On Beauty

Considered with reference to bodies

Standing water, in the cold night
reflects the crisp moon,
thin stars in the eye’s quiet corner

In its shallows the dark leaves rot
starving greens and wriggling things
’til stillness reigns

There is only so much you can get
from a reflection –
just ask these dying flowers on the shore

But a river – god damn it
just look – look at that flow
It goes where it wants to

But slip up, take a photo
and there! It’s a pool again.
For gods’ sake delete it

Let us leave all our still disasters
a night of stars, devastated
without their flutter, their refocus and shift

and lay paper puppets, torn and sullied
by the fire which crackles with time
and burns with everything you needed

[Beyond Literature]

Beyond literature
crystal latticed books
interface in halls
so vast the humans
have been lost, always.

Every sentence starts
and ends with a whole
life, a human life,
short simulated
and in the centre

the books turn about
a spine – which is real
human spinechord cut
and spun from the tears
of ancient servers.

You do not ‘read’ books –
You must choose but one,
and it only seems
that way – in cold fact
it was built for you.

So tear your heart out
at the plug – thousand
eras dawn and die
to build its climax;
it is perfect life.

V.62

When you are exposed to the beams
and the wind of the universe
blows through you, you may still seem
to walk, but you are dust, and thus

the skeleton you are stands still
in the dark, surrounded by dirt
and the wind blows and the air falls
to rest in lungs and waters. Hurt

and defeated your body melts
and returns to first and last things
as tears that glow blue trail their salt.
The air itself was on fire, sin

of the knowledge of our kind. Hell
was not real, but we made it real
and now it clicks and clicks and all
would do well to fear it. I feel

a kind of horror, this grey light
that is born out of new dangers
which make old metaphors apt; tired,
blind, the will to power failed us

as Pandora lay in a ward
this blue chord burned into her eyes
The small moth that had once meant more
that came last, was burned in the fire.

Sea Memory

I do not remember
as if it has sunk deep
or diffused within me –
my first visit to sand
and sea – ever – as if
my genesis is now –

as if I were born out
of my sea memory –
as the long horizons
shone in the sea’s tearings
I materialised
crashed in, filling this space

Bath

This and the next few poems were rejected from the Poetry Review. I really don’t like resubmitting poems, it feels like the moment has gone. So I will send these on into the aether, rather than having them sat in a black case with other miscellaneous papers.

I don’t mind that they were rejected. Why be sad that one person is not in the right mood to hear what you were saying, or doesn’t like your clothes, or just isn’t open to you. That doesn’t change what you have to say. Why be sad that your picture doesn’t hang nicely amongst the others. It just means it doesn’t fit there. Paintings are beautiful even leant on the wall in the attic with a layer of dust. My own space is wherever I am. Like here.

And also Rebecca Tamás said she liked them, so I was happy anyway!

Bath

“If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches” – Rilke

I
There’s nothing really wrong now, per say.
The day was good – disjunct as often
with the day I thought that it might be.
As I wait for the bath to fill up
the room fills with warmer, wetter air.
Not to begin on the day hoped for.
There is just a lightness missing – mist
takes the windows. Empires have been won
and lost because of this wistfulness.

II
My body floats ever so slightly.
The deep element we were borne from
laps my chin as if to say nothing –
is enough, and indeed it is, better, yes.
The sweat beads run out to meet it here
they orbit my body, salts dancing.
Is that enough? To attempt to think
in the calmest way. The figure: still
sea glitters in the sun’s soft twilight.

III
Now – a new series of figures pass;
the wind blowing of trees in dusk dark.
the grey boiling of a deep sea vent.
small blank fish in Mariana black.
a blinding light as torn blinds open.
an ache in the neck which fades slowly.
a small smile quickly dances outward.
A last hope was that bath – just know it.

V.61

Driving around with my windows
down I consider the weather:
Rain, this industrial thing goes
mad, as I mull over heaven –

and how we’re not in it. Maybe
you think that? But you can be wrong
depending on the day, lately
I think that the sun has not shone

This brightly, or caused this much fun
since the paleolithic age.
Our habits of pleasure are gone
only when no potentials stay

with us like annoyingly bright
friends to pester us. The weather
is not an apocalypse type
event, when failed crops are. Never

over til it’s over. Seems trite
but true nevertheless. Don’t blur
boundaries using deep, dark mind
structurals that never quite were

what we thought they might be. Human
life is learning to live like mice
in the dark, under the booming
thunder, short grass, cat’s eyes, at night.

V.60

In the background things pass away
making a noise like dark fire
crackling. We go around nudging
remains into the embers with

our feet. There, fragments of wire lie
where authoritarian
structures once rocked back and forth. Life
burns and brings sadness. The brambles

are so green but in the fire, lines
of red-gold crisp light steam and curl
around the blackening leaves. Feel
the substance behind beliefs fall

away and reveal the golden
embers and their heat that can sting,
as the smoke curls up around you
wherever you walk round the flames.

On the drive home, it turns out that
the universe conspired to build
Nick Drake so he could soundtrack this
night. I feel complete in the car,

with the moon, moon, moon, moon, and me.
As I turn the corner to home,
I see the subtle moon, pink haze.
The record sleeve hangs in the real.