Shiva Yantra

we travel downwards; see us spiral down the spangled tunnels and chutes, the planes of inner kaleidoscopes, down the endless well - found in an old field, birch-grove-surrounded, half-light-bathed, moss-covered-stone, sounds issuing from darkness, folk-tales-say-bottomless - we fall through alien geometries, phosphene aurorae, until finally we realize that we do not fall, but rise - the supposed underworld is far above us, and the well opens into the uttermost source of it - the hundred triangles of the Shiva Yantra, the fire from the Tantric dragon's mouth, silent and crystalline - the endless future pouring through our eyes into the endless past

so, we rise - and then we pause - we hug in the dark, we wake to a frost on the ancient woods, a silver light on magpie wings and new leaves - to cups of coffee and an old room full of books and pictures and the ashes of relatives - how they wait patiently in the past for us to reverse time and greet them again - we rise to meet schedules and deadlines and a movement of hours faster than branch-shadows across doorways - caught reflected on lakewater and camera, caught like fabric on thorns and twigs, caught in time preparing for the time beyond time - we bring gifts, we lay ourselves at its feet - the giant who lives in the rock ridge above the forest, the geometric dragon behind our mind who belches out the past faster than we can remember it - he who calls us to turn around, turn around, his arms and jaws open, tears and flames in his eyes, waiting in the future, always in the future, our backs to him - turn around, he begs, only turn around -

and still we rise, held in a feeling of the heart - a kind of trust -
that the sunlit world we left
at the lip of the old enchanted well
will still exist a hundred years hence
when, aged only a day, we return
with fantastic tales and fairy kisses
and the unknown consequences
of touching the earth once more

we rise with our child growing in his mother's womb - a voice we heard in the future, calling to be brought into being. turn around, he said, and as best we could, we did. what world do we leave him - and what world were we left - by parents whose world was little wider than their house and their street and their workplace and the houses of their parents - how small and how infinite we were in the soft years when we grew in the sunshine of safe gardens - hiding places in hedges and willows - and how small and still we are now that we know the size of the world - the stars still a mystery, though we buy books in which they are named and photographed and captured as we primitive peoples might capture a soul - nebulae in digitally-enhanced colour - rainbow explosions in alien and unreachable regions of space - soft spring flowers that we don't understand. why do they grow? what do they mean? how do we know that they are real?

the flood of the future seems uncontrollable. the heavy tide of purpose. images swarming out of us into manifestation. words heard at a great distance suddenly appearing in our mouths. our thoughts are not our own but the thoughts of the dragon, and who He is we cannot say for sure.

some say Nemesis.
the ego-mirror, the great beast.
the dark destroying star.
the spoiled child of the cosmos.
sometimes we are his puppets.
sometimes we fight him.
he is the source of these words -
the mover of those who serve him
and those who fight him alike.
in his breath is your end, one day,
one unexpected day
that you had set aside, perhaps,
for a walk along a cold blue coast,
a dinner with friends, maybe even
a realization of who you really are.



Tomorrow I will realize who I am. Today I will drink coffee and sit in the sun by the canal where the trees make that beautiful shape I can't describe. Where houses do not stand smoking and black after being shelled. where one day I will grow vegetables and flowers and show my children how vegetables and flowers can be made to grow. My children of technology and velocity. My hypersonic children who will be beyond my understanding and my influence. My children of the dragon, the great exultant predator on fire with the glory of the sun.

