Another Life

How the moment is still
and hangs under the eaves
like the mythological ice

your future melts,
ash is on the grate
ash blows upon the world’s face.

All the plans become
never to be done
and life, moving on
as one would expect,
moves on.

I drive down to the valley floor
and follow the river
of cars, a tear, a tear

Four Years

That makes four years I’ve been keeping this blog now. Thanks for everyone who’s liked or commented, you are appreciated. It’s always worth doing, when you think something deserves it. It feels like a small kiss from the universe, especially during a cold, rainy island winter. It helps me to know that some people, somewhere, consider some of these poems to be successes, in some way. Which is beautiful.

V.70

Oh please please please let me not step
on snails any more, it provokes
moments of panic and questions.
Like what makes a snail the lesser?

We all squirm and have our dark shells.
Entire belief systems are crushed,
just like that. By small accident.
If the snail doesn’t matter, then…

My hopes and dreams bypass the snail
and I can live in a dream world
beyond, where political talk
never betrays anyone. Where

good men are honoured. Good people.
There once was a world where good reigned.
The demons got bored and planned coups.
Death meant nothing to them. They ran

in the streets screaming slanderous
screams that cut the good buildings down.
They wrote newspapers and chattered
in their odd logic, disregarding

tears, emotions. They thought little.
They rolled around in little shells
like a physical process, then
I knew. I was better than them.

Aphorisms 1

Often, the cry of the cynic is one of jealousy towards hope

*

When someone gives up on a joint project, it takes on the features of glass – cold and transparent. And behind it you see the back of the one who left. If the joy you shared was real, the project will feel emptied by their disavowal.

*

I love it when it rains, I love it more walking in rain, living it. I love thinking on the memory of a good storm, but sometimes that is easier than going out and making new memories of the storm happening right now, outside.

*

There is something beautiful in taking something meant as an insult, and wearing it as a badge of honour. It throws light back up the ass of the insulter.

*

A translation is an excuse to write something new under another authority.

*

“Whatever such a mind sees is the flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.” A state we should strive for, so long as we remember that, not only beautiful, still, and peaceful, the flower has the nesting insect, eating it from the inside out. And the moon is bright, and hangs outside of our world, but lunar craters are cold, dead and sterile.

*

In poetry it is sometimes easy to look for crunchy language, rather than a true picture, or letting one build its surface over the other. But then, capturing things is not the kind of thing language does, like a graph, or a sum, or a photograph, despite these all having their subjective aspects, or hardly capturing anything at all. It evokes, but must evoke on the terms of the reader. But do I do any of this? Do I even think it when I’m writing?

*

The writing feels right, it isn’t like what has already been said. Some of the language that comes is new, in new ways, some of it is couched in dull or dead forms, which have to be revised. But what does this feeling of ‘needing revision’ consist of? Of resentment, of defining the succesful in terms of what I am not? Not old, not hackneyed, not used up? Writing a poem is equal parts what I like, or think is successful, and what I don’t like about what I have written, what is unsuccessful. It can’t just be one or the other. And it can be more. Sometimes I feel nothing about a sentence. Does that matter?

*

Resentment as a concept, a superiority of approach, defining yourself against Them, ‘what they do is bad and I don’t like it’, this concept has a lot to do with how taste develops. And this is okay, so long as we know it.

Yes

The rock will weather the human storm
And aeons hence will thrive still
Over the cold mountain, the clouds arise
And the gold sun.

We may not have been together in life
but rock does not hesitate to fall.
Our dust will mingle
under the red sun.

I have lived as all have lived
with the infinite collapse of things.
I have loved, and will love still
and soundless in the darkness.

You know who you are, my friends.
I sing your song forever
I chant the requiem and praise
of the bright world.

