This is an early (jet lagged) pre-draft.
Today I saw the clouds from above for the first time.
Sheets, blankets, pillows set in perfection, their precise solitude
A bespoke blend of silence, an installation on the fragility of seconds
And interruption; a study of the undisturbed nature
Of things left alone. An occasional gift, glimpse of sea
Shoreline, field. From 40,000 feet the world is but a sleeping baby,
A beautiful tortuous thing, ultimately loveable.
Taken away from the road I saw the vastness
Of untouched space, oceans of forest, and water,
Wide and convincing. Saw the frivolity of villages,
The capability of cities. Wide wake I flew past time
Through the confused sky skipping night, to meet many slow sunrises.
There’s a peaceful calm in submitting my life to pockets
Of turbulence, a tired pilot’s will, fiery crash or rushing sea.
I find in flight entertainment in endless fascination
Of the fear of those afraid of losing lives
Spent only in magazines, gaming or general ambivalence.
As a final dawn melts into view I am already burning.
There is just one lone star in the nightless mesosphere.
The One With The Withered Line.
I’ve been looking for a poem
One I’d read some time ago and not been able to find since
In some despicable anthology of love
Or somewhere, by someone famous I think
Nice, though not particularly memorable
Except it had a beautiful line about trees and stars
Which was really about understanding.
And although I don’t really recall if the boughs
where reaching or sheltering, it was their quiet steady that drew me.
Nonetheless. I thought of it and saw giants.
Maybe it wasn’t even all that beautiful
Just stuck with me in a moment of clear sadness
When I thought I understood small things.
Today I read a truly terrible poetry collection. I am not sure how this has affected me, but it has.
i might ask you to paint me, each part individually.
perhaps green for my feet and orange calves
raspberry thighs, a purple curve of belly
yellow sex, cerise buttocks
turquoise stripe of the spine
teal shoulders, bridal breasts, scarlet neck
blue sweep of cheeks
gold across the eyes.
i once had a dream in which with a pair of kitchen scissors
you took me to pieces. first the clothes ribbon nestled at my feet
then the feet, toe by toe, heel, ankle, legs and so on until skin fat
and sinew removed you stood before the bones, and shined a light
upon them so they may catch and radiate
and in them you saw the missing hues, the sad truths
finally open dazzled like a rainbow, and in its glare your pallor
extinguished like a sudden fish beneath
the surface of deep water and the oil slick of its gills
a bursting thing in sunlight.
as i woke i thought of a song, i thought of the dark trellis
of your jaw while the light was busy burning the room
and turning everything upside down.
(Thank you Van Gough)
So what of this moon?
Spinning the web of orbit
Staring down upon the mirror
Of herself distorted on the quivering sea
Dreaming of silent submersion
The grey hiss of dissolution.
For she knows her brilliance is but a deception
And all things appear beautiful in the absence
Of perspective. Can you imagine a purer sorrow
Than her slow dance across nothingness.
Who knows, maybe she is happy in space
Forever watching, maybe she is. She could be.
Maybe she needs to be made anonymous by light,
Defined by shadow, needs the shelter of clouds,
To be repressed by cords of tight air.
To turn full circle through variations of herself.
What else would she do with her time?
She’s no singing sun, no start to life, cavorting in chaos
Breaking open dreams and birds beaks.
Perhaps she looks on in ivory indifference.
Sees the man in sorrow on the threshold of eternity
And understands, but doesn’t blink.
Hears a dedicated love song
Yet remains unbroken. Forever cool
And only bright in the reflection of fire.
If love is not a collection of crazy ideas
then tell me what it is, Mr. Hot Shot.
Yes, I call your number, I take the date out of your diary
and put it into mine with a pencil half chewed,
but this isn’t the silver screen, this is barely Betamax
a long time obscure with plenty of interference. Tragedy is not tragedy
if it’s not directed into reverberations of an audience applause,
if everyone leaves dry eyed then no one cares if love lives or dies
because it goes on elsewhere, invariably better cast
deserved of the standing ovation. That we drink the same wine
is not coincidence or meaning of our immeasurable compatibility, just evidence
of a shared lack of taste, the bland palettes of an obese
Generation Y and even if our sentences are half
finished there is enough white space in these pages
to assume infinite love is some greedy mask
wearing creature we should fear, a modern day digital wolf
of sorts and not a thing we should feed scraps or keep in a box
under the bed. Because it all turns to shit in the end
no matter how much desire you soak into the beginning
there’ll be some day in the future you’ll wake up dead
and notice that the weight you’ve been storing all those years
is gently snoring beside you and you’ll wonder if you can pack
the basics quietly enough to slip away, too tired for drama,
too eroded for speech, the script soon becomes a balding carpet,
your tongue a heavy shoe, not a pretty one, but some mud
encrusted trainer drenched in bitterness with a wayward sole,
lonely and hell bent on dog shit and traipsing every step
of the world alone.
This is the definition of perverse!
when we’re supposedly a social race
there are those of us whose greatest feature
is complete failure to connect, lone shoes in the gutters of motorways
with no idea how they got so into the middle
of things but a fondness for the roar of traffic.
The things I long for are edited out of the movies.
Or maybe they just exist even less then perfection, love
and rain at appropriate sad moments.
Regret is a deep wound,
dark and warm smelling like active yeast
or summer grass. I wear mine according to the instructions
but more terrifying is knowing there are people
in the world who go through their whole lives
without having one single original thought,
and you might scoff but do we ever really darling?
hasn’t it all been done before?
we couldn’t even give ourselves a surprise ending.
My eyes are not blue but a precise shade of bleak
yet the downturn of my treacherous cheek is ever hungry
for the roll of your thumb.
When you talk of bombs
you talk of blasts and contact
but not the waiting silence,
the quiet mechanisms of device.
I tire of the clockwork.
I wish for the bang
the spinning fragments
will force a reboot for creation.
I dream in fire but wake dew dappled
tasting ash, frazzled though never ablaze.
Those are not scorch marks on your skin
but the scars of your own impotent
parts imprinting misery,
frightened and impatient for death
or refresh. Edit me out.
I can’t stand myself nor make myself stand
never mind ground into any given moment.
And if the grass is growing beneath my feet
I fail to feel it for all the miles I miss you.
I’ve even taken to reading theory.
Existential bullshit, rhetorical self help
and have concluded myself a passive
Nihilist (for even that requires
too much commitment)
Each day I am patient for the travelling sun
to bring good news for this big tragic world
but all he does is follow his slow steady line
blinkered as a man who has only just learnt
of the trouble his heart is in.
And every night I watch the stars
die in blistered agony.
The end of life from a distance
speaks honestly to my sparkling grief.
it seems the whole of Bedfordshire is smattered in my thoughts today