On Beauty

Considered with reference to bodies

Standing water, in the cold night
reflects the crisp moon,
thin stars in the eye’s quiet corner

In its shallows the dark leaves rot
starving greens and wriggling things
’til stillness reigns

There is only so much you can get
from a reflection –
just ask these dying flowers on the shore

But a river – god damn it
just look – look at that flow
It goes where it wants to

But slip up, take a photo
and there! It’s a pool again.
For gods’ sake delete it

Let us leave all our still disasters
a night of stars, devastated
without their flutter, their refocus and shift

and lay paper puppets, torn and sullied
by the fire which crackles with time
and burns with everything you needed

V.58

Air raid sirens are full of dust
in a culture my ears know. Let
fail the mode of lamentation,
let us breathe in the dust we are

and be happy, let us have strength
we can direct over the form of
the book, the film, the cigarette,
the vape, the game, the small figures

we create in our new-born minds.
Let me just remember this is
pouring rain, this is paradise.
If you feel your life won’t make sense

if conditions aren’t met, forget
that, and luminesce. You may think
maybe our parents shouldn’t have
had us, knowing then what they knew

and leaving the planet in states
difficult to parse, and this holds
for all ages, and all people
in them, what a hot sin it is

to create a newborn person,
it scalds and leaves us hollowing.
But it is a great miracle
like lives and all things in their grasp

V.54

The moss between cobblestones. Rain
to break rot weakened branches. Wind
on the puddle on the bridge tears
the world into sections. I step

in the puddle and move on. Step
through the humid air. Step. I fall
through the floor and the map appears
grey and unrendered. The cloudlines

were just painted on the skybox.
I look down and I have no feet.
But the air is humid, I breathe
and smell damp old cars. Will we get

thumb arthritis, when we are old?
I see objects from my youth hang
in the air, ready for the next
cutscene. Then the quick-time event

begins. I have to tap *a* as
I drive the car home from work and
a stupid pigeon accosts me
by flying into the road. I

then miss pressing *up*, and my mind
gets caught on climate, that I can’t
be driving. There is a glitch and
I am flung into the dark sky

V.38

Do you ever get that feeling
on a late spring day, at noon when
the sun bears down amongst vile blues
and undecided clouds, and yet

it’s night? When the high pollen count
and the feeling that everything
is just an instanciation
of old recycled days, textures

the graphic engine once used on
bricks, are now reused for the spilled
potatoes on the roundabout,
these things combine and you just feel

mad? And you aren’t sure you’ve ever
been awake? and the flagstones see
your shadow with an evident
disgust, fall upon them.

That its night with a veneer of day?
Your actions seem to multiply
without ending or beginning.
And sometimes it’s okay. Squirrels

pace around the garden of my
adolescent dreamscape, bouncing
off each other, the bird feeder
and their black eyes watch me, eating

V.15

When I got back from the game house
i read joan murray, with water
and a magnum and heard of strange
adults and children and became

with her, once again sure of life.
events in the short term with me
as a focal point betray none
too soon that things are just going.

Out of a context brought by words
I live in a basic form of
eden. i feel the cold ice knot
of cream melt on my teeth. surely

things were occasionally wrong
even in that garden? im grown
simple, hearing the dishes clean.
i have sore eyes, and my ears twinge

and my naked feet are sore souls
of the carrying of bodies
in a concert beyond of thought.
but my morning should bring a day

i don’t dread. and sad moments pass
like memories over long years
work of neuronal altering.
Oh Joan, come back to life with me

V.1

Four woodpigeons pace the garden
of my adolescent dreamscape –
when tree houses hung suspended
above dark woods. And faceless things

were different back then they belong
among us, deep in my headspace
one pigeon is puffing itself
greater than the others, it thinks

one would suppose, and then settles
the argument. Flown to the woods
I hear the uniquely quiet
sound of paintbrush on old jam jar

where Beatrix Potter’s stand in
with warm and wiry red hair sits
on the fence and marks pigments out
of this world, and makes paintings

hang in my childhood, in halls with
abandon. a picture of me
and Van Gogh. I am young and
wiry. I paint now because these

are the deep horsehairs that gallop
out when I sit on the beach rock.
I will build my mind the gates of
time will not prevail against me

Silenus

In the smooth dark the faun first arrives,
stepping from the skin of my best friend.
So much support has gone into this
and now we’re dancing and all call out
which older films had taught us to love.
Things swim before my eyes, and I too
swim in these moments as I placate.
We are far from home and soon will leave
for those far shores again. Oh soft time.

Drinking whisky they dream or don’t dream
as is their need. The old bottles pall
as their blood is drunk. And the sober
watch on at the loud speeches and song
and the night becomes long. And yet still,
in this time and place where we cannot
get precisely what we want, and feel
pain, the smiles around us float on streams
of lesser darknesses and heat to boil

that pool of life’s worth again. We hear
Sigur Ros sing as we change places
again. And sit in the darkening
moments that fade. And look into eyes
We shall not see for other ages.
Silenus sits and watches smiling
Before he scratches an ear puzzled.
Something seems not quite right to his eye.
He is wrong. There is nothing wrong here