(A record of the workings
of Love Death and Angel
as they happened to: -)
( publ. 50 copies, Stroud, 1996)
the hands the bowl
the fire the water
Where’s the party? Bring on the mob.
Let’s talk about old times, art or god;
Anything than lie here,
Humbled and odd.
I have no doubts
about my fitness to love you
I am fit to die
my love, who are you?
you have no name
you stay nowhere
you wear whatever there is
you are kind
shaped liked a woman
I am trying not to want you
each time it’s different
each time it’s pain
yet the touch is lighter
I expect to know you forever
our loving loads me
till I must weep or write:
birth death dissolution
What you call my past
I call my greedy memory
always wanting the magic drink
which doesn’t exist
the ultimate meal
which doesn’t exist
the supreme kiss
which doesn’t exist
what we really want exists
on the other side of darkness
“How long will our love last?” you ask.
“No reason it should cool.”
But there is rhyme, 0 dumpling mine:
Beware when notebook’s full.
Of course there are no gods
to his four quarters
his three thirds
his two halves
and his one
– Should I skip my history class for you?
– But, of course. School is too easy.
And here I have something much harder
For you to grasp.
‘silly’ you say when we kiss so much
‘silly’ you say when we take ages to part
luckily I know what you mean
There are three of us in this.
so to meet and part is not the same
as old need or pain
and the fact that sometimes
we act as if they are
a mild arrogance possesses us:
we expect to be loved on sight
you are deep, deep, deep, my love,
but thank God,
you are not
in which I’m numbered
Well, miss, you have been naughty, have you not?
Indeed you have. And what should happen to you now, do you think?
and nothing else
between you and me
mathematics of it is:
one and one are three
I touch your breast that is not here
The air between us is so clear
She: I don’t believe in phallic symbols.
He: That’s no skin off my nose.
Before when I loved a person
there was no depth.
Now that I love from the depths,
what is a person?
Are we being selfish, I wonder?
In the pleasure, no.
In the asking, yes.
We love till we’re weak
as the other comes with us
I’m not the chap I used to be,
the one I thought I was.
Gave up acting one dark night
and fainted to applause.
And when you crept into the bed,
‘Nothing, ‘snothing left,
‘s all going to go,’
I put my arm around you
and was glad
From now on I will be silent with you
except for laughing:
wait to see what we are
wait to welcome
must get past
enjoying our enjoyment
let the invisibles feed
– This, at last, is my father’s door.
– I see. But why is it standing,
In the middle of a wasteground,
I have reached that part of you which is a rebel against truth. There is nothing I can do about it, directly.
Your face is my dream reflection.
– Which way do you like me best?
I think there is something I want.
You burble on about ‘female conditioning’,
And I remember fifteen years in a ‘male’ hell.
For God’s sake, let’s discard
This robe of reasons
And take the pain
Without complaint or name.
Now that we’ve talked of fathers, schools,
‘n’ other facts ‘n’ influences,
please not to forget
this table’s new,
is set for two
and you are serving me,
I am serving you.
Killing corpses –
What a trade!
There is no burial,
Just a fade.
I have loved
and great mother
what fourth are you?
it must be
once again I’m alone in a room
and I’m amazed at my endurance
I am glad I am glad I am glad
my husband mirage
my father mirage
my worker mirage
my lover mirage
I never put on
whether fish bait or hook:
I’m in the water
Princess, you are out the well:
And not mine.
Your own marriage to solitude
would make you Queen.
Your flat which is small, upstairs
Our lives which have no structure
The distance between us which is nothing
The self that we make which is neither
The world which we are and are in
The drink which we drink and don’t need
The fear we don’t have
The sometimes wondering if we should be doing anything
Which is doubtful
Our amazement at the many who are slow and painful
And won’t love
Our incapacity to conceive empires
Our attractiveness to the wild dangerous and rejected
Our knowing that murders are committed because of the lack of this
That we are emperor and empress and not uncrowned
Our lying in light after love
From sleep to complete waking – no time, no barriers
Our feeling that children have not much to do with this
Except that we are at home with them
Our rejection of philosophy
Realisation we have no faults
That everything is forgiven
That lust is divine is not lust is not divine
Our humour based on the nonsense of separate identities
the conceit of conceiving god
apart from creatures
Since we two are only instruments
who grow through altering moods,
should we look outside for ordination
or worship in each other’s fate?
But what’s your body?
It’s friendship shaped like vision.
Brightened by desire
Opened by love
And entering through tender tiredness
who sleeps? who wakes? what dreams?
we’re being transformed and we’re afraid
not to drink, not to lose control
I can’t meditate upon you
because it seems I carry no image
it seems it is not you
it seems it is us
to praise you is distasteful
though I think we are lucky
no doubt many enjoy what we do
living and dead I am glad to join them
there is nothing particular about you
I was happy to recognise what you meant when you said
there was nothing you liked about me
we are not operating on each other
we take it as it comes
and it keeps on coming
I cry to have you,
not frightened to lose you,
I’ll howl when I do
it seems you and I are each other
and that, on this theme, I speak for us.
history, philosophy, religion
mean nothing to me except fields of play
poetry, I accept
thought, I entertain friends with
love, I take
A deer and I attacked it.
With pebbles and sticks,
Trying to hit between eyes and stun
It didn’t run away
It stood there
Then began to crouch up, stand like a man
It picked up a stick, fought back
I didn’t know why I was doing
What I was doing –
All this between hedges at night –
A tough boy hands me a shot-gun
With an easy trigger
Fools, I thought, I don’t want this,
Not to kill
I shouted NO
I WANT TO SEE THE OTHER FACE
I WANT TO SEE THE OTHER FACE
The deer changed again, came smaller.
It was Yorick, my son.
Seven years old, with his glasses on,
Saying quietly, as he would,
‘S all right. Dad.
‘S all right.
If there were no polarity
There’d be no hilarity
And God’s broken body
The world we make up
all of us clever devils
taking so long to let intellect go
crystal with a little self
in every eye
I came to you in discord
You took me in love
– death of a fear
And another feather for the wings
Of a young hermaphrodite
I’m a fool
– always afraid of that –
now I know the alternative
is to be a knave
– But these poems are all things I said.
– Yes, and the paper’s recycled as well
Good that I’m going
Good that I’m travelling away from you
I’ll go to bed tonight
With you forty miles away
Heart and body full of you
Smells on me
Births and deaths in me
Not a memory
A present present
The sun is on us
– But you are alone
The sun is on us
– But you are alone
The sun is on us
– But you are alone
The sun is on us
– Well said then, my friend.
We are in the sun
I saw my sister
with a tear in her eye
and I was pleased
to see her cry
for I knew she felt
how much she must melt
to feel more to melt more
to be liquid
I know you think that to have fire
You need matches, paper, wood.
But it’s easier than that:
Just be careless.
You get so fond of fucking you forget
Till finally the body breaks to soul
And you’re content –
Now that the mad bone is quiet
(You know, the one that rattled in the greedy bowl?)
I expect we’ll hear other tunes
we know that we don’t know
and we’re learning that to learn
we must do whatever comes next
I am your master
my mistress is lost in you
I cannot wait
You are not she
The lesson continues A.
The lighthouse is real
Neither the drunken keeper
Or the wicked wreckers
Now, is, body, of Time.
Why crime books? Why – private eye? Why the dead lady?
Dead lady expresses: not becoming. Crime books popular form of intellect – armchair-death.
The detective – the professor, the analyst. The real subject of the book often dead – before it begins, as in most contemporary knowledge.
From prow of viking ship to nose of rocket, we are time travellers, except, of course, that we use space.
We do not love beauty because beauty is mood (heart, Old English)
and mood (heart) is threat to mind-control, threat of living present through which future arrives from heights of Time, interfering with old death-plans of cold mind.
Am I real? Or am I a series of pictures succeeding through my mind?
More of this later.
In writing this down I am acting against my death which is not in the future but now.
Act against death. Act against your greatest fear, whatever it is.
My greatest fear – self-destruction.
My greatest desire – self destruction.
Take it higher.
Remember: we have cut Time in shreds. We are all suffering the desolation of dismemberment in space.
Got to: get – ourselves – together. The city is finished. The idea of the city. Ambition.Safety. Human intellect as god.
Typewriter, books, folders, vegetable rack, muesli, bananas. Alone in the centre of city, smoking cigarettes.
Ended with A. (it seems). Before that, marriage split. No patriot, no voter, no visible means. In last three months I deliberately saw no one except Alison; odd visits to Eric and Bill; chance meetings. Done small work. No plans. Am not resolute. Am . . . . locked in.
All’s reduction; world in head; suspension; contemplation; waiting.
The riddle is considered, but only to be solved.
I joined the world before out of natural egoism. Poetry was my motor or scene. Now I must act in the world out of good-will, for the sake of poetry,
what it stands for; and, alongside, maintain myself as it wills, and as I can.
How many you are
that I love the one of
that pushes me away
and I don’t mind
We are separate
Ignorant of future
Yet better than the lies of consorts,
Comforts of easy tumblings
Remember what we struggle with
‘s not yours or mine
and of this time
We’re not sick but living vessels
that must feel to the utmost
and be broken to be healed
and whatever weapons the powers
shall wield we must yield, and yield, and yield
We may have ended eros.
Anyway, I’m taking this as an interlude –
Love wakens deep into the far fourth quarter.
Child comes up to suck at any thumb.
It’s good to rest the head and fall asleep:
Not to drown the drumming of the drum.
I’ve told you I love you
Have I told you how much I dislike you?
Your selfishness, smartness and fear?
I don’t like them.
Or the fact that your love is buried
Beneath tons of paternal historical rubble.
I am living as if our love continues
for even if it doesn’t
I must live well
whatever weak you say or do
has no effect
is kept correct
by truth in me that’s you
I know you find me threatening
I know you don’t want me to touch you
And, though I don’t know why,
I know you’re mine
‘Mine’ is not possession
We are chosen
To show something to each other.
It is simple and in heaven.
We are on earth and difficult
Hell, I don’t want to live with you
I want to love you
Tell the truth to you
Accept whatever you do
Help to destroy you
Love your tears weaknesses and fears.
I want you to become
We got blurred
Obviously we got blurred;
Can remember nothing from July
Space the dancers dance around
Delight is seeing the other
Through flames against the dark
To play and meet and melt is now and then
To move in there together
Is to slay
If I cry now it’s not from ache
But selfish relief that at last I can love.
What a strange journey it has been
Through the modern obscene.
Cleansing of fear
meanings are near
At last I am alive in a mystery
And a love whose kissing is over
Carries me further than ever before
I’m glad to know:
The truths are true
Tears on my cigarette
How can I smoke it, it is so wet?
How can it stay in trembling lips?
And how can I smile through all this?
Because love is leading me through
Love is leading me through
Tears as hot as cold heart they relieve.
No wonder I shake my head
Pitiful little I’ve given:
Kindness I’ve received
You have burned me out completely:
And I accept the task
The prow the keel the stem
But the sea!
My god, the sea!
I’m an apprentice
and this broken heart’s my test-piece
of faith and strength and skill
We are novices in love, we said
and true enough, I’ve come now
to absence, discipline and chastity
– Have I the strength to disappear?
– Yes, for already you are not here.
two years I’ve done nothing
years I’ve been nothing
I want nothing
I know nothing
now here’s a new nothing
a fond nothing
a nothing I like
my fear smokes tobacco
what does yours do?
the world’s my cloister
be gentle with yourself as well, my son;
not the first,
no reason to be last
in offering acceptance
I cried and couldn’t eat
for love of, loss of you;
yes but, when realised possessed by fear
and got down to wanting mummy –
then, oh dear, back to silence,
lone soul listening,
till other way is found
perhaps then, we’ll
fall in love
You pushed me off with part of yourself all the time we were together. I couldn’t keep myself separate and get on with my work so . . . . .
