Poem From Page 45 of the Butterfly Notebook

If a house holds old things of you;
such as you, leant on a wall
trying to cry to ‘An Ending: Ascent

or you, sat on a step
the salmon carpet wet with tears
your hair, the faintest warmness

even you, on the dark landing
taking a glance into partial rooms
where concepts of girlhood collide

It will also hold the sublime
the purposeless snare trap of time
things you can see, but never know –

A few of a godfather’s schoolbooks
a toolchest full of tools and old signs
and those we love, who see us with sad eyes.

Moana

In looking for happiness right where you are
Or farthest-star following
What if you find that happiness requires
The acquisition of skeletons
What if the last leap turns into a fall?

And you hit the golden rocks by the sea
Or are dragged down into it
By the weight of all these childish things.
What if to be happy, you must
Take someone else’s happiness without hesitation?

What if I am not strong enough to harm
In the end the one whom I love
Who is stopping me from being happy;
No new island without castaways;
Oh I know who I am, I know. And it is not good!

Collapse

In the winter sun I saw, a gold
forest of leaveless trees appear.
It was warm in the shower and the wind
could be heard at night on the eaves.
I played games on the evening
and in the morning I played games.
The tangle of ideas has become full
and the temptation arises of a sword.
Stupid people say stupid things
and I cannot be sure of my difference.
I cannot be sure of the world
but I can be sure of the deep house.
I drink stimulants all day,
and in the morning I drink stimulants.
My heart is a construct of ideas
of the faster beat and slower thought.
I cannot be sure of my body,
my thoughts of my body are dark mirrors.
I hold inside me a red liquid
I hold in my hands a rare earth element.
In the winter sun I saw dirt on the screen,
and the night wind brought desert dust.
I am a rare earth element, they know
my paranoia grows and shrinks in ceaseless
patterns I never see coming or going.
It was warm in the shower as I heard
the guitar be generated by movement.
The tangle of ideas is a symptom
of competing interests concieved as a whole.
I cannot be sure of the political body
as its organs revolve, unconnected.

*

In the stream of time games appear
and the faint sound of choirs.
Things repeat and repeat and I hold
within me this repetition and outside
the wind flicks between warm and cold.
I hold my loved ones close
I hold my hands clasped in the darkness.
The answers I have found to crumble
and rebuild, and repeat only in torn
forms like recycled paper used for chips
or packing paper used to wrap objects.
Words lie in ranks on the tablecloth.
Connections form and are lost again,
being lines between lost things.
In the christmas quiet I heard peace.
In the blue fire of the hob,
small fragments of history gave us heat.
The world is an organic simulation.
Time pours through us and damages us.
The tangle of ideas rests in parallel lines
and smoothes out the kind of fear we feel.
The fire is warm on an evening
the sting of heat on my legs
the sound of ancient voices from my childhood
and far off trumpets and the brightness.
Another year passes, I cope more easily.
In the christmas quiet I heard peace.

*

And what is there to say
when all stories are noise
and all stories are equal in their relation
to the void and what is there to say
and what is worth saying
when all words are noise and void
And all stories are at risk.
From day to day I tumble from this mood to that
and often forget what I have said and believed.
From day to day my purse grows lighter and heavier.
From day to day the world goes darker
and darker and brighter and hotter.

From day to day the clouds pass over the face of the sky and the moon’s blank eye and I.
If they do not care to save the earth
Why should we care for them?
If they do not care to save the earth
Why should we care for them?

*

But in the end, the sun enfolds the trees
and as I gaze at the page, it watches me.
Collapse is a strange thing, it threatens,
but never quite finishes with us –
My heart is a construct of golden ideas
a web, a force, a soul, a sun tower.
The future cannot help, but out of the present
it flowers, and we can help ourselves.
In the sun, I see, a winter sun behind a sea
of branches, there where i lose myself
to find what there is to see

Another Life

How the moment is still
and hangs under the eaves
like the mythological ice

your future melts,
ash is on the grate
ash blows upon the world’s face.

