• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 12
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The self can be projected through space and time,
Angled whichever way you like. Today you might
Already be here next week having finally painted over
The messy marginalia of last autumn’s skirting boards.

Or there in the early 90s finished with university, she
Continues writing poetry, waves on the empty shore,
Imprinted for a while somewhere clean and quiet,
A Selected moving towards the Collected, then death.

Best of all: you taking A Mindful Stance, sweetly
Detached above the swell, where crimpled thoughts
Expand into Ashberyian prospects of cinch, noting
The colors of the day put into a Super-Retina surface:

Your mixed-media project of cork and hospital gauze,
Aquamarine glazing and a single ink-doodled doily,
Stuck to the canvas with a distended cocktail brolly.
To think it all started as a messy pencil sketch.

In the poem, as in the detached imagination, there
Are no burning bodies, no bags, no clutter, no sunscreen
Bottles caked with gritty sand, no vomiting behind the
Bathroom door, no half-read paperbacks left in the lurch.

Maybe this is like asking the apple tree to step away
From its autumnal fruit rotting slowly at its fallen feet,
Or asking the slow tide why it still advances and retreats
Never quite going or getting anywhere by doing so.



Which doesn’t stop sporadic pulses of serenity pulsing,
Nor plankton deciding which variations of blue or green
To colour their watery world, tangentially tied as we are
To the now, whatever that is, wherever that may be.