Archives for posts with tag: hypergrammar

Falling asleep over the words…

The trees bow and lay down their cloaks of shadows / with sweeping gestures

invite you in

The bear’s eyes burn with the sombre fire | from the old animal furnace | grumpy and tired | will he | give us a ride?

At dusk, owls ignite their stares | of gold and young sun and peeled orange / the woodsman’s three children / down below / on the path | don’t notice

The snake by glide | the salmon by leap and swivel, turning the pearls on a layer of air | to flying beads of silver

Everybody is very sociable in the forest | Even the psychopaths are charming

But which ones are the psychopaths?

The landscape slips open | the text and crows, now, which is which? | The creep and screech and twitch

Head heavy as a bear’s head, as Bruin with a Bruin’s plod and slope | sleep slops and sluices | on the edge of the moonlit lake | a fairy girl gazes as she goes | on her light switch schoolwork | pinnace of beetle’s backs and frosted sails | of cobwebs caught in a short gasped shot of winter…

The catalogue of ships, calling forwards | and back | to the Greeks and teens / Trojans and Kit and exile and gulag and gloomy Achilles | and Ilium | and scrape of the Ark’s keel | on the first | tip of Armenia…

The grandfather clock never quite escaped
its native genus, and at night, from polished sides
twigs and leaves begin to scratch, while on the glass face
centipedes drip and trickle down
uncurling like loose, bronze necklaces…

And that sound? | Of distant chimes? | Half the sound of Gion temple bells | summoning to the spring air | the hearing of each | an echo of the impermanence of all things | half | my snout and muzzle | bloodied and rusted by all I’ve snaffled | for my noonday meal | but no that sound | is the end of the fight | swords and armour laid down | and the body | and the knowledge of wrong, and right, and wrong | and in between | half that is | the sound | of Achilles at midnight…


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


Has the time passed when we | will have forgotten this?

Coal dust and roses

Intimate eye, no more truthful | than any other | except | in that it is our eye, this | intimacy: it is | our kiss…

Coal dust and Jack Frost

No, no: my kiss | A thief’s share, always | Then barrels of traffic, blunder and clouds | round and round | five more days | of commuter life… | My kiss, not ours, I take it | in a sack thrown over my shoulder | across rooftops at night | tip-toe and teeter, trot and slide | on clinking tiles | fear like a cat’s eyes glowing | in a sudden shaft of moonlight…

Jack Frost: where are his footsteps?

Burning dry flowers on a fire | in the same grate over time has gathered | the ashes of ledgers | faggots of cherry, oak | peel of satsumas | and slight | satsuma pips | spat through smoky air | lissom with glisten

Why the tears? So smoky in here

How can I put this?

Portents and foreboding

Where can we put this?

Charms, chimes, gleams, games

Where did the wind come from? | blows a vapour of cataracts | from the silenced willows? | The river’s | rifle doesn’t fire | I get so confused | by saints and skaters

An overpowering scent of cold woodsmoke | in mornings cracked from slumber | and a hoar cocoon

Has the time come | for us to forget this?

Thompkins’ barn a black mass | gorgeous | theatre where spiders weave their cobweb ruffs, a spiteful | tractor rusts but did it move? | Did it?

Intimate, belonging only to us, a jewel | locked in boxes of moments and inches | how much | theft is left in us?

Coal dust and boots

November boy, that matters, skews the seasons round a jot | blends the humours | add a pinch of solitude | like an airy yeast | snow | inters Jackson’s ditch | we grow caught up | in the sea’s | transactions with the moon | a life | littered with hidden, personal things

Boots, and fire tongs, and coal dust

And your heart? Will it?

Withered flowers not fresh with giving

Grieving | and the Laceys’ girl born stillborn | the Carpenters’ girl | born premature

Has the time come

when we will remember this?


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

Left hidden, meaning to be found later

Midway across the bridge of an instant, press on, hoping to get to the other side

The blizzard worsens, take shelter in a woodsman’s hut | the ghost you find there, you pour into her | all the love you have been concocting | out of sight | slipped in the backs of the books of | harmless pleasantries


The single bullet the suicide cherishes | hidden among routine light | under the frozen surface | bulbs sleep, porting their secret | Heat and fragrance you will never find

Mademoiselle in daffodil silk | all a-fluster | She stoves the sun in her pocket | What is the sensation | whips the clouds to such fine lather, pushes April deeper into harm | teases the petals, all at once, open?

Soft bash and flutter in the woods | the birds are set | rushing to their own discovery

When she leaves me, I dream of that book again, the one where | when | I part its pages | banknotes peel out in streams and fall

Bones for the attic | boards for the floor | and what the rich | think of the cold

Irregulars | steal from the store | The plummet and gash | of milk from the clay jug | shatter of mother on cool tiles | the pantry | in my paternal | grandparents’ house | the narrowest of alleys | reduced to a snowflake | creaking in a cobweb | scatter | of raider rats’ claws

Going back | to the same place, but the same place | has gone

I wake suddenly, into an aura of treasure

Bones for the flagstones | bones for the gutters



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

Piecemeal man, tatter cake, taken from a bag of scraps | what comes after “fragment”?