Zodiac

I

Your week this week will go off
like a rotten egg. Such is life.
This fragment of a year will crack
and spill all over you, achieve

new heights of boredom and disgust.
Why? Do you ask why the fungus
grows at the tree’s base and grows
rotten? Come on. Just accept it

like you accept that your eyes
will look where you decide
and not just swing around like
billiard balls in a washing machine.

Next week brings with it new challenges
as exactly the same thing happens
for the hundred and eleventh time.
But this one, this is the one, I can feel it.

II

The stars are spread out in the orrery
like thick yeast extract on toast.
Things are everywhere finding it difficult
to connect. Take Bellatrix

for example. A salty taste on the tongue
just don’t let it touch an open cut.
Inside this emptiness of pain feeling
there is another expanse of tiny stars.

From each new star, we see new constellations
and the red bloom in Orion
is aching to reach them.
Close one eye for a while and things look flat.

There are an endless array of bears in the sky
clouds, atoms, birds, planes, galaxies –
all of these are bears if you look closely.
This week will bring bears.

III

Well I might as well have given up
the day I was born, for all the good
that living has done me!
My life is as steered as a strike

of lighting, played backwards
in slow motion. What can I do!?
I don’t even need to read the text
Nothing I read can change what it says.

I only had to clear the wombic matter
from my eyes, to know instantly
my friend the small and floating star
who would be my constant presence.

I call her echo and she lights
the way for me once I have gone through.
I tried to escape from her once.
I ended up swallowing her by accident.

IV

I bring forth an infinite canvas
to paint upon it infinite things –
and then search for infinite parallels
running from horizon to horizon.

In a way this oceanic conversing,
is a demonstration not of skill
but of the way my mind was built
in the first place – to speak reveals

– if speaking is allowed to flow –
the knots and tribulations of the tongue
to be bound up with our bodies and language
in a rather simple way.

If I see an evil man
the world will supply me
with evil words with which
to net them in a soft description.

V

My sister, we were born together
and from that moment things
have only got weirder – see
how my life mirrors yours at every juncture.

I arrive at the cafe early only to see you
arriving at the cafe, When I sleep
we dream the same dreams
of identical pairs of eyes – staring

into each other in the sky.
And our paintings which I know you paint
in secret every night – I’ve seen
and mine share the same themes.

Like if you’ve painted a dog
I have painted a still life
of a collar and some dried out fleas.
Please by the stars make it stop.

VI

Just how one can we grow?
Does each small gap in the black silk
correspond to a measured breath?
The brighter the light, the smaller the wheeze

and sunrise and sunset mark
each a period of wake and sleep
or vice versa, for some. Do new planets
become new regimes of beings,

dissolute changes in ontology –
or simply slight rearrangements of all things?
Will I grow another mind inside mine
if I wake and see a brilliant star birth?

This week you will find the last
piece of the jigsaw is the one
which alters the jigsaw itself –
not of einstein but of tycho brahe

VII

The galaxy itself turns
this exact sequence will be
repeated in that exact span.
I will be born again aeons hence

and we will forget everything.
Begin again – the slow path
at first we use our hands, no tools
the morning star and the evening star rise

then one day the vizier
will strike upon veins of gold in the sky
and see new comets and torches
by which to lead his slaves on earth.

Queendoms, kingdoms, empires shall pass
and nothing without this
the true dull stars will be seen and unseen
The galaxy itself turns

VIII

This week the magazine whispered
so quietly I could barely hear
like the claws of a magic jay
landing on the grass – softly and waiting

it said to me – wait – like that
and I did. And I still am.
I always do what the text says,
It could tell me to fly

like a magic jay and I would happily
jump from the earth and live amogst the stars,
the scorpions, Such messages are clear.
and another this week, clear, and the rest, clear

things are always looking up
day by day – the astral sentences say
perhaps one day they will command me to stop
reading them. Or perhaps not.

IX

Once you have learned to see
by starlight – you can make your way
quite simply through the night.
But beware the sun and its days.

