Friday, September 11, 2015

The Veil, the Blindfold of Thorns

I never saw your face, I saw a smile
A frown, a snarl, side-on as through water
When we did what we did—the leather, the
Melting wax, sighs, gasps, wet slaps, to want slaughter
Of all that makes us, us, so you could be
Hollowed out with pain, become the daughter
Of De Sade, be filled by a rain of pleasure

And I, so I might see haze lessen
I might see a face—alive, ecstatic

I did not

I might see your face on a card, gas-lit
In a suburban home long-ago as
A hand, dark with cocoa, pulls cards to fit
A complex pattern of medieval art
And by chance, you are pulled, that hennaed hand
With long, broken nails makes a psychic hit

The place long prepared for you is there now

Rose red
Glacier blue
Obsidian Black
Are colors for you

They deteriorate of course, into
Colors that look like burned cooking oil on a
Stream of piss under an old street light.
Do It! Do it now! Show me the face I yearn
To scratch, to caress, to make me love you
Let me discover lips in all ways

But your card, 'The Veil, the Blindfold of Thorns'
And I see nothing beyond the bright veil

I always see it, but in dreams the lace
Of the Veil, a white like the core of a
Dying sun overwhelms me, and to replace
That longing other women become my
Goal. In them I see fragments of the face
All women become gifts to me from you

Remove the veil, show me your face I beg
A featureless pure white, Venusian light
Too bright for the eyes, harsh, broken

Take that strange cloth
Reach it around my head
Pull tight the blindfold of thorns

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Three of Wands

A calm, stately personage, with his back turned, looking from a cliffs edge at ships passing over the sea. Three staves are planted in the ground, and he leans slightly on one of them

He dreams of ships
Moving, silently and with
The grace of clouds
Through water the colour of
Tarnished metal
Waves damped down to sullen swells
By the weight of his expectation

They slide through, like icebergs. Unstoppable
Shocking all who see them with their presence
They are more real than the ports they visit
Their sharp profiles stab hard the eyes of those
Who inhabit those low and windswept towns
Though they are made only of wood and tar
Canvas and steel, let all those elements
Be energised and brought together by
The urgency of my desire. If I
Cannot go with the agents of my thoughts
Across glittering, slippery waters
Let them take the part of me that yearns with
Them. Let them stand for me in the parts of
This world I cannot own with my senses.
And then let them return.

He dreams of ships
Spinning across a black velvet sky
Like dice made of bone
Singing their songs
Braiding the emptiness
Into a skein of thought held up
By the lightness of his desires

The Expatriate in Houston

Buildings suspended

In fifteen thousand feet

Of montmorillonitic clay

That go down almost as far

As they go up

Terrible, low center of gravity masses

Sprouting from a humid drainage ditch

And the city

Is spreading still

Crawling up and twining around

Freeways that snarl and snap

Against restraint

(And briefly I stop and wonder at

The cool curves of

A cloverleaf junction, the

Clarity of the concrete loops

Placed just so, neatly as in

The level design

Of a computer game)

Here there are

Vietnamese street signs

Halal taco trucks

Slabs of red-shifted darkness

Hanging on a chapel wall

Here there are

Impassive blondes

Driving blue-eyed cars

A smog stunted tree

Crammed with dark birds

Singing with rage

By a mirror glassed window

And the glass aches to be sand

And the sudden rain aches

To fall in a lagoon

And the ozone laced air aches

In the lungs of those

Chosen to wait

For a bus that may arrive

When the fossil crinoids

In the travertine facings

Reanimate and sway like lilies

In a invisible current

And in the brief twilight

Everything is drenched

In a deep azure

As if the day's events

Are winding down

At the bottom

Of a shallow ocean

Saint Brendan, Becalmed, on the Hellas Sea

And in the midst
Of spiteful North Atlantic seas
Brendan bails his coracle
And prays for a sky that is not
Grey as a pigeon's wing
For an ocean that smiles
Under a butter yellow sun

And, of a sudden
The sky turns a dusty pink
And gentle waves,
Huge but never breaking
Like magnified ripples
Move the leather boat
Up and down
In front of a horizon
That is just too close
Lit by a sun
That is bright but small
Haloed by ice crystals
The air is thin and cold

To the south
The jagged crest of Amphitrite Patera,
Punches through the dusky crust
Like a fist

And tonight God
(If there is a God,
And He is listening)
Will hear praise from two planets

The Expatriate Falls Out of Love

We're on the Reification Road again

Driving in the idea of a black sedan

Through some West Texas of the mind

"Make it real!" Vikki says

"Make it real right now!"

That night in a formless motel

In the incomplete sound of wind-chimes

The full flicker of neon

I look in my eyes in the mirror

And see castles

(Why are there castles in my eyes?

Why are there the serried crags

Of a Welsh hillside topped with ruins?}

"Let's go!" says Vikki

"Let's erase this joint!"

I will listen to Bitches Brew

The deconstruction of cool

I will see those slabs of layered color

Assembled by Rothko

I will eat pho in a

Strip-malled restaurant

And place my memories in a line

Split by the unconformity of jetlag

"That place is old!" says Vikki

"Make something new!"

The silvery shimmer of a pedal steel guitar

Rises over the machine-tooled country

That slides from the speakers

Music as distant and flawed as the moon

And it only makes sense here

On Reification Road