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Slogging through mud


What helical two-step slides through us?
Hypnotised by jamais-vu
we'd strip the face off with the mask,
the mouth for me, the eyes for you.

The black brig of the new moon tips
K's cornucopia of No,
direction tots its little sums,
the psytrons fight thought's undertow.

Rule out the hieroglyphs of loss
(a thousand armies at a stroke).
When critics make a meal of grey
may laughter midwife any joke.

The stinging tree and cunjevoi
agree on antidote and pain.
So let it be the numbed heart drum
the jussive mode alive again.

The lake at dusk calls down the sky,
the mayflies fall like dregs of light
and zeros gape in every stone,
offering no adjective to night.

Heresy hides in a crystal dice:
say slime mould colonies emigrate
as stars on the blue cupola teem,
say heaven's borders fluctuate.

The Constellation of the Crab
will scour the mirror clean of doubt:
I pruned the roses yesterday,
there's salt enough to see me out.

Though failures stack like useful bricks
the Ides of Silence always win
so house the mind in Tesla's Cage
when doorstep welcomes threshold in.

Listen Listen (1.6MB MP3)

Sound Waves to Silence

The onslaught from birth,
in widening rings of sound -
voice, music, noise -
knows quietness as its faintest hope.
For recompense we pattern the silence
with words, those fossils of small change
layering space and time.
Memory touches them and they touch back:
cousin Og in the cave weighted his tongue
with picture-sounds, and gathered future
in his palm till the finger-pebble words
formally counted themselves across the ground.
The poem too is abacus to some transaction
where one word speaks the weight of ten
sliding across the silence between.
We might have made a speech from music,
each resonant truth trembling through the body
and up through the crown like the note
from my Tibetan singing bowl in B:
on and on and on;
politics as harmonics, love as the octave.
Instead this bit-talk, grit and gravel of voice,
slogs us through mud, with song for its quick half-flight.
Last night I dreamed of corners;
behind each one, the same young woman
was bathing the face of a wide-eyed child
with golden skin. They would not speak.
Since every waking moment angles silence
we might dare corners more.
We've an audience, after all, to serve -
our own winged thoughts, devil and angel,
taking the long route home to night
through number and colour and form;
ghosting, becoming, the silence,
we shatter and drink the light.



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