Poems

papier barco self

and this fold on fold (papier barco)

origami self one replicates itself

(the impossible dream beyond google & mr gates)

so this small boat book look alike in its paperness

carrying a world between all the betweens

dampens pianissimo (contralto-like)

as it floats above joyous singing

pilfering the freedom

crest on crest and crumples as the tide

turns to conversation

filling the porous bilges (funereal wishes)

as she sinks stern first

water needs gills

and crumples recedes unfolds

 

 

at the portalimage

i

he said there were
nine departure points
places
where things were
and now are missing
nine departure points

you went first
out through the present
into the existence
forming the puncture

when you first came here
your bag
was
packed with long phrases
and single entities
connected
across the barrier
she laughed when I told her that
vessels containers
miscible fluids
the suffusion occurred around the edge
on the meniscus
where you said your attendances
were waiting
through the shared portal
by the escalator
along the strand of conversation you had with
Kurt Vonnegut
crossing gaps
chasms of opera
shuddering fault lines
bridging crevasses to the champions

and the piano player
rocks the pedal
calling for more volume

 

ii

quiet portal
now
quiet portal
a vantage point
two points off north
finding the metallic way
it could have been titled
(he said) nine ways to
ignore the edge

the persimmon seller
said he didn’t remember her
or the bag
it must have happened overnight
on the other route
before the drawbridge
(we could have seen her tracks in the dew
on the margins
where the outside becomes more defined)

she wore the beret of battlements
and had the instruments
instruments
of absence wrapped in the red scarf
the old red filaments of longing
he had lent to her mother
he said she always wore it
when they were leaving
leaving town
(looking back)
leaving him

quiet she said
there is listening
at the portal

 

iii

or
it could have been titled
the repeat
going
finding the departure date
tentatively
pouring the days through her fingers
waiting for the one
waiting for the one
the folly
the pretend
the parable

send salvation
bring paper and brushes from Kyoto
and a scientist’s hypothesis
look at the puzzle
he says
it could be the nature
of the here now
gone now gone

she asked earlier
of the man
at the doorway
and the departure date
where was her shoe her bed her talk

looking out and away
toward the going
the parallax/incomplete
gathering material
gathering events (pearls of politics)
on the way down he said
shadows lengthen
because of northerness
he carried on
on
not knowing
he carried on

 

iv

quilted jacket from the Tibetan market man
and purple boots
that laughed and squeaked
(no money/not paid for/passage invalid)
going on
going on to the rupture
oh embouchure
ebb and flow
filling the toes
of his slippers
she bought for him
from the Indonesian family
in the boat on the carpet
hand knotted

looking through the window
beside the old fireplace
looking out
for
the arrivals
those still away
not here
not yet
looking out for the arrivals
they were infrequent
we called them
the sometimes
he said
sometime
sometime
it could have been
it could have been
titled
the nine portals
and the nine arrivals
one departure
sometimes

 

 

Kokoda

she told you this

slowly

offhanded detail that was

sometimes the story

sometimes not

the main thread blended

with the background

emerging again

regenerating

through the detritus

still

still

talking quietly to us

showing us

the carapace

the hieroglyphics

the places here and here

the fabulous and the content

the breath between the descriptors/

the fascinations/and/

the totality

 

calling in ahead of time

blue purple irises

the worn fabric

at the margins

the points of contact/the points of contact

folded blue irises

just a thought/a thought

 

the man in the hat

fishing (the crowd)

buying (the crowd)

(incarcerating)

don’t look up

keep still…ten months

keep on

keep

we’ll meet again

keep

 

years later/ she burnt

she burnt

walked

out of the house

toward the incinerator

slow march muffled footsteps slow

tears/rain/tears/tears/

(tropical rain)

dripping from (his) her nose

steps up to the dias

pause pause

the eternal flame in full view now/

the mothers view

uniforms (all present and correct)

lifelike monuments to life

uniforms over her arm

last post split post post office

strainer post corner post

cicadas

 

 

that afternoon

rolled askew

like the wheels askew

 

he seemed part metaphysician

part montezuma part cortes

part magician

part judicial

 

are there any more bids

is there no other interest

are we all done

all silent?

all silent

 

in it goes/the flame extinguished suddenly

by the fallen serge

by the body of the coat

arms legs cuffs colour patches

+Syria+Kokoda (+Iraq+Vietnam+++++)

hisses/smokes

and smokes/cork tips or plains/

Craven A or Capstan

(pats his pocket, cups his hands,

squints through the smoke, grins at his mates)

and smokes (cordite)

flicks the ash

glowing life

incinerator flames flicker around the edges/

the wool (shibori) contracts

 

judgements of character

gown and wig

the man you met

squandered fragments

of language

of deeds

 

he said

we all felt

an essential yearning

to think our lives/ourselves

back into existence

back into ourselves

 

the japanese mothers/

letters/kimonos/

cherry blossoms in nippon envelopes

land of the rising sun/

back to back to back/

rising sun diggers badge

 

memories

remembrance day

march at school/

the sword through the lady’s side/

hari kari at the monument?

 

the boxing tent man

‘it’s the last show of the day

you’re in time but you’ll have to hurry’

up on the board walk

in front of the sideshow tent

tannoy in the corner of his mouth

he snarls/ he roars

at the boy

in the silk dressing gown

beating the drum

(beating the time)

‘shake her up

shake her up

shake her up’

baboom baboom

baboom

baboom baboom

 

 

she looked for him

in all the usual places

but we knew

he had

become unfindable

an anomaly a mirage

a vanishment

though all around us

everywhere

even part of the water

in the container

they used to boil the rice

 

Eternal flame

am I

the eternal flame

he asked

the angel (who found him)

bare feet in the mud

 

edges crumbled and broke away

he laughed

this is badman country

you’ve been reading too many westerns

he said

the door opened inwards

not the batwings

he expected

 

scarifications on his chest/

(where are the medals ribbons)

cicatrix over his beating heart

military cross

woven into his beautiful hair/

his beautiful hair

carrying (carrying the baby)

sister holds my hand

 

we spoke to each other

watching him

losing sight

 

being carried /aloft/

rising and falling

in the arms of the haloed man

on+on+on+on+on

surefooted/ascents

descents

slides/hearts

ascending ascending

holding on

to the wing feathers of Icarus

knowing that one day

god must apologise for war/

descending

the Papuan man lets him drink

lets him drink/holds him tight

lets him drift

while he sings his sister song

ascending ascending

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