Archives for posts with tag: hypergrammar

She couldn’t keep the sea inside her | Likewise | he couldn’t keep the sea inside him | and there were hawks

This is the day she thought | I will keep the sea in | She knew it was there | he was less certain

They called the sea by different names | but the names floated on the sea | wreckage from storm-struck schooners | branches of tamarind, garlands of hyacinths, given as offerings | tennis balls

Days, he seemed a shore | evenings, more delicate, like the shredded glitter of insect wings | caught in high beams but first in glances

And there were hawks | diving | Threads picked up and put down | He thought they led to dry land, some at least, but he didn’t know | the land was inside the sea’s heart | the sun and the stars, too | They both believed | they could escape the sea | but when they couldn’t sleep | all they could feel | waist deep and overturning | was the glimmering conundrum of the waves | rolling and breaking | and their bodies being slowly dragged | to and fro | in the cold jaws of tides

She couldn’t keep the children inside her | and there would always be a slant, the way the moment | signs itself, under pines, at dusk, say | or couched inside an air bubble rising | from the seabed | half asleep and wings crumpled | eyes like a lynx, and daddy far off at the wars

Days, she was so capable | she understood the rules | She kept her loneliness | sewn away inside her, at night though the sea | swelled and tore down | the wallpaper with orange trees, the efficient | circulation of the blood | loyalty | the weight of the moon | things like that

Amicable | the conversation, the subtle currents | of gestures, timbre with rainforests, sadness, just the right | shimmer of levity | they had so many names for the sea, but the sea | outran them all, and the sea | had a name for her | she never heard | and for him | even for the hawks | flying so fast, over the coast, who knows where?

The sea | kept them inside itself | and sometimes | this was called drowning

 


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

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Suspension bridge

Floating whole forest | coconuts, pines, gardenias and all

The darkness of imagined interiors | ants of thoughts | crawling over the brain | a new colony | a new confusing love

In a doorway | leaning, and waiting | she | bucks gently against what he makes of her | annex and alteration | masons with chisels and measures | a whole forest | on a crowded train | they are | no longer sure | of their destination

Built fire

Built mountain

Chains of ghosts on upland paths | a wedding party | porters with crates | bearing gifts | the wide south | opening into suffusion | too much to take in | and the soft, mild cries | of those left out | abandoned | by the side of the track

Floating whole star | with addenda of light | stopgap hearts | beating | tentatively lit | by a fizzle of afterthoughts | fireworks after the ceremony | ashes, after the certainties

Progressing by | standing still | Mistaking ghosts | for ourselves, and the ghosts | mistaking us for living

Built storm

Built caress

The long stone | draped out | pleasure cruisers | throbbing on the indolent | lengths of the Tiber | party-goers | with horns and costume | synth-pop and fauns | putti | with glimmering wings | blowing bubbles | with toot and parp and blah | folded in an echo | they quarrel and | make up | drowsy from a balcony | look down on the river | carve their kisses very slowly | very carefully | yet | have no home, no port, no | vessel for | this night | floating entire city | slipped into a darkened | emptiness | folded | into a stranger’s heart | their only mark | to pass and purely to remain | a stranger

Monkeys | Confounding ants | glitter with new gardens

intellectual | with parsed passions

Monkeys | and the skulls | of monkeys | and ants | starting out | a road from Rome

Monkeys…

Coconuts, pines, gardenias and all

 


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

Falling asleep against the mountain, not really the mountain, but really | asleep

In the train’s mouth | days and days, the delicate | bones of flowers

There you might find a Persian charmer | will they | take your mind off the boy, the boy, the boy?

Do you want your mind taking off the boy?

The … boy | The | boy?

