Momento from the full moon

For A

Once
I loved someone,
in the same way,
& for the same reason
I love the moon:

you don’t need to see it every day,
to know that you’ll see it again;
you can’t always see it, but
you know it’ll always be there…

…& then
months became years & those years
became the unnoticed mouldering kiss;
a distance turning stale,
old & cold as the
empty bed.

So lonely not knowing how to explain
until too late,
& strange to find how changed
the feeling is when found again;

the pain so far away

just like the Moon.

Constant inconstancy

It isn’t the same, it
                        can never stay the same.

No grass seeds always ready to
raise their blades again, only
                        
                        change.

Slow or sudden,
willed or unbidden,
                        there is only change

& nothing else.

Habit & time,
                        being & repetition
build an image of difference
                        & permanence,

but there is only change;

the one constant
                        dressed as paradox:

there is only change,
                        change

& nothing else.

Lost Futures

For S

Today gave me a vision
of what could have been; I saw
between all the mistakes
I’ve made,
there in your home where
you & your children live:

an echo of
hauntology;
the lost future that could have been
if only

life had treated us differently,
if only

we’d received

what we really wanted.

Pause, & add your own intentions…

You found me at the worst possible time,
but only in the sense in which a dog-walker finds
a corpse in the woods:

        It wasn’t your fault.

The words in this verse are replacing
the excuses I’d prepared for presentation:
words about falling, & nihilism &
other self-pitying bullshit trying
        to play tragic…
but the truth
        is never quite so ornate
as I’d like to make it…

I told you that I’d become a mistake.

But that doesn’t make it ok…

I remember you as
vulnerable insolence &
timorous intelligence but
I was too selfish to realise how
much attention you gave to my words &
how little you understood about my
actions:

        your skin
compelled me to write a poem across
the inside of your left thigh
            & I think
you found it charming.

That poem had been written for someone else…

Attention is the rarest & purest
form of generosity*: you
    gave it to me
        & what did I
give back to you?

Nothing:

it wasn’t that I didn’t care
it was just that I hated everything…

So this
is an attempt to apologise
        for the ugliness
by replacing it
        with a failed attempt at elegance.

& that still doesn’t make it ok…

* Simone Weil

Mourning & Modern Knowledge

Permutations of motion though matter;
the ecstatic union of void & fire;
    mutation arrayed
        in differential display:

                                is this
use of language the only way
for the feeling to fade
        & finally escape
from my bones?

Can't I ever
go beyond what is here in front of me
& reach the place
        I want to be?

No.

Escaping the maze
is not an option,
so I remain trapped
in oxymoronic structures;
the point
where concept concedes to content;
    when precision
                  & all measurement
reach their limitation,
but grammar still remains needed
for practical reasons.

Without language there is
no way to express
this sense
of frustration & unease
        echoing through me,
as I witness
                unbounded expansions
ripple & sway
when thrown stones

disturb the surface of a lake,
reverberate
    in brief undulations,
        & sink
            slowly
until they can be seen
no longer:

nothing ever
disappears completely…

but you're too far away
for me to care.

Even if absences linger within
                every presence,
there's nothing comforting
in that knowledge:

what remains of the lost
    
is not enough.