Ghost ships founder off the shores of Elysium we came here to find the answer to something lost in the Aether conceptions stumble, presumptions fall apart, like paper in the rain, belief in the inevitable lost like leaves in the gutter no longer individual but indistinct, irresolute handholds slipping the long fall into uncertainty no longer buoyed by memories of bliss Is it fog or billowing smoke that hides the enemy’s sails? Is it fate, or blind chance that becalms us here on glass still waters? Only the albatross & the moon know, only the wheeling gulls and the absent wind and they’ll never tell.
Another spring poem, from back in 2014. composed while walking homeward on a spring-soaked afternoon past low-rent apartment buildings.
Improvised flower vases and wrapping paper trees roots like mountains seen from the eyes of circling eagles at once emerging and settling, growth and decay, no more contrary than rose petals and thorns, a discordant symmetry: the cosmic wail of distorted electric guitar spelling out the names of stars and forgotten background radiation, pain that verges on ecstasy, a ringing of celestial strings struck with the well-worn pick of disillusioned immortals;
How a stranger’s intangible yearning can translate through the ephemeral code of electronic pulses and magnetic fields, a fixed point enacted in the so-called past becomes immediate present, time and space erased in an instant transformed into a perfect moment of rebirth, a dagger in the mind piercing to the core; it leaves no trace of bloody injury, only a shedding of unnecessary skin, a lowering of barriers to permit this temporary osmosis of the spirit
Wrote this one after seeing a hilariously bad B movie that featured, as you might guess, angels with BFGs.
I dreamed I saw Gabriel holding a Tommy gun who knew he fought gangsters in his spare time his eyes changing colour in the shifting light he walks through the mist like some dime-store cowboy, like an anime demon hunter black coat flapping in the breeze breaking the rhythm with his thrift store army boots scars cover his body like a maze of tattoos, his story etched in blood and skin and ink dark as sin shedding light, leaking goodness into darkest corners, from countless ancient wounds, he’s an avenger, and a saviour, and a damn good shot, so you’d best be on your game he can see right through your soul if he lays his hands upon you you’ll never be the same, so you’d better run, run and hide ‘cuz luck is something you ain’t got when god is on the other side.
Another one from the archives, for Day 2 of National Poetry Month. This one is clearly meant to be spoken out loud. Imagine a curly-haired beat poet on a cramped stage in some underground dive, with free-form bongos in the background.
Parting the waves for the starfish supernova oriental carpet fish tickling my toes Dancing the raves down through asteroid alley girls holding hands drive the boys insane You hold your ideals too close to your heart suffocating them in your tight embrace You feel too much, so you curl up inside dwarf star material waiting to explode You could be birthing galaxies, exhaling nebulae dangling your feet over the lips of black holes You could be skating the event horizon look ma, no hands, no training wheels here But instead you hunch over this dull white page gripping the pen like it might try to run try to make an escape Houdini would be proud of leaving you only with a ghost of an echo of a memory of a dream No way to capture it, bottle it, seal it with wax But what does it matter? You weren’t going to share it with anyone anyway Don’t Bogart those neurons, baby I want my share, want to go down singing to the county fair in the wide blue sky Look out world, here I come the invisible one with the bitten tongue and a page full of squiggly black lines.
Hey look, we made a thing! Didn’t want to jump the gun and share anything until we got the test print back and made sure everything stuck to the paper. The first box of books arrived today, 12 in total, all shrink wrapped and ready to bring to the ArtSpace Book + Zine Fest next Saturday (Feb. 29). We’ll be frantically printing up a bunch of new art cards over the next few days to bring along as well. Website updates are next in line, but it might be a week or two before we’ll have individual prints available through Mark’s new site, we’ll make an announcement once that’s all set up. In the meantime, enjoy the brief preview!
So there you have it. That thing we said we were hoping to do for the past… er… decade? century? Just goes to show – never give up on your dreams, folks. Now if I can just get the other two things out the door before the end of the year (yeah yeah, novel, harp CD, ahem, working on it), we’ll have a perfect trifecta. Onward and upward, to infinity and beyond! And all that jazz.
The not-so-secret Poetry/Art Project is nearing completion! Should be going to print by the time we hit the official start of winter on Dec. 21st (although if Peterborough is any indication, winter is already well underway). We’ll be updating the Project page soon, including a sneak peak of the cover. In the meantime, here are a few shots from one of M’s recent snowy photo walks.
Don’t know if I can
be myself in here
still trying to find
myself in the noise
The assault of perfume
climbs down my sinuses
but fails to clear them
the earlier tang
of frying bacon
This isn’t our place
anymore, but the domain
of a different generation
urbanized, plugged in, born
into a world fuelled by
blue light pulsing through
digital veins, as oblivious
to their dependence on
interconnectedness, as to
the necessity of breathing
The fading cologne clouds
make way for the clamour
of the other senses, the one
persistent metal scream
the slow, endless slide
of a fingernail on galvanized
glass; searing steel fire cuts
through the backdrop of brown noise
riding above the hiss of steam,
the warm up and down rumble
of human voices; a keen knife edge
sharpens formerly soft waves
of jumbled randomness; words
jump out of the melee, singly, or
in non-contextual bursts:
“I’ll pay whatever it takes
to stay a little longer.”
The whole city, it seems,
(or at least, all the 80’s revival
youngsters, rolled up stone wash
jeans and tucked in shirts and curly hair,
all the skinny loft dwellers recently
descended from some lofty discussion)
have all descended around me,
a vortex of motion and indecision;
The cologne waves redouble, spool
and collide, part and subside,
over the seesaw rhythms of upspeak
and vocal fry; the foam coating the bowl
of my cup (black on the outside, because
black is the new black) resembles a forest
softened by sunset fog, or morning mist,
caught on the boundary between
past and present, future possibilities
and the endless sea of ghosts
that linger in the vibrant air.
the snow catches me
pulls at my coat
the wind tugs & pushes
tempting me off course
my preferred trajectory
A black cloud plunges
boils and plunges, billowing
like smoke, black in the air
white against the windshield
The air fragments
into a million starling flakes
not a murmur, but a roar
a howling tumult
that shatters around me
harmless flecks of white
The air becomes the snow,
the snow, air
Above, improbable patches of blue
race each other across the sky
hell bent for eternity.
The Enkindled Spring – D. H. Lawrence (1885 – 1930)
This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.
I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.
And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost.