I have a list of pastimes on a piece of paper
in case a stranger asks about them,
or what’s written on the paper.
One of them is making lists,
and one of them describes
the things I cannot understand—
• with more buttons than a penguin can count
• using the word quantum
• named Sonia
• and so on.
Orchards and orchids, the air is filled with contagious scents,
and the colorblind angels of dreams
with wings of red and green are fluttering
around aspiring nectar.
Spring fish are hopping, sparrows are pecking at the carpet,
and I don’t mind that my mailbox is filled with ashes.
It’s mother nature. But if I poetize about her
that will be me, and nothing to do with her.
Last night I dreamt we went together to the sea
and joined the others gathered on the beach,
figures made of sand who dreamed within a dream
of alluvial forgiveness.
From the kitchen doorway
a flock of shadows flies out on the ridge,
and in the gullies yellowed smog
is bleeding from the ground.
The earth is sick, reclaiming its own,
and the far horizon is a never ending fuse,
unquenchable linear fire.
At the Hotel Miramar beside the Atlantic,
breakers are breaking, storm clouds
are brewing like coffee,
and no-one is interested.
At the Hotel Miramar, everyone
must play the piano, read a novel
in a cigarette’s glow
and occasionally set a page on fire.
The perennial machinery must be serviced once a year,
today’s the day, and the job is mine.
I have a manual with clear instructions,
watery words on transparent paper,
and I study them closely with the tip of my nose—
when you’re done, don’t forget the disco ball,
although that might be written on the wall behind.
It’s time to consult my idea head,
neurons and neutrons orbiting on the shelf,
a capricious blend of memory and melancholy.
Broadcast live from earth, ionic slivers inside skulls—
visions wired to words, stuttering, sparking, and Sereia.
She’s painted the refrigerator red, the television too,
but at least it’s just the screen.
The sound’s a little damp, a little scarlet.
She must have done the audio as well.
The rail clatters its rhythms but the carriages never move.
They’re always here, and through a frame, a door,
a window, a hole cut in a rainy mirror,
you can see them waiting.
Telma was painting the feature wall
with essence of vanilla. Joanne was reading
a possible book, perhaps the persistence of trains,
or a painting, the persimmonence of time.
She’d need her glasses to be sure.
This is what Jandira told me—
The invisibilities will ascend from ground and green,
from fields of stubbled corn and furrowed dirt,
from the Amazonic jungle
through the tree lines to the turbulence above.
Now I’m perched in a jacaranda,
and set to fade like Carroll’s cat, the great auk and the dodo,
with my telescope trained on the far horizon
where the welded night’s creation is rising with the dawn.
The furthest sky at night is
the ceiling of our dreams,
the enticing soft geometry
of desire, and we know
its brightness, sight unseen.
The frozen stars, the years of light,
of interstellar vacuum, once swirled
with all my childish magic,
but now those future ghosts are gone,
their tinsel’s faded to a glimmer.
in the age of hollow copies.
On nights when mirrored waves of air
are breaking in the clouds, the woolen ghosts
seep out of cast-off clothes, and squeeze
beneath the laundry door to loiter
in the garden.
They dance and laugh and play
strange games non-woolen people
cannot understand, and just
last week they rearranged the magnet
letters on my tumble dryer—
The i-coupé makes its debut.
So silvery and sleek, and quiet
as a mouse trying to purr,
no steering, no gearstick or pedals.
The salesperson kept on talking,
but I was already sold.
It doesn’t have a motor at all.
A universal transport moves you
to a nearby timeline, where
the i-coupé’s a little further
down the street.
What are you up to, Victor?
I’m writing a poem, Eloise,
something about love.
His felt-tip pen was hovering
over a page of crossings out,
where white-out streaks had
turned to snow capped ridges.
So much for having writ moves on.
When I see two Siamese cats,
bookends on the porch,
when I find two stoves boiling
spinach in the kitchen,
when I meet myself pulling weeds
out of the garden,
I know it must be Célia, and
she’s switched herself again.
He stood at the door with a forlorn smile
and a hand-drawn mustache—
a comically tragic pastiche wearing
nothing but tennis shorts and socks.
My name is Rodney, might I
I know who you are. You see
my name is Rodney as well.
Everything is ordinary, the rain birds
said, and I believed them, though
the morning breeze had blown
my cat away, and the wasps set up
a circus in the bedroom.
When I voiced a few concerns, they told
me that the wasp show must go on,
and when I hinted at a discount on the door,
they insisted I must pay full price.
Time is not a river in the mind,
it runs in agitated swirls and eddies,
with a little fabric softener.
We’re pebbles skimmed across its waves,
seabirds too ungainly to find its sky,
who skate along time’s surface, and
never understand its heights
Here are 5 reasons to make your writing incomprehensible—
- impenetrable words allow the reader to focus on the prosody
- mystification creates enigmas, unresolved mystery
- if the meaning is obscured the reader can invent their own
- writing that doesn’t make sense is more likely to be original, less likely to feel familiar
- life makes very little sense—to me at least—so why should writing?