Archives for posts with tag: variant 1

Moon coming with us a way | Tender and soft-edged, white and hazy against the dark blue evening sky, but not | really against | Shoulder to the door of my spirit | keep it closed forbidding | whatever wants to come through | but it wants | so hard | meaning I will be | very tired when this day ends | The moon is waning black | on hidden bleachers | I must carry it where I can | illicit and a sign | of my weariness to recall | those who labour against the sea | the grandeur of their slow | rock and haul | and the sea | wonderful in uncaring | A butterfly | bears down with | the weight of a bear, carcass of an ox or horse, of the dispassionate | city buildings with their rotas of exits, doors tufted with different purposes | the landscape slipping back into itself, into the watch | of other eyes | It is all the same thing, in other words, but then | who would need our poetry? | There is a sea’s | obtuse loveliness to the struggle | of this and that, the fight | to silence the animals or to bid them | speak with our voices | Carry the full moon | back to my bed once more, a bull | kicking and butting at the timbers | of the stall | and the tide | answering | If I could love again, the weight would feel different | tender and soft-edged, white and hazy, meaning | it is close, now, and wants so hard | to come through


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, October 2013)


Sometimes, the love comes again | blown like a memory of summer in a sachet of warm air | in autumn | surprising you | The description deepens | there are colonnades, trellises, wisteria | perhaps even hussars parading | It is the description that matters | for most of the time, anyway | Meaning resides | in the details | the Caffe Sicilia cups | of white china | the man with a doll’s face, a little like | Andres Iniesta | you knew from years ago but hardly | remembered | such things | absorb you | time is how they pass | The statements matter as well, of course | they are like blasts on trumpets | fanfares by unfurled flags | drum rolls | the bold statements | the flourishes, the definitives | but then, somewhat bathetically, we are back to autumn, and the shorter days | the angina, the vagina, the munitions | the conditions | the description | And with the love, comes the sorrow | a kind of anchor | at which the ship drags | the vital, the precious | ship | with all those souls on board | praying to their gods or sternly | studying barometers | or, swathed in gilt, issuing clipped orders | and everyone | both passengers and crew | fret as the storm continues | to build | in intensity | their unuttered cry being | Let us survive, so that we may go on describing | who we are and what we are and where | we are | every delicate, mundane | why and wherefore | how we each | rebel from the mass | and confirm to the tribe | that we wish to live on | to feel that sadness again | on the train, in the office, in the bed beside | someone who makes us | feel so alone | the acute, diffuse sorrow | like vaporised diamond | like mist | floating on wisteria | that state, or mood, or illusion | indulgence | vision | that meaning | that conclusion | which is yet so very | difficult to describe…

A scent of honeysuckle near dusk | the evening quite still | the neighbours playing Beck | The bricks, if we stroked them | would be rough | the step | yet to be taken | not so high | it was higher | once | Clouds, still dimly visible | like Calais or the Duomo | float by | in the calm surface of a pool | of water let fall | by last night’s storm


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, October 2015)

Sir: ‘Tis a tribulation of genius | to be patronised by inferior minds | Whirled back by the London crush | the vampires of old times | something as tired as a milieu | Cabs drawn by dead horses | tuberculosis in December | etcetera in everything | the rickets of the game | Days I had to work | to make it seem like love | Other days, when it was easier

Softness in the mist, more softness | in your damp cashmere | The material… | Vanishing again into yourself, things the sea takes back | Until there is nothing but the sea | Set out my ocean stall, stale old wares, the brilliant | sculpt of gulls through salt-washed air, sailor tang, seamen | innuendo… | How the sea wanted honey | the ships’ horns | weeping for honey | Spoon by spoon, the medicine | is taken | this is | all we can offer you | Palliative care | What happened? — parts of sentences covered by blah blah blah | that’s what | In a village of idiots | the least stupid idiot… | To feed a zombie memory | caged and groaning | they are doing George A. Romero in FS | Polishing smoke | Snatching back | the picture they got | out in woolly-back country | glitters in a pouch of glance | a greenhouse | engulfed in ivy and weeds | no farmer, I guess?… | And do you know, some of them even have the gall — Darling! — to ask | “Why the sea? Why only | the sea?”…


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, September 2013)

When she talks to the cherry tree, it belongs to her just a little more

And when she puts her ear to the cherry tree’s trunk, she swears she can hear the beating of a tiny heart

There is too much of the calm summer day, she lies on her back on the grass and throws little questions up at the sky | When they fall back to earth, she has gone, and the mystery around them deepens || Then the evening star | is unendurably beautiful

All things have set out on an adventure | Some of the planes | don’t return

Vortex and YouTube, building a pyramid | with sugarcubes | why do I endure | the indifference of your beauty? | this waiting around | examining | all the fashions of your ignorance?

