Fierce

Fierce white feet,
paddling harder and harder
going nowhere
on the bristling waves,
somersault of light,
a foam of dolphins
drenched their glistening fears.

Player piano and the
drowned musician,
mazurkas of the forbidden heart,
it killed us with a bowl of fruit,
a single pineapple that
reached the shore.

Round and round in circles,
fierce little feet,
their widening wake,
carrying the laughter of
their skin.
I thought of spiders and seabirds,
things that never dreamed of death,
or burst pipes,
or a broken coast.

And the children trailed their toes
and combed the sea’s green hair.
She shuddered at their touch,
she welcomed their kisses,
and the paper boats that ignited
beneath a flaming feather in the sky.

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Moth

I’m watching it take a long time to die.
Last night, over and over,
it tried to reach the lamp,
nirvana,
scampering up the wall
until its crabbed wings gave out.

But you just didn’t get that it’s over, moth.

I watched it out of boredom,
the banality of it’s death,
there was nothing else worth doing.
The silence of a dying moth
kept me awake.

It’s still at it this morning,
keeps falling on its back,
choking on the last green spasms,
the light’s not even on anymore.

The world’s long gone out for you, buddy.

Outside when the sun comes up,
I’ll go scampering after my own lamps.
Outside on the blazing pavement,
the spasm of life will go on, self-defeating.
None of them will know when to give it up.

Black Currant

I wouldn’t say I am at a loss,
for speech, for words, for flowers.

It’s just that, in the mouth
there is something,
dark, growing, blooming,
death.

I call it death,
but really it is the birth
of an exquisite black currant.

Where am I going?
I’m going to the middle,
the middle,
to the heart of the black currant.
At each bite, through the skin,

itself a galaxy, a life, a cold and deserted song,
I’m wading into the flesh,
blue, female.

It is a breast, a fullness between my teeth.
I know what I will find there
at the centre.

It is not a final nipple, not
completion, lust, perfection, fleeing guitar.
At each bite, the currant diminishes,

at each bite, the lungs full,
so gorged with the juice of fear and sleep.

Animals sleep in huddles of sand.
My palm is a vast plain in the night.

A single tree shelters the
black currant,
the current of my death in the desert.

A wind like a woman strips the dripping canyons.
What is it I find at the centre of my currant?

All fruit falls in the mouth of death,
my voice blooms in the mouth of death,

an ejaculation of stars,
smeared over the parallel skin of her waist.

First Star

First star,
open like an unreachable bud
in the still blue skin of the
evening.
Pale, silent, saying nothing,
yet somewhere once
a fierce energy,
a nebula of music,
which through the
immeasurable time
that it took islands, diamonds,
arthropods, tetrapods,
oceans to rise up and die,
through all this,
you reach us only now.
Still, you reveal nothing to us,
while we chew ourselves
into mouthfuls of
hate and love and fragrance.
Now and then, some of us flare up,
some, just now, petering out,
for we too
revolve around our own
dying sun.
You, slow burning, linger long
until red death comes.
Do you envy us,
our short and brittle fuse,
the heat of our precocious days,
our exquisite elaboration
on a theme of life,
our insatiate coming and going,
while you only remain?

Message

I crest the hill of this salt swept morning,
to a sky of violence.
And the wind,
that marauder of trees,
upsetter of crisp clothes lines,
that Attila of the ferocious sea,
brings me angry messages from afar.

It will not let you remain, you know,
forever and forever, like a stone ornament
sunk in the phlegmatic moss.
Even if you want rest, you can’t have it.
Even if you want to be silent, you can’t.

Everything in the city moves
like an earthquake of air.
The wind peels the paint from the windowsill,
and tosses dogs out of doors,
and the city evaporates
with a flock of dispersed seagulls.

You cannot hold this,
like a clutch of bills, a purse of longing,
for the wind brings an angry message from the sea,
brings a bruised fruit
that dropped from the already afflicted tree.
And I walk in this annihilating hour
with a lightened soul.

Spring Day

A warm wind of copulation
disrobes itself in the trees.
Days of the frenzied sun
show me a shadow of guitars.

A silent blood
courses through the streets,
filling the flanks of the men
and the breasts of the dead,
with a scent of watermelons.
To taste this overflow of flesh,
reminds me of the death of insects.

A cloud of copulation parts the valley,
where a wounded town lies,
soaked in a music of vagrants.
The pines there are an unreachable breath,
a loosening of spring,
a sadness in our necessary seed.

Midday strokes the thighs
of all the girls,
and brings a memory of thirst.

The Insects

I

Without a heart, they cannot break as we do.
And without dreams, they love the way that soil loves,
lacking enemies.
They are the warmth of movement in our decay.
But we are burdened by a thought and an image
that expires in a sad flame.
We are what they diligently tear and scatter
in an undergrowth of dead years,
our years,
awaiting the mouths of their relentless love.

II

I gather about me a moss of need,
sentiment, dream and craving.
Like the rock of afflicted mollusks,
I am a burden of sea, a salt trailed by wounds.
The clay of accumulated sorrow spoils my form.
But they are nature’s perfected coil,
the smooth and frightening form of life without remorse.
Everything else is unrequired.

III

I do not want a bone of song.
I no longer desire a midday loaded with light.
Beneath a country of moist leaves,
I seek transformation, like you,
to outlive the skeleton of my death,
to be a raw and glistening nerve under the moon.

IV

On a bitter leaf, I struggled from
a chrysalis of memory.
Everywhere, wings were blooming.