The traffic begins its wave,
the sky is threaded with exhaust,
the blind man has a ticket, your bag
is heavy today, the traffic is beautiful
going somewhere, the sky does not move
though it seems to, the hours begin
to waver, you begin to think of effort
and time, the endless hatcheries
of capital, the blind man knows the way,
the traffic is heavy with somewhere,
the sky is beautiful though
it doesn’t seem so, the hours thread
with tickets or numbers.
The numbers are beautiful,
rolling along like waves.
And in afternoon the blind man
waits with you, the sky is endless
but it is not, the traffic is threaded
with numbers, each ticket is beautiful
within its own exhaust.
What if to sing was to die
so that you in your small transparent
dress remembered only the
fragments thousands of colours
in water pouring into morning
a lie of course like wine and dreams
not like hibiscus falling true brown
on paving as afternoon kicks into
a hurried sweep
the hustle avoiding regrets you bend
your body and what it felt like
the nerve of a moment as it pours
away dying is what you do
Even when you kid yourself you know
each finger touches matter air
notes ascend you hear them fade
the natural laws don’t care and that can
make you crazy.
Beached As Self
The fluttering word in the body
tick-tacks with the old stars
as if I was getting ahead of myself
Sand dreams in the flow of my hair
beneath me the greening rock
below & below – & gone
Flowers welcome white rain at my feet
fold me like a god’s shadow
as though I had risen into myself
The abstracts unfreeze on the towels
candles in the dunes flare
the season enacts me in the heat
I grab the horizon, quit of crawl
I still have all those cliffs to go
each breath I wait gets me on
If at times the fever cracks me
or dogs & sharks chase me up the beach
I hold fast in the lie of myself
It’s not the birds that are spectres,
they come in afternoon, true,
swing by the air, song-filled passes,
that branches come to ground, falling
with dryness and shadows, remembering
midnights rather than afternoons,
declining drugs rather than passing shots
to make shadows in the lens that swings
the casual reach through spectacle
of shadows on a dance floor and wings
flashing off drags, or you, queer bird,
dropping each sequence twisting in and out
of presence, the dry air that falls like a truism
once you’ve left the afternoon filling
its own spectre of west light and husks
of autumn that birds let fall, that grounds
fill as fallen, dance for earthed shadows,
the passing sequence husked with
casual twists of a lens through its stops
as if the machinery could drag light back
again, dancing jewels, red and green feathers
flashing a pass, a queer shot the sun’s moment
holds, not yet declining.
Brilliant Slippy Works
They took all my money.
I earnt that money
scraping rancid face cream
from pink containers
to be recycled as mouth wash, or icing.
That wasn’t my issue.
I could almost taste the cream
and the brilliance of the plastic.
That wasn’t my concern.
The fence next door was weak
where the beige cat entered.
The cat stole our sandwiches
from the lunch room.
The light stole my eyes
and I did not want to recover them
until pay day.
The envelopes were full of soap powder.
That was the next job,
cat detergent, but it was not my problem,
though the union rep was slack.
We smelt his beige aspiration.
The light entered my head through
my remaining follicles.
I slipped on the cream.
I could make a case out of that.
The cat was sick
in the men’s urinal,
well, thank heaven for that,
it was not my responsibility.
I put my bag down
for two seconds
and, voila, it was gone.
How did they do that?
I was not in the light
but it was no longer my conundrum.
My elbow’s still sore from when
I slipped on the face cream.
The cat knows its brilliance.
How clear is the night air,
tho’ its wings are corner-of-the-eye stuff,
as you talk to yourself,
why did we part, friend,
when did the dust come?
don’t walk home alone,
but where do you belong?
Backwards and forwards through time,
in what’s lost, weather patterns
won’t leave me alone.
We ask to see the photographs
before we choke
on flowers, on flames,
What is wrong with the elements,
who has locked the door,
what is that rain,
is it ancient or televisual?
Drowning in the air
you need a drink.
in silence/ is no silence
when we begin
making uncertain passage
across sun and moon, dark carbon
our wounded speech/ questions the eternal
each leaf, each cloud
is an end to motionlessness
when we begin
in all our others/ of memories and horizons
rock, sun-mist and the moon
things in the shade
of clarity/ when to touch
under the sky’s expansion of zero
concentrated in ground-skin,
the peace in not-peace/ before light
sets up the fire
but I cannot begin
to make some things
however, they contain everything
- after Seven Emblems of Mourning, by Sarah Tomasetti