Archives for posts with tag: hypergrammar

Ghosts of oil | smeared on the silver | ground | of a basement garage || a map of | excess | leakage | and flaws || Lovers | trying to | form | each other || Edges | blur || The connection of | potential fire | holds them but | not everyone, not all of the time, may | bear | hazards in mind

They drove out and sunlight flooded the car as they came above-ground || She put the music on and their memory | turned into a road | and the road | didn’t turn into a | memory…


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


The carousel of the station unfurls journeys | It is also a box of fireworks | releasing thousands of rockets per day

Everyone here is secretly hunting | but they don’t know they are hunters | Consequently, they migrate within themselves without being aware | that their quest is driving them from shore to sea, from the sea to new land | Some wake with elk in snow, some with airport lights in a humid climate | They think they know why | Living is no error | but it has no right

In varnished offices, decorated with Persian rugs and intriguing artifacts | psychoanalysts are drilling deep wells in search of the perfect waters of dreams | Often, their patients use stations

Covered by the things of sight, the other things | congregate and float like droplets of phosphorus in the ocean | or in mute herds | roam and, when rain approaches | grow still and patient and wait

The method of connection and the spirit of connection are separate and related | The spirit will guide the method | the method give succour to the spirit | How you connect, why you connect, what you choose to connect | these will shape you | But who will hold the map of all you connect? | This will be one night sky among many constellations | and in the morning | it will be different

At the centre of the desert of her days | an oasis has formed | Under tall date palms | there are peach trees | monkeys and hummingbirds | It is an eye | that opens and gazes up at the moon, at the sun | She wanders the desert and only occasionally stumbles on the oasis | refreshes herself then wanders again | losing her way | and the winds reshape the sands of her days | into dissimilar formations | tending to loss | eroding the paths and, with the paths, memory | The water is incredibly pure | Her oasis | so little visited | is a place for parables and prayer | or to lie very quietly in the shade and to dream

The world is one head | a mighty skull that can face in a single direction only | A honeycomb of tunnels, made by thoughts, connects people | but no one has a map of all the tunnels | and no one can see out of the world’s eyes | summon its giant gaze | or guess why it so solemnly and persistently | faces what it faces | rather than another landscape

Across another landscape | a lonely magician trudges | inventing new names for the seas of the moon | while bouncing at his hip | hung from his belt in a clay flask | his genie bitches and whines | craving a drink | distilled from the nectar of rare Egyptian roses | and unable to settle | missing, as he does, a certain oasis | in a young woman’s dreams | where the waters are calm and pure | and, years ago, he fell sleep | for the first time in centuries | and in the morning | woke and was the same and no one


from the series hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, July 2015)

Looking up at a passenger plane crossing | a hot August sky | leaving twin trails of vapour | soundlessly || horizontal towers

<reading Verlaine, Fêtes galantes, humid July days, weekend, 2014>

Ivory to sorrow | your young fingers | light bones on heavy bones | at a corner, looking | into the garden | it concludes | with no conclusion

A genie with amber eyes | striated with flares of gold | vertical | pupils of a Siamese | stares incuriously | from the confines of her bottle | She knows | what she sees | is not real | or is only real | as she sees it | and so puffs instead upon a pipe | of silver with elegant filigree | of roses wreathing round and round | twirls gliding shapes of smoke | makes shadows on the peeling walls | and with a neat, petite illusion | completes the scene | blinks | turns half away | distracted by the muted sound | of halting music | foals’ | first | standing | Frowns | Notes almost come adrift | from the scaffold of any song | unwelcome | strangers in a distant scene | old masters, mistresses, innocent | children, victims | of tiresome schemes | the practice of her glorious magic | to defraud bankers | to steal from thieves | and all the forging brain must cast | upon a theatre of matter | glimmering actors | the whole | paraphernalia | of lutes and tenses | cloaks and miles | frigates, dreadnoughts, nets and ports | possesses the true weight | of things glimpsed in the dreams | of drowsy butterflies encased in black cocoons | slung twisting by a slender thread | from the moist | underside of dock leaves | sent to flip and swing | by the mere | grazing of a gardener’s gloves

Not mimicking, but building | a special form of nothing | representing | what does not exist | but causes pain | Tant pis | Sorry you were not | invited

Space chopped up and skewed around | in a month of wars

Jane works with her brush so fine | on a tiny canvas | with so much effort | to such little effect

Dull conjuration | of fire hydrants and blue awnings | Scuffing through page after page | browsing | a pastiche of thinking | what do I care | if your diamonds | are paste | or not?







