Not a Greek Tragedy

(for Kev)

With recalls like shifting sand, it wouldn’t be a
Greek tragedy had he lost my book on the beach,

a memoir opened in his hands to a brush of sea
breeze – yet forgetting it there, pages would

have unfurled after waves rose up to layer it out
in its to-and-fro of liquid reading. Or if he left the

book opened on a taverna table when drinking
to a different forgetfulness, chancing Ouzo

after a vignette about Derrida, trying to deconstruct
that hangover before it arrives caboose-first,

someone else could stumble across and discover
the problems of language. But to leave behind in an

airport lounge was the existential gift to fellow
travellers, others to pick up the storylines and

possibly connect – having lost and found like us
too – and we can think it an altruism of a fortuitous

share when bringing a wider audience in to play,
an improvisation with a framing in our names.

William Burroughs’ Cut-Up


This is from The Floating Bear small press magazine (1961 – 69), edited by Diane di Prima and LeRoi Jones, and new to me. With thanks to Derek Beaulieu who tweeted this link to free downloads of all of the magazines. This cut-up is from Issue 5, and there are other WB poems as well as a host of contemporaries across the series. I have only started looking through…


Nearly Moon

The farfetched moon,
a moron,
nearly rotund

and neurotic – its light
an endogenous crescent.

Mulling over this
fraud with its farfetched
parabolic saga.

Tone of the May Supermoon

Flower moon / hare moon /
mother’s moon / corn planting moon / milk moon
who is telling the truth?

Speech illuminating
and cream of the
last trios.

With a supermoon this bright
it would seem impossible to cast doubt’s darkness,
but there are those well versed in deceit.

Final for this year,
but only in its
roundness and this perigee.

Technically, to be
what is, it must practise the least
physical distancing.

The brightest
superlative: flowers and bloom
and hopefulness.

It is the tone that makes an
honest moon, especially when heard for
what is rather than imagined.

Political Moonshot

The moon does
have its own pull, more poetic lore
than its iron core

and a gravity formed
from the debris of its astronomical
birth; more like

another mutant
on the block of hopeless metaphor.
We have been before

because it is,
and within a shot as achievable
as that is too:

I mean,
phenomenal. So this terrestrial aim
is no more than name in

being unfeasible,
more like a photo op than an orbit
to attain, more Luna

than the tic
toc of a countdown that will fail;
poetry that rhymes

just for how it sounds.
There is no fury, and the bare bore
is just this.