What if . . . it is language itself
which is the real Life?

Then humanity would be the Light
and literature its shadow.

Inscribed in tomes a physical record
left behind for the next generation to find.

The process of translation, the very device
that perpetuates this constant motion
produces a race that mistakes its staining
of membranes for its own unfolding story.

Oblivious this storm is the real living glory
for this reason when you shut your eyes
you're closest to seeing the skies of the gods.

When thinking stops and minds are cleared
are the real living deities revealed.

Our familiar legacy of flesh and blood
is shown to be a warm garment and hood

We end up the dream misunderstood
to be all that appears as reality.



a sinew worked its way through
advancing like a webwork plague
to undermine the surface of their skin

at first you didn't notice
the spidery lightning-like veins traced
here & there, up a neck or under a jaw

from inside an eyesocket, or the hollow
of an ear, the traceries of spreading
veins would appear, subliminal

at peripheries edge, peeking from the
shadowline of a collar, uncoiling from
a sleeve, flickering from a stranger's wrist

whose hand extends in greeting,
a parasite ivy entrenched in the heart
of any chance human meeting


in a clearly recalled envelope
we diminishwalk, backs turned

clockwork marionettes
bound to fade

sipped from bottom up
by an earth's dark heart

drunk on the wine
of innocents

cursed with nothing
but memory,

blessed with everything
but eternity


when he tried to picture it
each feature was too it
this confused him so that
he seized into indecision
did he see it, or part of it
or was it there at all
none of the parts knew
and neither did he


brickworked its way up
stands there and to this face
the day's compass unfolds
slower than aspen unscrolling
their account of the silent
war on pages of virgin purity
written on by the wind


for Steve Marchena

love is a highway
the heart is an empty room
i cannot sleep
when the headlights sweep the ceiling