What we can see

From fetus to a handful of ashes;
a brief flicker of light in the darkness;
the thread of our existence,
helplessly passing from past to future;

contingent filaments entwined
within the infinite:

Just another story,
another way to escape the boring
fact that our lives are only defined
by what we think we can see in our minds……

A rainbow unweaved

Falling asleep,
we’re lost at sea,
swell of the surface
is a pull from the deep,

every second threatened
by a silence waiting
to claim the music
that lingers
in shivering

plays games with sound-waves;
a spiderweb
across darkness
as we segue into dreams.

For hours we remain there
where time has no significance.

In the morning, when the mind emerges
– a butterfly crawling
from its chrysalis,
given the gift of one day to live –
you will tell me your dreams.

They are sometimes mundane,
but often they are strange
& beautiful:

a flock of birds somehow derail the train
taking you to an unknown destination,
but you escape from disaster
by leaping out of a window
& land softly
in a meadow
of wildflowers.

I don’t speak about my dreams.

I don’t speak about disturbing scenes of
eating glass
as a crowd attacks &
tears the flesh from my bones
with their hands,


a desert that doesn’t grow, but
moves slowly forward
with the eerie movement of mist…

Last night,
I had a dream,
that poetry still mattered &
you presented me
with lilacs as
behind you
the crowd demanded answers, but
we calmed them with elegant words.

Then I awoke,
smoked four cigarettes,

& went to work.

What Is to Be Done?*

Another year slowly ending,
heavy eyelids

The City is freezing.

The City is everything.

No fells to see, just poisonous beasts
with pistol engine organs;
no forest or beach,
        only felled trees
become cardboard boxes to meet
manufactured need.

I’ve seen Lilacs
beneath a cracked & dirty screen,
but the cruelty of April
        means nothing to me
since mixing memory & desire
is now
how Capital
conspires to control us:

Data is Damyatta
        & compassion
died when concrete foundations,
built over the bones of Moloch,
became home.

So wide-awake, or still
stubbornly clinging to sleep,
        we divide
along newly drawn lines:

in a world run by cunts,
the terrifying truth
is that our very existence
makes us all complicit
with a system
        built upon suffering
        & destruction.

The years will violently begin
        & our eyes must
        open again.

The seasons
        have forced our predictions
        to confront us;

now is the time for new values,
now is the time to choose:

        Which side are you on,
        what is to be done?


*What Is to Be Done? – Vladimir Lenin


I’ve felt the soft surface of temporal fabric,
watched the world begin to fold
small, then
            smaller &

…organic origami elided
            into water,
rearing over what remained of
what was no longer me.

Electricity began to scream;

nameless incandescence;

sound waves of colour;

cold feathers
folding down,
nothing remained but space & light,
a deep divide
between body & mind.

Quick flicker of panic
as all thoughts plunge into ice…

then it doesn’t matter
what I try to write or
if I write

nothing at all.


& like any god
-forsaken thing, I want nothing more
than my breaths
– Ocean Vuong

Signals traverse spines & veins.

Eyes dilate.

Tracing ancient patterns,
the sinuous ribbons of memory
renewed through constant sacrifice


another performance

of terror & necessity.

Some animals survive & others die,

while through it all

the light plays games across the spectacle,
watched over by gods
who know nothing of mercy.

Here though, there are no gods;
here the wind touches glass & concrete trees
fells greasy cardboard leaves,
plastic carrier bags,
cigarette ends,
empty cans &


The Gazelle has broken limbs,
has lost it's noble frame
& the grace of such delicate movements

between jaws, claws, teeth &
brutal muscle;
adrenaline, instinct & chance.
The Gazelle searches for a place to hide

somewhere to die in peace before
scavengers arrive to tear away meat
from the warmth of life.

Such an ugly fate for a gentle beast:

watch the blood draining from a dead-eyed dream.


The Zabbaleen
have been forced to become human garbage.

There are many others like them.

It need not be this way.

Here there are no gods but
mercy could exist. This

makes me ashamed to be human.

What about you?