That which I thought defined me has been broken to pieces and shuffled around into a different pattern. The hands of Diti, impotent and delicate beside a Yoga mat and a cheap stereo. Buddha hidden behind white blinds. Shiva forgotten in the entryway to a dead stone balcony overlooking a dead tidal river. With the gunboats and the seagulls what drifts upstream is a ghost of desolation and loss. underneath the streets rivers run free and blind in the sewers that once flowed overland past Viking settlements and rubbish pits. running so fast away from old ideas of ourselves. the sad old Irish songs, the unfashionable poor clothes and the long nights with wind rattling the beaten windowframes and the smell of seawater in the rain rolling, rolling in from the ocean. Sad songs that left us happy. Having nothing, we faced the dragon with only the gift of ourselves. we faced the future and turned our backs on the past's unfolding. on the pain and the loss and the love. the villages built and starved and abandoned and overgrown and recovered and rebuilt and sold and demolished and forgotten. the old woods hewn down and replanted. old cottages reoccupied and filled with flatscreen TVs and double glazed windows and brushed steel furnishings and new people, beautiful people, complex and hopeful people who see the same valley that one day we saw in despair and simplicity. smoke from new chimneys and satellite dishes beside old connemara slate and birds nests. and in the dragon's city, a labyrinth of apartments full of strangers. we have no rules and do not share our dreams. we have no religion except for the subliminal chanting of the machine dragon. we justify ourselves to no one. we continue to grow, like crystals in saturation. we bring into being voices from the future, as we were brought into being by voices fading into the past.

If you do not speak through me, Lord, I have no voice. If you do not move me, I must remain still. If you do not see me, I am hidden. If you do not inhabit my world, it is a doll's house inhabited by phantoms. I have nothing that is not full of you and no future that does not spill from your mind into my soul.

I am breathless steam lifting light.
I am the light on the outside,
travelling unknown distances to the eye.
I am the light on the inside,
where the eye sparks thoughts of light.
I am the eye and the interface,
the fog of the bright room, union-bringer.
Where I am there is light.

Silent crowded night bedroom full of objects in their space. Lost in the labyrinth of the present. Lost in the distracted mind. Reality accelerates while I remain behind in the slow-drifting illuminations. streetlamps moving upriver with incoming tide. warships glowing under windows of featureless apartment blocks.

I sit hunched over a writing pad, crosslegged, breath almost held, eyes stinging, desperately fighting daybreak. the reality of daylight, the ticking clock of my own life. the requirements of the dead city, animated by a clockwork of wraiths and golems under a necromancer's spell. I need hope for myself and my child. now that I'm here, why can't I be awake, why can't I be happy in the everyday strangeness?

cars roll over metal bridges. cranes whirr on sleepless construction sites. air conditioning hum that never silences. fans and sewers and generators. boat engines, taxi engines, pacing footsteps and soft crying from neighbouring apartments. I want to be where no one can find me. in a forest, in a cave, in an island cove. surreal fish nibbling at my toes, sunlit leaves of kind ancient trees. my family and I in another, older world, alone and free.

Mama Kali

Mother, let's begin.
    Ramakrishna swooned at your feet
drowned in black wines, and you lapped
at his wounds
tenderly, like a cat with the runt of the litter
raw and trembling and wet and sightless
he was lost in spiritual darkness
a cave opening up and singing endless -
endless space, endless cold, endless heat
and endless unmarked time
    falling like Alice
into the mind-rock, the heart-chamber
the hollow earth

We've been waiting here for years
for you finally to give birth
we are brothers and sisters of primordial forest
snuggled lightless among roots and ferns
sometimes the air is sweet and thick with rain
sometimes the sky crumbles and burns
Mother,
    did you
        leave us behind?
Or did we simply go blind
and deaf and dumb, amnesiacs running
as if in a nightmare, and was it you
chasing us after all, was it you
carrying us when we slept?
What we thought were rivers and seas
or the arms of another,
was that really you all along, Mother?

(We're having trouble with father)
(he's been angry for thousands of years)
(and he refuses to forgive us our sins)
but Mother, we are who we are
we are as we were made
we won't lie any more
please love us as you made us

Mother, here are garlands and pinches of herbs
here are fruits and young leaves and seeds
here are incense sticks and sugar cubes
and oils and soaps and -
this is a picture of you, Mother, this is a statue -
- do you like them?
  - do you forgive us?
    - will you come home?

Mother, there are skeletons with scythes
dancing in the valley where we buried daddy
when the blood-rage finally ate his heart
and babies are growing there among the weeds
and the skeletons are black-boned and giggly
and they lop! the babies' heads off
as they sprout through the spring soil
and shot into our graves like a bullet from a groin
we are your sown seeds and dad's death-harvest

Mother, what we wished for never came,
and it was you, it was you -
here are milk sweets, here is rice and wine -
the offerings rot in the bowls year after year
and you tell us that you never left?
Mother, have we been insane all our lives?
Mother, is this not the real world at all?

