On Ulysses

The voices are everywhere. There
They are crawling from the dead
Floater in the bay and taking flight.

The wet walls and eaves are speaking
Can you not hear them – again, it’s happening;
Damp mortar discourses on ibn sinna.

Each wave is its own word
And they pile upon pile upon pile –
we drown in the snotgreen sea

Where a deep priest and thousand-fold choir
Speak tongues to discourage the wanderer
unwilling to take a breath and stay.

Republican

The deep-house beats fall
From the window – hit
sunbeams combing the heat
Fall down simmering streets

It’s royal wedding day – but I
Can only focus on this
bunch of dead flowers
Strapped to a lamp-post

The cellophane wrap flutters
Around the dry remnants
Framed by estates and hills
And glints from windscreens

I’m not saying something,
Shocked by the light’s irradiacy
The faintly dissonant organ
Of which echoes softly pour

Write What You Know

“It rests on the assumption that a particular linguistic community is the best artisan of its own language, or even its own mythology, which is a vast overestimation of the value of experience, or rather an extreme strengthening of the principle that language grows precisely out of experience, rather like regular crystals forming in a puddle of salt. In fact it is much more messy.” – The Ghost of Ludwig Wittgenstein

“If we tried to philosophise only what we knew, we would be pre-empting failure by giving up philosophy before we even began” – Anti-Russell

“A surfer does not surf, instead they ride waves which are so unique, they will never occur again in the history of the universe” – Surfer on a Late Night Rerun of The Tide

Hang on a second, go back.
your captains name wasn’t Ahab?
Don’t tell me
What about the shark sermon?
Give it up old boy
Let me say why not make all your characters
You with a moustache and glasses?
Call them Melville
What do you mean they all survived?
I thought I alone escaped?
Scrap it – instead why not write
About sitting down to write?
And all those little ideas you have.
Best to keep it little –
Replace the white what
With your cat, little Moby here
And of the problems of fur on clothing
Write revenges of tiny majesty

But hang on a sec. Again
But your cat does so much without you
Better to avoid such difficult subjects
As it stalks apt nouns in the fields
Better to talk about this chair, this table
Are you feeling quite up to it?
A table is a difficult subject
I met a man once who wrote a whole
Book on it
It was called ‘The Point of Pure Intelligence
Hovers in a Blank Space Slightly Too Close
To The Dim Screen, Typing –
The Adventures of Said Table’
It was okay if you like that sort of
Table. But hang on

A second where was this beauty made?
Oh dear.
I’m fast becoming a flat plain
Free of everything – is it not liberating?
Almost pure prose, pure purpose – but not quite, yet
Aha! Let me ask you, writer
Can your pen bend round end to end
To write upon itself?
If not then we are really in trouble.
Better to just start scribbling, quickly
Quickly
Before anything else disappe

2, 7×7, Music

Music flattens all nuance
in the word-play – or draws out
meaning in simple rhythm.
Each step of the insect foot
on the dry grass blade is void
and thoughts collapse – ancient stars
you hand me your cold beer and

confused, I count syllables
on my fingers instead of
offering up applause – flat
claps to reward the groove, gone
replaced by a strange avant-garde
thanks. I hand you back your cup.
Galaxies spark on your cheek.

27/02/18

Brambles cut with snow
are the earth’s bronze crown
of thorns in the sun

This sun – glancing the snow
I walk under – and my ears
tilt to the birdsong now

This spring beginning with snow
A fox-path diverts from mine
to the deeper more humanless parts

And cars through the sleet
as my ears grow colder
the houses are there, dusted

With drybrush grey – white crusts
plucked from a model of
the apocalypse – each is empty

Others walk by to arrive somewhere
as I stand and look
at the fallen tree, sliced with a gap

The precise size of the path
snow-dust sits on the fragments.

A half frozen lake waits
for me, and duck ripples
there is no escape, but this

Is an escape, the frozen sheet
the tree’s twisting bark
the wood-pigeon’s cold thrum

May this be preserved
this tas of remnants
this preciseness of life

Which clings to us like a scar
‘Do not go in the water’
it would be piercing quiet

Then dull, but I do not need telling
twice – to not miss
by brash action – a moment.

Long moments walk.

Behind the patient moon,
a meteor – as I walk home
watch my head coalesce

into the white materia – holy.

Playing Final Fantasy on a Friday Evening

Phoenix down for my life, search
Ether for my poems, steal
A princess but with summons
And random battles of dark
anxiety which can be
Big Bad dark on such a day
Press a, press a, contemplate;

The black mage on the sofa speaks
little, but softly speaks
of great problems, loneliness
of creation, how meeting
your creator is not wise
how harshly the mist machines
just disappoint and grow dark

But there is such light here, in
Aeris, in life’s crisp power
which always courses, pulses
deep in the planet, guiding
all, and that is not to call
attention to its steward:
Nobuo Uematsu

The bombing mission plays on
each morning bears new twists, raids
elaborate stories and
weirdly wide range of monsters
as here, so it is in there;
little explanation, but
just wait, worth levels upwards.