<fascination with Rimbaud, boyhood, 70s>

And the road is having afterthoughts, the ship of maps | with Paris, riding at anchor | nothing | stays in these pockets | they are full of holes

Smoke smiling in bottles | brown fog, lashed to echoes | frays and dithers | then fades through the long dissolve | to empty decks, no crew survived | frost chastens the spars and rigging | rock and creak, crock | rock and creak | no five bells no come about Mr | the stars are super-cooled | Alpheratz and Fomalhaut | toy to Christmas lights on Finnish larch | when ice falls in washing | stalactite spears | it sounds the breaking of Chartres gargoyles | magicked to brittle glass | and litters of angels in sacks for drowning | like wriggling kittens | will you stay | to see them cast | or to hear out | the excuses from your benevolent genie?

Drunk in a mirror hotel | pin your senses to a winter cloud | those old, hand-drawn poets | lolling on donkey epithets | chasing down butterflies with gauzy nets | all queuing for their papers | on the side of Parnassus | cirrus-maned lions | and deal negotiators | vain mountain | land-locked and heaven-pointed | take up your berth | in a fragile | see-through boat | abandon the age | with visas franked by snakes and tigers | booked passage | and headed out | into the heated air | rising like Montgolfier | igniting like the Lumières | the sea, the fountains and the debts | the squabbles and the reputations | the blooded cobbles and the city squares | are lit into three syllables | and turned to gossamer

Lima, London, Caracas, Port Said

You see

you cannot buy shares in paradise

if so, what use is that stale eternity?

and those passport poems | rejected into fashion and degrees | turn toys

Ransacked, heaven is a mess | a place looters and thieves may camp awhile | donning silks and feathers and pearls | but words | transparent to a T | failing from promise and their absolute

you seal their fate | by turning your back on them | and all their frail craft | their fleet incendiary fire | put on your boots and walk through mud | prefer a truth of goods and guns | schedules | agendas | notebooks | for lines of figures

so you wake | start to roam

in a trail of steam, a scream | of strange seabirds | diving from bleached cliffs | gaze from the stern

left with

tusks | ivory | journey | bald foam


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

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



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

All the mothers are walking towards the sea.

They aren’t going to be mermaids, or angels, or anything like that, and they aren’t going to be motionless for too long, or food for worms — although, I guess, some of them will be mermaids

for a little while.

All the mothers are walking towards the sea. My mother, first.

The sea raises its old white head, and makes shapes — strikes poses, not even from memory, for it is beyond | memory, and before

memory, too.

The mothers are walking towards the sea, the ones who died in their cars, the ones who burned, and their mothers walk in front of them, their children straggle behind.

The fathers can’t make sense of it, so instead | they do what they always do, and watch, impotently, as the sea | dumps its tons of white carnations | onto the beach, they have things they must achieve | before they die in cars, die from inhaling | smoke: they have money to make, and money to squander, they quickly | grow tired of watching the waves | foam into the sand, and their children are calling.

All the mothers are headstrong, they insist | on walking towards the sea, your mother, first.

Their beds were green, eyes | peeped out from between the leaves. They loved the evenings in the city | in summer just after rain | the lights were tender then, the future stretched wide, like a plain, and their bodies | came upon them over and over again | like king tides.

They go in lines, towards the shore, it’s not a matter of will, not a matter of thought or of design, not a matter of fate, and the fathers | can’t make sense of it, they start running away, although I guess | with their children calling, why would they linger?

The sea raises its young white head, just for the mothers.

Along the coast road, as night falls, the traffic builds, the vehicles put on their lights, it will take a while | to get to the city. Put on some music. Sleep in the back.

What’s the worst that can happen?

Let me tell you: it’s already happened.

All the mothers are walking towards the sea. Their young children | struggle to catch up.

My children, first.


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

A red rumour, glistening and fringed with wiry hair | a peephole in the sun

Blind fragments crawl across the floor, searching completeness, how | distant the past seems, though | it runs right through me, bringing | evocative scents of plants I could not name…

The far-off cry of earth, burial-place soil, lumps of moist clay | vectors of invisible journeys — the tip of the iceberg

All the translucent meteors of our glances | burning without flames / forever passing and with no home

At the apex of our touch | a caress might loop in a love, but / the base is immense and contains forests | the rhythms of the tides of cold northern seas beat against our temples

Our radiant skulls | crumble under the waves…

<moth at the window | that broken old bucket of a soul / pours out fluid ships of molten gold and the eyes of drowning sailors / roundels on unfolded wings>

Silence flowers

Generation to generation, we pass on new myths of words | those gigantic creatures / trolls and ogres, dining on syntax

A young skinhead puts tickets to the cinema into the glass window and the shaking of the engine stirs him erect

The modesty of incompletion

A part for Neptune, a part for Arabia | tendrils, bound to Pluto / veins of Rilke’s silver / bright RGB pixels

Knowing it isn’t enough, but having no other words

Moths fretting the lighted window of a kitchen at night

to query the beauty of the stars

My fingers, still hinting their | gorilla approach …

<lush samsara, so dense and fertile, the forest | embeds its ephemera into the form / of a day without care>

If there is only one thing, how | may we stop it | coming for us?