The desert of days is expanding
at a rate often barely expected. It pours
this sand through our holes
and we create thoughts around it, like pearls.

Be the nettle crowd peeking through
to the sunworshippers’ inquisitive hands
and sting – and when they make soup
we poison that whole thing.

Starlight is softer, it strokes us.
The thoughts it makes are sweeter
and easier to grasp. We live
more easily. Just close your eyes and see.

X

My queens of the night have ruled
a division in my mind between
the real erotic and the fantastic
so that when I kiss you

My body is so ungiven to this
that it shirts off and sinks
a sped up shot of a sunrise
and me, suddenly naked on the beach.

Hold back, they said this week
my son, your time will come.
I could do nothing but breathe
and turn on the car engine

and leave. The more you live by
this division between night and day
the more sway they have –
a monument, slowly built from you.

XI

This book is the greatest I’ve read –
page after page of description
of objects each in minute detail
for hours. This object consists

of waves as the sea does, This
maze consists of lines with one solution
and the veins and muscles and matter
of the bird act in concert as it flies.

This crowd is only real so far
as the people in it instance
greater movements in the sky.
Thus far and no further is it real.

I mean to say that these pages
hold me close and tear me apart
slowly, sentence by sentence, and each
object, is me under another aspect.

XII

In the casino, a table of black felt
where cards align at random.
In patterns, enchanting to those watching
in the other room, through a screen,

a bad resolution security camera.
The man with the pair of scales on his shirt
always seems to know just where to play
the cards to complete some shape.

The one with gills delays playing
they have flat eyes and make noises
similar to drowning whales on the shore.
They delay until with a gloop, they play.

In betting shops they watch the feed
and place bets on the cards’ patterns.
no one understands the rules of the game
no one understands the rules of the game

XIII

There’s no such thing as bad luck.
Things happen precisely for this reason.
It is not a mystery.
I need this to be true.

Life is one long test and I must pass.
I cannot waste time believing
anything less than the fullest –
meaning piles up everywhere in small piles.

and since we are ourselves made of stars
our movements predict our movements
from day to day, watch each other
and see the premonitions cloud like cold breath

but then again everything is made of stars
so the movements of everything
predict the movements of everything else
This is too too much and I must pass.

XIV

The darkness of the sky is
the blackness of my skin
The light in my eyes divided
and scattered seeds the stars

the redness of mars is my cut
lip when I bite it too eager
to eat – this strange gyration
around the north star is my vinyl

and the twinkle, the crackle of dust.
The eternal love between the stars
is the love of each of my organs
to the other in dark concert.

I am in a position,
my hands above my head, supporting
as I gaze out of the universe
and my turned back is the spread of the sky.

XV

There is less and less to see
each day on the street – automata
blinking and scanning their hands
which glow with a connective tissue.

I want to rise above this
and yet still remain a strong part of it.
I will tell people that, when they talk
they should talk with a particular lilt

in order to attain this star nirvana
where every relationship has its outcome
just comparing tattoos will do it.
like orbits and movements can be foretold

millenia in advance – and the slight
and slowly bewitching chaos is caught
and helped back to perfection –
just so, I will open my mouth and know

XVI

When my eyes represent no less
then the universe’s bliss
then I will happy to live
a life unguided, embrace the full and neon

void we call popular living
and even now as I engage
with an ironic moan – I see
more than I have ever seen

I have been liberated by this
galactic causation, to make
bigger jumps of reasoning
to see the human in every dust storm

and soon, yes soon, but not messianic
the stars will align and bring
a peace where signs will be no use.
Until then, I will hold the guide within

Notes Towards a Definition of Mind

A spiderweb woven in a corner
– warm and damp corner
and as time passes, it loses spans
and falls until it is almost torn

And another spider comes
and builds another web
almost but not quite exact
to the plan of the old web

and this repeats
hundreds and hundreds of times
until looking from the corner of your eye
you think you see crystal
seas receding