You lovely little person that I loved
so funny and warm
so cruel and clever
distant and afraid
Do you realise you never said Thankyou
for any of the poems I wrote you
Only admitted that you liked me grudgingly?
Denied me to your friends?
Pretended to get rid of my letters
but in fact secretly kept them?
Like a frightened mouse hugged them
To your selfish chill?
That you resisted and tested me so much
I had to live by the blind faith of our love
Till I was exhausted and had to recover?
And now you finally say you were devoted to me.
Yes, devoted to my image kept curtained in a cave
for you to contemplate and cuddle to yourself
while I stood in the daylight
crying to see your beautiful girl soul
afraid to grow
And myself, after all, like any other,
waiting for an open sign of gladness
Your body and your hidden heart were mine
and loved to love
but your fixed mind and, oh god, your masks
– too strong
you know how fruitful our tears were:
Have you stopped for a rest?
Or to climb back into the seat
of your crazy painted machine
that goes so fast and fancy
and can only stop by crash?
and so what of me (aha!) in this situation?
eventually I lost my self
and am trying the way of nothing
yet still must live for love
Gone through hell, as they say,
But had to have this solitude
To reckon up my parts
Face my rotten lust
Restore myself to my work
Learn to wake up alone and feel good
I sense that if I purify myself
There will be an unknown unfolding destiny
Beyond anything I’ve known
That I will eventually live the meaning of the words
and that friends of another order will appear
– We’ll have to meet again.
– You mean . . .
– Yes, I think so. In another life.
My destiny’s to heal a wound
be a sound
loved the echoes
loved the pool
must die to them now,
and it’s death, not you, that’s cruel
I pledge myself
to aid and serve you
whoever you are
whatever it is
and for the moment,
pitiful little though it is,
understood here now alone
she has turned out for the moment
to be a faithless girl
well, her pain continues
You are not alone
I am here, in your heart
If it ever seems you are abandoned, ask me
And I will answer
Much is up to you
Your efforts are appreciated
But they are nothing beside the fact
That we are here now.
You are not received according to merit,
You are welcomed as a medium for ourselves.
Your happiness which follows is a side-effect.
Remember for you at the moment,
It is the heart, always the heart.
Don’t get too far into solitary pursuits
Or take pride in any achievements:
To love and to suffer for love
Far greater than any spiritual self-discipline:
Don’t forget Alison.
Work on her poems and give them to her.
We are waiting in her
As in you:
We will all meet at some point.
we don’t want each other
but to keep each other in a difficult submerged way.
It’s weakness in cutting the threads,
left with nothing but the truth
(laughter, but nevertheless)
I will eat it
and be it
now, in the midst of phantoms,
I can still think clear
every time I learn something
it is: to obey
I’m only a little person
‘s learned to love a bit
I’m sad now that we’ve parted
our monsters won’t let us meet
to consecrate ourselves again in tears
This something that’s happening
was included from the start
Sometimes I wish I had been born with no imagination.
Every day I cry
I, I, I,
The way my wife and I lived
almost crushed our hearts.
I couldn’t recognise her.
Now, apart, we sometimes
treat each other well
and my monster’s become a crying child
which it always was
Don’t try to cheer me up
Or give me strength of comfort words
Just silently on your shoulder
Let me cry out sorrow and shame
For my brutality
I will be glad to be a puddle for years
And wait for the handful of dry seeds
dear avalanche, who sent you
– not sure.
why, I guess.
Please, no instant trickery
girl came up in the bar,
took my hand in hers,
looked at it, and said:
you are troubled
you’re not living your best
you have a task, get on with it
a woman has been draining you
you are a warrior
you are tougher than tough
what are you doing here?
begin yoga immediately
I care very much about you
She was holding my hand
and reading my face.
We had never met before.
Her name was Verity.
(People being funny about what poetry is and is not,
I should say that this actually happened: in the totally
cram-packed Traverse bar during the Ed. Fest. I was
sitting with the guys from The Scaffold. She was about
twenty, I guess, and just appeared. ‘Verity’ may have
been a name she gave herself. If so, she had the right to.)
