Archives for posts with tag: hypergrammar

The children had a secret base for their fleet, an island | in the long grass || A secret base is an important thing, like memory or a heart | a place from which you may launch your operations, or retreat to, if things do not go quite to plan | They had strategists within their ranks, and visionaries and engineers | Among their vessels were strange submersibles, which left trails of milky phosphor in their wake, and sported weapons as elegant and apt as those | of duellist swordfish and narwhals | ships | Verne would have adored | or tyrants | died for || They knew the land | and with intricate measures of reconnaissance | kept watch on the moving forces of neighbouring states | and devised | elaborate systems for sending messages | They spotted things the adults | overlooked | details | of a knee-high world | and read | their spies’ reports | coins gleaming in dirt, and | from the wasteland of the nettles | the jagged white butterflies’ | semaphore | They kept their knowledge safe, encrypted in special codes | cached in bottles and huts | scattered in locations | around their hidden island || Yet, for all of this, their intelligence was limited, and they did not foresee | the source of the catastrophe | that would befall them; nor, at their age, did they suspect | the threat that | impends above us all, and which | conceals itself in emptiness || Stunned, and open-mouthed, in the dust, the blades still wet, they stared and inhaled | the haunting waves of summer breaking | over the bared ground | and almost drowning them | in passing scents of new-mown grass

Basking in the ocean depths of words, sharks of silence | wait out the centuries and feel inside them | and their obdurate bones | a kinship with the dinosaurs | The day arranges its pieces, calm and composed as ever: the time of your next appointment, the svelte procedures of superconductors, laughter after the light-hearted demonstrations of my genius, and the snake’s tongue glimmer as the lightning | slips back to its secret base

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

Golden dregs…

{no one writing | the obituaries of | grasshoppers or | mayflies}

You put my body down | We have called to the stones for so long, and now they have come to us

Gross and gorgeous | I | roi soleil | across a room like a | sea | The sunken | galleons of my thoughts | drip and spew pearls as | they are salvaged | This is my Levée, you may attend, only | be quiet and | suitably | blinded | as I | rise

Do you remember when | waist-deep in ocean waves | we held each other, and the Pacific | urged us up and | down | so we | stood on tip-toes, and had no | thought of the snow?

Dawn’s lapdogs

Yes, unfathomable…

I can’t count the paths I took to get away from here | So how is it | I am back?

We put our | threads of | electrical | diamond fuss | between | stone |     and |     stone

{cobweb in the frost, February 2009}

Exiled to the past, and buried in those graves of words | which, for so long, had no need of sense | the childish legionaries climb out | and hand to me their stage-set stones | vouching for their innocence

{rifts of time between | moment |     and |     moment || grief of ego, thoughts of you in swirling snow}

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

They come and they go, people

They are complex objects | arrangements | of belovéd signs, places | we adore or wish to | forget

Atoms | compose them, they are | strung out into the past, the | playground, the family pet | the sound of | fallen leaves and shreds of | bark from a gum tree | scratching on the stone | slabs of the | back yard

intense | personal things, or so | they seem

cannot hold on to their own | shape, the same | ankles

They change with the light, they age, they each | must make their particular | assignations in time and this | essentially absorbs | all of their lives, although they | call it by different names

They have seen | at low tide | the little iridescent | emerald-clawed | crabs twinkling across the muddy | banks under | mangrove trees, they have | conjured angels from | desire, and sometimes those angels | might be crows | in a withered | pine | or firemen in yellow coats with | silver reflective strips | messengers and saviours under the | surface | threading the | banal with the | divine | fabricating | a house with | foundations of | moving | flames

No person ever | quite | reaches another, that is | written in the law of caresses and inscribed in the furling privacy | of our so- | sensitive skin, the recesses of | thoughts and the | presence of the tiny but | inescapable | moment inside us and all | things


come and go, they | make plans and | speculate | make love and | groan, kick and | sigh | their bodies | are sources of anguish and bliss, forms of | impediment and liberation | wrack and litter and emptiness

