the cat and | Tank the beige pug | and Signor is fine-spun Siamese | if you look into their windows | you’ll see them all at night | the God of the Nine Monkeys, Atum, Baal, Zeus and Amaterasu-ōmikami | they’re all at home | watching Netflix | maybe old musicals | or documentaries | on Goldman Sachs or Treblinka | or the ecosystems of coral reefs | or they’re doing their washing | or dividing space up into | divine segments, with nothing | ever left over | and their homes are solid | the work done on them | was good | they stand and give off the comforting | aura of permanence and respectability | but let me tell you | o my sister, o my brother | they are not in the street | the street is | far away from them | the street where you | find the kindness | is running out | and the violence | is starting to flow | more copiously | and you see | no sign of Baal here | do you? | No sign of Siddhārtha | no small offerings of rice or rose petals | or the fumes | of incense of sandalwood or cinnamon | or juniper | although sometimes, perhaps, you might hear | the beginning of a question | like | What is the — or How shall we — | but you never hear the ending | to the question | and the answers | therefore | scatter even further away from you | but it’s okay | maybe we’ll get more work in | Moscow, or Southern California?

The accounts empty, the debt | slides in | and the buildings that were secure | start floating | The money glides away | it leaves the trees and the deli and the recycling bins | and goes where it must go | drawn away | to fire the furnaces | to fuel the research | to reinforce the walls | to collect | in gilded backwaters | where the tracks of the former railway | where the trucks of the former conglomerate | where the policy of the former administration | where the… and the… | and where | in the distance | through the fir trees | there’s a sound of hammering and buzzsaws and tractors | and with winter closing in | you wonder | as the carpenters work on the roof | and the electricians | work on the fence | What are they going to | do in this building?


from the series fp2 (on-going sequence of poems, commenced 2016)