Lit.-Mag #36 Home & Homecoming
A million years of patience and dust
for Christine Lavant
The neck. Sour. I brood above it.
Sparkly in the tree. Tap of hammers.
Men at my gate swing God.
Over the fence. I keep on farming.
To drown the icon in goatseed.
No bank accounts here. Stunted.
A pen for misery’s river. Joy.
It takes a lot of observation.
Through windows the fact of moons.
I bend them to be always full.
Brooding. Mystery is a spirit.
Conserve it. Men’s feet go high.
Doesn’t mean their tongues matter.
My neck has kept me thin.
Filled with indiscretion. Crows.
I live against the door that shuts.
Brood sow breathing sacred words.
The Driest Place on Earth
a million years of deserts
a million years of patience
of rock and dust
a million years of collecting dew
until nightfall, the world
passing my lips
then night, a very short march
the moon falling three times
before the crack of dawn
three times onto the sea
fighting to rise
into the imagination
a little fishing village
surrounded by nets
divers falling into a fertile sea
free and unarmed
climbing only the mountains
what they have
sheep dying for the flowers
of the pastures
dressing the heart
while it beats
dressing it in leaves
millions of years of oxygen
of copper and punishments
millions of years of shock
and eternal spring
wine and preserved skin
a desert comforting
the toenails and skull
bodies like rocks
with their encrusted hands
but a million years of numbers
only measured particularly
the numbers of octopus
pulled from the rock
every thirty-one years
enough water to ask
if anyone felt the rain
and your lips, the driest place
a million years of patience and dust
of my lips collecting dew
My Mysterious Home – To Be Happy
In my mysterious home
the lighthouse spins its light
in search of me
A fisherman laughs with his boat
He’s caught three stones with a flower
and has come looking for my oven
When his knock falls at the door
like an old tree
I gather together my capillaries
It’s been a hard year
in my mysterious home
Sounds have been circling
Doing the rounds like children
for the tongue and the wrists
They’ve dragged away the fresh flesh
I was storing in my thighs
for the visitors
There’s been no lovers, no dogs
Not even silent dogs from dreams
where I don’t want those people
with less to smile about than me
The truly true
Always in the light
when they want to be
First time the light fell on me
in my mysterious home
I forget about how it actually feels
I might not even have been alive then
but did see a fish flip
to be happy
I Am Lost
I am lost in magic and it is real.
What is the possibility that you are honey?
What, a cherry blossom
or Chinese characters fluttering
like blackbirds down a white canvas?
When I see you drinking a glass of water
your throat is like butterflies.
When I watch you dressing you disappear
into what you appear to be.
I say yes to you all the time.
I am completely lost in my second love for you.
My first wandered away and did not come back.
On days when there is no magic
we look at that first love, far away
at the ends of the earth.
It is possible it returns our gaze.
That its dread of being seen
is like a small mouthful of wine or dew
that is savoured but unable
ever to be swallowed.
It is possible but we do not worry.
We are buried alive in each other
and the caves and mountains and worries
of this world are like distance to us.
And we are here.
Like dogs with long tongues
we drink and gambol and sleep as if dead.
Our only longing is to see the other’s dreams.
And me, me.
The Proper Grave
for Fernando Pessoa
Is filled with too many other people’s words.
But that is where you should rest
as you cannot with your own.
You little vegetable – in love with vegetables!
Shall there be given you an ear like a potato,
a tongue dreaming like a blind poem.
You little book sprung from roots
and welcoming the falling leaves.
Shall there be given you the fine layer of earth
that will make you sleep.
The proper grave where you cannot speak.
We All Live in Exile
As we live, it is always different.
Wind surprises us.
Our houses shelter us and provide targets.
Your shoulder is a poor shoulder.
It has many necessary fights to fight.
The fight of poverty. The fight of the full sea.
I recall it intimately. Shaking with laughter.
The only completely fearless thing is humour.
Love has no fear but is not of this life.
Remember the path and at the end of it?
Summer’s room, a world we never left.
That we could not leave even when taken.
Without our luggage. Without effort.
Taken from the table where we sat.
Like an orchestra, sitting as one.
You were my 420-year-old cello.
My hand always disappearing into the soup.
It was only a whisper that took us away.
A little cobweb from the corner.
We live and immediately live another life.
One far from here where we don’t know.
We don’t know who we are.