Do ye look on things after the outward appearance?
every day you break is different: dark artlessly
disappears into the gutter that is a child's cry
into the eyes of a stranger on a skateboard
the stars (the stars!) are hiding in his pockets
there's too many stars and not enough sky
tenacious trash heaped against the luminous
drainpipe: the gull which is also your hand
flutters beside the white thigh of a passer-by
a woman with lice in her hair and a faithless lover
with a ramshackle bicycle and too many destinations
talks by avoiding the words she knows for certain
you most want to hear
however hard she rubs her clothes stay sweat-stained
however hard she wrings they stay sopping
the boys are the opposite of what she wants
her measured step scares the rabbit and attracts the chicken
measure your desire for distance
her distance from desire
by lifting her dress to reveal
the marble of a cathedral
your mouth is looser than an old woman's sex
the passer-by plumps her hair
in a puddle one eye doesn't see another
this is the testimony of a far-sighted man
touch. If she is beautiful still
she wont say
hello: she fell
into the world without
a tongue to confess as much
or more. Call it her original sin: silence
winding up your day. But its how she keeps
faith with the non-place she came from: surely
a man can understand, a man can
weigh her heart against a feather
northerly southerly easterly westerly
The knowledge of your origins consecrates her
body: your desire for her is
nostalgia for what's beyond. When she
opens her lips the Four Winds
enter, charging her belly until she
splits like a mussel
dropped on the rocks by a black-backed gull:
one half is darker than Medea's laugh, the other
shines like Beatrice's eyes before the altar.
When she is dark she is beyond
comprehension: better to swear on water
or the sand it rearranges,
better to embrace a thorn-bush than to push
further into her confusion.
Exiled from irony (which exiles)
she does not want to choose
sea from sky, blood from seed: she believes
one belongs with the other, here with the beyond
she comes from. Touching nothing
she is keeping the quiet.
This pomegranate is still ripening. That pomegranate has gone rotten.
It is about how what happens changes the space you write while
the snail leaves a trail on the finger of your glove.
in her split skirt she felt so essential shed bear children men could
mourn this cowgirl carrying a sour tune in her bucket.
- The writing is meticulous but twisted in on itself, just like your
love for one another.
Your pen will not leaven bread if the sun refuses to; its nib wont
pick the lock on the door of a widows bedroom.
When the light makes off what can you do but follow?
THERE YOU GO
you go, no
bird beast flower
and that speech
'dust to dust'
the hour. Now
you look, look
how 'it' falls
through & through-
out the house;
boil your meat -
makes 'it' so
turns to wine,
dead. You hang
there and then.
takes you in;
you cross this
line - it's you
to a T
First the hermit
crab scuttles off
with the sun, then
your girl goes west.
The gap between
hermit and crab -
that's where she waves
to the air you
outstare for her.
See me here. No,
only those words
the real is real
Because. God is
length, height, width, depth -
hard math as you
queue for her kiss
or His blessing.
Your tadpole mouth
bubbles with if
but and maybe;
you wear one cross,
the way vagrants
alls for nothing
special. That's all.
Snouting the dark
man can only
poke his lantern
at random, sure
he'll get the girl.
But why see her
again? Your door
closed like shadows
on a body
no body wants;
your words tersely
and about her
turn away now
the hour turns down
object for pure
and then. Forget
her step, her scent
and all the rest
when she was all
your rest. Rest now.
A conversation with no one, the wind;
a conversation with no one, the rain.
Macrocarpa rooting the irrigation ditch;
the pug on his grandfather's ploughshare.
And his calloused hands, and his companion
magpie picking the eyes out of that scarecrow
in the next field. And twelve hours of sunset..
The colour of foreign birdsong in the nor'westerly
playing with dust the way a boy plays with the priest
who hears his confession. 'Yes, my child.'
Tenderly, with the chrysanthemum's pink,
he was born to the vernal world
as his father nailed the sky-light
shut. Innocent, disenchanted,
he paces out the vegetable garden
where a makeshift cross honours the tomcat
and father never ventures. Chamomile
fragile as the wall of the cemetery
next door, where there are no doors; thistle
faithful as a dog and dogged
around his ankles, scratching
thin-skinned Paradise: 'Angelo..'
With one word she strips sinew from bone..
Hardly - if an arbitrary past arbitrates our future
my lover stutters over a cracked teacup.
It takes her forever to get dressed,
each button and hook resists the way
she resists the day. She is bitter as the tobacco leaf
between these lips. Her prolonged maybe
a tangental no I find time to talk with her sister
but never with her. So what if that 'never' is theatre?
I want our bodies to generate
the light neither of us feel - but she wanders
off, thunder in the wild blue
RÉVEIL DES OISEAUX
for Olivier Messiaen
The bird perches on these words
six feet above sea-level. Now night
shelters in the bones of passers-by -
the bird's eyes burn. Like this observer
the bird thirsts for more than air.
A bird that does not believe
in trees can never rest. And yet
this reticent shell, this spiral on the shore
rests without sense or belief. Dispirited,
it waits for the gull's beak. I'm free.
THE THIRTEENTH HOUR
A blonde whose skin blinds the sun
winds back the clock: the thirteenth hour
the first, she is introduced to this man
she has already loved. I feel like a new man.
For him this shop-girl misappropriates
the mysteries: her eyes divine
whatever the established church
avoids. If he was to offer her
their wedding album, she'd leave it
for scavenging plovers and the tide.
Is there anything more mysterious
than clarity? Her taut breast almost
offers itself to his lips before
he withdraws: I saw myself
seeing myself , smelling her
sex valerian and sulphur.
The roadside apple, the arbour's pear
ignore the condensate from a horse's nostrils -
what are blood and sweat to them? All the same
I'll tether my mare, collect windfalls.
Or I'll rest where riverbanks loosen to an estuary
a boy fishes at dawn, his father calling
to the heavens mackerel clouds swim.
Plenty of time to tell stories
now, bulging like summer plums, my eyes size up
the tractor on that hill, the overalled tomboy
swaying through the swaying grass
towards me. Hi, I'm Eve.