The sun shines in England even
Away above the clouds
A shaking head is grief or ageing
One smile makes it otherwise:
Can I stand to see it?
Can I do anything but witness?
And how is bystander anger
Going to help to sort it?
I have forgotten all my crimes
A lone cicada picks them out
I’d have thought too many
Would be beautiful but dumb.
So all my rationale is dropping
Exhausted from the climb
I walk with the ache of tender steps
I could not have bought with books.
And the raindrops refresh me.
For a fight.london day 1.

A Prayer

Tear up this pieceplane
The shape
The words
The time
Out of joint.
This is no thesis.
It is the usual ignorance.

That it seems so bleak when you reach the edge
And none of it was real
That the reasoning had nothing to do with the body’s
Or even the heart’s
When all the in-filled mysteries empty or empty again
And your habits can’t adjust to know what matters
The wonder of evolution and islands of complexity
Insufficient glory
After such light and grace and meaning.
I mouth a struggle to comprehend how it must be
For the billions who needed the prism while
Turning pages over or passing from room to room
Or whatever, yet
Closing or exiting it doesn’t work
Something of you doesn’t work:
Are we all dragged from this
While our loved ones have to watch
Probably never leaving book or house?

It must get better.

From clouds to earth
We fall in fear or enlightened alight
Clouds in the shape of wondrous fish
Land in the forms of wormy dirt
Or fish becoming other as we watch
And aureoled crimson
Dirt a city of nematode and root and wombat
And crowning blooms.
At last I will admit I am just like you
Never know time to stop
Dig into why bells ring
Step through how suns pierce us with radiance
Stagger across replication and transformation
Spots and rings and tide flickerings:
I am a sea cucumber on a plate
Unknowing what blade what decision
What ink
Gives surcease.
I have patched my trousers with duct tape
Without knowing where they were threadbare
Covering my arse in the daily
Stupid-go-round of happiness
And can admit
At last
I have uttered
A prayer.
I have whispered a prayer
I say a little prayer for you
I have called on my ignorance –
Whatever it takes really for who cannot?
Bully for whomever can not.

So tear up my love song
Bound to inadequate pulse
Serving not nearly verbs
Bulked up with foolish sentiment
Muddled argument
Each time failing what I know.
Again. No more. Again.


Ex Libris

If all the books in my whole house I’ve never read
Out of tricky polymorphism re-expressed into
(Non-sexually of course)
Ones I would
And sat up hoping:
Some get better, some worse, and some stay just as they are.
Although the number about fish masses;
About novel and novelist, painter – but not a musician – declines;
And the ones unchanged present themselves perhaps more brazenly.
I have calculated tMissed the Blackbirdhe number of novels I might in my day
Assuming an average span of average ones –
Is it obvious the Canadian brother between 39 and 60 beats his heart
Three two hundredths slower than la femme canadienne? –
Novels I’ll actually consume will not allow much shilly-shally
Yet the space for authors unbidden, novels unbidden –
Sadly those cut short beat them –
And books I just have to waste my time on if I’m not to ascend to boredom
Leave a narrow shelf space running off into time for the ones I must, I shall, I dread but do:
Just enough to range and rearrange
Deck chairs.
So when you speak to me of brevity, I’m against it:
It isn’t art that is too short but the frequency of art things too much and short things make many
So I’m against it.
So when you speak to me of clarity, simplicity, communication, surely you don’t mean in the service
The service of what you mean by brevity.
They’re not out there making haiku but slogans
For commercial disruption not the real kind
Just where less makes more and more make less
So I’m against it.
Time anyhow prints me a book on the stoop in the shape of a person and how
Can you say no to puppy eyes?
One more drops off that shelf at your feet. Yes I will walk your damn book.
It will be my pleasure. The pleasure is all mine. Come on then.

So if you see a blackbird a-scratching in the dirt
If you see a blackbird a-scratching in the dirt
You could kindly tell him that he has got my shirt;
If you see a blackbird a-fleeing from a cat
If you see a blackbird a-fleeing from a cat
You should kindly tell him that he has got my hat;
And if you see a blackbird dance his manky dance
If you see a blackbird dance his manky dance
You must kindly tell him that he has got my pants;
Then if you see that blackbird a-dressed in all my feathers
If you spy that blackbird a-wearing all my feathers
You very well may sing to him what he is to me, me forever.