Flight plan


from the series hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, July 2014)

Breathing fragile everywhere

Rising and falling | locking | lung antlers

Duels for cobwebs | for clouds against the sun | for wave-polished cobbles | for anything

Tipping over the mountain | To take the nearest road | to the furthest road | lash your footsteps to the walk | wrestling a nightingale | sleeping under a tree | your face | sprayed with dew from a sparrow’s wings

Postcards of loneliness | Quiet tourist towns out of season | blank skies of famous landmarks | Soviet postcards | postcards from Burma | Czechoslovakia

The art of ending up | The air | whistles faintly through the trachea | inflates the cathedral, the compass and the pencil | oxygen | stirs the marble | the brain | floats on its cirrus | a sparkling mist | a circus with strange acts | locks with | murmuring keys

Slipped inside | a hidden ceremony | the logicians | pore over their screens | under the pebbles and the wheels | under the atoms | under the sun and thoughts of the sun | words tremble | blind, uncertain | craving mother | and if you could really touch them | I wonder | would they simply | die of shock?

Skyscraper desert

Coated in void

Forest is announced


from the series hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, July 2015)

We look for the subtle | thread passing | through these things: | books, snow, memories

Vast arched childhood afternoons | cathedrals | of tomes | fallen | buttons of concentration glint | so fiercely | in the sun

Lips a fairytale cook might ice | pink and sweet, the thread | passing | to the wrinkled, walrus man | with flab and whisker — what is

this thread?

Rabbits skinned, and Poacher Bill | in peaked cap, raised coat collar | in hatching grained | with weasel feature | slinks through rain | a country foe | for a country reader | while Sakaran | in her turquoise boat | escapes the prince | and his Northern Army | just | so | the thread | threads them all | to books, snow, memories… gold…

In its subtlety | lies its profundity and | in its ubiquity | lies its mystery

Local, it’s personal | yellow-teethed | roué | shadow | literati | slung upon | a necklace | of delicate pearls | the passed | thoughts | of vast | arched childhood afternoons | lying on tiles | in a demolished kitchen | too still to change | watching a butterfly | flicker and clicker | against the glass | outside | through the parted door | the giant | green of summer | swells and respires | the Ayres’s boy | all glasses and asthma | and where | does he place his eyes? | It’s local, it’s | personal | a country dream | for a country sleeper | bold Sakaran | in her turquoise boat | drifting downstream | upon the subtle thread | to a subtle end…


beads, hollowed | deserts | cars | burnt-out | whole churches | abandoned | lost to the bond | and link and | sense | of the thread

Summa of atoms | Summa of flesh | Summa of wealth or me or power | Summa of nature, Summa of “Man” | Summa of Latin, Summa of code: the subtle

fil | filo | hilo | thread | Gewinde | sutra | Xian | the subtle

thread passing through these things: | books, snow, memories… gold and shore

We look



from the series hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, June 2014)

Husks blown on electric winds

Has it

come to this?

Up all night | up all hours | waiting for our seed to | shoot | white out | the black petals | furled as the | winter came on

And we can’t talk about | too late | because it is


from the series hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, June 2018)

The world is a work of art

We place it outside us, a great mound of glittering light and | shadow

Billions of pairs of butterfly | eyes | flutter over its surface | drawn to its enigma and its | dusty, routine | splendour (for where else can our eyes be drawn but | to the world?)

It shimmers because it is | not still, because | our hearts are not still

It can never be known, because it is always growing, built into the scintillating and fluid amalgam of futurities by our | desire, our | ambition and | our exhausting love

Wild animals cross it, at dusk, this immense | cosmopolis | and stones grind through it, snails | cling to dew-tipped stalks | in woodlands or the Shogun’s gardens | but all of these inhuman moments are | made inside us, worked | from the subtle and tireless | conceptual factories where | fairy semantic labourers | dart and glisten, and in a rainy, remote | corner of the city | heaven is fired up in innumerable sparks and instantly | collapses again into | a sound of dogs barking, the doorbell | ringing