You don’t need | to pay, he tells her, but she says

I always pay

Out on the calm waters of the yacht-fringed harbour | the ferry heads for our stop | You look so great, on the deck, standing there | against the logo | of the City Transit Authority, you seem | to pack into the moment | more than it can ever carry, and I like that | It makes me intensely aware | “taking it with us” | is hopeless, and | we’ll never stop trying to

If I ever stop wanting you | it will not be me

You are never you

she says | and after a moment, she adds, thoughtfully

I guess that’s why I love you


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

Far off from this empty capital | peasants bow their heads into the wind | butt against the earth | the green | liquid and rot of the forest…

Bureaucrats hurry to shred information | You remember, move quickly away | hang out in a destroyed bar | where they still play | the old music

Sometimes, they’ll use the lamp posts | for gallows | string up | not only the tyrant, but the tyrant’s | lover and children

But this is not history

Are there laws | bring you here? | A mound of accidents | elegantly refined | into a life?

Browse through a dusty novel | with images of famous bombs

What use is new music?

In the wreck of a beetle | tiny wasps are laying eggs | but you have chosen the desert | not the dunes…

You have chosen the forest | not the path…


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

What is your past without its fantasies? | The trenchant

question you thought of, but never asked? | From the pen, spring blossoms in strands of air | swirl | A cargo of leaking chemicals | mixing | lilacs and herons on the estuary | Pasternak and Mayakovsky | huddling and letting loose | pottering | conspiring | strange combustions

She’s a million writing nibs, the ink | cocks cities and Gaul | bright, helpless golden | vanes | their lots are much the same | to spin at the weather’s bidding | She

You have lied yourself into ardour, into honour, even into authority | The small fort of the future | too remote, you’re forced | back into allusions and | all the fallen bastions of your past | the furniture scattered around the rooms | of ruined illusions | Your boots and the road both wait

Into a well, they drop all the forks in the paths | you never took | a brittle, beggars’ lightning

Au fait with ignorance, you catalogue fifteen types of border | Choose a footstep on a northern road | Oceans, puddles, waterbeads | True roadbuilders dig the atoms up and | leave them in piles, clear evidence | of tyrannous construction

Holding two thoughts together in the one mind | In this word

or in this word | you | can’t find the exit door, and can’t recall | quite | how you entered

Even the new is old, hadn’t you | realised? | Sift through the wreckage for the prettiest piece of wreckage | the glittering thing | that doesn’t look like wreckage

On a path with so many ghosts for company | With their laughter and bawdy and their fragrant needs | although they are entirely lies | they put the living to shame, and you | half wonder whether, when the path divides and they | seek to take the one into the night | you shouldn’t join them, or at least

Oh, look, there you are! | Just as you were | setting your autograph | to every single snowflake | in the blizzard | smiling | waving to your fans, and your heart feels as if | its feet touches the ground only | once in every seven leagues – so quickly are the | crowds dispersing

The freckled pear topples on its rolling side | So much darkness for you now, you must be a light sleeper | I feel embarrassed to leave you, but | your way is there, and I | take this path


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

Islands of sleep | Remote, unreachable

Shoreline, much later | Strangers clamber through the dreck of teenage dreams | adults and children, both | neither belong

Some vast, toppled industry | a tangle of ruined cranes | obsolete products | junk that was jewels

Picking through the waste | sieving the shallows | where tiny, mutant fish | flip their silver | and gasp, and | gasp…

We cling to the faultline | It gives out | seasonal blossoms, a ratio of grief, an irresistible desire | we find in ourselves | the electric | hunger of the cherry stones | and in the sticky | mess on the pavement | under suburban | black cherry trees | spectres hold hands | helpless, must issue | moment by moment | a desperate | luscious slime

Islands of sleep | Deserted, we imagine, but no one | walks under those moons | no one calls back to us | when we lay our mouths | against the vent | the breathing quiet | here in the bright, the busy | mainland of wakefulness | no one comes through | our voices don’t reach them

What are the faces | appear in sleep’s mirror?

Old man, you are not needed here…

Hoarding an error | Feeding a mistake | greedy | Ariel equals Caliban | By sleight of hand | producing a monster

Eating fried jewels | The forest’s horizon | a saturated green | Our bodies, stretched to their own, aching azimuth | sport out regrets…

Marching | Marching | Marching | Marching | Marching

Following quicksilver’s | notation | What is left, we are | Residues | clinging inside | cracked barrels

The might of private armies | stranded in their age and gender…

Mourners at my birth, you were right, you were right…


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