May 28, 2008

Our sky is not a colour like your sky,
it is more like your blood:

not red, but warm, full,
and dangerous to spill.

There is no death here –
we do not lose what we have made.

Moments do not fade; time is embroidered, not passed;
each instant thrives

and life is a fabric of vines. Love is like weaving,
anger like strangling. Seeing is making –

some say we are tricks of the light
but we can touch minds, angle ourselves and become others.

Each of us has one great heart
that floats ahead of us like smoke.



May 28, 2008

Two hundred feet below the high rise, and soon,
the cars will loose their horns at everything.
Celine Dion offends the French with her Canadian accent –
she’s there on the TV, in a dress like a mirror ball;
you are with me, drinking champagne.

We squeeze lemon juice onto oysters
who tremble in their shells, pale by candle flame.
I am sipping flesh from a crescent moon.

The hours embrace, then expire without protest.
You sit before me, latte skinned
on tight North African curves,
talking to your friends in language I am free of,
relieving me both of silence and the need to speak
though sometimes I do speak, when you stop,
lean forwards on your elbows and explore
or we worry at translations like meat caught in teeth.

Yesterday, Reims cathedral looked about to awaken –
encrusted with statues of the beatified
carved in stone the colour of dirty mustard,
their eyes watering with piety.
Now, at midnight, spirit blows through the walls

like a god cooling his food,
pulverising the shells around them.
Awakened, they must be sounding the horns,
or else it’s city folks begging to be saved
from saints’ swords and angels’ tridents.

Our eyes flicker in time with the candle flame.
The door opens; metal reflects decor and digested skin.

The army of heaven can’t believe that on this day, of all days,
we’re having a dinner party, rather than praying
or gouging out sin with a rusty apple corer.

I smile over my gateaux, tell them:
that’s the trouble with the living,
but the living is good.


May 27, 2008

We moved to the countryside. The nights were silent.
You dipped your hand in wine and coloured your belly.
We came, shivering. The moon was pale.
We took it in turns to talk to,
to caress. The moon was white.

Seasons shimmered. The telephone
began to look out of place, then later,
like a shell. No one came to stay.
Our house sank a little each day.

We covered it up with turf;
the foundations hit bedrock
and it stuck there like an egg in a pork pie,
and we were a raw yolk, viscous,
sloshing round in a bubble
as the crusted earth turned and we were rocked softly,
while everyone else was kneading and dying like flies in pastry.

The moon was the colour of buttercups,
jeweled fat by a cooker, cratered amber,
a wash of saffron ink on old canvas.

We had a window in our roof,
and we watched the moon for hours,
felt it dragging tides of our bloods,
imagined ourselves shrunk as small as cells,
ebbing and flowing with the circadian spin:
two happy, drowning voices,
conducted by a sweet, fat lunatic,
and we folded our selves into the fabric of the land like haiku.

We kept paying the line rental. One day,
we were phoned by a fax machine,
and it felt as if one of H.G. Wells’ tripods
had hovered above the window
and brushed its nasal death ray past our eyes.
Once we got over the shock
we tried to talk to the machine, we tried to explain
why we couldn’t come back,

as if we were Gaia talking to the human race
or as if we were love trying to apologise,
trying to explain why it hurt and what the easing of it was –

to a fax machine. And it listened carefully,
but we spoke the wrong language,
so it was frightened, and did not speak
or later relay our message to anyone of consequence.

So the days suffered like they always had, but more,
and that beautiful bastardbitch of a moon drew great tides of blood,
and waves crashed and threw up great gouts of it that splashed on our high window,
soaked the tiles and the wars went on and on and on

and no one told anyone;
no one told a soul
that you can only see what’s real once you realise you’re dreaming.
No one told a soul

or they screamed it from the rooftops
then the beacon hills. And maybe we did
and maybe our house never sank
and we died with you, as you, screaming for you,
as we pinched ourselves, each other,
harder and harder

to wake others up from their dreams,
to live in ours, which was not a dream –

and kept pinching till we were crabs
shuffling and duelling, shuffling and duelling,
shuffling and screaming for beheadings
as flimsily as we turned against the wind
to be spun and scattered like sycamore down
into blood and the dizziness of spirals.

So we never moved to the countryside;
we talked about it for a few months
but your tests kept showing negative.
I got worse and worse and the meds
just made me fat and slow witted.

But the wars were real
like nothing else. Unless pieces of shell.

summer of love

May 22, 2008

The stained-glass saint has a beard
and behind his head is a tendrilled sun.
He thinks he looks like God. They all do.

I think of the cross
how its wearer’s blood dried to ink
then black wire.

The sky is fierce with clouds.
Angels turn to silt in their guts, cast themselves
to the pavements, the gutters.
I move to shelter through my thoughts

of America, wishful,
imagining a pulsing bag of chrisali. At Beltane
a girl wove me a circlet of twigs and flowers
and I dreamt I was a summer of love.

when hell froze over

May 22, 2008

Pale blue angels

paused in falling.
Tatooed name

rank, serial number. Wings
bloodied as damascus steel.

They fought like samurai,
between science and dance;

God watched a pageant of mantids
devouring in his name or its negative.
Attention seekers, He sighed
and they heard the ice.

There are golds in the ruins;
I hear delphic voices leap
then submerge in revelry. When I step back
they are breathing, breathing.
But the dancers have gone.


May 22, 2008

I am not an absence of rib, nor am I clay
infused with anemos. I am not an emergent pattern
of patterns upon patterns

oscillating like harmonics…
or an intertextual meme; I do not,
like Prospero, raise storms by brushing
or clipping wings.

I am not the words or the thoughts
or the void, the emptiness; I am not Buddha’s neither this nor that,
nor the unbound, nor the probabilistic causeway that giants like Heisenberg

cast upon the waves they saw. I am not the sea of consciousness,
nor do I lack existence. I am not my name.
I am not a number.


May 22, 2008

I tell you to think of onion skins furling
or rainforests like faces. I tell you the heads of pins
swarm with angels, and we are everything
that is neither metal nor Elohim. I tell you the jewel of the dance
is a pearl that everyone is running on
and one must not slip.

You ask what is life’s substance, its shape? I say
quicksilver or sand, labyrinth or symphony.
This tapestry tangles smooth, weaves past anew
as present glances by. Storm and eye
or not I and form no new words please

for what we cannot describe;
such words labour breath into barbed wire.

I cannot hear myself,
I will not listen, I do not desire to grasp the philosopher’s stone
or the unifying theory of hearts.

I must take these words to the river;
the water will make them its own.

precious stones

May 22, 2008

I am eating nuts in sugar.
I see a pile of glass chips,
brown-gold: scab pus glistens..
Pain. My teeth feel brittle.

My beautiful face is crunching
in the glass at home. Before
I come to its aid the guards
prop bones and mop the blood

their precious stones were squeezing.
Lord God I am sick of poems
that nuance violence like swans.
Lord God I am sick of mirrors.

If poems are swans
and if you are stuck
under glass below
take your pick
to them. Good luck.

In Eden the cycles
are ouroubus ripples.
Will I be alone
like the mirrors in rain?