Mother, did you travel through my dreams?
Were you the virgin girl with painted fingers
who kissed me after the car wreck?
Were you my guide in the ancestral asylum
walking through tableaus of genetic ritual
with my small hand
            in yours
                    did we
say goodbye to daddy sweating before the pig ovens
did we fall deep into the black together?
Did you stand up in the shallows and brush
sand from a waterlogged dress,
and tell me that I had no name?

Mother, can we unravel time and bless
all past mistakes? Can you tell me why
you didn't name me?
when I've stood alone in a thousand dark gardens
and begged to be consumed by starfire
Didn't you hear me? Didn't you believe me?
Where have you BEEN?

Mother, they are laid out on the plain, 6 bodies deep
in blood lit by lightning from converging hurricanes
and in the dead armies I see your stamping feet
I see your arms stirring the clouds and your eyes insane
I hear you laugh and scream and your anklets ring
as you crush your children and drink blood and sing

this is the unstoppable black universe of you

and only I am left alive
and I am no-one
the war was death
and now the dance is death
but Mother, Mother, at last
you are here, at least
you are beautiful
 

The Process

Eventually, I always end up being the strange one.
From normal beginnings, I end up lost
in your forest of meanings and your many roads
without endings, the labyrinths of your lives

and always this creeping cold in the heart
the organs growing numb and the throat closing
over years of gaining and losing friends
years of making the same old journey

from normality and acceptance to alienation
I push you away, I freeze you out,
I tell you, and myself, that I don't need you
because of the creeping numbness in my mind

beginnings of warmth and ordinary eyes and arms
and hard work and sensuality and laughter
as I encompass you and dazzle you, I become
what you project, I reflect your dreams

and then creepingly it begins, something cold
that I never before thought was my fault -
I look at forests and want to live there,
by the water. I look at the stars and want to go there.

I look into the deep water and want to sink,
sucked into the blue-black water and forgotten.
I rage through my dreams to find a true self.
I do not want to leave you behind.

I find myself on my knees in the night-time
clutching my own chest, unable to name my pain.
I pray to be good. I pray that I won't let you down,
that I will fulfil my promises and not betray you.

I don't understand what demon is in me
but it must be what tormented Bunyan,
the rotting core, what he called sin,
that made him believe he was the worst of men.

It must be what tempted Jesus in the desert -
that we have the Devil in us. That from beautiful
beginnings we destine ourselves for a Fall.
It must be what mocked Buddha beneath the bodhi tree.

I have done something to my own mind
and I don't think it can be undone. I travel through it,
I speak of what I see there, and I bear witness
to the dark places and the terrible beings that live there -

terrible purposes that I see in all of us.
The ability to kill, to rape, to demean, to betray -
as much the Dark Lord as the Hero, we are -
as much the silken liar as the wise magician.

The knife in the grey darkness of the hallway,
the killing word born out of bitterness,
the devil-rage as after years of surface calm
we suddenly rampage and reduce a family to wreckage.

All because we don't see the seething darkness of NOW -
we don't see how immense are the forces inside us -
how each of us is potentially angelic and demonic -
how driven we are every day by unknown forces.

How a tiny wound left untended can rot a limb
or a whole body. How there are voices inside us
that can damn or save us, if we will listen.
How complicated and perilous it is just to sit quietly.

If I betray you, I am so sorry, you have to believe me -
I never want to hurt you, or anyone, ever.
If I hurt my children, I will almost want to die.
I have no prayer other than that this should not happen.

What is the force that we pray to, but the living universe -
the incredible energy that destroys and creates
and discards all us poor shells and mechanisms in time.
Is that my God? Do I live and breathe that contradiction?

I would have gone insane years ago
and I could go insane now, if not for this journey
in words and images and sounds, this travelogue
of a psychic landscape, this map of dreams.

