from Present Of ITSELF

10. Simians, Babies, Emissions & Closure

A great world, masterful;
postcard memories, cyclone warnings,
hurricane machinery;

whether Engineering
or genuinely warming:
this wet world,

a great machinery
of holographic dramas, equal
periodic restive/freezing,

carbon, missions, Maunder minimums,
Africa, waiting to be restored,
Napoleon on through the English lords

in this great cauldron of the sea-nest world,
in the game of thrones, on maps redrawn,
the sacking of the pyramids, kittens in the creek:

the President speaks, the Pope goes next,
the Mullah and the Viking and the Pop Star meet.
The curtain goes down. The curtain goes up.

The villain’s swapped roles with the clown.
And the people come home, and every so often
the furniture is changed, and the room takes on

a universal plan. The grass browns out,
the grass goes green,
the moon fades slowly from the scene.

How strange, you knew, as the cameras rolled,
the ape would take the baby from the platform fall.

Stars pass over, the word goes out
the prince trips over, towers come down.

Towers go up, the hammer is dropped,
the builder takes another from his birthday belt.
The prize fighter shakes, he stammers and feints,
the crowds stand up, to whistle and clap;
the jockey is thrown from the steep hill chase,
the dogs veer left, the dogs veer right,
the fox runs into the underground night.

An old nun dies, rubbish and lies,
a boy grows up, his one sweet heart,
his car full of friends, tunnelling worms
making love with themselves, the beautiful
movement of snakes, big eights
under bonnets with the airbrush work,
a little bit demonic. In trouble, in resistance
the princess jerks on the operating table;
the Press release, the Press hold back,
more fuel is poured on the fire of the fable,
as the wreaths, rotting at the castle gates,
indicate only her kismet dates…

Or how about this? Math is back-engineering.
One (1) is anything chasing its tail.

Zero’s the one thing catching itself.
All numbers are fractions.


11. Sugared Milk

Yellow roses in the fog, it’s happened,
the ape holds the baby as Staff descend

with a cocked dart gun, their customary
strength; to live, one life, and let go.

Of the good world. The great life,
counting on something else

with cradles and graves, musicians
and spiders, and other frequency

-sensitive creatures
with black and leathery hands,

moist reflective eyes.
One hard birth

on this good world
heartbreakingly moving

without going anywhere.
The Willows weep

and children weep
as the storekeeper sweeps

their empty cones, the sugared milk
melting on the Star-named stones.

Who would we, groan and smile,
lying with a smile…

Not for all the ill funds in
the Neutral Bankers’ Till,

would we give up, the losing smile,
in plain words, thank you,

cluttered with an ancient misadventure.



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