And in Edinburgh otherwise known as the Infirmary
And in Glasgow otherwise known as the Flyover
And in London otherwise known as the Exchange
People are destroying themselves
And so eventually the sick mad abstract
with all the elements of a dream
you can make a play and be applauded
or you can, if you like,
and walk on
I feel the empty half-moon scoop
that is the want of you in me
and if you were here
but to carry it alone –
I’m proud to learn a future from it
I learn from myself conjunctions:
Fear – bravery
Love – self-destruction
and coupled in there
poetry – darkness
I am weak and villainous
to have such a purpose
To be a hero –
To melt unknown contradictions in thought
mind in two:
Hungry Beast debates
with Broken Voice
subject: nature of bliss
self waits to hear sentence
and the image of Alison rises
on mat in heart-room
you wakened a giantess in me:
now to be brave enough
to walk her earth alone
you are small and dear
doe lost tiger quick
and honest as a drop of dew
on a whore’s nose
you quiver easily
and look sideways on
you wish a stroke
are frightened of a blow
I know all this and am training to be your servant
in these matters
My strategy (god help me)
is not to wish
till I wish it true
Your beautiful body
not my desire, nor hers, theirs
let me be
till I am
then I will move
where I’m called
My way of understanding things isn’t right
still within the skin
but it’s thin
you are with him
i am here with you
listen listen listen
to why we do
at nos 1 and 2
we are learning what we have to learn:
mainly, not to want
and how to destroy old knowledge
how’s about though
agreeing to enroll each other
in the Academy at no 3
where the guardians are invisible
day and night are the courses
laughter and silence
serve the meals?
Amongst those I seem to be something. Amongst these I am nothing. These are the ones.
the boy is tired
the boy is bothered by desire
he wants a nun as white as fire
she isn’t there
he doesn’t know
how long his trial has to go
he doesn’t know, and:
he’s learned you do not ask
he is tired and troubled by desire,
will have to let his mind go higher –
not a woman to stroke his brow
not a woman to say Now now
not a woman to ease and praise
good nights to recompense bad days
the boy is naked, lone, stretched out:
he is what the world’s about
not one searching for another
burying backwards into mother
not dissolution for an hour
exhausting theft of an unknown flower
let his courage radiate
where invention cannot reach
silently invite a mate
whose hand on hand is speech
since this is my task
I shouldn’t complain
when it rises – again and again – lust –
a figuration in the brain –
fear of empty
wish – to sleep – in vain
you sirens in black
I’m broken gold
can’t even wave
I’ve two ears to hold
– Something is happening to me. I don’t want to talk.
– I know what it is.
– Don’t tell me.
– All right.
But I’ll write it now for later
You are dying
You have the sadness
You will forget who you are
You will become a stranger
You will go far away
You will become beautiful
You will see in me what I see in you
Within your face
The other face is growing
Do you know that you will never be forgotten?
That we are waiting for you to join us
As they’re waiting for us to join them?
there is a bridge reflected in the water
and no bridge
what do we do?
believe what we see in the water
I cannot understand:
what is a nunnery?
what is an empire
what is an axe or a rose?
and there are the stars
and what is this pain?
and to whom do I bow my head?
it’s late and I eat
my emergency pie
but which is most dangerous
the time, or it, or I?
I’m accepting and accepting and accepting
I am held and am held and am held
I do not want, do not want, do not want
I will not ask, will not ask, will not ask
0 my love, where is she?
Who am I to serve?
What am I to be?
I will to be a sword.
A sword in no one’s name
Can have no victory
I wait and am instructed.
I learn from being alone.
Yet I am lost without her
Being only one
peace, brother, peace;
not alone, not unknown,
windows are open
you will hear the call
and answer with all that you are
I am now in a dream
I look and see directly what is in front of me
It is in the dream too
True to one, now true to another,
Your needs are supplied.
There is no lost mother.
If there is some mist in the morning,
Uncreated wanting in the eyes,
Sit in it gently, without fear:
By light, it disperses and dries
Bow to the left
Bow to the right
Bow to the mysteries of night
And your day
Must be one with these
Ah, poor boy, you were drowned,
Smashed and sodden to the ground;
In this part and in that part, dead;
Kept afloat by phantastick head
and now, son, wings!
