It is what you carry with you

The labour of a life in a moment || Love in the lit buildings, then it seems | sometimes | only the blocks of light are left, the buildings have | dissolved like a | taste on your tongue

Principles, statements, sweat beads, the tattered | trees of your predilections

When you are young the world is young | The future is peppermint | staying awake past the normal hour || When you’re old, the world feels aged, too, yet | is it? / It is what you | carry with you

The great weights, the stones, the ruins, how they’ve bowed you down, they | float in a simple change of direction, the coin-flip moment of letting go, that | jitter of blurred arcs of silver

All the words, too, with their infinite | wisdom and dullard | plod || How they have threaded you for so long | The people next to you | the strangers in their | glittering lines | each a bead | strung out on words, it’s what | you carry with you

In each thing is the | seed of the end | the moment of fatigue | the loss of impetus and volition | The holed | shanty of the cocoon | All the shades in ashes

Your life, your fate | your politics and where they’ll take you? | It is what | you carry with you

The act of carrying, as you age, it’s what you become | Answers, destinations, bottles to recycle | Your mother in a | sepia dress with | Chinese swallows | upon her shawl, your father | in Brylcreem and white | tux with cumberband | they are both | younger than you, now | and carry | out of their gazes | all the hopeful ignorance of their | desires || You wait for them | all you are | a smatter of thoughts and | daydreams | the scent of pine needles in a forest you didn’t | set out to find, the task | you neglected and | deserted

Put down | all the suns | Put down | the trains with their | lulls and drones | their knitting of knotting | over the points and the primary yellow | of oilseed rape against an | indigo sky, put down | Turgenev and Mark Strand | invite into you the final | question mark of | sleep, the serene, hazy, quizzical | total | interruption

And all the things you put down | what will become of them? | Nothing, mostly, but some of them | perhaps, or | some form of them, or | something like them | perhaps | or | mistakes that | look a little | like them | a stranger may | take up, a stranger may | perhaps | walk on with

So, to the brilliant | red | atoms of the cherry trees | So, to the | tears of self-pity and of compassion | the grunge and | squeal of the | train on the tracks again, the woman you love | improvising her | delicate beauty again | the | elongated pagodas of | pine cones | the elegant | formulations of your | futility, the | mobile ruins of your | ideals and | the scent of failure like a drifting gas

Take the peppermint, take a flummoxed | call for solidarity | Take what you can | Take what you will | What reason will you find? | What | choice do you have?

It is the | inevitable shape of your | next footstep

It is the name you remember and the name you forget

The memories of | anguish and of | bliss, of | ordinary things, things that | seemed ordinary at the time, or seemed | extreme | all the things | just a tiny | handful of the | things…

It is what | you carry with you, yes

And for a moment, yes, it’s

this

••


from the series hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)

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