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

All the Sky’s a Stage and all the Clouds are Merely Players.

You walk down the unnoticeable incline into
the city. You look to the skies where the weather
systems rehearse a performance they will give you
next time. You see the bowl of the heavens reflect
the skull’s roundness – and all car sounds in its
persistence. You love this. It is, you think, the mark
of a walk’s greatness to array contingency
in its random archways you sigh. And walk on through
the headache as the white grey blues yellow

Inextricably Bound

Inextricably bound
say I, are you
to such a situation
like falling into the sun
is bound to a mild burn
on the fingertip.

I am inextricably bound
to this bed. They tried
to pull me off it earlier
trust me. The universe almost ended.
I pointed out that concrete
didn’t require such
particular force to break.

They insisted on an atom bomb
which was inextricably
bound to fear being fired.

So I inextricably bounded
up and stood on necessity
bounding up and down on it
like a broken trampoline.

A World

Wavecolour

There is a beyond I want
It sits in the bay – swelling
and parches colour from skies
If it were to flatten – I
would hover in galactic
clearness as whale stock rolling
through depths of flat darkness

It is a mess of futures
I want to feel weight holding
me, not pulling down, not crass
If I were to dive, would it
help me to feel this soft truth?
All its cruxes, circulate
into my skull sockets, pour

Skycolour

In the original slow
blue-shift on crystal axes
and the cloud-plane’s flat chatter
which gulls inhabit – it strokes
our lives with rotations
so unnoticed – like a spine
holds us, cranks us all onwards

This thing, this vast thing thralls me
with the subtlety of god
I want to live as slow as
this thing is the thing itself
as uncaring, swept distance
that it unfolds me into
a greater care, the air itself

Earthcolour

When I stand in the peach-rock
plain – hear cicadas eat sound
and grind my soul off on sand
using just my feet, my flat boots –
I want to hear the pattern
of sun-dry olives falling
of mountains blowing in wind

I want to smell the dry cracks
splitting the earth and the ants
cacophonous rustling will
The sweat which drops from my brow
Genesis a cold spring, no
it crackles into the dirt
– then a sun bleached toothless skull

Suncolour

Once, the sun was in my urn
buried, half-buried in sand
half in air, then it poured out
and the corona blasted
a hole through me, I smiled clean
I fell and my body spread
in a floating slow dissolve

light was everywhere – light swam
in oceans of light, pearlesced
In the centre, a headache
a burning, a green cactus
bee mantra, a pebbled floor
and a pale darting lizard
The gull shadow sweeps within

Starcolour

A fell day, a final drive
Long journeys open cold doors
and out – look upwards – yes.
There is the ancient cave wall
where myth crystallises – whites
and all reds and bright far dawns
brim softly with absolutes

They are eyes, palantíri
vectors indicate some truth
– whatever, the darkness fades
from a pale light to shimmer
Orion’s heavy shoulder
It ripples, this fabric lives
Swear it was not known til now.

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.