A lute slung over his shoulder, kicks pebbles across the track | walks fast, hands in the pockets of his robe | six wizards in a bag and a wiry dog adoring him | a hustler and a young sage | licks up the spilt fuel from the petrol truck, not really | a mountain

Waking up in a stranger’s bed | With your mind in a muddle and a muddle in your | mind | And Again? in your thoughts | in the middle of the muddle | More stolen flowers, more weeks feeding a ravenous road, but mostly | the moments, such as | early morning on the way to work, glancing up | to see crows and the moon, autumn | revving down its faded engine, really | asleep

Asleep if your dream is not to be here

Asleep if your days are sold for lies

Asleep if you keep silent when she’s near you and the train’s mouth | swallows August whole, crunches | bones of | diaries, dress-down, Microsoft Office…

So, anyway, the sorcerer goes back into the desert | he has no fear of this barren land | Whips tops, more youthful than his powers | laughs to see his dog | digging up human remains | in a valley the armies | contested, then | the valley stayed, littered with munitions, while the armies | left, empty space and olive trees | rest peacefully against the flank | of the snow-hatted mountain | my eyes | are porous and the boy | issues from them with every | September glance

In robes of coral pink and golden bronze, hat of vital turquoise | wide-sleeved coat of dark pine green | the young magician leaves a humble inn | strides off into the Persian daylight | In irrelevant palaces | of white marble | peacocks rattle their feathers and utter | shrill, irrelevant screams | Scribes | compose allegories and fairy tales | students doze upon their texts, and the texts | doze upon the centuries | the centuries | just doze and the professors | the wise elders of the tribe | feed their tame theories grains of millet or maize, and at dusk, the cages | flash back the low sun’s light, but not | really | asleep

There you might find | “happiness at last” | put down the mountains | you’ve carried all this time | perhaps | even forget the boy?

Spells for mournful doe-eyed virgins | for youths with unconvincing facial | hair | for the withered | twisted | stiffened | old | people | spells | for indigestion and grief | spells | for moving invisibly, for taking on | the forms of beasts, spells | to recover lost memories, or | to conjure | a precipice over which you may | throw those things you wish to forget, and then | wake!

There you might find | a floating mountain | a ride on the back of a flat-bed truck | with goats and chickens | and the plain | so bashed about by void and heat and ice | and in the distance | the end of the plain and the end | of the boy?

The boy?

She’s beautiful, why not | celebrate this fact? | Four months pregnant and the weight of life | growing inside her, Vallejo’s “distance of two hearts” | to be travelled from now on, and I | am so enamoured with her | should I steal her away | from these days I long ago | sold for lies? / such are the | quandaries of amour | — ah, l’amour!…

Whistles for his dog, the Iranian night | touches the English night, the | American and Russian night, the | Nicaraguan night

The armies of each faction | are given to the night and surrender to sleep, to sleep and dreams and the boy | (the boy?) | comes to them, man and woman, and in the irrelevant | temples, the prayer books are stacked and doze | upon the backs of angels, the angels | doze, just doze, the priest’s | small kettle comes to the boil and a neutral steam | rises in a magician’s fume…

There you might find | brilliant violet flowers against the | creamy dust | of the valleys, and in a crack in your train’s | journey | join together two | threads of sense, then | feel them part…

There you might | strip off your armour | lie down in a stranger’s bed | and be a stranger, too

Your body releases its prisoners | and the priest’s kettle | boils dry

There you might find a Persian charmer

 


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

I will take you to the grave of the storm | You can stay at my house, there’s room

A green caterpillar chomping on the edge of a leaf | A child’s eye looms, this has no shell | grown round it yet

Silent type | unprotected | Using a road with fire to get away

Weigh the mountain in our embrace, what weight will we bring, what balance attain?

Oh, Mother of Pearl

Another girl

slips off into a new song, linking echoes into a glistening string | we walked over the ridge, below us | lay the storm’s grave | only a few dried leaves | scratching and scuffing over the stones | a hoard | of vanished lightnings

Daughter

At ankle height, there is also a world | boulders of sugar | black | samurai of ants | planets of thistledowns | what will our gaze | do to the snail?

Peace in a teaspoon

a tiny

portion for the brothers with oceans inside them, sisters | who have swallowed the moon | and are still | hungry

Daughter in the mist | a lap and drip | unseen | and on soft breath | half heard, half dreamed | the return | of elderberries in cooling September | fragments of dogwood floating in water | across | the lake can the small | voices come, even now | and save us with the exemplary | scale of their whispers?

