I recognise myself in pages,

A prison, made of other people's pages:

A fig tree

A New York Street

An unburdening of self into the sea.


I've bound myself in reams

Paper, thin under folded crease, keeps the words in – just.

But a buttress of words soon buckles and thrusts

as a cobra – punch drunk – grasps the been*.



















* been is another word for 'pungi', an Indian folk instrument made from a dried bottle gourd. The kind you might expect to see a snake charmer play to hypnotise a cobra.

At dusk the doppelwälker

through looking glass does tread,

Then smiling, wan, with face half gone

nods passage of the dead.