We don’t deserve immortality.
take a photograph
commit an act of sheer folly rub-
bing against the earth’s inveterate currents, forcing a pause, in this hyper-real time flow
It’s truth in potentia.
Put a person in the middle of it: yourself.
A subject in the photo
is a subjectivity in the image.
It’s made of language,
and perhaps memories
that have spurned its excesses.
Language is not a good conduit
for the transmission
of soul habits.
I like to look at my reflection
rippling in uneven shop windows
against the wordless silhouette
of a made up person.
I spill out at the hips and breasts,
and once, it was against Giacometti’s limbs
at St-Paul de Vence,
next to Miro’s eyelashes.
Strange energy. Pink and blue.
Smooth clothes on your back
and in photographs,
don’t soften the excesses of either, disturbing common rhythms of the glottis
amid chambers of gossip
at All Tomorrow’s Parties.
I don’t like them for this reason.
In the topography of the human heart,
portraits are dark plateaus, shrouding a self
no one likes in the end.
For all that’s buried in the sea,
I doubt it’s ever a scream.
People like to die quietly,
and whisper to the water
when they can’t speak.
Look at Ophelia.
Woolf isn’t far behind.
One drowns quietly too, you can’t see
a drowning person struggle: the lungs
filling with water, eyes rolling back
no scope for word-sounds, no one to hear you.
The soul unraveling from fibres
of muscle and bone, submits to the maw
of tumultuous, flowing blues.
Blue is a good colour to see as you die.
Good for old people’s rooms
to live their last years in.
Murders are really best near the water.
I once met an Afghan in Holland,
as he drove my cab from Rotterdam to
The Hague, he told me many things–
demanded my attention for a discount, firstly.
Said he ran away from home,
so he’s here, hasn’t seen his kids in years.
They got him for double murder, and paused.
Things would have been different, he feels,
if he had the luxury of the Rhine and Oude
if they’d confluence ten feet away from his house
like the inhabitants of Leiden.
‘People take everything for granted’, I muttered.
The world goes to sleep
in a lover’s cotton embrace.
He is awake.
The horizon darkens upon evening,
transmutes into a sinuous dream.
He, like a wire, lies about, flexible,
conveying current and information
dyed-in-the-wool(len) sounds of printers and phones at the office.
Soft orange light falls on his cheekbone
through the window. His soul eclipsed,
body half bathed in light
now halved in countenance.
With little surface, his silhouette,
swells into a bold fire,
snakes its way into a foreign despair.
He has lived forever.
No one writes to him.