Remembering the mountain and my daughter

of lost bones and fatal | decisions

where will we go, and what shall we do?

when the roaring voices rise inane, where | will they take us, where | will they go?

when the landlord calls for his rooms

even in Shibuya, among the flowers

what will be done | with the half of the dream | left behind

when the seas come for our cities?

 


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

Marooned in a moment

Its desert-isle scale | vast and yet intimate <ocean of clocks ticking>

All those solitary walks along the shore | the patterns of the surf on the sand | a far-off sound like chrysalis | and the tiny horns of toy huntsmen

<Spanish lace>

Many vanish into such places | and whole worlds fetch up there | Mermaids are washed ashore | among shreds of | gum-tree bark and drifted | coconuts and crumbs | of Tim Tams in the corner | of a smiling mouth | When they take off their bathing caps, their shaken-down hair | is scented with chlorine and lavender | Their limbs are so long | And when they look at you, the mermaids don’t seem to mind | about anything, even though | the evening shadows lap up the pool, the air is growing | cooler, and | they don’t have | money for the bus ride home

Tally-ho, Tally-ho | the tilt–shift | huntsmen cry | and their pinks | whirl through the air | like petals | But | you | don’t | move || Their world is | trivial | You brush away the | hounds like | grains of dry sand | Only in the moment she smiles, sadly, as if she knows something | you don’t know | and can never | know | will the waves | rip open their chrysalis | over and over, over and | over, and | over and | over…

 


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

In the great publishing houses of the world | they are moving product

Container ships queue to enter port | cranes swing || Things | vote with their definition | choosing parties of the current circumstance | calm and actual in the | evening sun

Lovers can’t wait for the right moment <twilight, the | curve in the track> and drop into a kiss, peremptorily, it only | wants another kiss, that | hole in them with the bittersweet edge, and the line | direct to confusion

Forbidden romance | <hailstorm | fragments of hail | bebopping on parked cars | thunder | setting off alarms>

They’re tired from making love and lie in damp sheets | <characters>

On the table a battered book of Pasternak’s poems | Frank O’Hara on the shelves | drum | droll

In the gloom | the spirits of the letters all softly agitate | under the barcode | some slip away to start a new life, the rest | wait in the darkness and learn | the virtues of patience and the costs | of servitude

Tethered to a whim, the reader | is absorbed for days, then | vanishes for years…

 


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

the meaning crumbles and you don’t know | what you thought at that time | why you thought it | you don’t recall it | (why did you think it?)

lie close to her | she’s resting maybe | half asleep or | reading a magazine | you’re conscious | of the blood going into and out of her heart | it seems unreal | that she, and you, depend on | such a vagrant thing as a | heart

not only the monuments | ‘Capital’ or ‘value’ | ‘purpose’ or ‘truth’ | but tiny and fragile things | form | the fortress of the butterflies

you notice – for how long? – how the moment magnetises everything to it [the boat, the sunlight spearing the water, the dogs barking, the time | in the watch on your wrist] how | everything’s intensely attracted to that one order | bonded |

turn away, though, and it’s all | repelled | a beautiful shape of emptiness | occurs inside you, the thing | you built from your life, and instead | everything is rushing into place, unable to escape | the dazzling and | incoherent | magnet of a new | moment

right now, you’re bringing to significance | what you have | the whole delicate | fortress of your mind, your ideas, sketches, plans for the future | your [BUTTERFLIES SWARMING] desire, your mountains of letters, your succinct | critique

into and out of | focus | they go, all those | things you want and care about | and half see and | don’t want and | don’t care about

precise and elegant as words in a fine font | but imprinted in the vague | medium of the luscious | pulsating | walls | of your vague and | scatterbrained | heart | everything is exactly where it should be, but | it won’t | stay here

 


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

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?

Victims

Bystanders

Victims

Criminals

Victims

Crowds

Flight plan

 


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