There are holes in people everywhere | absences | of thought | forms | of enquiry or | loss, places | the memories shine through and sometimes | burn

People are | often confused | They have all sorts of ways of dealing with | light, most of all, though | by moving on and | forgetting

They are curious, but they are not sure, really, why they are curious | It is just | a way the sun sets, how | the shadows extend along the beach or the filling station’s | forecourt | the way the plane crashes and scatters its debris for miles | the mute | soft | bulk of a foot | the taste of her skin | the pattern the words | leave behind as they are | abandoned

People start | inside us | and grow | necessary | but do we ever | know what they are, these | people?

Or what they want? Or where | they think | they are going?

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

Like a drop of ink | diffusing through water | in a warped | glass bowl | we | swirl round each other

Lying in your arms, I fend off | far-off | brutalities in the world, the | lost and the lonely, the | disappeared | despised | the abandoned

In love, embrace them, uneasily | half | hear their voices, because | I feel the breath carrying your voice softly | as it | brushes my ear, and | surely by these acts of | tenderness and selection, are we not | inviting others | closer | asserting our | covert humanity, which is | a quality we share, like a language | meaningless if | hoarded only by | one?

Too | fragile | these little forts of | skin and glances | who can hold them?

Their spindly gates | smashed by a | stroke of fortune, the | tiny mines in the blood, a moment’s | inattention | the path in the forest not leading | where we expected, the first | typhoon of the season…

To shut them out, to enjoy | ourselves alone | we kiss, but | what kind of kiss is that | that stops only on two | mouths? and does not | invoke a | sweeter and more desperate | bond?

To keep the strangers out we | hold each other closer, but | even in that quiet | enclosure | or rather | perhaps | at its heart | I hear | the new voice of the old | stranger inside me, the one | who was alone and found | in the emptiness of a floating life | a friend

Trying to carry the weight of the stars alone, to hoard them or to own | their light – a sad, heroic, futile fate | To reach their meaning, we need | just a glance upwards as we | shut a car door, or | for everyone to share them by | carrying their word | together for a little while

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

I dream of a silent world, such a one as might exist | on a deep seabed, miles below | the surface

{Some things can only be reached | by dreams}

Inaccessible, and yet utterly mundane, perhaps it was a place of happiness?

懐 [natsukashii] || between the seashells | and the sea || Our mouths | our lips || a time | of | cicadas and drought, an end to school…

Is it so far off, that silent world?

Isn’t there a moment | as you’re translating | 懐 | to English | [natsukashii, ‘nostalgia’] or | vice versa | when “it” | is | in neither | one tongue, nor | the other?

{has left English, I mean, has set off for, but not yet reached | Japanese?}

A time, too, between || all things || when your love
has left one moment | but not | yet | arrived | in the next?

In these slipping senses | we once passed a summer || A place like the silence, now it may only be | reached by dreams

Great summer clouds | passing across a high blue sky || Our throats were dry | even though we | kissed

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

Abandoned | cities of the heart

The empty rooms, decorated with photographs of the dead, the wallpaper | dated to a sunken decade | all | flooded | by the waters of silence and passed time

Places lovers tried to keep themselves | in reach | with lovers | sought to | keep pace with each other | though one was forever | running ahead, losing | touch

All the gestures are archaic

Immersed in nostalgia, in a green summer, traffic lights turning from amber to red | the ghost cars and | aphids | queue for the translucent | door to the past and, under the smoggy, humid stars of dusk all | eventually | go through

These streets have petrified, their map | outdated | sits in an atlas in an obscure | second-hand bookshop which, itself, has turned to stone

Through all instants, the sublime | glacier of the ages | seeps, carrying and freezing | each delicate and each | monumental thing, even | our | dreams

Here, at the centre, where the statues of | broken-nosed | soldiers and | laurel-crowned | poets and | late-coming | angels | convene an atmosphere of | stoic endurance, the | mayfly atoms of | forgotten moments | tremble and float