All these days of ‘but’ and ‘perhaps’ and ‘maybe’?

By praying the cherry tree tells her in her sleep you create a god

And truly, none of the planes return, their base | is no longer there | it set out, too, for the next pattern of its incarnation | a cinema | rice paddies | a place herons stalk

The young man in the café with his love and his time | doesn’t even know the cherry blossoms are the roads | he will take out of here | he only sees | the sky in its most insatiable mood of blue | most fatal | most acute | and too entire

Why can’t I bow my spirit to the spirit of the matsuri, run and chase the procession? | clap, and stamp, and dance | and sing?

Why do I want to drag down that sky | and give it even a moment’s rest in pointless words?

You won’t look at me anymore | and erase me with each breath, but I | stupidly faithful | each night | give you a handful of gods | for you | to toss casually away | onto your heap of useless things

And after all the things have set out on their adventure | why am I so stubborn | refusing the careless matsuri inside me | and loving you | my style of treachery?


from the series bliss point | angels of disorder
(open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem: September, 2012)

We know only what the music knows | I want to | say | But that kind of saying is over | for the time being | Maybe it will be back one day? | And the winter isn’t perpetual | the ruins are ruins for a while, for sure | but then soon are re-developed | or covered by forest and then | re-developed | there’s business to be done here | salt and cashmere to be traded | lambs | derivatives | Ruins are in the structure | the gamble of stand and fall | part of the music’s charm | as fatigue belongs to the metal | the plane’s wings preparing | to fold | the plane | to sleep in a bright | re-direction of atoms | a new swirl | a river’s re-flow | This, we tell ourselves, we know | or we used to tell ourselves | We used to say: We only know what the music knows | and we would say that | while listening to music, or dancing | very slowly to music | in a half-lit room | when the destination of our journey | was like a bud | opening on a branch | And in our love | there was business done | lambs traded | cashews, salt | and slaves and guns | it was | how the edge | belonged to the core | As we stopped dancing | we tried to remember | how the music had been | but, well, we’re flawed | and we couldn’t get it exactly | and besides, the ruins were already | walking in | asking us to go | We had no choice | And if the silence came then, would we know only | what the silence knows?


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, September 2016)

The air is eating the soft fruit of my lungs | and the stock market is falling

Slowly all the cities are connecting up by means of infinitesimal threads of quicksilver, and | I am in a mood

Autumn rests against my skin | the fine hairs on my arm rise a little against the cooler air || It will be vellum

She bites her lover and he spills tiny seeds | Small frills of his flesh tighten and loosen, he will run to the temple, where there are pictures of beautiful trees

Stars are forming all over the surface of her skin and her darkness is expanding, the small points of luminosity | drifting further and further apart

The books ache not to be books, and the words | chafe on their pages || they feel autumn coming, too | the damp, the fogs, the mildew

The long winter night of her kiss frightens him | the beautiful trees are letting fall | oranges | persimmons | pomegranates | lemons

Exquisite as a Persian miniature | his sorrow | is not really enough to make up grit sufficient for even | a single pearl

She doesn’t love him | although they are called “lovers” | There will be no more summers | Only the empty bourgeois walks in walloping galoshes across wet fields and woods where purpose runs out and will fails and his body grows as frail and as pointless as a child’s balloon | slipped from moist little fingers | given to the air’s indifference | blown and floating

When she cries, the tears are tiny wriggling caterpillars | They glisten and glitter | She never sees them take wing, and perhaps they never do?

The chemistry of grief is well known and the famous “next words” are written and read | and another of her kisses fills him with snow and delayed trains and she can’t leave her phone alone, in it is stored | all the devices of his irrelevance

She dines on her own heart, it no longer satisfies her | Why are happy people so contemptible?

They will never hear the clink of goat-bells again, the high pass in the dust and the rapture | They will never establish the basis of their relations | with other people

The crowd yearns for celebrity | The wedding dresses of her cells | unwind their long trains and the silk snaps and whistles | Always, the groom is changing!

Entire cities fall prey to storms of amnesia | When we find them again, they are ruins, their citizens | mummified in ash, their bus passes | no longer valid and their homes | hold no interest at all for anyone, surely?

