there is nothing to see in these lines

there is nothing to see in these lines
there’s no authentic voice
to drown the river of madness
this isn’t the mouth of a monk on fire
in the attic
this isn’t a review of planned obsolescence
for machines of the flesh
this isn’t about how you’ve been cheated
into reeling like a thief
in the halls of your own life
this is not a circle of ravens
bright as morning
this isn’t new york
this isn’t about what you did
or did not do
last night
this isn’t an insult to your new religion
this is not meant
for the rulers of the world
their cruelty lacks imagination

this is a man
at a desk
and nothing more

he busies himself with strange and secret wars
it is utterly insignificant
he looks out into the vast winter morning
he wonders how long the walls can stand
the sheer force of his brilliance
he thinks the trees will keep him warm

late autumn:

late autumn:
light is its own reward
my love
the rivers burn again
with the scent of sleeping women

we find the words
long pressed between
the pages of the book of mercy
they are the lonely ones
they can save us now

these days

these days
i take great care
first of all
to praise small wonders

and curse the light:
pigeons circling the city dawn
flashing in and out of sight
the languid beauty
with the burka
the trite smell of our cigarette

as we share our minty thirst
with kisses meant for strangers’ eyes
our hearts swell with the coming rain
free at last
from wistful meditation:

let dissent be the healing pulse
the new adventure

let’s kill the killers
forget the forgetful
haunt the angels
on kuyper street

the poet has burnt the pages of his heart

the poet has burnt the pages of his heart
at the stake
his gift did not kill him
in his sleep
he rolls another joint
on the thigh of the abyss
he’s growing thin
in the minds of women everywhere
he chokes without vigour
on the chains in his throat
like all true artists he has the qualities of a leader
like all true thieves he hates the beggar’s war
he has yet to come clean
on the death of a culture
he is blind
and barely alive
but able to sense flight and pain

those who hunger for the truth
must fear his powers of deduction
he understands that the game is run
by the manipulation of free will
he long foretold the skinned machines
dying in the cold
he solved the laws of lust and shame
bristling with amulets
he closed the book
on the most elegant
imaginary threats
the karmic veil
did not confound him
while governments devoured the sun
he knows when the slow tears will come
to ruin your mouth forever

perhaps all he needs is a good night’s rest
perhaps he should simply venture out
and save his breath among the poor
he has not forgotten the ways of the flesh
he could enter the fine halls of citizenship
he could hire money
that the banks don’t have
he could kneel behind
the prince of lies
with a blade pressed in his fist
should push somehow come to shove
he could smite the idols of mutiny
he could fear his neighbour
as himself
hoping that his work will last

his absence from the prayers of old
does not mean he’ll haunt the streets
his blood is worn
he means no harm
he will steer clear of you and yours
he only reaps
what light he needs
from the eyes of writing men
he lays no claim to what is lost

i l*ved the war

i l*ved the war
we tore into each other’s bones
knowing what we’d find
among the legions of the narcissus

now i sit waiting
mute as the sun
for the captains of industry
to finish it

i sleep okay
i still have my looks
i plant mint around the bayonet
you gave up at the door