A bell not swinging in a tower | and the tower built for a different purpose | to the city’s current obsessions | The things you find in a jeweller’s dreams | for instance — jewels, of course, and feline | paws | black padding | of velvet display cases

Privacy is important, too | The carcass  of a limousine | stalled in traffic | the poet in place | of the chauffeur | The usual set of emotions | and lamentation is the key | because things are not as they were | and not as they will be | Remember, Shanghai, and Jerusalem

Swords | And Ariadne, from Texas | There’s no such thing as decay, the snowdrops | offer no gift | The order is as you make it, or as | you are made to make it, or | because we are too lazy | to change it | as we want it to be | providing | we can complain | Complaint is our archery

Grave treasure | and the genuine laughter of the young sex worker | it is not | reproduction | Gifts that outlive the givers | and the receivers | and the crucial commands of the era | Evolution | Spectacle | Exchange

Irony sometimes selects as its instrument | the most unlikely subject | as many | readers will tell you | or not | The troika vanishing into silver mist | or Yazidis at the border | her fierce blue eyes | of ineffable candour | or murderers | chatting about the game | Futility used to mean something | and perhaps, one day, it may again

What weakness comes to | skulls separated from spines | the bones piled up in mounds | or not | Inside Monty’s drooling mouth | his head slumped to one side (the right, as he sees) | words that won’t quite form | as the abscess, like half a duck’s egg | swelling on his anus | in the care home | prepares to burst | It isn’t a future | It wasn’t a past | Won’t they ever shut up | and show some respect to silence?

The lost | are just a little in love | with the maze builders | but the vain | don’t think too much of the makers of mirrors | Russia squanders her beauty on the magicians | and the audience | remains ambivalent regarding the trick | The solution, although part of a greater problem, remains enjoyable | to implement or to contemplate | The conclusions are endless | The resurrection is mothballed | due to lack of funds | I say I love you, but really | you are a place I put the diamonds


from the series superstyler (open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem, August 2015)