Archives for posts with tag: Monochromatics

I have been fishing
for an answer,
waiting for an opposing
tug on the line
and suddenly, it’s live!
I cast my net,
feel it fill
with the sea,
now, my mesh quivers.

<Before I begin my last book, there are some poems that (inexplicably) were not posted as planned. Tonight is the night of Addendum — file this one under Monochromatics.>



water demands respect
and water gets it
water kills people
and gets away with it
we all need it
so no one says anything
it frightens us
no one admits it
water doesn’t need us
and we know it


look at your window
do not see what is outside
walk to your window
ignore the room
run your hands along its frame
feel the sill
trace the architrave
embrace the lintel
now open
an entire world

this is your book
this is your video
this is your masterpiece


wood is only
an imitation
of steel


the quantum fact is true
the quantum fact is distortion
it looks the same
it feels the same
copy it again times two
watch the black swallowed
the white swallowed by grey
the image of breakdown copying breakdown
science collapses at its edges
artists love xerox


(This is the end of the Monochromatics, one of twelve. Tomorrow I start Deep Water. 12 Books in a year)


bright bead proceeding pulse
bracelet wound about and around
digital dot dash plastic glass steel

windows pass, reflect the sun
paint on side of highway verge
flashes of light like hidden birds
appear, disappear, frozen in flight


ten tons of steel
shimmers on the highway
like a plate glass window
i look through
and see a mighty animal we have built
powerful, beautiful, full of love
i want to pet
and feed you
bring you everything
you want
thousands of miles dwarfed
into exotic fruit
fragrant lips engulfing
this seed from far away
what would fulfill you?
tell me, command me
i would nurture you
from strange, distant fields

vacuum cleaner

there’s something irresistible
about a vacuum cleaner
all sleek and shiny and new
it screams glamour
you can feed it anything
and it eats it
without complaining
of course as they grow older
vacuums aren’t quite as good
for instance —they get fat
we pretend we understand
and try not to complain
but then things really deteriorate
vacuum cleaners get too old
scratched, dirty, ragged
they clog
roar and roar and roar and roar
but never really get it up
it’s pathetic
someone suggests
changing the bag
but by then
it’s too late


in the bathtub
i am a whale
i am leviathan
filling the basin
until i stretch its sides
making continents of soap
and oceans in my navel

floating serene
the water supporting my incredible bulk
i watch my ripples
send crashing down
the towers of mind and thought


at first people didn’t like the tower
then they took it for granted
the revolving disco restaurant spelt “sparkles”
differently each night
and people put up with it
as if some dear friend’s first born shat upon the rug
or someone you dined with spat up a hairball
you just smile and continue as if
nothing ever happened
soon, the city began to identify with the tower
it posed on postcards with pretty girls
everyone got used it to it following them around
like your little brother
or a faithful puppy
dragging its big head over the horizon


world in miniature
push it, make it go
spinning, no meaning,
just wind and pull

which switch
the damn thing


with each pulse my heart see-saws
between life and death
a decision, not a decision
i will live, i will die

this is the price we pay
but do not mourn,
do not mourn for me
tonight, in the street
stop-light’s red glare
fills the night with passion


the moon hangs from a stick
so we can see the night


shark of the asphalt sea
not to be confused with the sudden lane changer
the rogue parking exiter
the does not know the meaning of stop
taxi is above and beyond all these
as it is all and more
the only true species of its ocean
speed bump, stop sign, lane marker,
traffic light ordained, power line hemmed,
the endless wall of mall windows passes by
as you ride inside,
swallowed by the purity of the urge
car for hire, most natural thing
on the road


telephone is from a different time
exists sometime else
signals readiness when
we are supposed to pick it up
listen to it tell us
now’s the time
living hand to mouth
do as we are told

stackable Tupperware

promise to lift us up
and swallow us instead

encase and surround us
next thing you know

we’re as fresh
as next week’s bread

they contain us, exactly
like we were made to fit

and the stay fresh sound
of the snap tight lid

is a promise that we
will be OK—take a picture

to show to anyone left
outside, “we like it here,

no really, we do. c’mon,
you’ll like it inside”


desiccated echinoderm
dangle in the window from a thread
glass your ocean
sky your blue
at night a little light
shines upon you and
you sparkle like a star


steel’s the tower
steel’s the car
steel’s the railway
steel’s the destroyer
steel’s the Brooklyn Bridge
steel’s the gold
steel’s the water
steel’s the spirit
steel’s the thing


penis of technology
always hard
and in every toolbox
something you wouldn’t
take to a funeral
talk about at dinner
nothing too delicate
or sophisticated about it
does one thing
and does it well


if they’d used screws
Christ would still be on the cross


points at the sky
“this is strength”


successfully saved
from extinction


only today
could we so easily ignore
people before us weren’t so lucky
they didn’t take salt for granted
they were paid with salt
only the rich had enough salt
people died for salt
their stolen blood
as red as clay

and now it is something
that pours in the rain


handmaiden of time
sister to paper and rock
shear match for wave en pied
drum of hand against a mirror
that craves a new face
wave cleave to ocean floor
clouds extrude winks of sky
steel twirl pointe exstasis
scissors close curtains
and eat opening nights
like bread lines

screen door

secret entrance to the summer
cellar, a fragile web
your hand would pass through
so easily, but never again the same


plastic is both good and bad
it can be anything
it is never the real thing
you can mould plastic
bend it, break it, eat it
in fact you probably do
plastic feels like plastic
so there can be no mistake
long after you and i are dead
plastic will still be there
smooth, shiny, colourful
plastic lives forever


the razor is blonde with blue eyes
the tears are black
and the edge is white fire
in the glare of the streetlight

to love the razor
it must be an extension of the hand
a bone of steel
pared to essence

the blade is quick
the edge is fear
the razor traces a red line
the drunken weave of our victim
dances for us beneath the pale moon

this is what we worship
this is what we fear
this is the way we live


chilled milk sweats through the jug
but it is not cold enough for milk
therefore refrigerators exist.
Their cool white exterior
entices milk through mimicry
into cold black confines,
that which milk finds most attractive.
Just like milk to be seduced
by what it loves and fears—milk!


mountains are old and we are young
we cannot experience mountains without
wanting to climb them, even though there’s
nothing at the top
mountains are the first step
to hanging from the earth
by the soles of your feet.
it’s not a long way up
it’s just a first step


my country is December 20, 1955


oil’s right tonight
oil be seeing you
oil be home for Christmas
oil be on top again
mark my words


paper is valuable because it is so valuable
paper lives in another world
paper does not commit suicide
by jumping from tall buildings
even during parades
paper doesn’t know what to do
people don’t understand paper
paper doesn’t give a damn
we should wrap the world in paper
to preserve its mystery forever

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