october 2019

 

 

                          (i)

 

...there are no sounds, no names

for the words that leave our eyes

 

yet they speak with such searing rage

that scars are left hanging in the air

 

but we ourselves are the madness our fury brings

we are the true book of eyes

 

of sonnets left rotting in a ditch

we are the heroic, hostile ones

 

the soothsayers wandering through

the vast, statuesque geometry of space

 

asking – is there nothing more out here

but blood and syntax

 

is there nothing more a couplet can do

but hack a way through reality

 

back to the ditches, the ditches that are everywhere

clogged with eyes

 

and yet we, the people, who make no sound

who have no name

 

we hang in the air

a premonition, a spectacle

 

watching ourselves unravel...

 

 

 

 

                           (ii)

 

...inside, just behind the eyes, is a mind of glass

a masked figurine staring at itself

 

reaching out to hold these seeming

shadows, moons, roots

 

deceptions of all that is real

the veil of an inescapable face

 

a person cast as a person

whose mind is an act of magic

 

an image of profound injustice

left staring at itself

 

and yet a cold breeze still chills the body

proving the world is far from broken

 

proving that the glass is inescapable

this translucent, grey tissue

 

with its shadowy data

its memories locked away

 

behind a façade of grinning atoms

monuments that rise and rise

 

just behind the eyes

a seeming reflection of the universe

 

left staring at itself...

 

 

 

                     (iii)

 

...sometimes when I am out-manoeuvred by sleep

my beauteous sphinx

 

drips her scent into my face

and lets down her narcotic, ebony hair

 

and it is now that my heart dies

now that my ears roar with blood

 

and when her tongue wets my soul

the valleys flood

 

and a swathe of land slips into the sea

a fault line, a lifeline

 

this unearthly solitude

that draws a man into a woman

 

that pulls the heavens from our eyes

my beautiful lover, my sphinx

 

what have you done

you have scrambled the world inside men’s heads

 

you have taken over the centre

of the only circle we have ever known

 

and left us with this roaring

this smell of unearthly blood...

 

 

 

 

                            (iv)

  

...and even after a thousand years of hoping

the skin on the back of my hands

 

is now dry and cracked

a script of ruthless promises

 

and verses that went nowhere

but my own heart

 

and although I tried so, so hard

I never could intuit

 

this gargantuan suffering of the universe

this meaninglessness of dry, cracked skin

 

its promiscuous ignorance

its fatal chemistry

 

then we are simply the language of water

and for millions of years

 

we have been speaking in tongues

convinced of ourselves

 

yet still only a liquid

an unintelligible, fluid everyman

 

whose skin is thinning fast

whose heart is covered

 

with a thousand suffering verses...