Wednesday, March 31, 2004

#25 Intermission

is popularly
supposed to be

period between
two wars. Let's

then that
the actions of

who invaded
Iraq or blew

Atocha Station
were parts of

final act
of a tragedy

not part
of the intermission.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

#24 The Flavor of Tears

I am a plant
with new growth
said the bird

I am
the underside of
the caterpillar who feeds
on me

I eat myself
It is exquisite agony

I taste my tears
as the caterpillar
eats them

Their memory
is etched
in my green flesh

When the caterpillar
has fed enough
it will
metamorphose into a butterfly

I will go back
to being a bird

Someday I'll see it
when we're both out flying

Swoop down beneath it
Turn over in the air
Let it rest on my abdomen
for the time it takes
to remember me

Then I will eat it

I will taste its tears

They will taste like mine

Sunday, March 21, 2004

#23 The Son of Man

Does this apple obey
the laws of gravity
& fall at thirty-two feet
per second per second?

Does time move slower
in the reality of an unreal
landscape? Do objects
invent their own velocity?

Will the man take off
his bowler hat in time
to catch it? Will the hat
withstand the impact?

Why assume the apple is
dropping? Why not movement
in another direction. What if
it's the man who is moving?

What makes us think there is
activity? Couldn't this
moment of apparent intersection
really be an eternity of stasis?

If we know the questions then
why concern ourselves with
answers? & if we know the answers
why be concerned at all?

Isn't the painting reality enough?

#22 In Praise of Dialectics

He tried to
take over the discussion
by stating that the
principles of dialectical materialism
gave life to what might
otherwise have been un-
realized revolutions in
several former
European colonies. It was
a successful coup
but no-one stayed around
to acknowledge it. They
left through the window
& entered the house inside.

#21 Golconda

An image such as this
might have been
what the Poynter Sisters
had in mind when they
sang It's raining men,
. Or maybe
it was that other song
of theirs called - was it? -
Creole Lady Marmalade
with its refrain of
voulez-vous couchez avec
moi, ce soir
; & they
were working on the principle
that if you ask enough people
sooner or later some body's
bound to come across
even if it is only
an anonymous Mr Average
in a mass-produced bowler hat.

#20 On Apples

Once made
the comment that
Magritte would have been
better off if
he'd done
a de Chirico
& reinvented himself by
replicating his own
paintings. He
must have
been listening.

In 1952

& 1953

& 1958.

Only the landscape
is changed

the landscape

#19 The Listening Room

An apple
on the table
is no threat; but
walk into a room
to find it
filled by a
giant apple.....


Had gone
to write "the apple
peers out the
window". Wrote
"pears" instead. A
slight tectonic drift
of associated words
done accidently &


placement of objects is
deliberate, is earth-
quake territory. The
displacement of space
by things that should
not be there
but are seemingly
quite at home.


Maldoror in whom I dream apples.


Only a painter
could place
this giant object
in a space where
the entry
place & space
is so small.


Cliffs, chasms. A
precipice pre-
cipitated by the
unexpected. It is why
even in the light
we fear closed doors
& rooms that
may not be empty.


How large the tree?
Who picked the apple?


There are no
eyes. How then to
tell in
what direction
it is facing. The
apple appears
to be looking
out the window. Small
wordplay. All
the room
that's left to
in. There
are no ears.


What is it
listening for?

#18 The Magic Mirror (1)

Is this an
ontological defence? Use
abstract name for
final output
rather than focus
on what concrete instants
made it up. If it's
ended this way
then you probably didn't
see them on the way through
anyway. Therefore not real. So
turn away. Turn out
the light not
caring if the
darkness remaining
in the mirror in
the room just left
is resident or reflection; or
refr/action of what else
was written there.

#17 The Secret Player

for Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

Master Class in that
a group of us
are brought together
& once we've finished
demonstrating our skills
are then shown
how it should be
done. Jukka as ice-white
tennis pro, serving up aces
while we watch on
amazed at the ease
with which he works the
court. Ice-blue, ice
as prism through which re-
flects/refracts all
colours, through which
neutrino words pass
to form ice crystals
sharp as stone, light as
lattice. Secret player
in that I have slim
sense of him outside
his poems, in that
the game he plays is far
beyond that which
the rest of us call tennis.

#16 The Acrobat's Exercises

The random actions
of the acrobats &
the precision
of the clowns
contrast to create
a tension
which the ringmaster increases
when he rides into it
on a white horse
cracking his whip
& surrounded by
elegant assistants.

Such momentum.
Yet the progress
of the circus parade
is still dictated
by the pace
of the elephants
& the amount of shit
they leave behind.

#15 from The Cicerone

To end
a solar eclipse
the priests take a
young boy who has
fewer than ten
gold tokens
on the wall
of his family home,
wash him with water
from their private spring
& clothe him
in unbleached linen
which is
woven from flax
harvested near the sea.

He is given peyote.
He is laid on the altar.
He stares at the sun with dull eyes.
He sees darkness
before the darkness is seen.

A sunflower is
placed to replace his face.

We are gathered, watching.

We know what is to happen.

We know what is to happen

As the moon
starts its
slide onto the sun
a brazier is lit. As it
continues to drift
twelve torches
set in a circle
around the altar
are set alight. & as
the moon
passes fully
across the sun
hiding it
like an apple
poised before
a man's face
a priest wearing
the skin of an ocelot
which marks him
as coming from
the same family
slices the boy open
from throat to un-
descended testicles,
rips out his entrails
& casts them
into the brazier.

It is done quickly. The
heart is still beating.

It is done so
we hear the first spatter of fat

just before
a fingernail of light shows

the sun is being born again,
the boy is dead.

