Canto CCLXVI

Just for the record, I’ve not seen the link
between artistry and Bohemia
where wild types never quite escape the stink

of patronage. Give me the sturdier
genius of a Stevens, may he brood
on my bookshelf if dull suburbia

becomes my spawning pool, may Wetherspoons
protect me from the five pound pints of Soho,
and I can surmise that a Bexley moon

is still the self same moon that killed Li Po.

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Canto C

The sight of the moon above the tower block
feels like a greeting from a faithful friend,
although it’s just a lifeless hunk of rock.

It brings to mind Li Po’s alleged end,
trying to hug the moon’s reflection,
the endless black fathoms in which he drowned.

It’s easier to seek the adoration
of a million twitter followers than face
another stranger, eye to eye, to shine

your full attention onto them as they
apply the same attention unto you.
Perhaps it’s too much for our minds to take,

the fact of other minds that also view
the storms of photons through the squishy spheres
that sit within the skull, it’s easier to

project a narrow sanitised idea
of consciousness onto the mindless faces
of alabaster virgins, teddy bears,

those countless barren worlds in outer space.

Canto XXVI

The engineer writes haiku on his phone
as machines chug and whirr into lunch break.
This is the greatest peace of mind he’s known.

He thinks of Frank O’Hara, rushing back
to bash the keys while munching ham on rye,
to finish just before the hour hand’s tick

so that the New York poet can sent his lines
to Ferlinghetti’s gaff on the East Coast.
But when the engineer’s haiku is done

he hits publish and then the poem is lost
among its kin that swarm the internet.
He stops for lunch and nods to Li Po’s ghost—

the many works he penned which he then set
on fire before he cast them down the river,
sent back to where they came from, made complete,

to places where they’ll stay in print forever.

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