Kew

It’s as hot as the sun
can make it here
where water forgets
its natural direction
of downhill, & hovers

That is apart from the salted
water on our brows,
your smooth and pale back
your classically refined
tanned toes

seeing plants everywhere
on tables, panels, hanging gardens
in our eyelids, lashes –
my mind loses place
arborial beauty hangs together

with the small and hot haired
nymph of the sweat water
I see before me. You
smile again an evil smile
at my fear of heights – & I

see your eyes glitter
organically
small sticky rust grey seeds
which lodge in my mind
and breed

Aphorisms XII

Are we doomed to be too late to understand our lives? Like looking up from a book, looking out of the train window and seeing a forest fire, but then looking back to the book, and carrying on reading, before arriving at the next station and thinking – I need to get another ticket, wait, did I see a forest fire? No… I can’t have.

Like the owl of wisdom always flew too late. But now its skeleton sits rotting under the branch, and we’re still watching the sky. You might say, if you wanted to be melodramatic about it.

*

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C to M

Unbelievable. Words are meant for pages,
not to echo over the fields behind houses
disturbing the moths in their evening light.
Words are meant only for games
and this is not a game. I said stop.
You need to speak now, we’re here.
I’m here, you’re here, we’re here.
What are we playing at? What just happened?
We had an ice-cream together
and it was like the last ice-cream piece
of the ice cream puzzle. But it’s gone.
We were like two intercity kiloton trains
that missed the crash we could have been.
Ignorant that all of us crash, it’s life.

But our verdict is not stayed by vague gestures.

You are like the frame of everything;
I’m like your cracked painting.
And you’re mine. You’re my painting,
my nude by Georges Braque, a person,
but unlike any person they know.
I could never have said this til now,
it’s like someone is speaking through me,
my voice is no longer my own,
but I’m going to take this chance to say
I love you, M, I’ve said it before.
But I don’t think we ever got through
to a precise entailment of that statement.
You are the thorn in my side that I need.
You are the constant pain that lets me know I’m alive.
Or am I that to you? I’ve lost track. But that’s it;
If they tried to unweave me from this world,
they’d have to take you too, otherwise
what’s left would not make sense.
You’re like the light by which I am seen.
Without you I am not me.
We evolve together like the beetle and magnolia,
But who is which, changes.
Stop, let me make you a statue to yourself.
Let me be your pedestal. Let us hold us.
Stop, let me punch your enemies in the nose,
and redeem all your relations.
Let me become something that we become together
Let us realise that we become together.
Stop, let’s lie down here in our hole, our glass bauble
And work through everything in glorious variations
of sex, like we were carved by the ancients.
Things are going wrong all the time
And we aren’t owning it. Let us own it.

When we are hurt, we are the uneasy angel,
making uncertain vows to save us.
Now Editor, Stop. Allow us this
Of course things happen in unlikely ways,
Let’s not be melodramatic about it.
Leave the future to those who live there.
We are our fate.

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.

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

Aphorisms VI

To ask – is it okay to have a child? If it is not okay to propogate existence as such, existence is said in practice to be ‘not okay’. We pronounce on ourselves that we are not okay. To lack even a baseline of worth. For who will continue to care about the world, if we don’t care enough to continue to propogate the possibility of care?

Our basic humanity rests on this acceptance that we can continue. Fantasies such as ‘Children of Men’ show us this emotional truth, that to not have children is to accept the apocalypse. A childless world is a slow apocalypse. And what right do we have to choose ourselves as those who do not deserve propagation? No one has this right. This first form is an attribution of nonexistent rights over nonexistents.

Another form of this is a kind of overload of care – we care about children so much that we will not let them live with a possibility of a worse life than ourselves… We care so much that we won’t allow care to exist. But of course, we will be living most of it with them.

*

When I played Spyro as a child, the world of Spyro was complete, without traces of anything, no history. No background. A world with no influences, music which was never played by anyone, a beautiful summer forest, puzzles and gems and orbs. Now, I start to think about how the soundtrack is structured and that perfect being of Spyro starts to darken. Then I stop thinking because it is not worth the value lost to question the most deep art experiences.

*

Isn’t there something disingenuous about a philosopher searching for arguments, as such, to prove a point? Surely they should be just looking closer at the way things work? But pragmatically a good, graspable argument is often hard to find.

*

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Esk

Red girl – and I mean girl, for I
was young and could only begin
to imagine you – red dream girl
projecting yourself into me
from the page, but also across
galaxies, to warn me not to come –
You were held in supple halos
of redness. Your smooth hair was long
and now I see it in the hair

of my friend, who is a bullet of
a woman. I see your hair light
until all the hair I now know
or once knew began in this thought.
I remember you so vaguely
You are the first friend who I lost
and the first one to draw from me
the structures of love. I was young
and now I am young again. Old

is the way you recur to me.
I half expect god to return
in your form. I sat with the books
on the blue grey carpet, felt it
drain the blood from my palm leaving
the impression of weave, and you.
Did my teacher remark at this
sudden silence brought on? Blushing,
I remember you. Please come back