Overlaps

All poems are literary pilgrimages, consisting not of frustrated
moments one experiences in real life, but moments of pure augmenting
ecstasy. I make the distinction between real life and the life evoked by writing,
because in real life is where you are bombarded with capitalist slogans like
‘be yourself to free yourself’ when in fact you are expected to be stripped of your identity.

It’s such a shame about real life, isn’t it? that it has to be the upside down world
that it is, that we all need to be controlled and led in order for societies
to exist. Meanwhile within us, an unruly primordial thing we carry forth
since the first stages of evolution of man flashes through, turning us into
a psychopath or an internationally acclaimed celebrity artist.

As for me, if you do want your writers vulnerable and spilling the tea,
I try like everybody else to strike a balance, between the surface, where
I exist in society, and in the depths, where I exist as an artist. It matters to me
that I have not (yet?) become acknowledged and celebrated, but still I
insist on doing the work, on honing my craft, on improving upon the gift rendered

because what would I do, despair? I love a full head of hair.
Enough about me, see, we did not get where we wanted to be.
Where we want to be is safe place, the love of face, beyond race,
in a state of perpetual grace, and unspooling lace, guiding us out of the labyrinth
after where (obligatorily) we have murdered the Minotaur. The Minotaur is a perhaps

perfect symbol
of ‘real life’, since
it only sees half
the picture. But
we require the rest

Where have you been, here, I’ve been here, the whole time

We have had this conversation before
I suppose we needed to have it again
I have missed you
I haven’t gone anywhere, I’ve just been quiet, busy
The world needed you
The whole world needed me
Isn’t it funny that the pandemic was called crown
Isn’t it strange a new disease brought me back
Isn’t it unusual that we stood on the precipice of a new tomorrow only to end up in a bitter yesterday
Isn’t it frank that you drank the holy water

Love is love, isn’t it?
What else
would love be…
Not love?

I’ve missed you
I’ve been here the whole sublime


perhaps we have a vision
of love
before we even fall in love
before we even choose
the one
we love

often why we choose
partners who are terrible for us
so that we may have
the dramatic downfall
and sit in our living rooms
with our chandeliers
in our laps

I for one
am baffled by how
many have found partners
whether it was because
they needed green cards
or because you needed a maid
or because your mother was
emotionally unavailable

like Mariah carey
I had a vision of love
and this love would be all consuming
like joan of arc being burnt
at the stake

I never found this love
from a person

but I did find it
from God

God who pulls me
God who protects me
God who burns me
God who reborns me
God who calls me
God who word of Gods me
God who empties me of my cat-fishing demons
God who fills me with light

I’ve missed you:
We rhyme

My red address

Inside my heart
is another heart
I have been saving this
second heart
for you
If I ever do
find you
To be honest
I am hopeful
but I am not
holding my breath

And my heart is?
Inside a bigger heart
I can feel this third heart
enveloping mine
with more love than I
can handle
Love that would end me
if the two hearts were switched

This is why I can be a bitch
Because I can feel the presence
and power of this larger heart
And I measure everything to it
This is why I cannot
settle for little
Or even less
I may never find you
But I am familiar and safe
in this greater love

I live in it

I usually go underground or underwater to bring back your poems, but for this one I decided to extract from the crown, because you have to challenge yourself, as an artist, you cannot keep making the same artwork over and over, or you can, kazuo ishigiro has admitted to doing this recently, but even though he has a nobel prize you might wish to do it differently than kazuo ishigiro

Oh! The extravagance, and the glamour
So dazzling, and eye-opening
Such an iridescent and prevalent fall of jewels

It is a tree, see
Of sorts
For this? I wore shorts and a short-sleeved shirt

I wanted to climb the highest mountain
And so I climbed the highest mountain
I wanted to swim in the deepest sea

And so I swam in the deepest sea
I wanted to kiss the most beautiful man
And so I kissed the most beautiful man

You keep thinking, if I do this next thing, if
I save this much money, or achieve this next
impossible goal, I will find some sort of peace

You might, but only for a short while
The restlessness is a blessed bird
that perches on the branches of your soul

And if it does soar, it always returns
It is what gives you: life
So gather and collect all the jewels

who have been shaken by the crown
tonight. You cannot keep them,
so make the journey

back up the sky
to return them
to its sender

Surprisingly, its sender says, they are for you
You ask the sender if they are sure
They say yes

