I’m over here

 

Late October          in 

the kitchen of your beautiful home

drinking tea  from a queen-of-fucking-

everything cup

 

We get round to knowing

loneliness is also olfactory

 

Spark’s cruellest writing

says what’s sayable

What does your nose tell you about me?

 

Let me speak as a Russian nurse

Let me whisper         the real stories

are never told

 

 

 

 

 Belvedere

 

So they were sitting beside the belvedere, in shade.

And they were drinking, barely exchanging a word.

The sun was shining and words were beyond them.

 

Past the low stone wall lay the river. Further off,

lost in the thin blue air, were the island’s three peaks

yet to exist, as if they existed.

 

A breeze got up; the world tilted and water, seen

slopping up the side of a glass, pushed the air ahead,

carrying birds, the clink of ice, notes of lemon.

 

On the lawn children ran like small dogs, yelping

with a mix of terror and joy, and occasionally

a mother or father appeared to gather them in.

 

He thought there must have been days

when people forgot even that they had gone to sleep

and woken, re-born.

 

That they had flowed, like the river behind

the wall flowed, huge and still and countless,

grey as all rivers are grey.

 

The sun continued to shine and the breeze blew fresher

and he drank again and thought

in the eyes of small dogs days like this will come again.

 

 

 

 

Memory of the Unknown

(i.m. Margaret McGrath 1928-2017)

 

Two years since you passed

Tiny bird-life dying in your bed

My heart’s full for wondering  

What shadow the creature calls

When sundown stills its feathers

 

                                                One-eyed

I spy the gap in the neighbour’s fence 

Spring has landed hungry & cold  

Damn the blare horn of indifference

   

The Pole Star shutters into view 

A fraction’s wink makes light

Someone than us less

subject

 

Shakes her hair at the paler gods

Who so cruelly in our absence

Enter the mud hut to hold us dear 

 

 

 

 

Goyesca

after Mina Loy

 

1.

Flung to the moon

Straw man Pelele

Watches the night

Shadows shrink

          bloom

 

Majas in their livery

Under drawn 

 

Behold

The bird-economies

Plumed in syllables

 

The lunar dust

Of Goya’s jig

 

Rise from a body

In trampoline rags

          outsize wig

 

 

2.

Life-substitute

‘Tween dance

                        & word

Pelele peaks

In the higher air

 

Face haunted by the sun

A kinder science rolls

Across that lenient tongue

 

Blasé glassy-eyed

To the marbled prospects

That once were he

Paree

to the cooked meats

                                    of Bowery

Preferring languor

Sky-worn bliss

To the idling coma

Of a sculpted wrist

 

 

3.

Gravity brings Pelele

     down

Unmarked from jinks

With the cracked

      larks

 

To the calf-skin bed

Of the tauromachs

 

Feeling atoms of disgust

The time-served majas

                behind a hand

Weep            dry their tears

Draw the blanket

 

In a fountain of stones

                watch him land


 

 

Who can pay

 

I know you’re there

when you’ve gone

 

it’s like falling in love

in some eatery somewhere

 

you order everything

the laughter echoes

 

I’m looking through

yellow paper

at a day that looks

& smells like roast chicken

 

Nowhere should be

this shadow-free

 

I’ll know you’re there

when you’ve gone

            

 


 

Stars

 

No such thing

as should

 

I meant it

when I said I loved

                        you

 

what do I remember

                       

overhead

 

constellations

                        of bees

                                                                    

 

 

 

Volumes

 

I would gladly

swim home

 

to get away

from place cards

 

& slim volumes

for the ambassador’s

table

 

but I can’t help loving

yours

 

even when I’m dripping

wet

 

& home’s

nowhere

 

nowhere’s

in sight




(Last updated April 2019)