(distant answers)

it is april the twenty-fourth the crickets are still singing
if you accept the walls, what then?

the walls are obvious
coming up against dancing over
with the devil a grid of metal
cast down upon like an onion cutter
from the air an iron drill
a grid of limits a cynic test
a foundation a cut up
a plan of conquest an interrogation
a trap of steel a stainless grill

to answer without question
is surrender and passing in.

it is april twenty-fifth the crickets are still singing
what if you accept the walls, what then?

fruit ripens
flies buzz
in any sensible season it would be too late
to salvage any of the harvest
but with the moon out in a mock pudenda of fluff
and with the moths flying in and out of my mouth

the house smells of fruit skin and decay
as unlike the onset of winter
as the chamber is unlike the field

at least people feel comfortable,
their experiments in purity maddened by the season

even the sick are warm and commend to you
the fucked earth as a place worth being in

if you accept the plans, what then?
the flesh is no nearer, it’s further away

the hinterland the desert reaches closer
and as the view changes you are compelled
to stay in the same place

my ex lover’s hair smelt of dust the last time
I smelt it and her skin had a chalk-like quality,
particulate and over-exposed
as if every tiny partition erected
were having a cumulative effect

as if her skin were letting
too many particles of light in

(the life, for what is it?
the world can be reduced
to a hat drop gag

because the world is not
the hat the drop
the gag

the same gag

it is april twenty-seventh the crickets are still singing
you accept the walls you accept the plans
you praise the life you praise the singing, what then?

do you expect to be understood? you have
entered into a compact with her herself

signed in blood and hate and shame and humiliation? that you
have broken away from health and sanity
to live so narrow hungry in so thin a disguise

of happiness? under a transparent sign
of forgiving? with high hopes praise fame new
beginning and other brittle ironies like broken

glass under your tongue? after a long line
of buildings as on the plan here is the
chamber image do you enter in?

it is april thirtieth crickets are still singing
more faintly now

if you praise the singing
what then? the earth she herself

she will reward you? when you hide yourself away

amongst understandings you can’t accept? is this

her plan? for herself she keeps a single cricket singing

hard to tell whether it’s inside or outside

another distant answers, the life for what is it?

singing in the field as in the room as in the chamber
without obvious sense with hidden flesh without respect

accepting neither sacrifice nor compromise,
if you praise the walls will they withdraw?

is it possible so late in summer so early
in winter the sunlight will keep
streaming in, what then?

Mayday, a gush of sunrise this morning,
like a blood spurt on grey, and again
this evening, clouds ringed in eclipse with
five radiant arms sent up from the collapse of summer

each day sliding more quickly
down the smear red sky

a single cricket sings, the walls
sharp and shear I cast my shadow against
to see the real trickle and loss the real fall
of ripeness as the sunlight streams away
in progressive aetiolation, blonding
the image earth with less energy for joy
but greater intensity
internally to suck it in

(every fragment
every grain of earth
is so full here so heavy
it can’t be shared can’t be communicated

it intensifies
it festers in light

like a painting in a frame,

unlike the entirety which can be reduced,
every piece demands its own room its own shower

the sacrifice of shadows
surrounded by liars and sycophants

the fulfillment of its own destiny
as a cancer

at once as democratic and as irreducible,
and here my desire is a desert,

at once a field of flowers
and a torture chamber) another

distant answers

it’s the first of may and now
no crickets sing.