Metaphysick for the Tyrant

The picture shows the bottom of an ocean rift. Small lumps of mud or sand rest in focus in the centre and the rest is darkness.

This you?

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Nihil of the world, ash and vibration in puddles of ash – your obelisks crushed
and sprinkled onto the beach for the sand to grasp and wipe.
Dog tags from the dead laid at your door will outlast you, scab of the world,
that architectonic of your emptiness, that emptiness of your nothingness, only delays
the time when the void will have its way with you in the way it will have all things –
your propaganda fails as it attempts to invent a face for a man who has no face.
And had you never existed, joy may still have lacked
but at least we wouldn’t have been forced to cope with your voice.
You are the white noise of the state, and entirely unnovel. Here is an overused phrase:
Forces you commanded lie sprawled by waves that liquefied their brains, and you
call meetings in vast halls and have others take the photos. Can you feel the plot?
All it would take for the world to forget you would be one shot from behind you
which would pass through the front of the skull and cause such blooms of flowers
to sprout immediately on the mahogany table perhaps inherited from a ship –
and from that same blood beautiful crystals would rise to melt the empire.
Those history enshrines, their people loved and white crabs tend to a vent in the blackness

*

The war stops. There is nothing else it can do when the soldiers have melted
Panting, you swim back and forth in a reactor pool, treading water –
glowing blue, you rest your collapsing ruins in the ruined body of the plant –
the sound of swan lake echoing through the corridors, over old tannoys –
over the sound of dripping water you breathe your last, while fireworks rear outside
as insects and raised dust whirl like a cloud of starlings above the forest clearing
Let us hold ourselves carefully and cause no vessels to rupture in innocent heads –
the void crackling across the years like glass on a car park floor, and more –
the sound of laughter like a morning chorus of birds being let out of a basement
There is much to think of in the slow walk in the dark back to the old bus
Even the smallest of our days like popcorn kernels that turn in the microwave
and conjure gunfire, or rubble falling from the roof until inside the pack a bomb
goes off and takes out the whole kitchen, leaving a cat yeowling in the rubble
What you destroy in emotion in the concrete city, all of it outweighs you
If even a small blackbird were caught in the crossfire, that would condemn you

*

May peace envelop you and absolve you and wipe you from the world, as quick
as bumping your head on the mantle as you stand up from the fireplace
causing a statue to fall in the desert and the wind to call – ozymandias –
Abel’s missile launcher smoking as Cain’s tank plinks cool in the dirt on the roadside
The charred turret of a tank becomes something ineffable in the dirt on a roadside
Given the unrestrained power of the state, all you could think of was pathetic
of metal whizzing around in the sky to strike upon towers of metal
Your name will go to rest having scraped itself from the slate of existence
as you scream. A tyrant opens its mouth and the wind of the universe blows,
raking the skin from animals and the bark from trees. A tyrant knows one word
and that word is dissolution but in a dialect of indelible slowness, one word
that is itself crushed by the vocabulary of a snail, or a thrush, or a thyme leaf
A tyrant knows one word which causes buildings to expel their insides onto the pavement
A tyrant knows one violently boring word, of unconfronted performance anxiety
A tyrant speaks of many things but always shows the turned face of his dying mother
A tyrant says one word and God places a hand over their mouth, offering silence –
the one word a tyrant says, is the final word, the word undignified, the word;

*

She should have died another time, you will shout – for this word deserves
a place for it to resonate – “Death!” But no, a cold concrete bunker will do for you both
Oh no, tomorrow, and tomorrow and the next day, and the following
sneak past like mice, each day along the cracks until the last echoes of your memories,
being dashed across the wall by a bullet, fade. And all your yesterdays will serve
only as entertainment for fools on their path to the final dust. Please turn off the light.
Your life is just a shadow that will pass. A clown that graced our screens for a moment
walking back and forth, wobbling – we will never see you again. You are a story
made solely of gunshots and screams, maintained by idiots. Signifying nothing

Aphorisms IX

When I was what you could call ‘virulently atheist’ I remember warding off any future professions of faith with great vindictiveness. What did I expect? I imagine it was a form of self-reinforcement.

I would say… if, in the future, I profess faith, then you can know that it is truly a mistake. As if to protect and account for my future self, who would undoubtedly have gone through an incredible transformation.

I’m still atheist, I’m just a lot more materialistic about the cultus now. Now, I would say of my future self – if he professes faith, just be kind to him.

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Say NO! to hysteria

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Metre and syllable limit are machines to make beautiful language, or good poems. There are others, among them actively thwarting metre and syllable limit. These machines routinely break down, when they are not understood as machines.

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Dame Autumn Hath a Mournful Face

After John Atkinson Grimshaw

You don’t yet know the fae.
Its church arches and bones.
It overlays on the trees
which become a seething delta

How the pools reflect black
to spite what they note above them
never sure of the horizon
your gaze wanders, unceasing

thin and twisting flowers
the green, and floating flakes of gold leaf
the faintly blue of the night
then, which slips alongside – her;

uncreasing the folds between worlds –
her insect wing-shimmer. And bright
shines one thing nakedness can do
mournfully at you, with a crown of flowers

The fae curves just like this.
It worships with patient light
that which you may worship.
If she wants you, touch the canvas

Sevillan

Sometimes, particularly after bouts of prolonged unspecified pain, sometimes I feel like my body isn’t mine as my lips tingle and a virus makes its lonely way.

I lie, hot under the sheets and think of manipulating your body, the soft human fur over the slightly sweat-damp skin, the malleable hardness of your skeleton and its firm muscular grammar, I imagine grasping you and laying you on top of me like a pillow or a cat, and it is a sweet dream, as sweet as the dream that first drew together the word sweet, the sweet of bittersweet, and dream, the dream you can’t tell is unreal, and never want to wake up, this sweet and this dream, together. And I imagine or hear your voice singing, please, please, in all languages, over and over ’til your eyes pierce me and I burst.

If I am desired in my dreams with no resentment, then it is possible. I have reached a place of acceptance, where the moths land and scurry along my skin, and I watch them, feeling love. Later as I lie gazing into the sky I watch unfold a vast pink rose on a teal field where the night stretches over like a duvet tent, and everything seems okay.

The Deli

As we stand and talk about bread
The various types
That the days conditions left,
Under the light

Of the sun which peels the day
Just like the last
segments of warm clementine
And swallows the rest

The materiality of you rises
With force to greet me
Through your mouth and other pieces
Petal-blue unblinking

I feel your embrace already.
Its a nascent form
Of seers insight to a body
Sensing the dirt

My mind’s soft worm burrows in
Feeling our heat
In this brown paper bag, and then
we take short steps out