Majestic and quotidian, modest and limitless | things | just exactly as they are | are | things | as we | decide and turn them | grievously and blissfully | out of ourselves

It’s not a big deal

Heaven and loneliness | a rusting nail, the colour of cocoa, in a railway sleeper | your daughter’s | face as she | is startled awake in front of the | TV | they are all | firing and fading | although we only ever | seem to see the fire | and when the doorbell goes, and you answer, you’re glad to see | a friend

At night, the anonymous | makers of it all | lay down their ethereal hammers and | rest their heads upon their anvils and | dream

The world is a work of art


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

Floating in cyberspace

not you, not me, not exactly

Flotsam | Thinking the wreck back into place, over and over | studying the geometry of smoke | mumbling about hieroglyphs | and shooting stars | when THE GREAT SOMETIMES | intervenes

Melting down those gold connectors

Being a gravity | So we… | drifted into | each other

so much | that

we never left | it doesn’t have to be | Saturn or Jupiter

A big summer

on the Intact label

The rocks meant no harm | and it was only a fall from | a certain perspective | the masts and sails | laments of doomed crewmen | a lullaby | for tetchy young | electric eels and schools | of passing seahorses

Floating in cyberspace

not here, not there, exactly


on kelp and current hearses

Melting down those gold connectors

Parsing shells on a dusk seashore

And they said, “Hey, Michael

how come”

Leave it a while, go back, all the reasons | are in the power of rhymes

And they said, “Hey, Michael

are we really here?”

And I said, “Sure, well



from the series hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, June 2015)

Lighter than the darkness of a light sleep | whose years are these now?

I dreamed I was young and the world not yet quite | finished | Your face was rose and rash, you had caught the sun | I didn’t know what a kiss was | After we had | turned the old devil out of doors | the hooves of green sequins, farts | of purple smoke and a wrinkled grin | flashing a glamour still | we wouldn’t let him back in | not until he swore | to appear as a youth again | as he really was | On the train south, remembering the trip through the meadows | Pull the blade of | yellow grass | once more | between my lips | mouth to mouth | swallow a darkness | full of those hours | not needed by sleepers | and steal all the doors | leading into the house | Five days without mirrors | knowing these things | to their end / sealing the boxes / hammering down the lids | Looking ahead | to the lion’s | share of life | Pitching camp | at the edge of a dream | not wishing to leave, rushing, like spring for a summer | a silver spree of salmon | home | for the first time, towards | a stranger I’ve somehow | already met…

<April Fool | In the spaces between our thoughts | what journeys do we take, what | suitcases lose, what | played tricks forget?>


from the series hypergrammar (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, June 2013)

He has evacuated his suit | left his hat on a table | all that is left of him | is a cone of golden dust

The dust knows | if a janitor or a | policeman | a neighbour | a gardener | were to open one of the windows | into this quiet room | the wind would have to grow mouths | at some point | the dust knows | the mouths would begin | to eat him away

<a great fear | May, 2014 | clouds and lungs>

Touch | very gently | nearby | objects | A phone | computer keyboard | empty cardboard | box | his own face | Revere them for their lasting | a mute | humility of matter

Left his gloves in the hall | coat on the bannister | his “effects” | “possessions”

Nude | she gazes at the cone | of golden dust | Emergency | services | paramedics with megaphones | firemen with axes | hail her | she understands | the routines of disaster | she doesn’t | wait long | to find his misplaced | cigarette lighter | leaves it and runs | out into the weird | jubilation of the sirens and the jewellers with their | elegant stores | the libraries of teak and oak | vellum | script | gilt | of ink and | sundry other forms of | treasure

The wind | has no taste for parables | SYMBOLS | icons | metaphors

The cone of dust | breathes very, very lightly | as all things breathe | an oxygen of absence | of connected | vanishings | all eyes on the lovely teardrop | carved and shone | none on the curled | shavings of silver

A passing | lover | sniffs the air | in the empty room | a certain staleness | odour of grief | of fading | She tuts | and opens a stiff | window

Outside, a noise of traffic | drifts closer | At dusk | honeysuckle will begin to | issue its essence, a stealth | of sweetness | and she will forget | about the opened window | the dark blue suit | sloughed casually off | beside a quarter | of the bedside | she will remember him | and the wind | will grow mouths


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