You go back home, richer,
for the first time,
in your poor, desolate life

You can afford things, for once
It takes you a while to get used to it
But like every other change, you adjust

You deserve some extravagance
You have had nothing for so long
Are you grateful? I am grateful, this does not feel wrong

NB I am actually a huge fan of the literature of Kazuo Ishigiro. Never Let Me Go and The Buried Giant are two of the most illuminating, oblique, restrained and beautiful books I have ever read



My paintings are the ashes of my art

Yves Klein
famously declared

the blue sky
to have been

the first art work
he had ever

created. He was
not being literal,

which is often the approach
by which,

artists are notoriously
and repeatedly,

misunderstood:
he wanted

to instill
the infinite:

and the
immaterial

into his art.
He was

a ‘religious’ painter
who, wanted

to go
further,

than simply illustrating
deities


from the Bible,
like Michelangelo

or Caravaggio,
or Fransesco del Cossa

he wanted to paint
the void

before it
was

personified.
He created

monochromatic paintings
as figurative

leaps
into the void,

the most famous of which
were painted

in his Yves Klein
international blue,

a hue
he invented

himself.
Later he presented

sealed off glass
rectangle boxes

as his art work
and empty galleries

which he painted
white

himself.
He got closer:

to empty space.
Yves Klein

did not
consider himself,
 
an abstract
painter,

he considered
himself,

a realist, a man,
in space, attempting

to paint space, or
radiance, which he

considered,
the essence of painting.  By

painting emptiness
in a realistic way

he seems to
me to be

attempting
to depict

the emptiness
that

Simone Weil
defined God to be

I have been thinking about
this

especially last night
when I started reading about

NFTs, which
are tokenized

versions
of assets

that can be traded
on a block-chain

the digital ledger technology
behind cryptocurrencies

like
bitcoin and ethereum,

but unlike
bitcoin  and ethereum


the NFTs
cannot

be exchanged. In the
21st century

art will be intangible,
something which

Yves Klein
not only predicted

but was of the first
to have capitalized from.
Therefore God
will be understood

not as a man
in the sky

with his arms
open wide

but energy
and space

that may
be

siphoned
and transformative,

and this will solve
the eternal question

whether or not
God

exists: God does
but God is like,

oxygen: he can help
your lungs breathe

but you have, to
keep them

healthy


My paintings are the ashes of my art
(title) is a quote, by Yves Klein

A very common dichotomy

I was born
on gold
being sold to the plastic

demons on a daily
basis. Spiritual
crisis was bound to follow. Needs

are mostly superficial, and monetary.
Ignorance is a vice of a virtue.
Every main entrance of every company

is decorated with bouquets of iniquity. What is
being done, to the
Goddess, Isis, sister of

Osiris? Aurum chipped,
on a daily basis,
with a pitchfork,

and being sold in shards
across the unanimous
races, their vacant faces:

murderous.
You used to scare me,
and dare me

with nonsense.
What is my faith?
It is the certainty

that someone cares.
It is the conviction
that this someone/thing is

divine. It is what holds up
the two poles
in between which

the tightrope
I unprecariously balance on
I could

never see
at either
end. The world

snarls and barks
at you, attempting to push
you away. There is ‘nowhere to hide’

but there is no need to,
especially when the corresponding
cloisters are fragrant with frankincense

and alive with showering with
holy waterfalls, the necks of the believers
stretched up

quenching their
immortal
thirst. The only thing

better than money?
Eternal
life

The conundrum, and the acknowledgement deep inside of us of the ability to undo the conundrum

The desire to put one’s head through a wall because the wall is an obstacle may be comical but deeplier it expresses the desire of the speaker to overcome that obstacle
We may never know what came first, & we cannot accept this
If a chicken is born of an egg, & an egg is born of a chicken, who was first
We cannot accept this or any other conundrum because we acknowledge inside of us the ability to undo the conundrum
It is also perhaps a conundrum how this perhaps godly ambition can find itself employed or not employed in the fragile body of a person sitting in a kitchen as the wind quietly shakes the branches of an olive tree planted – as far as the fragile person knows – 70 years ago

