Fidget

The fidget man I’ll call him,
a name whose sense will hold
for this today, a fickle increment,
spins like a heady dial
as he sells
to the ravished crowds
exhausted and impatient
the nail technicians slump
their frowns
into laps
of grey armchairs
between waiting on hands
and the angry drunk woman
taking a break
from her free hours
upbraids the pigeon-taunting man
who was only delighting
at the giggling
of infancy’s
easy cruelty
and two teens decide
to stand
for a picture
of themselves
because without it
this minute
would just slip by
like any other.

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Empty space

As the eye wanders – what of it?
What of the curl of lip, cheek and eye,
spurring invention of plot, snapping at vision’s edge,
out of some irrepressible need?
That need unspoken, with space enough
in the inbetweenness of not knowing
anything outside this moment
where the pollen-scent of tears
and the heart’s unspoken dialect
become instead a silent film. Impeccably
smooth, this substitute for life, story.
Cutting the day on the bias allows
for stretching, stitching in enough
that the mind, brewing in all directions,
can tell itself that it has reached
the circle’s edge and understands,
when it has only drawn close.

The words of others

1.

Afternoons queue up
Releasing human waves into these sudden days.

Mislabeled intersections whose signs
Reveal what is removed and slips
In translation, that frictious plane
Between language
And us
Where metaphor
Slips and slides
From imagination until departure
Unto a ceaseless flight.
A dozen flavours of thought and us
Lunge against a string of questions and
Eyes jut awake,
Delighted to delight.

Others’ words now are more than gifts,
I realised only recently.
Admitting one to the sealed amusement park
Of unobservable solitude
Whose precious chambers guard
All the gases
Condensing and preserving sacred life.

2.

In the distracted hours
I can create
Coarse impersonations
Of the dream worlds of others:
Water-lilies or jutting, bursting haystacks
Fog-pretty, autumn-rich.

How strange this picture bends,
So far removed from light and sound.

When I can only summarise the years,
Scare their outlines up,
Thrust colours at the frozen palette
Hoping that a single moment sticks.

On setting out

you may reach the water’s lip
where a thin bridge awaits
besides transparent morning
before you step aboard and
our ceiling becomes a feast
of unquiet stars

be sure to notice first
how smooth a bridge
as high as your
imagination will build
leads the way, cord taut
as you pace, pace, pace
between each wave whose mist
greets and fades, again, again

stopping for breath you awaken
at some point along the way
behold an infinite line of
high-wire acts in parallel
each following some unseen map
that will probably never
meet your own but you stare

in wonder at but a few:
winding letters unrolled as if
to make an equator of her spine,
a dessicated butterfly that
perched too long upon that arm,
the lunar wasteland erupting
across his groaning back

but the water dances at your feet
as these constellations turn
obscured by fog
your own reflection calls.
(11 March 2015)