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There is infinity in our words
In our minds
And in our numbers
There is infinity in this sentence
In more ways than one
How do I know?
I know because I know that you know that I know that you know that I know that you know that I know etc
There’s comparatively little paper & ink
So I’ll keep this short:
It creates the problems that it solves, in infinite ways
It giveth & it taketh away
Yet somehow we are still left with it
Or in it , I should say
For who are we without it?
It sanctions the question
Sponsors the answers
It seems to enjoy speculation
It doesn’t stop
Yet it never starts
It is the original contradiction
Which bears our calendars
Winds out clocks
Confounds us with death
It is too big to be invisible
And too small to be palpable
And it holds whole worlds in between
All sorts of worlds, all of them,
Yet it is nothing more than nothing
Turned inside out,
An impostor,
An enchanter desperate for subjects,
A master of mirrors with light & shadow that seizes us in catoptric curls,
An impostor wanted
For questioning:
We have scoured snowy horizons amid snow storms,
Amid sand storm we have ploughed sandy horizons,
We found footsteps in sand,
Shadows on snow
Which we failed to recognize as our own,
We followed imprints left by windy stars
We thought we were perennial nomads just like them,
We called out behind closed eyes into glow-wormed horizons
And with abdication, fear & envy we took the echoes for something else:
An impostor
Yet between the calls
Within resonance
There was silence
Impossible silence
Suspended silence
Differentiating silence
Connecting silence
Silence that does not change yet accommodates out whims
Silence that cannot be spoken yet remains a word
Silence that promotes the hunger of hope,
That drives anticipation,
Silence that is so vast it is impersonal
Yet so finely tuned it apprehends the one
Silence that is something more than everything turned inside out:
A nothing that confound
A grounding nothing
An unnerving nothing
A nothing that is vital,
And the more we hear this nothing the less nothing we hear:
- Patterns of eternity
- Internal symbolism
- Longing
Yet if we were to linger forever
How things would lose their power to move us.
Streets are empty
There are warning labels on the sealed doors of shops deemed unimportant
Funny how easily those were identified
They are ones that made us special
That made us free
Weren’t they?
We’re on our own now, so to speak
Sitting in our rented flats
In our shared flats
With tangible uncertainty
For many, not just the few
Seeing our loved ones in the daytime
Unable to hide our faces in the shadows of future plans
Something crumbles
Something elusive something real something persnal
The telly, the trusty thing, takes out minds off it,
I shouldn’t even be writing this,
Not before this whole things is done (which could be years)
But for now
Taking each day for a day, for a morning
A postman throwing his delivery into a window open with outstretched arms, it takes a few throws, what’s in that box, man? Something essential you bet
Beer sales are up
Evenings are mellow
Spring expects us to be out
But I got drunk with my mates twitching faces on skype touching my glass with the frame of the laptop,  in the end it felt just as lonely as usual
And whilst I may be a fat cat that has to watch birds thru a window
for a while
There are real & broken men & women
Who have lost things irredeemable at the stroke of a hopeful pen:
Businesses they’ve been building all their lives – gone in two weeks
Their little hand made shops
Their lady cafes with cutesy cakes
Their restaurants with home made recipes passed on for generations
They’re serving dust now
While crowded in hospitals some are dying from something that had never even been on the menu
And we can’t help but wonder why
No chef in particular prepared this
It is taken to the tables by blind waiters
What could be more bitter than a taste of unfairness
What story more cruel than the one where the plot is unaware of its characters and the characters are unaware of the plot
See, I shouldn’t even be writing this
But that’s what everyone talks about
And all those words mean something
Yet none of them matter
When we are all hindsighted
Tragically, ironically so:
Think of Columbus sailing west to India,
The treaty of Versailles, and then Chamberlain in 38
Remember Mao exterminating Chinese sparrows in 1958, 220 million fell to the ground from exhaustion as masses of law abiding citizens waved their flags and blew their horns preventing the terrified birds from landing, next year locusts ate their harvests, 45 million dead from famine:
Chronically hindsighted
But we have to
We have to pretend we’re not
If we want to talk to each other
Have dreams about things and people
Express our experience
Our schooling
Our parenting
Now left without clubbing shopping grilling drinking without eating out where we get what we order like
pocket royalty
Without work that we are now relieved to be relieved of
And scared to be restrained from
Without holidays
We get a moment to ourselves
A little moment without noise:
Are we doing the right things?
Do we know what the right things are?
A moment to ourselves to think about our thoughts, seeing the mess inside
A little moment without fun & slavery
And naked lies
our trust in the future
But we have
We have to be ready
To get lucky
After all, we’ve a good history of that
(written after the fact)
With luck it makes sitting ducks dignified
With luck it makes moths defiant
And the dead
Tragically, ironically so,
Just think of the Titanic and the number of lifeboats:
Pomp and luck
But mostly Luck
We are in her hands now more than ever
Sitting in our flats
Sleeping in her shadow
As she moves before the sun
Coming out of nowhere
(be it from a place we call China)
She’s an eclipse our Ptolemys missed
And she can put us all to shame
(including the advertisers)
Children giving in to the will of adults
Adults exposed in the dark
As lighting flashes across the landscape glimpsing primordial phantoms creeping out of the roots like shadows of naked trees but worse
And there’s **** in our pants
And our presidents get to speak of war
But there’s no front line
And borders borders borders are closed
And police police is on the streets
But the enemy isn’t visible
And there’s not enough information
There’s too much information
And we haven’t been taught patience
Proper patience
Or self reflection
So it’s hard to say if we’re learning
Or waiting to fly
It’s hard to say if we’re contracting like a snail
Or sitting on a warm stone like a lizard
Or rising to the surface like a shoal of herring pursued by whales
Yes, we can zoom, but we can’t zoom out
And we’re so used to things getting better
Not just for ourselves but for everyone on TV
But instinctively we are back in our little nests, in our national parks
Looking out the window seeing the world looking the The Scream by Edward Munch
And we notice that we only have ourselves our families our national myth and our government
Which may give us livelihood
And things above and beyond are yet to prove their worth
The cosmopolitan dream failed to enmesh reality
This level’s been abandoned
The deck is being shuffled
We’re playing the 20th century game again
And there will be heroes
But which kind