Of course, here the traffic is at a | standstill | and as you wander, searching | for a way out through those | same | translucent doors, you start to | lose track of time and | cease to recognise this | shore by the | interior ocean where | all your drifting life has fetched up | in pavement cafés and on | dusty ledges behind | the broken blinds of the windows of | obscure museums

Your friends and your lovers have fled | the punishing | heat | and even the strangers, too, are leaving, but you | drawn to a detail | linger as | the night and the day | melt into one | silent | modern | event

Abandoned | cities of the heart

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

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)

Old connections | that have the fray of | unuse and worn time in them | crackle back into | the labour of their circuits once again…

Moth minds | fluttering /

Tired lamps with a brittle light | memories so frail, we must ask | are these our memories? | are these | eyes | these | lips and fingers | real?

Frayed wings, and the patterns of | embroidered gold | faded and torn / but the afternoon | charges to lushness | fattens its clouds and the sift of vapour, our | plumes of thought from | long ago or from | a | moment ago

Recalled the chimneys and the letters burnt

Ghosts in stout climbing boots | with walking sticks fashioned from | diamond willow or honey locust | with peaked caps and tweed jackets | hail the mountain and | when they fall still | hear the rustle of chrysalis | in the wind | ferns | stones…

Hear the rustle of chrysalis…

Fan of wings in the Sunday traffic, fan of wings in the concrete, fan of wings…

Pollen clots the eyes | Kisses clot | the hours, bedsprings | creak from shifting bodies, our weight | thrown out in pinches of | Plato and musk | semen and | elm…

Moth minds | fluttering /

Old tracks | brittle where the neurons | failed | died back | where the hippocampus or the amygdala | fell down to | groves of | ash or | maple or | bamboo || feel the footsteps flushing them with | direction again | with curiosity and with | hope again

As they usually do, kisses | ripping through the shrouds | and the succulence of the berries | in the centre that we | seek and | squeeze out and | into…


As the wet wings unfold | flights fan into the morning | By nightfall | all this will be far away…

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

No going back, and yet | no going forward, either, nor | dwelling here in the present, it is | a strange state of affairs

Each touch was a bud, and it flowered | later than he could grasp

Medium fireworks | an aperture | of grass and blood | a ghost | coming through | in a crown | of sparks

And then | large | fireworks

Weighing the clouds | After the detonation | dazed | angels in tracksuits | wandering

My fingers | float loose | from my hands | Boats | cut loose | from their moorings

45 rpm | on the | gramophone | Chi-Lites / or maybe | Zepp | when the tanks | roll in

Medium fireworks | an aperture | of soil and grass | leaf litter | a ghost | grasps the lips | parts them | bone | head | heavy like a | thinker | pushes | up | peeps | through | baby | buffalo

Dazed | angels in swimsuits | wandering | confused | one | bleeds from the mouth

When the tanks | roll in | cereal packet | blown open | cornflakes | scattered on the | linoleum

Boats | cut loose | the river’s | broad | slow | back | carries the children | downstream | Hazy | crusade

After the detonation | devils in | a daze | stagger | across the field | deaf and | disorientated

Waits | by the side of the river

Flowers come | slowly | floating | downstream

Slopped | in blood | heavier | than she | expected | through the aperture | of bone and pearl | of salt and grease | her ghost | coming through



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

Building a fortress | around our enemies || (time and my heart, May | 2012)

Crack open a heart, that symbolic | container | An egg of journeys, wishes and ideals

that | monument, built of motion / gulls in a North Sea squall <Saltburn/Redcar | 1970s>

a beating compendium of effects, of thrown shadows | an animal, still | leaping

almanac of guesses

a toy | theatre | with a fine stage, forever | awaiting the star | The spotlight / flickering on and off / a Barrymore, or a Bernhardt / forever / about to deliver / an imagined soliloquy

The wind blew the sand along at our feet, and it was like walking through smoke | out at sea, the ships queued for port. I don’t remember the season…

That bloody vector, a sign | of vanishing memories

The heart, that act

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