All the plans become
never to be done
and life, moving on
as one would expect,
moves on.

I drive down to the valley floor
and follow the river
of cars, a tear, a tear

V.70

Oh please please please let me not step
on snails any more, it provokes
moments of panic and questions.
Like what makes a snail the lesser?

We all squirm and have our dark shells.
Entire belief systems are crushed,
just like that. By small accident.
If the snail doesn’t matter, then…

My hopes and dreams bypass the snail
and I can live in a dream world
beyond, where political talk
never betrays anyone. Where

good men are honoured. Good people.
There once was a world where good reigned.
The demons got bored and planned coups.
Death meant nothing to them. They ran

in the streets screaming slanderous
screams that cut the good buildings down.
They wrote newspapers and chattered
in their odd logic, disregarding

tears, emotions. They thought little.
They rolled around in little shells
like a physical process, then
I knew. I was better than them.

Aphorisms 1

Often, the cry of the cynic is one of jealousy towards hope

*

When someone gives up on a joint project, it takes on the features of glass – cold and transparent. And behind it you see the back of the one who left. If the joy you shared was real, the project will feel emptied by their disavowal.

*

I love it when it rains, I love it more walking in rain, living it. I love thinking on the memory of a good storm, but sometimes that is easier than going out and making new memories of the storm happening right now, outside.

*

There is something beautiful in taking something meant as an insult, and wearing it as a badge of honour. It throws light back up the ass of the insulter.

*

A translation is an excuse to write something new under another authority.

*

“Whatever such a mind sees is the flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.” A state we should strive for, so long as we remember that, not only beautiful, still, and peaceful, the flower has the nesting insect, eating it from the inside out. And the moon is bright, and hangs outside of our world, but lunar craters are cold, dead and sterile.

*

In poetry it is sometimes easy to look for crunchy language, rather than a true picture, or letting one build its surface over the other. But then, capturing things is not the kind of thing language does, like a graph, or a sum, or a photograph, despite these all having their subjective aspects, or hardly capturing anything at all. It evokes, but must evoke on the terms of the reader. But do I do any of this? Do I even think it when I’m writing?

*

The writing feels right, it isn’t like what has already been said. Some of the language that comes is new, in new ways, some of it is couched in dull or dead forms, which have to be revised. But what does this feeling of ‘needing revision’ consist of? Of resentment, of defining the succesful in terms of what I am not? Not old, not hackneyed, not used up? Writing a poem is equal parts what I like, or think is successful, and what I don’t like about what I have written, what is unsuccessful. It can’t just be one or the other. And it can be more. Sometimes I feel nothing about a sentence. Does that matter?

*

Resentment as a concept, a superiority of approach, defining yourself against Them, ‘what they do is bad and I don’t like it’, this concept has a lot to do with how taste develops. And this is okay, so long as we know it.

Zodiac

I

Your week this week will go off
like a rotten egg. Such is life.
This fragment of a year will crack
and spill all over you, achieve

new heights of boredom and disgust.
Why? Do you ask why the fungus
grows at the tree’s base and grows
rotten? Come on. Just accept it

like you accept that your eyes
will look where you decide
and not just swing around like
billiard balls in a washing machine.

Next week brings with it new challenges
as exactly the same thing happens
for the hundred and eleventh time.
But this one, this is the one, I can feel it.

II

The stars are spread out in the orrery
like thick yeast extract on toast.
Things are everywhere finding it difficult
to connect. Take Bellatrix

for example. A salty taste on the tongue
just don’t let it touch an open cut.
Inside this emptiness of pain feeling
there is another expanse of tiny stars.

From each new star, we see new constellations
and the red bloom in Orion
is aching to reach them.
Close one eye for a while and things look flat.

There are an endless array of bears in the sky
clouds, atoms, birds, planes, galaxies –
all of these are bears if you look closely.
This week will bring bears.

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