If I could steal her again, my bright
breeze, give the air means to move again
I would, I would set my brother’s word
in ice, bury it here and see it gone.
What lesson was there to be learned?
Once you are trapped in yourself, no gleaning
can offer you worse, can free you, so…
She flees from me and I can’t read her
despite these most constant assertions.
She sits at the computer all dressed
in that soft cotton striped playsuit. Damn
I wish I could rearrange the world
so that I get what I want. A world
where the geography itself would mean
desires satisfied and grown hectic.
And where the words strung out would thus lack
all connection to this or that – no
resistance, just me as every law.
I am tired of all the hot buses
and misty windows in hell – and words
I cannot cut at the joints, chatter
of all ghosts ever. But am I
any better? I just wanted this:
a person to lie in a warm bed
who would wake me up with caressing.
I would ever try again – but here
in Hades, desires undermine us
Now this is getting silly. Cupid,
if you are reading this, what the fuck?
You seem set on making anew
a weird and lecher homunculus,
a glance-misunderstanding device –
the repertoire of wrong moves extends.
Never able to make the right start
sat, still and buzzing with nothingness
mulling the ancient concept of chance.
Small and naked tormentor with barbs
of vague and undisclosed ideas
that, unlodged, send the guts sprawling out;
fire shot after shot into my head
Bang bang bang and I can never move.
This time I was just trying to read.
The flight was close range. I had no chance.
In the bookshop café you leant out
from behind a fake pot plant and fired.
Her eyes caught mine for a bright moment
I couldn’t breathe I thought this was it.
Then the poison hit. I couldn’t stand.
A shiver of lacks that drained inwards.
Stalling, the child burns and falls seaward.
Lessons learned and unlearned, still I dream
Of the conversation of bodies.
Still, in her blue eyes I sat and shook
and found some half-lost moment of peace.
How it was that Cupid arranged this
I do not know. That little fucker.
But you know when you wear a jumper
You only wear to bed, and feel it
The softness of all mornings hanging
There in the cathedral of your sleep.
You feel it brushing against your mind
The way that dry grass blows in sunlight
On the warm hillside, silent morning
Over the city? Well quelle surprise
Cupid weaponised it and bullseye –
I was on the bus, tired from walking
I was barely thinking, distracted
By a handful of small cares and time
That had nothing in it. What a shot.
Ricocheting out the café door
It blew my mind out my eyes. I stared
As this woman sat there in that light.
She was eating green soup, and talking
on the phone. And I’m damned to suffer
Yet again this fear that I’m a creep.
The bus stopped there for moment and
The world froze. I watched her spoon moving.
I felt at peace, with my brains dripping
Off the stop buttons and commuters.
My day was ruined. Goddamn Cupid.
The bus moved, time resumed. I slumped down.
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
Slipping through like a needle through silk
comes cupid’s static shock of a bolt
except the silk is me, and this slip
is only the beginning. My heart
is the target, and this tracer shot
soon followed by a sly and silent
shockwave that strips all trees of their leaves.
And the silence isn’t lasting – once
hit I can’t hear but for this ringing.
BOOm. I look over to see cupid
smirking slightly, his manic eyes wide
and stunned at what he has dared to do.
Then I look down at my blackened heart
steaming on the floor, pumping its last.
I go to pick it up, try to force
it back in my chest. But my hand meets
a hand. My stomach drops out now, too
and I start sobbing as I look up
“God damn it cupid, you f*** I don’t
believe this not again already…”
But it’s too late. Her eyes are soldered
into my brain before I can gasp
or change where I’m looking. My limbs shake.
Oh – she says – I thought I’d just help you
pick this up. I try to form a smile
but instead collapse into a heap.
Oh of course. You don’t know what you’ve done.
The wind moves in the future
with soft wings – it brushes the leaves
hanging in the air with the trees
The clouds change:
a gradient of grey to blue-black
– and we too, walking beneath.
Our mouths open to let breath leave
while the red of your nails scatters
on the walls
The words spoken move
through the past, and your smile
leaves your face to land on my head
Three days later
it’s still there, folding and unfolding
like a butterfly, warming in the sun
We talked for a while and then
I breathed you in, by accident
and like an insect you got lodged
in my throat – I had to swallow
repeatedly to even take stock
of the situation – how your oil
black hair was limp in the heat
and its one colour rainbow sheen
of sun coated me with a sweat.
I digested your little carapace
and now I twitch like a dry
and dying wasp in the porch…
Frankly, my dear, I would most love
to sting you but I am waxy –
look what you’ve brought us to
with your callow disregard
of how you fill the air, and land
in droves on my shirt – cracked
and uneven paving stones are no
solace – get off me, get off, get off.