November 18th 2021

For Adam on the Eve of his 30th Birthday



On the morning of my thirtieth birthday, there’s a lunar

eclipse, the longest partial lunar eclipse

since 1440, the longest ’til 2669,

invisible, here, in London’s piles of rooms,

its mocked umbral contact of lips and lights.

Read through these days ‘n’ you’ll clock that I’m haunted 

by cities, the way they both emit and omit

all the available quilt of the light, pollute

the stars in passing, vomit a column of life.

Everything that is is on a scale of its own, wrote

the recently-late Etel Adnan, then, There’s, under

it all, a tremendous weakness, comforting those

in weighted-blankets in snow, with tides of waters

moving as skin. Look at the lamp of the covering moon:

all of our time is another time’s collapse,

every day’s pre-history if there’s history yet to come,

night spills into day like red wine

on carpets, the last dark of some or other

era soaks the sky. Disclaimer: everyone

was harmed in the making of this picture.

Ask not what the painting can do for you;

ask what your country is doing to its paintings.

In this way and this, I line myself,

open a new tab and type in the bar:

Jon is flicking through stars through windshields,

Joe’s keeping a wake in Brussels,

Annie and Nick are building buildings in the south,

Roly and Becky finding the words for/in the pictures,

Tina’s singing down everyone’s chimneys hooks

we couldn’t have otherwise known,

Tom’s locking into the pulse in the Rio,

Patrick doing a no-look pass with some truths, 

Ethan knowing what’s flying in the North,

Soph speaking speech into mouths,

Ollie pressing ‘enter’ and entering out,

Hona-Luisa beetling through heartbeats in slimes,

Rose sitting opposite the firehouse,

Sam putting the ‘colour’ and the ‘water’ in ‘watercolour’,

Anirban doubling then doubling the point,

Jacob putting frames on the footholds of time,

Pip putting eyes through the land,

Beck making images homes,

Teej drawing tattoos of corn onto cels,

Mark looking into all possible circles,

George linking mornings through rivers,

another George gorging the mountains with toes,

another George living the sounds of the sounds,

a fatidic catch-all netting of sunlight

cast around all like the band of a watch.

I’ve never killed a single darling.

I love them all, altogether too much.

I promise I’ll write them a poem every day

until November 19th, 2669.

I hit ‘search’ and it takes me to adamheardman.com.

There are discs covering the micromoon’s rise.






Note: for the idea of putting friends inside poems, / as for the many, many other ideas with which / I try my damnedest to live, / I’m completely indebted to better poems / by everyone from Bernadette Mayer / to, always, RJCB. / To anyone I’ve missed / you’ll get yours someday. / They’re all for you, anyway.

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