Every now and then I can feel the edge of it
memories of fever hallucinations when I was young
vast shapes crashing together in the air of the bedroom
hanging on to the reality of myself, barely

and then when I nearly died in my own mind,
sucked into a vortex, and cried out for my parents
to come into the bedroom, come into my life
and save me, reach in and pull me out of myself

wandering through Amsterdam streets with my friends,
sitting in a sunlit park as my mind tried to drown me
and I forgot who I was, forgot who they were,
remembered nothing except this strange story

of a boy who had journeyed to this time and place
and then been set free, set adrift and abandoned.
Behind the eye, a naked awareness, calm and fascinated
even as I fought panic and realized I was insane,

and that I might not be able to return.
My friends left me in the hostel and went drinking.
I slept and wandered in dreams again, where I was safe.
We all met again afterwards. I had remembered. I still do.

Nightmares of being committed to asylums.
Nightmares of killing a child, a lover.
Nightmares of forgetfulness, of loss and failure.
Through it all, a desperate poetry of redemption.

I didn't have to make this journey into the underworld.
I had a choice embodied by my parents - the one
a golem set at the entrance to Gehenna as a warning,
beautiful and cold and functional.

The other, a scared child lost in the wightwarrens.
I chose to go down in full awareness.
I thought that I was strong enough to handle anything.
Moriarty says that above all Christianity is the religion

that does not leave us helpless before the contents
of our own minds. And that is what I wanted -
to discover what darkness and light may be in me.
Now it rages below the surface and I can't ignore it.

I have a very narrow path to tread - not only that,
but I have set myself the task of recording the journey.
Very probably no one will ever follow. No one
will read the record of what I did to myself.

Still, I do what I have to do.

Werewolf Poetry

I was in my old school    it was mixed    there was a different feeling to other dreams of being back at school        I wasn't stressed running from class to class    it was more like I was a visiting ex-pupil on a celebration day     then we gathered in the main hall, which was huge and round like a great lecture theatre        they started to play a piece of music    the words were from one of my poems    I was annoyed about this    my mother had sprung this surprise on me        I was uncomfortable with the attention because I didn't like the tendencies it needled in me    love of attention and need for approval

***

I was coming down a snowy and steep mountain slope, my travelling companion a girl. All around us were amazing patterns of ice and rock. I fell and slid down to the bottom in a mini-avalanche that buried me, but I was OK. It was a bad line to take down the mountain, the girl admitted. Then we found ourselves on the edge of a tall warehouse building. I was scared to approach the edge because I thought I'd slip on the icy surface.

My companion went ahead of my to a door in the side of the building, while I stared at the street below. When I followed her, she was gone, and the warehouse was dark and silent and full of closed doors and long corridors.

I chose one way and ran towards a door at the very end of a long straight corridor. I felt there was something behind me. When I reached the door I found it locked, and when I turned around I saw a small figure behind me, hunched over a light. I ran back that way, loping like a wolf, struggling with my own fear and trying to make myself appear powerful and dangerous. As I ran past I saw that it wasn't one small figure but several - children, all huddled together around the light, terrified of me. I ran on, realizing that a werewolf had been preying on these children at night, and that was who they thought I was. I wanted to explain that that wasn't me and that I wouldn't hurt them, but I didn't. I ran on and found my exit.

***

A storm was coming to my grandmother's house. The cats' things in the garden would blow away and we were anchoring them with stones. The cats themselves were confused and scared.

***

I was in a second-hand shop with Paul, wandering around. It was run by a Japanese lady and therefore had a lot of Oriental things and a lot of kitsch Western stuff. Weirdly, there were also a lot of things I remembered owning, such as mugs and comics and silly ornaments. I was browsing these old things of mine wondering if I should buy them because they gave me a nostalgic feeling. Then I thought "I gave all these things away, so why would I want them back?" They all belonged to Liadain and I, and we gave them away one time when we moved house. I found it very funny that this little shop contained so much of my and Liadain's life together and were redistributing it to strangers.