#14 Perspicacity

Start at the
end or
end at the start. Axolotls
made sense
only when salamanders
were discovered. Over
easy or overtime
is still just
a spark in the air. In-
vent the axle
& the wheel
becomes a double-
decker bus, dragons
once were eggs. In
it is easy to see
how life cycles.

#13 Homage to Mack Sennett

Transparency in all
things or concealing to
reveal. We see
what we imagine. By
placing a sheet
of glass in front of
a naked body
we cover &
uncover. A curtain
would conceal; but with the
under image overlaid upon it
it is revealing. Put
layer upon layer
then peel them away. The
placing is the stuff of
slapstick. Displacing is
pure eroticism. Decolletage.

#12 The Seducer

The ship
the sea
is sailing on.

are made from
the air.

The house
we live in
is a

I awake
in my dreams
to find
I am only
awake in them.

#11 The Empty Mask

If we give
different names to those
they were made or
born with

are we changing
or merely re-
arranging it?

If I
tell someone
that a chair
is no longer a chair
but now
a tuning fork

how can I
make them
agree with me

when they
already say
the sky
is sea & see
a forest as
the human body?

Laughter &
are interchangeable.

They is me.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

#10 The Large Family

de Chirico
himself by
his own
Couldn't you
have borrowed
that off him
along with
those earlier
instead of
ripping off Renoir
or turning out
those works
that you
vache? Jesus,
were you
of? Thank
Christ you
finally came
to your senses
& returned
to the
real world
of men in
bowler hats &
birds re-
the sky.

#9 The Bather Between Light & Darkness

The outside
inside. Light as
window/painting. Out
of context
would be a simpering
watercolour. Descending
strata of sky, sea, sand
arranged in a
possible logarithmic spiral.
Fibonacci sequenced. The
golden mean
in a golden frame.

Is bather only by reference to an earlier painting. She is nude. Is nowhere near the sea though she lies stretched out on a carpet which could be sand. Her face is angular, her head propped up by an arm bent to echo the shape of the dark ball in front of her. Eyes closed but she is not asleep. No-one can sleep in that position. Maybe she is imagining the sea, that she is one with it. Venus without the halfshell. Curve of the breast, curve of the belly, curve of the line from hip to knee - all follow the curvature of the imploded star. Her legs aligned with the lines of light. So, too, the line where the carpet meets the wall. She is in between light & darkness. Possesses elements of both. Is possessed by neither.

Night as a black ball. Is
dark matter. In a posed-
card of the thirties
would be
held in front of breasts &
cunt in beachball modesty.
Only one breast is hidden here.

#8 The Magician

Do you believe in magic
asked John Sebastian in that
old Loving Spoonful song. & J.S.
Bach worked his own magic
when he
transformed mathematical relationships

into music of powerful emotion.
But transubstantiation
as myth or mystery
is derided by Magritte in this
act of prestidigitation
where the magician is the magic

& the actions commonplace. A self-
portrait of the artist having lunch,
fork in one hand, knife in another. The
third pauses with a piece of bread
before the mouth. The fourth
is pouring wine. No blood. No body.

Plain fare indeed for a follower of Kali.

#7 The Reckless Sleeper

At last! I'm glad to see
you've finally caught up
with the program. I've been
dropping hints for years
but for all the good that did
I might as well have been
pissing in the wind. Nothing
like smothering you with
a surfeit of symbolism. Over-
kill perhaps. But even that
mightn't have worked had I not
given you that book on Freud
for your birthday. Bet
the first thing you did was
try to find out what sort
of sick bastard I was to
pull a stunt like that. I'd
watch you reading it &
caught by something look across
at me. Back to the book then
back to me again. & later
I sensed you pausing in the doorway
as I slept, indelicately picking
the desktop icons of my dreams
like newly opened flowers
or fresh field mushrooms. Tasting
them, smelling them. So tell me
what you really think of me
now that you know me better.

Friday, March 19, 2004

#6 The Hunters at the Edge of Night

Usually he evaded the hunters
with little trouble. Only when
the dogs joined in
did he feel trepidation. They
spoke a different language. It seemed
more familiar to him
though at first he understood it
less. Finally he stopped running,
covered himself in mud &
became invisible. He learnt
the hierarchy of the dogs, the
patterns & cycles of their
behaviour. He killed the alpha male
just after the dominant female
came on heat then caught & coupled
with her. Now they hunt the hunters.

#5 Not to be Reproduced

Shown from the back
the image is androgynous - think
k.d.lang in her man's suit
phase. It is a portrait of the artist
as a young (wo)man. It is not
a portrait of the artist. Magritte says
it is not to be reproduced
though he reproduces it
anyway. We do not see
the face. Magritte does not
produce it. Or reproduce it.
Is not reflected in the mirror
for what comes back from there
is not mirror-image
but reproduction. Almost as if
we were peering over a shoulder
only to see the shoulder that we
were peering over. But it is
reflection. The mantlepiece
is reflected & the copy of
Edgar Allan Poe's Adventures
of Arthur Gordon Pym
that rests
upon it is partially reflected. It
is a book about an imaginary
journey. Magritte's painting
is a journey of imagination
about what happens between
two points that are the same point
though there is distance
between them. He says it is not to be
reproduced. It is reproduced here.

#4 Time Transfixed

It is the image that is
first paint
the painting
& then decide
the locomotive emerging
from the fireplace
might mean.

#3 Ceci n'est pas une Magritte

210 kilotons.
Christmas Island, 1962.

#2 The Betrayal of Images (1)

Gödel said
that the
concept of a set
that contained
all sets
was impossible
because it
could not
contain itself.

Magritte said
that no
matter how
an object
was depicted
it could never
anything more
than an image
of itself.


#1 The Rape