V.78

I scramble to use this mind state
to set down a new life for me.
One as structured as the soil was
before we tore it to soft mulch.

Just think – each soil had its long past
thousands of years of traces, worms
squeezed between the roots, and they too
are squeezed between older root forms

or traces of root forms. And small
mouths, smaller than the memory
of your favourite day, in digest
had summarised layers in it.

We freed the soil from all this past
and made it serve us. But smoothly.
And our lives smoothed out to match it.
Then the great plough turned us over

Left us in a state – heads up here,
lungs down here, and further down, toes,
really a big jumble. I run
and circuits and false starts within

become films of nuclear tests
in space, these unforeseen objects,
just breathtakingly ill thought through…
May the fallout skins protect me.

Hello Sadness (1954-2020) – Part 1-5

And then one day, it all came to an end. In the morning my dad decided that we should go to Cannes that evening to visit the casinos and dance. I remember how excited Elsa was. She thrived in casinos, and hoped to get back a bit of her sexiness, which was weakened by the sunburn and also see some other people for a change. I figured Anne would object to such a basic evening, but to my surprise she didn’t – she even seemed happy to be going. So I wasn’t particularly worried when I went to my room to get ready. I put on the evening dress I’d brought along. It was the only one I possessed, made of a quite strange, thin fabric. Probably a bit too exotic for me, but my dad chose it, and because he had a particular taste, or because he just thought that was what all women wore, he bought me these seductive clothes. I found him downstairs in a shiny new jacket, and draped my arm around his shoulder.

Continue reading

Ships and Stars II – Replica

All of us now dream of being the first human to be allowed to speak to the first made mind – crisp, and disconnected from all of this history

A bright light that simply switched on one day by freak creation, somewhat like we did. We hope to talk to a mind that displays its magic on its case.

Of course, now computers are organic seeming we can fulfil this kink simply by talking to each other – frisson shudders through like voltage.

We identify with the hero, the computer who is new and here to save us or destroy us. A complex, uncontrolled, replica of ourselves

Game Point

“Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down” – Robert Frost

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, in the rain, on an aircraft carrier, as experimental jets launch fireworks into space above you

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, on an aircraft carrier that was sunk in 2004 off the coast of Florida to form the basis of a coral reef, and losing with grace

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, on an aircraft carrier in a pop-up cross-section book, and accidentally slipping off the edge and falling into the cardboard sea

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down, loose in fact, when it begins to move, blown by the air off the edge, over the sea, until it crests a wave then slowly sinks to join millions of bones on the seafloor

Writing free verse is like playing tennis, but it’s not tennis, you’re holding a pen, and you try and hit the ball but it just sticks on the end of the pen and ink dribbles down your arm to the white flagstones

Writing poetry is like playing tennis with the net down but with the net up

Ships and Stars I – Galactic

Sometimes I don’t know whether to plot the course of our long and varied galactic run – the stellar cultural forms we shall pass through – or to sit in the garden on softest grass, lie, gazing at daisies.

I would like to say I lack understanding of this – but that massive understatement would leave the gulf between me and this high crown of petals unaccounted for – small chips, dry stalks, and so on.

Or could I plot new courses never before flown – or ask why this ‘never before’ is quite as important to us? Or I could absorb seasons of TV as if I were the wires themselves, dark angels

Or know all this illusion is simply there to shore me with all possible solace. If I can do this, that, why am I drinking thought’s hemlock, surprised at the dull undone.

V.71

Waiting to explain the contrast
between the blue of the night sky
whose soft storm tufts sail past the star
and the crisp orange of my lamp

and it’s now midnight exactly.
Trying to avoid the back pain,
I describe the warm oranges
and defined black shadows against

the world outside which is not crisp
and rarely defined. Then, onset
of paranoia regarding
that star. It slipped into the text

with no fanfare, but its crisp haze
zeroes in like the silence when
almost deafened after a bang.
It’s watching me, from across space.

Maybe it’s trying to warn me.
The specifics of range and tone
doubtless contain enough data
just to fix this pain and be done.

On the shores of the white star, sand
pours and dreams around blank oceans –
a lone deckchair waits for me there
and a coconut with a straw

Malorie Blackman

Vague memories of the beach,
meetings there, and kissing.
Of anger, and a distraught mother –

A tower block, and explosions
of anger – reconfigured dreams.
Race turned around and installed

again, to delete itself by mirror.
Then, somehow, I thought you dead.
A misread quote when I was 10

on the back of your book. Gaiman
I think it was. I lost you, then.
Something went out of my world.

Now, after seventeen years, I see
you linked in a tweet. No…
publishers would never steal your voice.

It was you. You were back. I saw
frost in shadows from the sun outside,
and around, the fire of the grass.

I’m not one to talk to authors
So I cried out of guilt and happiness
And now I’ll get the board back out

to play the game we know no one wins
again. Old mistakes gift us miracles
Or at least a chance to reverse them.