Steps In Circles



the aforesaid owl
knocked cold with
centripetal howling metal
starts with the right
& of course the left follows
in a kind of somnambulance
heads straight down the white line
of a deserted midnight road..
all is in total eclipse
the barns & chimneys
cows, chickens, alarm clocks
& pesticides
but the owl is awake
& walking
down the aforementioned white line
although it has been run over
at least a hundred times
“i can teach you! i can teach you!”
it cries
looking right & left
with its broken eyes
toward the barns
& corncobs
& scarecrows
& of course they all follow..
a handsome troupe
if you were to see it



down & up persching boulevard
ladies of unprecedented height
apparently aiming straight for me
but always veering off left & right


both part one (for ben)

a child, one & a half years old
over-riding all assumptions
pushes both arms into the pillow
“truck!” he says
sheepdog is asleep on the floor
not looking for things
for the unfathomable truck
“oh i’m ready for beddy-byes
truck! truck! truck!”
old dog grunts (it is raining in his dream)
shifts on the floorboards
& offers an enormous sigh
yes, that is true
old oranges peel easier
all these things
child has a feather in his hand
it does not matter whether or no
the soul is made of wood
if it is not in fact a thing
to be stepped out of
like a cradle
or whether or not that first cry
is still present
a shock not diminishing
as we tell ourselves
whether or no it doesn’t matter
child has a feather
(& it has stopped raining)


making the refrigerator walk

making the refrigerator walk
corner by corner across the lawn
making it step up the sliding door
shoulder past the bastard curtains
it dragging its lead, the plug bouncing
in a world of its own

making the refrigerator talk
a gentle slam on the noggin
no? then wave a threatening knife
to cut its switch out, or box its ears
thump its belly..
hmmm.. wiggle the wires. that’s the trick


on the plain of ego

on the plain of ego
nothing happens
there is nothing
not even maggots
not even bones
not a warm breeze
that would outline the shapes
which don’t exist
there is no sun
nor stars nor moon in the sky
there is no weather
there is no sky
there is nowhere to go
that is not the same
as what it was before
there is nothing new

it is a plain
an unthinkable plain
nothing happens
just blades of grass


the remains of a lunatic

  1. i am the alterer
    live in a new part of the world
    with very little symmetry
    & spend my time in the hills
    sifting sand..
    there’s no holding me back now!
  2. my wife says that sometimes
    she catches me laughing
    in my sleep
    i didn’t know she’d been listening
    to me sleeping
    i guess that’s what happens
    in a new part of the world
  3. recently
    i had all my tastebuds replaced
    a lot of people will say “so what?”
    but then their thoughts aren’t necessarily
  4. until just now
    correspondence between my wife & i
    had dwindled almost imperceptibly
    to the point where all we had left
    was our own two voices
    although even they didn’t work all the time
  5. we keep our house open
    to all those
    who have left home
    who aren’t in love
    & who work on their knees..
    needless to say we don’t have too many
  6. instead, to fill in time
    i calculate the load
    my wife is carrying
    on all her shoulders
  7. i confess there’s more going on elsewhere
  8. i own up to having worked myself
    into a position
    where i could tell you anything
  9. the tide is out
  10. the gigantic purple ancestor is asleep &..
  11. i have secured a position already in the ashes
  12. ah well, what was it? the remains of a lunatic?
  13.  teeth   


both part two (for nicky george)

& if i could improve on the wooden soul
i would go in for mum’s shoes
clogging for the toilet
armed only with a kitten

i would have at least two names
i wouldn’t speak
i would be too intelligent
i would be affronted by affronts
i would be a master of the bottom lip
i would love water
i would be destructive & cute

& if i had to choose
between mum or dad
between good & bad
between sea & land
between happy & sad
between work & play
between up or down
left or right..
i would always choose both