A worried king came to me, lord knows why
to measure his luck against the Philistines.
Strange how an eldritch technique can change
from heresy to dogma for reasons of state –
anyway, for all my murdered sisters I gave
him just enough doubt to put off his aim –
he’ll lay down his sword from anxiety, then
lie down and slide along it, slowly, to rest.
I slaughtered a calf to give precursive thanks
and fed him libation to his own pierced flank.
When the gods ascend from out the earth,
justice sees tyrants come off the worse.
The horror is at the centre –
of the galaxy, in this case –
effigy of darkness, grey fire
that once outlined the small gods’ heads.
A colossus of roads inwards
each with a donkey and lantern –
a one way street – an archer fires
their bow and infinite arrow.
The great Buddha sits there, spinning –
you’d better believe you’ll feel peace
as you breathe deep and cross the line
where Ying and Yang get singular.
In this old place, the logos fails
for now, but then, what is now? No
word can explain the difference
between the future and the past.
Sanctis tuis in aeternam
on a galactic pin-head
which defies perspective with law –
to tint it with a golden skin.
In soft radiance, that black lack
accepts us in, and absolves us
the sin of being data – then
shakes space itself with its laughter.
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.
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, ugh 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
“This 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, no. 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
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 heard of a man once who wrote a whole
book on it
It was called ‘The Point of Pure Intelligence
Hovers in a Blank Space Too Close
to the Dim Surface, Typing -‘
It was okay if you like that sort of
table. But hang on
a second where was this beauty made?
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 really are in trouble.
Better to just start scribbling, quickly
Before anything else disappe