I sat down in the shop where a group of people were performing an odd birthday ceremony for one of their number. They were lighting candles and blowing them out with an exhalation of cigarette smoke. At one point they decided to start over because something in the ritual hadn't been quite right. For some reason I thought that the ritual had involved taking pills at the start, because I said "You can't chemically reconstitute these, you know. You can't turn back the clock and begin again - the drugs are already having their effect." The guy who had decided to begin the ritual again turned to me and his attitude said that I really didn't understand something. He told me a few things, most of which I've forgotten, but the most important thing was "Don't ignore things that exist." I asked "Like what?" and he answered "Well, like love." I didn't know what he was referring to or what I was missing, but I woke up feeling like I've been allowing something to slip by me, or that I've been ignoring something real in order to live my own life or to choose what direction I should go in. I've been wondering if I turned my back on love, or on my family again, by isolating myself. There are so many demands for love and companionship. I'm not just an empty means for the needs of other people to be fulfilled. I am a being unto myself. But what am I and what guides me? What am I missing?

The Shah's True Love

I was playing a computer game with my friend where we had to invade a Nazi stronghold, and we could never get past the final stage, a train station full of guards in turrets and behind barricades, the air full of bullets. Finally I dived into the water of an open stream that ran parallel to the tracks, the bullets making tracks all around me as I stared back up at the helmeted soldier whose machine-gun was pointed at my face. I spoke to him through the water, marvelling at the fact that the AI of the game was so well-designed that the soldier seemed as complex and real as a character in one of my dreams. To get away from him, I swam deeper, searching for an exit. Finally I saw one,

and surfaced in the swimming pool of the Shah of a hot and isolated country. The Shah has wonderful gardens in his palace all ringed around with pools and vegetation and gifts and dedications to his ladies - he looks like Burt Reynolds with a fake tan - I am a visiting prince petitioning him for a bride from his harem and to show the intensity of my intentions I water the flowers from a can into which I draw the water with my own breath. He guides me from garden to garden and shows me where the names are carved in stone: her who he loved and left, her who he worshipped and discarded. I swim in the pools and water the plants until finally I let my guard down and fall in love with the only woman he has forbidden me: the wife of his heart, small and dark and full of gravity and electricity like the black sister of the sun. I painted white and orange flowers for her on the side of the pool, and when they were seen the Shah and his servants were full of anger and recrimination, and I had to make explanation and reparation, but behind her dismay I heard her soul singing back to me.
 

Smiling Shining Everlasting

She asked me years ago how I stayed the same
when I cut my hair and years fell off my face
and I was just a boy and I wandered in my thoughts
in libraries and offices and bedrooms alike

how to remain the same, she wondered, in the grey world
the same as in the bright, the rainy, the blue world,
the neon worlds, the dark dancing worlds
how to walk through worlds wide-eyed as one being

as if I knew something, or worse, as if I didn't -
either I kept some knowledge from her, some secret,
or I had been given a gift I didn't deserve
that she, stronger and smarter, should have received

and neither was true - I kept nothing secret
but neither could I share it. I am what I am.
I create myself every moment in full awareness
but I can't tell you anything that would be any use.

How to remain the same through years of rapture
and disillusion and amnesia and loss and laughter
essentially untouched, walking in innocence
we are outside time and nothing can destroy us

it's nothing that you don't already know
we are outside time and nothing can destroy us
she asked me where the barriers were in my mind
between this and that, word and deed, yes and no

she saw me as a world, an atmosphere, a star
beautiful in my ignorance, beyond arrogance -
she saw me skimming stones at the edge of the sea
she said I was this: smiling shining everlasting

like all our generation, spiritual but rebellious
we ache for the church and the god we rejected
we see purity and we fall in love with it
and afraid of being abandoned we try to destroy it

but it exists outside time and cannot be destroyed
lighting us up: smiling shining everlasting.
In the neon world, the dark dancing world, the grey world
I'll do what I have to do, and so will you.

