<< In-between two redbrick houses
there is an alcove and a shed
topped with a mossy corrugate.
On the campus. A leaf dances
shivers, hovers, behind the moss –
blown as if a storm plucked at it
on a taught invisible string.
I’m still in front of the horror >>
<< There is a leaf on the road home
I see in the peripheral
behind me when I look back down
the hill – on the grey concrete steps
It jumps and slaps the ground so fast
and in paroxysms of dance
confined to its small space – I blank
on everything and watch the glitch >>
<< Roland Barthes was crossing the road
when he suddenly stopped – in front
on the path ahead a brown leaf
shivered as if it was burning
but there was no smoke. Enraptured
he didn’t notice the milk truck.
As the blood pooled the leaf flew up
to hover over him, spinning >>
I wake in the dark and get up.
My heart palpitates. I listen.
My arm is cold, and the bird song
is half audible – I listen
There is a noise out in the air
I cannot place it – a night hum
beyond the cars whining – the woods
is a valley and they echo…
A high pitched hum – a dead discourse
of a ghost who sits in my sink
and mouth open lets out this noise
I avert my mind but listen
Yes there are new air raid sirens
being tested in the morning
over the cold roofs and wet fields –
not meant as a warning – merely
set to register the white flash
with a note of receipt so faint,
stride in black across Odessa)
en deuil, les victimes à venir.
As I lie still, I can hear it –
the vedic wind resonating
on the moors, a landscape om
The Past is a Dream – it recurs
exactly as thoughts from a dream
as droplets from a cracked clay vase
in a forgotten desert spring –
drips from a rusted waterwheel
in a green abandoned valley.
Pigeons courting on a warehouse
in the golden morning let see
the past through this hectic event –
Always bowing, no matter why –
bowing to each other – honour
of one pigeon to another//
Isn’t it mad how supernovas
burn in incredible vibrance
and leave civilisations there
in their path like a residue
All the material on streets
of red brick trentes glorieuses
is the debris from a power –
Strange things happen to the star corpse
I make tracks out from the city
and hear fireworks in the cool dusk.
Ribs of light. Le Petit Prince walks
alongside me with his flower
Only the finest and most active animals… – Nietzsche
On the seventh day, I rested.
I took my little boots, went out
and sat in the memorial garden.
Tears were licked from my eyes by time.
Cherry blossom was on the trees
a rusty angel holding wreaths.
I thought how, once built, a bridge lasts –
a stone bridge outlasts us, and sings.
Dreams of war danced in the cold night.
In rooms, piles of ancient books loomed.
The sun isn’t something missing
it’s an overflow of hot thoughts –
that dances on the horizon
and tricks us by travelling so slow.
I wanted to say this: thank you,
here is a Picquot tray of tea.
Like tidal waves upon a cliff
this came to me, this old feeling,
made me take a seat and begin
thinking the odds and ends again.
Oh, all my help and those I harmed
– joy hands on joy to us and then,
like lava at tectonic rifts
from this, may things begin again
I’ve loved you all my waking life.
and it’s rare like atmospheric
crystal rainbow clouds, in the night
catching the moon’s light. Called moon-dogs.
Though rareness isn’t a good sign –
rare diseases are rare, okay,
but I’m trying to find something
like a mock moon has its anchor –
I see your hesitancy through
your 22° halo –
Could we after all have found more
in others. Could is a puzzle,
and I’ve loved you, my waking life.
The tautology has my throat –
like a jet necklace. And the joy
you bring me has long years in it.
We are vintage. We can say that,
and others cannot. Exclusive
isn’t necessarily good,
okay… But the world falls away
when you laugh, or you say my name.
And that’s not good either, okay,
or is it. You are my chapel!
my holy book! my holiday!
I sit at the table, half-lit
by the weakening autumn sun,
applying for jobs, oh my lord,
what have I done? The tea is hot
and hearing faint but crisp alarms
(there must have been a powercut)
– or is that just my tinnitus)
I am steeped in apocalypse –
I am confident in using
Microsoft word, oh old my lord
I thought people were born that way
– just for today, far poverty –
I am giving up videogames.
A dog would be easier trained
– more visible – for I can’t see
myself, oh my lord, to see wrong.
The orange leaves glow so cutely.
Something terrible has happened –
I have met someone who just might
make me get my act together –
I scrape myself with shards of pot
and pour ashes on my head, and
I can use Excel with all haste, lord
my shortcuts are so sharp, so keen
I am sorry, for not being
strong enough, when it counted.
The moments of this world whir in
an unstoppable black fountain
My eyes are blurry and ears, blocked,
my jaw is tightened and grinding –
Looking back has turned me to salt
but the distant light is brightening
All of our acts will be redeemed
if we accept this grace – the world
is void of magic, but still seems
to glow in air. Red flag unfurled:
May we fight side by side on walls
where inhuman hordes throng – and see
a grey wizard rise and fall
down the hills like a rattling stream
May we stand side by side and hold
the hope of some lost child in hand
presiding on a field of bone
when the horns sound, and the last man
arrives, having settled accounts
at sunrise, hallowed light in form
of a prelude, thunder of mounts
hooves on a plain, be eagle-borne
There was an empire here – therefore
pain is caked into statues lost
on the sea bed. Time is so scarce –
gas dissolves, sinks in the water…
Missiles built with economies
scatter like graphs of a world-crash
and it is beautiful, foxglove
of nuclear Armageddon
The new war is begun because
certain things cannot now be stopped –
aesthetic laws demand of us
complete dedication. Agents
look into the heart of the state
and it looks like a cup of clear
water with boiled flowers – drink me,
says the label, and grow smaller.
He stares upwards, blue eyes cancelled
by the roaring fusion of things
There is no crack team coming, no
hope for a future for the old
Are we ready to lose these hopes?
Denied redemption, what remains
but death? Are we not better than
the worst of the things we have done?
I want you to be the first one
I talk to on my birthday
gliding over the clouds in space
in a glass dodecahedron,
our little pile of cool blankets
and when I can’t sleep due to things,
I will whisper to your earrings
that I want you to be the first
person I talk to on that day
(and I will caption the footage
with star and heart emojis)
that’s when we watch it back, my dear
(me and the orbit habitat
attendant) I will tell them how
I want you to be the first one
I speak to on my birthday – yes
I don’t know what words I would use
Maybe I would express anger
at how you mistrust my judgement
‘how dare you!!’ I would say, ‘morning –
by the way. You are beautiful
the way that shadows of nimbus
are elegant, on their cloud bed
from our glass ship, it’s my birthday’
I’m stood in front of a hedge maze –
there are three doors and each is locked
with a different kind of black lock
whose keys aren’t quite biting the pins
There are thirty keys, so varied
in shape and their material –
the silver key seemed right but snapped
ejecting a tiny blank scroll.
I knew that here, invisible
was the map to find the lost key –
but I tried to heat it and see,
a lemon juice script darkening,
when the whole scroll just exploded
into a tart lavender dust
(I’m sure I can see lavender
through one of the keyholes. But which?)
I bend down to look again, then
lean unthinking on a handle
and its door swings sweetly open
with the sound of a barnyard latch
I step through quickly and so, fall
through a trapdoor into a pit
and that’s what loving you is like
goddammit! I must brush my teeth