The angel came again
Past the ivy-shelled house
Only a day after
The photograph was taken

In this embrace
Can’t you see?
We’re dying

In certain pictures of the ascension
She looks at him
Over the shoulder of a lover

The only clue
To his existence
In her expression
Of having been interrupted
In the middle of something

The painter looks from heaven
This adorational subject

I imagine he could not see
In whose arms she was held
Whose body she enclosed
With her own
Supplicant arms
Mistakenly depicted
Encircling nothing

As if raising an emptiness
To the place of the ineffable
Foreclosed to him the lover
By his invisibility

He sees the angel of the ascension
A dramatic interior
Her start her gesture
Belies his absence

If god couldn’t see
Would he be lifted up
By her? Had he any chance?


The angel passes before I’ve time
And call the children
Staring up at windows that reflect the sky

Almost my life
Staring up at windows that reflect the night

A strange profile cut by light general
In the ivy on the mullioned panes

Besides he’s nude
In light particular

Do I want them to see whom I’ve invented
To be scared by an adult despair
At the absolute theatre of the body?

The car-crash of history continues
Expensively achieved

In this embrace you grow old
Another opportunity missed

Here are your lines here are mine


The photograph pretends
Exactly like
A mariolatrous painter

We’re not hanging to the precipice of time

I’m in the temple staking justice
Against peace
Gaming on every fall of the die

The appearance of one of a couple
Against two of a kind
On the opposite unequal die

I’ve already palmed in play
On entering Jerusalem two dice

One surpassing fair
Two of the same die
To gain her skin of honey

A six to hold
The air was seven
Seven sided
And not give in
To the stone
Or perfume of hope

The quantity of years
Pressed from the olive
Buying nothing
Nothing nothing one die
And nothing
That one die

And luck will have the quality of an action


Before the photograph wants to have
Needs it like water

And then he drew it
Incense from the mouth
Absence of justice

With in a voice
Within a voice
Inmost in

Close to breath
Closed on a breath
Inmost of all in

Separable thread
The near below
Threads the near
Under the near

Can’t you see?
In closing a way?

Farther away
From the neck
Her sweet bone link
Going and forgoing still

And broken still
And broken from us
That I can’t go on

But threw us unreconciled
Into the promised embrace


Between the scapulae and
Slow-filling dish of our loins
It appears

The eclipse of what we felt
By what we see

On tables pushed back to the walls
To encourage dancing
Sincerely attended by mums and dads
In whose number for some reason
We don’t count ourselves

Whose resolution has rubbed out the sum
This shared sense of loathing
One of the strongest bonding forces

There is because I ask
No knowledge in chains

Not one sided I ask
Not seven faced either I ask you
Freely to give

For a story made on painted sand
You to ask not him
Questioning beauty not him

Near under
Under the gloom
Light pixels in dusk
Light below

A theatre of love and blood
Here with dirt between floorboards
And fly spots on the puppets
Belonging yet not

In a classical room
Furnished with satires of the baroque

Chained yet not belonging
You to ask
Are the children dancing?
Not yet.


I don’t want you to write like that anymore
I don’t want you thinking

I don’t like you washing
To think all these
Chemicals make water

A hanging garden of tears and heights
Rubbing your hands
Then drying your feet
Bathing the wounds

We don’t speak in real words anymore
For the peace for peace
To distinguish the man in mankind

I hope we make justice
About this proposal
Its portion adjusted
To fit an eggshell of convenience

And it’s so very dry
The tins mottled by rust in the air
Off the scar

Nobody dances except air itself here
As if to mark the oppressing presence
Of a difficult landscape

Nobody assays to eat cake
The mothers are so very ill at ease
And the fathers off the mothers
Understand the renditioning
That makes the air dither so

So elsewhere those pieces turn up
That are absent here

The scars are shells and
Imagination quarantines
Lagers them that offer opportunity

Such is the colonial riddle
Prefers from the tyranny of distance
An offertory plate
To the distant tyrant

When they sleep we’re awake
The party’s in full swing when I enter
You on my arm
I am a thing

Accepting change

An empty lavabo
Tiered above the ewer
Time on a cast iron stand


Extinguish the lights better
To hide the cracks

Everything has poured away from
Leaving a residue of dissent

Not unlike a sheet of paper
Between content content and form
Form guttering in the dry riverbed

My mind is a story made from painted sand
While happiness writes white

Guttering in a language belonging
Yet not belonging
Travelling that crumbles
On its feet

To long be
To own
To be own
To be

Not unlike a photograph
Taken only a day ago

In this image
Can you see?
The ruined figure

Who has paused for something
For effect
For particular affect
For something
Important to happen

Then continues on
Before I’ve time
And call the children

Who dance now

Who is there
Who is innocent

Who is there
For a breath
Who continues on
(November, 2005)