Archives for posts with tag: hypergrammar

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)

For j4n

A devil flinging | angels out of a bag | is it | my style? || Some will build the world and, lost in their labour, never consider | the sound the sea of ruins will make | as it trawls | the fragments of all these | beautiful bodies | to and fro | in cool waters, and some | make a beauty of mourning | love even | before | it goes || Midway | creature | always on the lam, speeding to your next | heartbeat | admire | the convolute systems of your | implication | how | when you kiss her | just exactly as the truck goes past | the dusty | water in the dandelion | jam jar | trembles…

En route to | your kind of oblivion | the briars of your blood | arch and sting | No getting away | Accept, this time | it’s real | though every city is Atlantis, and every | Atlantis reminds you of | home

Here it is, then | Put me in a medieval picture with a | madman’s | grin | sewing seeds of heaven perhaps | Scale the walls of my heart | with spindly ladders and send your finest | knights | to challenge me | Imprison me with | a memory of her, if you will | but wait | as bits of the | dust of god | glitter past your head | See how | against a pale blue sky | Fuji | melts to seven different | types of rushing air || Look | while you were making | an appointment with your own | thoughts | I was making echoes | out of snowflakes | landing on the backs of | flying geese

I know, we haven’t | seen each other in a while | But now I’m 100 | I guess we can slow down | and take our time?

And I know, we haven’t | pinned all the butterflies in their cases, yet | and I haven’t even | nominated my | successor | But, really | what’s the point? | Now I’m 100 | what can I do, in any case but | leave you everything

En route to | my kind of oblivion | a devil flinging wild angels | out of a sack | is it | my style?


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

You have some emptiness now, which means space, time for the lost things maybe to | show you their ghosts

And the shadows of the big things, swept away, allow for a bareness of breath and more bareness under the breath, behind the breath, and of course room for the light to fall, enabling the shy, small things | to emerge and to | lie, shivering, awaiting the mercy of your eyes

I claim my spirit back, after the house is washed away, and the luxury of meanings is dispersed | It feels like a good time to begin the task of designing new meanings, fresh orders of being alive, as cool waves | break and shatter their foams on the uncomplaining coast

As the noise of excess is forcibly stripped back, our normality punished | we find ourselves with fewer things but those fewer things accrete greater value, like moments with those we know are dying but love, and the items that happen to drift | into our connection, often | they feel so welcome

All are calling in voices borne to be lost, but we have more emptiness now, permitting us sightlines of dazzling velocity, as | unimpeded | our views rush to their consummation, the vanishing point we | carry around with us always, each one different, none of them | ever quite reached

and we see how delicately the products of our voices | unfurl | their leaves and blossoms

Gently, the ghosts part and give way, and we are moved to watch | in the vast and spacious arena of the years | our children taking into their eyes | cities invisible to us | but also | so many tiny things, perhaps they will notice | where we did not?

Persuaded by upheaval, the more collapses into less | the many narrow into few | I ask them to | take back my ticket to a thousand illusions, I find | I remember you, and | hand in my ghost coat, shivering | and walk out, into a night so broken, all it can do | is to begin to grow

The fields were wreckage, and the skyline, too | and memories only a form of debris | With the way back denied us | for a little while, we were dumbfounded | forced to negotiate with ancient fires | to go on foot where we had no cars | to offer the wild herds of stars | the open range of our gaze | to gallop through and not acknowledge us in their passing | as regal as indifferent

Sometimes we build by mourning, and sometimes what we call ‘recovery’ recovers | not what was lost, but what | awaits us | that most enigmatic and unexpected place: | a future


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

Gold drone | Yellow curtains, with a ghost drift, shift faintly / green cuttings fume and lie | <genie of divorce, magician of indifference> | Scents of petrol, semen and grass | and heat, verging on | drought | Dregs, summer swills at the bottom of a bottle, warping into them, they make the hills young | and distance isn’t | really distance for them | yet | She sips him, when the snow arrives | he freezes and stays, she leaves | keeps walking. Now distance is distance.


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

Nostalgia… | Memories like mountains, high peaks | snow-bound in winter | The bent | boat of her body | drifts | you are inside, another, a smaller | vessel | And all the animals? | Only the unobtainable | possesses the true | cruelty of beauty | in a French hand | The grasp | weakens, and the dream falls out | rolling across the floor like a ginger | cat’s eye marble | The place | you are trying to reach | is in the past | but don’t give up, isn’t the past | within you? | Lost kingdoms | Undiscovered graves | Hypothermia sets in when your body temperature | drops below 35°…


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

Falling into a light sleep, take someone | with you, touch of cool | snow-shine fingers, fresh | rustle of young birch leaves | under a blanket | with the hoofs of blue reindeer | crush crush crush of steps | parting in | dividing paths at the heart | of a ghost | dripping | clock of meltwater | and the white-painted room, really the first | colour of spring | a faint | taste of kirsch still on your lips, who | put it there?


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