The jewelled cannibal of her wristwatch nibbles away at her, the piranhas of instants school and glimmer | And light pours down through the trees scented with milk and nostalgia, weighted with the memories of November evenings when the light itself | has gone

I won’t come to this place again | I think | It is hateful and | the silence that follows it is always so very, very long…


from the series bliss point | angels of disorder
(open-ended, 2012–present)
(this poem: September, 2012)

The slow storm of time has blown down the pyramids and the Empire | State Building | we are looking at the cheval glass as it is manoeuvred up the stairs | a palm of such intense green | is sliding horizontally into the sky | a prisoner | and a token of nature | tremulously rooted to the dark, star-shot waters | of a distant oasis | and the Babylonians have completed their ratios | and the dressmakers of the Ancien Régime have mislaid their needles | tremendous wars have been fought and troops have died | in uniforms of scarlet, of grey, of cream and khaki | and meaning has been erected and subverted, chased, worshipped and despised | and so here we are | by the wallpaper of duck-egg blue | printed with white designs | of baby’s-breath | doing what we do | being what we are | and the rest | for us | is nothing | even the Trojans

Put your fist in my mouth | just | shut me up | Hang me from cords you bought online | from a marine outfitters | and cut me with razor blades | not too much but | cut me a little more | if you like | we have the time | and I have ample reserves | of grief and confusion | and of course | blood | and if I pass out, then, well… | So this is the good life | Like elegant mules, carrying their supplies in designer bags, five | bags to a hand | and in their designer clothes and sunglasses | the shoppers emerge from famous emporia | the escalators will take them up | or down | as they require | this might be pleasure | it has no moral | You put | my head in your hand | and begin to squeeze | and we talk in between sessions | in between rooms | in between sleeps | and we muse | on our fates | although the confusion is, perhaps, inevitable, have I come to like | the grief? | Squeeze and squeeze and squeeze | and crush down the matter | to a point of singularity | the state where others take the stage | and perform their plays | and indeed | build their own theatres | Our friendship has become | entangled | the puppets with intertwined strings | only the sunflower boy, allegedly | can save us | personally | I doubt it | when every remark we make resembles | one of those insects | we inadvertently kill | when we feel | a light contact | on our skin | which unsettles us | Where geology and climate conspire | from the desert an eye | of fertility | figs fall | and at night | a young girl’s dream | is nested inside | the dream of Achilles — the creak of the ropes as the ship | sails over the water | and every so often | as the bow smacks a wave | a momentary coolness | against the refreshing flesh | of atomised foam


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, September 2016)

The buildings do not need us, we wish them | back into position — his jaw so strong, isn’t it to do | with calcium and oestrogen? | Inflate the house from a scent of blueprints | they call them “factors” | he leans against a column, lights a cigarette, contrary | to the forceful advice | of the Surgeon General | thinks he is in the realm | of mid-70s Bowie | around Young Americans, he | is deluded but it carries him | among the hydrangeas and the early evening moths | September could also be beautiful, still | is that a myth? | Uncaring will take you | a long way | just as caring may | perhaps further? | He is young | juvenile in the sense | not merely that he is not old | but buoyed upon his hope and on what | he calls despair | he’s ready for knowing, he is that | innocent | Across the grid, the buildings bloom like flowers | rising into their quiet, impersonal space | and the maps flow and recede, flow and recede | The tourists ebb | down the gravel drives, past statues | and when Ulysses was 18, he sailed in ships | not only later | we tend | to forget that | For a while, the journey has no destination | at all | I wonder, assuming my burden as usual, why should I care? | Then the sea begins to assert | no land | and remembers | calling it Ithaca


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, September 2016)

Social tranquility | Soon it will be time | to fit you with your wheels | Push you gently | to the summer, waiting for you | subdued sunshine tailed | on vacuous shopping malls | Hidden in the corner | of a plot of rapture | scarlet and carnelian, mushroom and purple | sculpted honey dripping towards the desired | jewel of stasis | riding on the hoods | fleeting light on lotus feet | escape, for a moment, the avid | collectors of order | Appear, illicitly, and we will | put you in a book of vanishing | Besides, effort to | resist | only rushes to rupture | unseemly | fluid | bodies broken | stoven in | to where the clouds | have loosened entirely, lastly, from our names | Look up: hawk | hovers to a hole in the sky | all tension and suspension points | to the dropping | bliss of the dive | Run as you will | as fast as you can | we’ll catch you into your new formation | you will fall to rounds | or just fall in | with your brothers and sisters | who hunt you down | to your opposition | The night | thickens and the moon thins | in an old, old illusion | Twist and buck | cry and mourn | squeal and riot | but when you come to | sense how right | the tracks fit to you | feel how smooth | the spin, spin, spin of your wheels

In lotus shoes | erotically contained | like a mist His gaze | parts and swirls for her | She feels its moisture | in her lungs | upon her nipples tingling | like tiny bells | a fairy clatter | of dispersing pearls | from a torn | rope | necklace | Wrapped | tight | her limbs constrained | to beauty | so dainty, her walk | on the bound feet, stubs | of nature | elegant, cultured hooves | Cover her | with glances | a tightened grace | you are | tautened to admire | but looking with such living | uneasily conceals | a warning, as a closed stove | conceals a fire: if you remove the shoes and bindings, the aesthetic feeling will be destroyed forever


from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(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)