Every time I write about the olive tree in the garden, it has aged ten years
This is not a testimony about the carbon dating of the olive tree, if anything it is a testimony of how it feels between writing a text & then some time later another text about the olive tree in the garden
There is beauty in the garden, there is beauty in the tree, there is beauty in the swallows circling each other over the low terracotta tiles on the roof of the house in the garden, but there is also beauty in the thread you pass through the head of a needle to bring all these things together
You call yourself a writer but everything has already been written
all you are doing really is choosing specific objects, abstract or tangible & bracing them together: with your own sensibility & aestheticism
You remember especially & with vividness the incantatory statement of someone there is no need to bother saying Let the Lord use you
If that is the case then let the heavens open invisibly before a seeing eye & pass through my skull (like, yes, the head of a needle) all the way down to my toes, & I am fragiling
I want to write what no one has written before
Use words in a way that is new
This is the most important thing to me
Hit refresh

I am the aforementioned
Like everybody else
I am both fragile
& imbued with the
divine:

The conundrum I am trying to demystify is me
The humanity
& the divinity
& the threshold where they meet

With words used
In ways they have not been used
before:

Make it new!

In and Out of Love

living in Cyprus is distracting
the island is so beautiful
and since the economic crash
in Greece
all these rampant descendants of Apollo
in their late twenties
early thirties

are moving here
for work
they and their v-shaped torsos
and their arms
that bulge
when they key in
the price of the freddo espresso
you ordered
on the till

I! begin to feel so dramatic
because I cannot get
what I ultimately think I want
one of these young demigods
in my arms
I have always felt – known! –
that I do not deserve love
let alone the love of someone
so very fresh out the gym

this is depressing, I’m so sorry
if I am making you feel uncomfortable
it is just
I am at a turn in my life when I want to write
with devastating sincerity
not to break
the heart of the reader
who I respect
and whose time
I do not wish to waste
writers
write about
beauty
because beauty fades
and by writing about it
they hope to capture
beauty in their poetry
living beauty
not like those poor unfortunate
butterflies
Damien hirst
pinned one by one, dead, in his ‘paintings’ of 1991
which he called In and out of love
imagine, instead, he had provided the viewer
with a butterfly garden
roofless
in case
the butterflies wish
to migrate across the world
the butterflies cannot help it
they are magnetized

I often imagine what it would be like
to be on the deck of a ship
and seeing millions of monarch
butterflies
flying in a chaotic unison
across the reflective surface
of the atlantic

in this scenario
the young influencer Athenian barista
is the guy on the deck
and I am the shattered
the very shattered
kaleidoscope of butterflies
migrating to another continent
looking for love

NB In the Damien hirst exhibit I mention in the poem, more than nine thousand butterflies were killed, attracting the venom of insect lovers. Damien hirst seems to live for the sort of sensationalism that will cause backlash on his art. Damien hirst often includes the corpses of animals or insects in his art, most noticeably a cow, a horse, a shark et cetera. As much as I love art, I find him and his work reprehensible, and why he is one of the most highly paid living artist on the planet, shocking. I personally prefer Jeff Koons and Yayoi Kusama, but all art is subjective, and it is for each of us a matter of personal taste. As for the ‘rampant descendants of Apollo’: thank you for the Trojan Horse

NB The photograph is of a Jeff Koons public sculpture I photographed at the One World Trade Centre in Autumn, New York in 2013 and is called Balloon Flower (Red)

earth day 2021

what a writer ought to
write about
are the things
they don’t want to know, I got this
from reading deborah levy’s
pt i of her living autobiography
the other day, which i read
in one frankly glorious
afternoon. the things i don’t
want to know could be listed
by me at the cost of feeling
vulnerable, but fortunately
as a cancerean i am both
emotional and strong, so if i have to
deal with something
even if i don’t want to
deal with it i will
deal with it. in the past
i would complain, but now
that i am older (craw! craw!)
and having survived
certain hardships at large
i can do it – or i can at least try. i still
stare at trees sensing (the unseen) the love undulating
from them more so than
most animals or even people. but i don’t
want to be untrustworthy
of people anymore
just because they can be
petty or
messy or
worship drama, i want to be a living
breathing brave person
who loves life. because i  
do. and if i am
cautious, it is not because i fear life
but because i love it. i also love
the words that i can distill
the whole of my existence
at this point
in time into words. and i love
the fact that someone
somewhere who i do not know
might even read them. such assurances
assuage me. as i complete this
in the café i am writing
in the distance a crow
is crowing in a tree
because another crow is trying
to sit in the same
tree the former crow
is sitting in. but it isn’t
anyone’s tree