And you’ll find
As you fly.
Oh many mothers want a little baby boy. Not all, by no means all, want a man-child.
‘ve learned a lot
‘f only can forget
if you would like to find me
I am hidden behind your father
he must die and I:
Do you see how now we’re the dream?
It’s not just that things
Are not what they seem.
But that by choice
And act and voice
We become what we are
In the scheme
it wasn’t you
it wasn’t me
who is it at no 3?
eating humble pie
bawling for seconds:
this can’t be right
after all the reasons,
I suspect –
you and I
were peace and love
by lack of courage
my heart so hard
the training so strict
what am I allowed?
– You have taken wife, children, home.
– Not enough.
– You took work, lover, reason.
– Not enough.
– You have . . . Who are you, for God’s sake?
I have no name for you.
– I am the voice of the dream
You are being asked to become real in.
– I know.
– Then continue. There are many on the road,
Becoming brothers and sisters.
she is a memory now
and a star lost
except for its light
whether we meet again or not
there is no choice
we are composed of cells
and every one tuned to the dream
I am coming to love what I call the dream
it is the world felt as a being
so I am free to obey
sane to be crazy
terror still opens the pit
lust still sometimes
brutalises a day
yet feathers tunes clouds trees and the eyes of friends
sustain far more than all achievement
so, praise the mystery
and let it be said:
we are not man
till earth and stars meet through us,
feet heart and head
I cannot tell by thinking any more
and questions are embarrassment
by ‘Where have you been?’
‘What done?’ they mean:
what have you sold?
who have you screwed?
how many false compacts have you made
with the lewd, the rude and the crude?
I go thin when they ask, and fade
I’m forgetting, forgetting the game
I’m a long-distance runner
and in the city I’m lame.
In these our times
When death’s so rampant
You tend to find
Your ardour’s dampened
I am for taking
with little steps I walk away from the phone:
that you are not at home
not at home for me for half a year
and that now I cannot tell if I am for you
what you are for me – a transformer
that it has been so long now I am beginning to forget
what my faith is,
that is, forget what we were;
that you find it so hard to be even kind;
that I have told you I (we?) am (are?) reaching the crisis;
that we must meet again in love or we will die;
that I fear you will say No
for I know you know all this
but still fill your life with parties, rubble and masks
that you were so dear to me
I don’t need a picture or thought of you in my mind
for you are a living being in me;
that I thank you because it was you that led me to this
that I don’t know who you are,
though I know a lot about you;
that I want you so much that it takes some courage
to keep my life as straight as I do
because I want us to let our angels live again
and where is this party that I could have been at?
that you are at now that I wouldn’t come to if I knew
because I do not choose you from a crowd
if you choose to be in a crowd;
for, right or wrong, weak or strong,
I leave it to you to know,
to win your own knowledge into the daylight.
I am a man, I am companion, not a seducer.
The magic either is or is not strong enough
without persuasion, flattery or apparent daring.
But more than that, whatever you say guides me,
whether it is Yes or No.
After all what I am being taught is
acceptance of fate. You are she
I am dependent upon the stars for everything
cannot ask cannot take
dependent upon the stars that rule us
that we are becoming the ones of
including the love that is being carried for me
in hearts still unmet, unspoken
not ready for it anyway
whatever I wish:
but I have reached that little place of peace
where everything I try that isn’t meant for me –
nothing’s invented, nothing’s real
only clue given is how you feel
oh slender tender thread of truth
that spins us out
gets tangled snagged and shudders
at requests for proof
can never be seen by day or night
yet always so softly comes floating back
over traffic and through TV roofs
when thought’s abandoned
or the heart is light
when you see us stumbling
and when you hear us mumbling
be sure you touch our hands
and say: You too?
Were making love
and I reckon
he/she was near to being born
when I/you, was it you/I, said No
and my body became the sepulchre
of an angel decomposing
so what does the lone man do?
no other than dedicate his life again
: to crystal
: to reception
: to obey
* * * * *