Archives for posts with tag: from Kinetic | 2007 | Shearsman Books

Slowly, my wishes became monuments.
When she pressed her lips against the tissue
a slit of lipstick was left,
a Rorschach butterfly
in Rouge Mysore —
such a fragile detail,
and when we exchanged a kiss
it was desire for order,
the tissue falling into the bin
like a wounded snowflake.

Don’t, she murmured.

The party was boring,
another room in the house of regret,
an opulent mansion, filled with strangers.
I wanted to go back
and lift the tissue from where it had fallen,
a keepsake of almost nothing,
the stuff of life.
Instead, we talked about politics and films,
ice sheets and global warming.
We made our excuses and left early
but the forecast blizzard never arrived.

In the car we listened to music.
Held you tight but, darling, couldn’t hold you
the singer crooned. A commentator
said the characters engraved on the Taishan monument
looked like white sunshine
after the showers of late autumn have passed.
We don’t know the real beauty of the Taishan characters
because the stone monument has fallen apart
and not even a rubbed copy is left.
And still, when we drew up outside our house,
there was no snow.

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So the plane began to carry me away from you
That’s immaterial someone had just said
and the word fluttered in my mind like a single petal
come loose from a blossom twists in the air
I felt as if I might never see you again
I couldn’t hold you in my arms in the sky
We climbed and banked out over the ocean
then went into the clouds
Now I have to deal with the sky
One of your kisses is the silence up here
after the vapour trail has faded

You were in an old moss green silk dress
I stroked your arm
You knelt on top of me
Did you know that silk is stronger than steel I said
Then why don’t they build skyscrapers out of it? you asked
You kissed me
so we wove what we had from a moment
I wondered what the thread of that kiss could bear
Later, I found out

I was dreaming
The deer in the woods, one of them, a stag
with the face of an old friend
Even when I woke
I felt light-headed
and the day passed with the Zen seamlessness of dreams
There was a deer in the garden
nibbling at pine shoots
You phoned me and suddenly I was filled with sky

At high altitude over China
I heard your voice
when you were in tears
We’ve passed through oceans together
and been rolled for years among the waves
I didn’t understand
why there was no salt left on our skin
no taste of it
not a single grain

In thought’s zero-G
above the clouds
the skyscrapers float empires drift deer graze
among the constellations
of stars and stars
which have no names
The cities left behind the cities to come
caught in the night flight
look the same
lit webs of memory
I missed you so much
I couldn’t get back to you
There seemed no end
to a love that was homeless
to a love that had once been home

You disposed of me quickly, efficiently, one neat phonecall.
That’s cool. I guess you had your reasons.

Did you know, Yesenin wrote his last poem in his own blood?

That’s not my style. I’m more Zen, more detached.

I’ll never write a last poem.

 


re-post

Kinetic | Shearsman Press, 2007 | view

kinetic

Nick used tungsten film the colours glowed in the darkened room
Such light as there was was full and lush
as if it was going out of style
and the greens seemed to bleed and wash over themselves
while Nick snapped away we talked
listened to the Czars and sometimes we were quiet
I thought of you
a fir forest at the bottom of the ocean, trees
frozen with the birdsong still in them.

Later the clouds brought snow,
and I thought of the cold air blown in a wind from Siberia.

Yes, they were graves, so what?

And I thought it was a long way into my heart
but when you came to leave
I found it was just a short walk, after all.

 


re-post

Kinetic | Shearsman Press, 2007 | view

kinetic

We made love. I felt at once tender and affectless.
We sighed and were no one, for a little while at least.

They were helicoptering people up off the embassy roof.
Reizan, reizan, reizan… The whir of the rotors,
the whump and cackle of the blades as they went airborne,
the passing quietness of the sky once they had gone…

I know, I said I would love you forever.
I wasn’t lying. I meant it at the time. I just didn’t realise

forever doesn’t last that long.

 


re-post

Kinetic | Shearsman Press, 2007 | view

Occasionally the evening light in spring is so soft and subtle
it seems to tremble as if it might open
and let us in
Love haunts the coming night and she’s calling you
Something immense and strange happens to be close
we may just be on the edge of kissing
It’s so quiet if we speak now
our voices would resonate in the superclear air
Like a shadow falling over our shoulder
we can sense it
but not see nor hold
a presence so tender
It drifts nearer
but its nature is in passing
like an airliner gliding above butterflies
the flow of empty ripples across a pool
a frog swimming among tadpoles

 


re-post

Kinetic | Shearsman Press, 2007 | view

So the plane began to carry me away from you
That’s immaterial someone had just said
and the word fluttered in my mind like a single petal
come loose from a blossom twists in the air
I felt as if I might never see you again
I couldn’t hold you in my arms in the sky
We climbed and banked out over the ocean
then went into the clouds
Now I have to deal with the sky
One of your kisses is the silence up here
after the vapour trail has faded

You were in an old moss green silk dress
I stroked your arm
You knelt on top of me
Did you know that silk is stronger than steel I said
Then why don’t they build skyscrapers out of it? you asked
You kissed me
so we wove what we had from a moment
I wondered what the thread of that kiss could bear
Later, I found out

I was dreaming
The deer in the woods, one of them, a stag
with the face of an old friend
Even when I woke
I felt light-headed
and the day passed with the Zen seamlessness of dreams
There was a deer in the garden
nibbling at pine shoots
You phoned me and suddenly I was filled with sky

At high altitude over China
I heard your voice
when you were in tears
We’ve passed through oceans together
and been rolled for years among the waves
I didn’t understand
why there was no salt left on our skin
no taste of it
not a single grain

In thought’s zero-G
above the clouds
the skyscrapers float empires drift deer graze
among the constellations
of stars and stars
which have no names
The cities left behind the cities to come
caught in the night flight
look the same
lit webs of memory
I missed you so much
I couldn’t get back to you
There seemed no end
to a love that was homeless
to a love that had once been home

Slowly, my wishes became monuments.
When she pressed her lips against the tissue
a slit of lipstick was left,
a Rorschach butterfly
in Rouge Mysore —
such a fragile detail,
and when we exchanged a kiss
it was desire for order,
the tissue falling into the bin
like a wounded snowflake.

Don’t, she murmured.

The party was boring,
another room in the house of regret,
an opulent mansion, filled with strangers.
I wanted to go back
and lift the tissue from where it had fallen,
a keepsake of almost nothing,
the stuff of life.
Instead, we talked about politics and films,
ice sheets and global warming.
We made our excuses and left early
but the forecast blizzard never arrived.

In the car we listened to music.
Held you tight but, darling, couldn’t hold you
the singer crooned. A commentator
said the characters engraved on the Taishan monument
looked like white sunshine
after the showers of late autumn have passed.
We don’t know the real beauty of the Taishan characters
because the stone monument has fallen apart
and not even a rubbed copy is left.
And still, when we drew up outside our house,
there was no snow.

Occasionally the evening light in spring is so soft and subtle
it seems to tremble as if it might open
and let us in
Love haunts the coming night and she’s calling you
Something immense and strange happens to be close
we may just be on the edge of kissing
It’s so quiet if we speak now
our voices would resonate in the superclear air
Like a shadow falling over our shoulder
we can sense it
but not see nor hold
a presence so tender
It drifts nearer
but its nature is in passing
like an airliner gliding above butterflies
the flow of empty ripples across a pool
a frog swimming among tadpoles

I said that words were the hardest things in the universe
but you weren’t listening. I lapsed into silence

watched traffic go by. You struck a match.

I thought about yesterday, then I thought about today.
You said something about making a decision.

The smoke from your cigarette dispersed slowly, starting from your lips.