Feeding the soul

In a small room,
a window to all I need,
my soul—yes, it has returned

—will be free
of policy and committee,
headlines and opinion.

I’ll cook away
at little children,
pulling recipes

down from the shelf,
adding in combinations
and portions,

tasting each child,
sucking its bones,
before throwing them

to the window, the discards
of an inner life
I’ll feed to overflowing.


Johnathan by the water

It’s Johnathan by the water
Flopping his hair like a seagull’s shiver.

His eyes are honest, so honest
He’ll tell you how it is
Hit you between the yellow and the blue.

He’s got you leaning into the wall
Waiting for you to fall.

He’ll smile and lead you on
His eyes are honest, so honest.

He’s Johnathan by the water
Flopping his hair like a seagull’s shiver.

He’ll hang you in the elevator
You won’t reach for the button
Because it’s right
Because it’s right.

He’ll tell you not to cry
It’s America and it’s built to last.

He’s Johnathan by the water
Flopping his hair like seagull’s shiver.


Me and the tulips

I guess I’m here like the tulips are here,
somewhat against their nature, cut from the stem. Fate,
I’ve come more often to appreciate. Her
hard turning of the wheel used to throw kings
aaaaaaaaaaaaaand peasants and bishops in buckets
around the hemispherical heavens,
each taking their turn at the midday top
before falling off just after nine.

The tulips though aren’t waiting for anything,
fate or otherwise, not like I’m waiting,
with only the concept and the feeling of waiting
but not the what for.



Another day with no name,
no number, before or after

the black sands burn
a black smoke


I’ll throw a hammer at the window…
just to see the glass fall

with sharp flashing anger that (maybe)
you’ll notice… because why
aren’t you angry?
Why isn’t your anger balled up
in a grimace
of bitter conviviality?


Who are these people I see each day
walking the path to the Parthenon?

They smile and wave in step…

do they still believe in state
and society?

better (is it?)
than sitting here
watching the dust
and dirt
pushed into corners

as time rushes
stalls awake

Art, Poetry

His journey through art

after Zbigniew Herbert

A long time ago the gallery attendant
believed in art

his paintbrush thrummed
an irresistible beat

and the rhythm of colour
filled the canvas

what was beyond the edges
was lazy and unfocused

he doesn’t remember being hungry
but compared to the empty fullness now

it was not the fault of chiaroscuro
of perspective
of depth of field

that his passion stopped
at winter’s grey

(he doesn’t know why sometimes
love just ends)

the gallery attendant
began to make arguments against art
thought he could tear apart

the harmonies of complementary colours
rip the rainbow with a blade

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabut he’s a slave
locked inside, serving a dead master

history’s orbit moved on
and the gallery attendant’s inner axis
settled on its present rotation

while he waited the changing
of the ocean currents

there’s nothing just or unjust
in the operations of the universe
and there’s no value in objects alone
in dusty space.


In a certain mind

I wipe the condensation
off the bottom of the glass with my palm,
place the glass back on the coaster,
to which it sticks
meaning that it will probably rise up
off the desk when I next lift
the glass to take a sip.

A slight tilting
and pressing downwards at an angle
will break the seal
formed between two hard smooth surfaces
by the liquid in between.

For millennium before and after
this is something that
in a certain mind
will be noticed.


Cheap memories

In the movie of the picture show
your unbuttoning was over quick,
you zipped her down and the years were gone.
One war after another—call me Caesar,
call me the son of God! I leave it all
to go back to those theatre seats
and the dumb matters we felt, high on ignorance
and desire, pushing the boundaries
that are now so far from us in every direction.
It’s a new country for old men, undiscovered
by you lot, but you’ll keep pushing until
you find it and ache for the memory
and feel of those buttons…
What bargain shoppers we become
when we’ve recklessly spent it all.


Oh sweet Lysidice

I’m a deviant, 
I lust for Lysidice
and her see-through muslin dress
revealing her star-blessed tits,
her earth-kissed mound—
oh sacred triangle!

I kneel to pray
but there’s nothing there,
only the pages 
of an anthology of Greek poetry
open wide on my desk.

Lysidice has been gone
for 2,000 years — but boy
she’s still hot…

I’m a sicko
to get all worked up
over a translation.

Fleur, you’re cruel!