i have failed

I have failed in your million rows of data     and failed in your moments of pressure     I have failed to become smooth     I am a failed machine     the lines on your wall do not describe my days     I have failed to be represented there     I have failed to arrive or leave on time     and everything I have done has turned out different to how we planned it     I am sorry     I cannot relax on your trains and I cannot enjoy lunch in your canteens     I have searched for purpose in what I do     I have been smiling and I have been polite     I have tried     I am sorry     I have failed in your vast network     I am offline

I cannot focus on my screen sometimes     and I forget my passwords     I send emails and do not understand the replies     sometimes out of frustration I am sarcastic or angry     when really I feel like crying     we are not supposed to cry in the cubicles     my friend looks at me like I am incredible     in these moments     when I have failed     like I am incomprehensible     like I have failed     I do not like the fluorescent lights     I neglect the time management systems     I find the project plan to be a work of surrealist art     I drink too much coffee     I fall asleep in meetings     I do not respect my managers     I have failed to be a model employee     I have failed to show initiative or to improve myself or my co-workers     I have philosophical problems     I have failed to flow     my diagrams make sense only to me     I have the mistaken belief that we are all good people     I have the mistaken belief that none of us take these things seriously     I have the mistaken belief that my reactions are rational and human     I have failed to be objective     I have failed to perform an accurate self assessment     I have cheated on my personality test     I do not function as part of a machine     and therefore by any proper definition I simply do not function at all     I do not function     I am sorry

there are fields of data in myriad forms     dates and strings and integers     we are creating harmonies between networks of order     we are transforming languages that no one will ever speak     I have failed to find this inspiring     characters have begun to blur in my sight     I have failed to become a cypher between databases     I have failed to become a key molded to a lock     I have failed to find a way to maintain focus     I am not clear and present     I would rather be almost anywhere else     I am sorry     I am an anomaly in this world     I am a glitch in the smooth running of the machines that employ me     I have failed to become smooth

my mind is a chaos     everything I have achieved has been by accident     I get headaches     I am not at peace in a forest of screens     I am not at peace listening to the hum of a thousand computers     I cannot meditate     I have failed to integrate the machine experience into my life     I do not collect the things of the past     I have trouble remembering who I was ten years ago     or even one year ago     I have trouble knowing who I am in this moment     I have failed to be consistent     I have failed to apply myself     I do not have a five year plan     I do not know if becoming involved with me will be good or bad for you     I do not know if I am a good or bad person     it is possible that I am bad     it is possible that I am wrong     I am sorry     I have failed to become something recognizable

I will try to escape your notice     I will try not to break the machine     I will try simply to live     I have failed to be assimilated into the glass eggshells     the concrete megaliths     I have crossed the river and I have failed to forget     the grey river and the grey bridge     the thousand souls walking the bridge in the morning     as the river swells in from the sea     as the light squeezes in through the clouds     I have crossed the river with you and not recognized you     I have failed to iron my shirt and I have forgotten my door pass     I am sorry

A Mind of Glass

what they told me would come to pass     what I promised myself     a mind of glass     and shantih shantih shantih     the peace that passeth understanding     I promised you I would be so     sitting underneath library windows     long lonely afternoons     friends and classmates in lectures     rain gentle on chestnut leaf and windowpane     butterflies in stomach     mantra poised on recently kissed lips     lonely all the time     even in bed even at parties even in kisses     mantra in a library chair     2nd floor dark corner bare concrete walls     books no one ever read     lost in frozen time like me     lost in broken light like me     happy voices from the stairwell and the study desks     mind of glass     body of feeling swelling into the crevices     all my life just a story     called "lonely all the time"     written by my parents     and their parents before them     back all the way to curious monkeys     beached fish and bacteria and cosmic dust slowly condensing to stars     glitters in the sky on cold winter evenings     outside the library waiting for friends and lovers     for words and embraces passed in code     for minds of glass and minds of metal     for an end to the story "lonely all the time" to be told     and next day all embraces and joy and words and linked hands lost in time     lost into memory and memory to become glass     mind of glass lonely all the time     and next day to the library to sit alone     pine needles and sycamore leaves collecting near base of window     washed by rain and wind     grey walls and fluorescent light     and I am just a shadow you passed on your way to a lesson     what I promised my family     that I would turn them into glass     precious sculptures drained and peaceful     lonely all the time     blood washed from the doors and walls     blood washed from the car keys and the garden tools     blood washed from the bunk beds and the playroom     what I promised you I would become     something more than a silly monkey     something more than a selfish asshole     something to justify all the hurt I gave and all the hurt I received     a mind of glass and rainwater     joy in our hearts     where we stand and watch the moon fade and glow behind breeze-blown clouds     where we lay down and kissed underneath the trees in the schoolyard     lonely all the time     especially together, especially together

