The Outwarding of the Inwardnesses

[26 September 2019]

Gears
ground to a halt, rods
newly rusted, twisting, bending,
maybe breaking, maybe
shearing, maybe sharing too
much for what little
we know, maybe pushing too much,
too hard, too soon, falling
victim to the endless
entropy and disintegration
of desire or loneliness or
not wanting to be alone at
some point in the future. This
is the test of mettle, the sublimation
of will and might and fright
and longing, the outwarding of
the inwardnesses distorted
by too many nights spent alone,
mind and heart left to roam
unchecked, collapsing the boundaries
between me and you and me
and the deep space between
the stars. This is the point of
fragmentation, of isolation:
the amalgamation of syntax and sympathy,
the castration of sight and sound,
the transformation of sense and solace
into him and flesh and the givenness
of longing.

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A string

[25 September 2019]

A string of thoughts and words and intentions and ideas and desires and longings and feelings and fears and wonderings and musings and histories and futures and presents and knowings and seeings and unknowings and unseeings and beings and nonbeings and dreams and ghosts and phantoms and icons and fragments and sights and sounds and smells and tastes and touches and senses and dimensions and times and planes and trips and falls and holes and stars and strings and strands and slips and cracks and walls and doors and windows and closets and cupboards and cups and plates and pots and pans and forks and knives and spoons and coffeespoons and teaspoons and tablespoons and tables and chairs and couches and armchairs and slipcovers and covers and blankets and pillows and sheets and staves and sharps and flats and majors and minors and horns and strings and drums and pianos and organs and lungs and hearts and heartstrings and strings and livers and brains and tongues and skins and kidneys and stomachs and prostates and balls and cubes and games and swings and kites and fish and dogs and trees and grasses and fires and waters and winds and rains and snows and sleets and hails and beads and strings and bells and smokes and breads and wines and prayers and speeches and whispers and cries and moans and deaths and burials and resurrections and lives and breathes and moves and is and does and wonts and wants and wills and testaments and minds and bodies and souls and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and leading somewhere or nowhere at all

Pensées

[24 September 2019]

Hung
between twin peaks of desire
and despair, a duality of being, a philosophy of
kinds, mismatched mannerisms and minutiae and
mosaic tiles cobbled together to fashion
something (what, I don’t know – I’d step
back to gain perspective but I’m afraid
I’d lose my balance): the salt
water of the river chips away at
the wall between us (is that load-bearing
or just for aesthetics) and the noon
turns to twilight turns to midnight.

Penelope

[19 September 2019]

A juxtaposition of fate, binary
stars pulled too close or spun
out of orbit, a memorial
to the concept that time is anything
but eternal. The sand from my shore washes
up on yours, building bridges through
shared solitude, carving a path through
atemporality towards something
distinctly ours: regret.

Rhapsodie: On water

[18 September 2019]

You lean back – warm
water and cold air and strong shoulders and the east
Atlantic. Time must work that way,
too – a long string of desires
and fears and letters waiting to be
sent. They stack up like old books
or coffee cups, building a blockade
between sense and longing, while
the numbers on the clock rise and fall
and the days move ever on. How long
before I can see as me clearly as
I see you?

I have seen you

[17 September 2019]

I have already seen you, painted
large on the canvas in my mind, seen
your skin imprinted with bedsheet
roadmaps and stubble pinprick
constellations. I kiss the back of your
neck and the fog rolls in through the
open bedroom window, swirling
around the sheer curtains and
spilling onto the duvet and the t-shirt
and the copy of Homer gathered
up in a heap at the foot of the
bed. I have seen you in
motion, in the March clouds
and the April rainstorms and the ebb and
flow of the wilds and fortunes, seen you
coloured in red and yellow and gold
and brown and green and scarlet, and
in the greys and whites. Your name
dances on my tongue and slides
down my throat and nestles deep
inside me, a host, a seed, a voluntary surrender
of one good for the hope of something
greater than I have yet known. The veil
is thin here, and sometimes I can see through
it entirely. I have seen you in the evenings,
fire and whisky and bread and wine and
water, the same song whistled
between pursed lips, lying in the darkening night and
listening to the air move till the tide pulls out
and all the lights go out.

The Journeyer

[16 September 2019]

If you came,
Walking the roads you’ve walked,
From the place you’ve come,
To the place where you’re going,
Would you see the hills and the trees and the bushes
Dotted white with snow or snow,
Like the end of January or the beginning of spring?
If you came at midday,
Would you arrive in quiet? Or at midnight, in splendour?
An awakening, a mosaic, façade,
Cracked, and split open, emptied of all but itself,
An ember resurrected, set to surrender itself
At some point past its due date,
Revealing its inner nature,
Slack-jaw and flabbergasted
As a breath, a prayer, a song,
Slips between two parched lips and
Down the winding road that travels between the two cliffs,
And deep into the heart of the sea.

Chrysalis

[13 September 2019]

Your words and your desire
separated by two thin panes
of glass, counting the minutes,
piling them high, sorting them into highs
and lows and other things undeniably
known not as impassibility but as
something rather like confidence. Truth is tested and trust
is built in the silence between
word and speech. In your eye,
even stones take flight and rocks
cry out. I wonder how long
it will be until I can hold you or
how long you will let me hold
you or how long you would
be held by me. Time cannot be counted
in this way. Meaning can’t be built
in the mind’s eye, at least not
in mine, and not because I haven’t
tried. And so we fall into
old rhythms again, new
to us but old old old
older than we can possibly
remember, stretching and dragging
out moments and fears and hopes
and late-night conversations, stitching
together the frayed ends of things long worn
and threadbare until we are
warm enough to fall asleep.

Burnham-on-sea

[12 September 2019]

Remember the night we stood
at the edge of the wharf, breath matching
the in and out of the tide eroding
shorelines and hard lines
between you and me and self-transcendence
and the low wail of the fog horns somewhere
off the coast. Seeing and knowing,
being seen and being known,
boundaries shifting and changing
like constellations drawn
between the satellites overhead. The
seed pushes back against the earth, lying
dusty and dried-out on top of cracked
soil, but free.