V.111

After a propagating night
on the space ship, the undulate
light and ambient bleeps and bloops
punctuated by our moaning –

A faint smile came up behind me
I engaged my boosters. Fleeing,
but the smile was fast. It could swing
across clouds on its curved wing-span

I used all the scant resources
of my mind to avoid it, first
thinking of everything I’d done
and nebulas of betterness

Then, just dwelling with the panic.
It wasn’t enough. The smile hit
and my dark vessel exploded
with an unassuming shockwave

and a cloud of steam and glitter
(gold glitter, with small silver hearts)
erupted, and I was falling –
the landscape of the alien

calmness reached across horizons
as the smile consumed me, fodder
for the ancient and bitter god
that wants me to be happy. damn

Duck

Does any animal float as well?
Resting on this peel of thickness
pedalling slowly, and honking

Duck taught the angels
how to fly – see them now
by the barrage, watching for tips –

just put your face in your armpit
and hang there, careless –
that is how to go about it.

Lessons such as that.
And how to remain calm
in the face of such rain

After duck stands up, wrings out his coat
he waves to the angels, who nod abashed
and calmly floats off into the sky

V.72

Being in love with you is like
wrongly putting the recycling
in the black bin, but liking it.
And the rubbish in the green bin,

but liking it. Being in love
with you is like getting my ears
syringed, and I can hear a range
of high and annoying tones I lack

at any other time, but it’s great.
It is knowing that any mar
of my ears is now down to meat
asymmetry, rather than wax –

you reveal my material
defaults, simply by existing.
Being in love with you is like
accepting the judges’ avis

despite knowing that taste and all
aesthetic sensation is based
on subjective judgements, grinding
my teeth to get out that word ‘good’,

sitting in the cold waiting room
on the almost unused sofas
shivering with nerves, until I
hear your voice call out ‘we’re ready’

V.43

With this poem, we will approach
obliquely, a statement about
beginnings and introductions.
We will take the correct approach

not taken by the author in
their own preface, which was written
by an entirely different crux
of forces than the text itself

and let’s not start on how poets
enhance and distort the way words
arrive from the constellations
by talk of love and stars and more

distortions. We will take up more
than the text itself; biographs,
scans, scansions and resonances
autopsies, trials and physics

also the being of beings
themselves. We will make it present
in a way pure and crystalised.
Just the thought of you crossing this

road ten years in the past is quite
enchanting to me. This poem
will confuse, and then begin to
make sense, I promise. To begin,