November 19th 2021

Again, I’m looking through a bay window, | because the future marshals us with gestures. | Enough. Perhaps it is that every day | you wore your first uniform for school | towards the end of vast and massy chains, | at where something has just vanished from the sky. | If you wanna continue to look at the living | are you still watching? The screen goes blank to save | a newer blankness filling with almost exactly | the eye’s capacity for total vision unim- | Somewhere an ocean begins to sink | from windows. Was someone somewhere sighing? | What horizon might have closed the deal? | Autumn exploding on trees like muted rockets | where everybody’s song’s a different song? | With past moving oppositely, the future’s filling up, | guy, outside a window, looking in. | At evening, at an airport, at the join, | the land is tall. The light is tall. November’s full of memory, | remember? For example, remember when I said | we’re thinking of types of silence. | All afternoon the year begins expiring. | The days are growing gone, | on the chimneys as much as the sky, the blunt sky. | You’ll soon believe me absent. | For a little while now I’ve only been able to sleep. | All of our time is another time’s collapse. | Today, the trees the colours of Bonnard paintings | shaded the pond, another pond, another pond, | meeting then moving to sift across | those silent, newborn, ancient shores.

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

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.

November 17th 2021

For a little while now I’ve only been able to sleep

by thinking my way into dreams of total freefall.

I start with an Earth a dome below, bluer

than I know how to picture, horizons lenses

like lemniscates, curved impossibly. I’m so high up

there’s nothing to signal my fall, yet, which happens

at first like a slow, swaying, sink through liquid

light, or a sac of amniotic fluid.

Then I blister past an aeroplane

in which I sit behind the wing watching

me blink through flocks of swallows and condors, cities

picking themselves together, horrent, taller

now, more total, and I’m suddenly not in a dream,

and my dataless core gets loosed all over the pavement.

November 16th 2021

Right Click, Saviour As

What price the scaffolds

of pixels among what

Calvaries, Gethsemanes?

What testament done four

ways? What songs spoiling for

the illusion of the illusion

of choice? Hoist what bones

along the east-west lines, high 

on the throats of what woods?

Let the rib taste venom. Watch

the iris pinch-zoom figures

salvaged through wind through walls.

You’ll soon believe me absent

then my absence absent too.

November 15th 2021

Gasometers at Clichy

It feels as though Signac set out to do

the house alone, only adding a single

daub a day, taking so long the future

timelapsed up around it. Look at a lack  

of grass erasing the foreground, then becoming

that blank, shouldering wall by which the building

begins to forget itself, its other living

reds. The lines of something leaving, passing

through us like a ghost, exit the front of the

frame in curves. Some light is being luminous,

on the chimneys as much as the sky, the blunt sky

a bright blank allowing the house to pinch 

the centre. The gasometers gather like gods or stacks 

of coins to watch the work-pants never drying.

November 14th 2021

Ghost Birthday

The days are growing gone.

Familiar light folds

along a field, 

a room. Other feet

have known this water.

Something moved once

moves still.

Wavelengths of voice,

reflected hue,

related to cheeks

now elsewhere

are going onward, out.

Heart, they’re vaster 

by the year.

November 13th 2021

The world’s first urban autumns signalled

and included these, their last. Sparrowhawks

side-eye service stations beneath a henge

of moon. A petrol-coloured dome of sky

hides a dwindling fizz of insects. Simply

look at us, in love in a lapsing world.

I want to move through cold water with you,

feel its skin allow our skins, see

our oils create a complex of surfaces, lifting

off our bodies like the warmth inside a room,

like lightning teasing air apart before

it pours into the earth, a pure, fluid

arm of vibe, a muscle made of light.

All morning we sleep inside each other like crooks.

All afternoon the year begins expiring

into colour, soft fountains of shades

the trees. All night we’ll go away this weekend,

watch the world removing its spectacles.

November 12th 2021

In identical corners of emergency rooms

we’re thinking of types of silence.

In identical cities on opposite poles

we’re thinking about these cities,

which causes our minds to go the colour

of cities from a thousand feet up,

that is, no colour at all, at least

no colour I could ever describe.

Later on the walls of the gallery

each work becomes an emergency,

a room, an emergency room, or a time-

lapse film of these two cities,

lenses swooping from a thousand feet

onto me in the corners of emergencies.

November 11th 2021

The flavour of memory is desire. I want to remember,

remember? For example, remember when I said,

“The flavour of memory is desire”? Now it’s twice

been uttered, you’re compelled, backwards, upwards,

your motion towards the future a curving into the past. 

Before you read the next line, observe a minute’s silence.

How did it go? Did you meet anybody back there?

Did the moan of a prop-plane brown the background?

Did the noise of sepia watercolour everything?

Did sound-FX your mind’s ‘Save As’-ed from video

games (the popping-corn of bullets over

cities, duvet-rustle-static over

radios) layer over and out the scene?

I wish I didn’t know what an MP40

feels like, but I do: warm. I wish

that through my hooded front blade I could see

a little more. Form dissolves in memory.

Bodies become a carpet of bodies over time.

The flavour of memory is desire. I can’t remember

anything. I’ll try and make it up.

November 10th 2021

Creation Myth Creation Myth

The land is tall. The light is tall. November’s full of memory.

The year and years before are casting backwards from today.

Hasn’t the daily inching of the scrub been noticed yet?

Don’t the sun and satellites reverse across the sky,

the silts of mornings redissolve into their own befores?

The eye’s colluvium compels an amity of rock,

returning cuffs of chalk to cliffs receding from the waves.

Winter holds its breath while passing by in corridors.

Siphonophores are jet-propelling lance-wise through some deep.

An afternoon relays itself across a triptych of windows,

inside the middle one of which a story’s resolutely paused.

From here, it seems, there are exactly three ways things might go.

The first is growing through themselves a land of crab and stone.

Second, bulletlike buds could fire a garden wide of the moon.

The third is literally anything else, then anything else again.