and then on fire     on fire in the cold sand     on fire in the conference centres and the musty cellars of the holy houses     on fire in the woods of stolen car shells and bluebells     every sunset and every shopping trip on fire     the creak of the front door in the early hours reeking of smoke     the dark hum of the painted hall before dawn     on fire the incense and the leaves     on fire the car engines and the quiet mind     as we walk away weeping     or as we walk away blind and burned and breathless     as we walk away into another life     as we throw away one of our most potent destinies     as we discard one of the universes that brought us into being     not understanding what we chose     all things remained true that were true before     dances still ended in peace     poetry still bled out of the mind     the light was still clear and blue and soft     only that we chose love over death     unlike Nero we cast aside our rod and dove into the mind's dark waters     do what you have to do

now lost in the mind of glass     rainwater the only everlasting thing in memory     what I promised myself forgotten     that I would not let it slip away     and what was I for those thousands of days but a window     between the mind and the world     reflections to each other     while I do what I have to do     sparkling river pulled through circuits of great machine     for generating the future     "lonely all the time" the story read to all the children     born into cells     here I am too     now that the confusion seems greatest     I might be as close as I have ever been     staring out through windows at trees or rivers or walls     staring at empty chairs and empty screens     all of it without end     what I promised to say     something to make you happy     something to help you to remember that you are happy     to do what you have to do     but all along I only wanted to become more than I am     more than a self and more than a window     and in the end as it all burns around us     we will see the flames caught and dancing in the mind of glass     caught a billion times and sprinkled into confusion     we are caught in a peace that passeth understanding     knowing that all of this is nothing     in the mind of glass

Chi Gung

we stand still, legs apart, feet forward,
hands held up, palms inward,
and we breathe as if we are mountains,
we breathe as if we are geological

skin swollen and mind pushed out to the walls
fingers the size of trees and legs of black iron
legs like sea volcanos growing and steaming
we are the continent of ourselves

with our eyes closed we become the room
we push into each other's space and breathe each other
we don't think of it as strange
we don't suffocate or panic or cry

and if our arms burn or our legs shake
we don't feel sorry for ourselves
we don't wonder why we are here
isn't it strange that we don't wonder
 

deserts and caves

we are where we are - high in the air in front of windowbank - we see riverside and flat metal boats - we see sun and red brick - wheels and gulls and white, red, blue, green cranes - treeline of preserved parkland and flash of light from car windows - everything that is dead and still and everything that moves - the zombie river pulsing and heaving at the command of necromancer sea - slain by we the apprentice sorcerors - our golems and simulacra crowding the streets while we huddle further and further into the great square caves of apartments and offices - what we have brought into being will not die - for it was never alive - and we who are alive will become the mind within the machines' cells - we will fade into myth and legend as the hermit creatures - the hidden spirits - the conscious ones in the cells - the ghosts in the machines - the spark of light in the empty head of the golem

lions hunting the trackless wastes of the Gobi - dune oceans of mirror sands - oryx moving in dust clouds - dune edge in shadow as if carved by knife from bone - parched skin on screen and skin of scum on river through window - all walking home to containers of the mind - all walking home skinless over grey bridges - so many undone by death - the new bridges shaking and crying trampled by feet in military lockstep - sand pouring off cliff edge like water and blown back by wind - brought to the edge of the desert we peer across in awe - seeing bluebells and buttercups across the valley floor - irises peeping through beached ribcage of ancient whale - grasses rippling down sides of skin-coloured rock