All my poems are
Wet, stinky, and brown.
Last night was wild,
And I mean it
It was proper uncivilised,
Things were said that were stupid
Lies celebrated
And truth passed around like a *****,
It started slowly:
Smoking around strangers
Starting a conversation
With my beer –
she’s always so glad to see me
she makes me feel so special
like I’ve actually got something to say
More strangers come in
I think I’m overdressed
They’re all wearing sneakers & T-shirts
Advertising one thing or the next
In their eyes I must be a commercial for something too
Something silly, no doubt
Look, we can help each other
Let’s have a drink
What’s your name
I like football too
No, I don’t care about teams ..
Okay, I need a ***,
It started slowly:
One then another drink
Lifting our heads out of the infinite bed of boredom
Let’s see, let’s play
It’s dark enough to get personal
If only we knew how
Another track of dominoes to hear & say
I wish I knew some fascists
Agreeing is so dull & unproductive
Don’t you agree?
Oh, you need a ***
That’s fine, I could use a smoke
Maybe talk to some women
But they’re all so mad at men these days
I’ll have to wear a disguise
What could I be?
A lion
Or a peacock
Or maybe an orangutan?
Perhaps then they will tell me
Why they have consciously surrendered the greatest power they have over men
Was it disgust and disappointment
Or pure prophetic wisdom
Or solidarity with those less powerful among their kind?
I think of Angela Merkel and I am confused
I need help
I need serious help
At the bar
A shot & a long drink
A shot & a long drink
I accidentally catch my reflection in the mirror behind all those bottles and I don’t know who I am
I have a peacocks tail
Lion’s *****
And the face of an orangutan
And I’m starting to smell like a man
A shot & a long drink
A shot & a long drink
To cover it all
Let’s have a ball!
Embrace a lack of sense
Lemme buy you a drink
Tell me about yourself,
I’ll keep quiet, I’m interested
Wow, now that’s a story I’ve never heard before
I should write a book about you
Or a poem if tonight we happen to sleep together
It’s up to you, I don’t mind
We all do as we please
Until it pleases us to surrender,
It’s late, you say
I take it the wrong way and go for a ***
When I come back
I go for a smoke instead
And when I look for you
I forget your face
So I end up reading my poems to whoever listens
Which works just as well
Or badly
I’m using my drink as an ashtray
And then when I turn another page
I spill it all over my texts
Now all my poems are wet, stinky & brown
That’s how I find them in the morning
Stuffed into my pants,
I’ll take the pants to the laundry
Maybe they’ll come out clear & dry
And smelling of pomegranate.
Trains don't run
Planes don't fly
Cars & buses come to borders and reverse
I'm bumping into myself
trying to tell her
I miss her

Films are lame
Music's bland
art is feeble & inert
and none of the book on my shelf
can make me forget
that I miss her

City's bare
shops are closed
someone's getting reimbursed
I await the government's help
since I've declared
that I miss her

Flat is clean
dinner's cooked
and this hangover is a curse
Not that I've allowed myself
beyond all hope
to miss her
Arthur Habsburg Apr 2019
I am a shadow of my former self
or my future self
when I stand in a place
or when I run
I never know which way I'm facing,
I never know which shadow I am.

I move only when my shadow moves,
which ever one it may be,
Yet my wish is to remain still
and watch,
maybe the shadow dares to move
on its own accord,
But when I look down
my shoes
blend with the impenetrable darkness,
and when I look up
I am blinded
by the light that I cannot see,
I do not know which shadow is longer
and which is denser,
but I do know that the best part of me
somewhere between them,
in plain view
like a lamppost.
Arthur Habsburg Apr 2019
As the morning sun cleared
the mist above the fields
harrowed with precision,
as cars hurried their servants
to serve,
as trains were running late,
and bakeries were busy,
a uniformed procession of capped men
and neatly trimmed women gathered
outside a tawny little church
in a sleepy little town
known for its irrelevance;
A serviceman expired here,
this last night of winter.
Whether from illness or old age,
gradually or
in a flash of chaos,
his mirror admits no more
the faces of those who shared his world,
and have now come to congress
and to remain
in the feasting sun of this first day of spring.
As blackbirds hush and tickle bush,
as more cars wiggle and park,
as naked trees pretend to still being naked,
crows flap around the tower that begins
and as pedestrians gaze after passing cars,
the mourners follow the bells into the church,
where they splash in thin silence
and scented air,
and stained glass admits the light of the world in,
as if through closed eyelids.
Arthur Habsburg Apr 2019
I'm an alcoholic
I sleep and dream of drink
I don't care to show it
I don't care what your think,
Come we'll have a party at mine
Come, and don't forget the wine
It doesn't have to be good wine
It could be anything
It can be anything..

cause I'm an alcoholic
I don't care what I drink
could be sweet could be bitter
ah, bitter's much too sweet!
Lets talk about dear ol' you
and all the boring things you do
what goes into my ears I lose
your story's only good with *****,
Oh it's incredible; It's unbelievable!..

Oh, what a symbiotic
you get to be holy
I get to go down with the ship,
Musicians play a dreary tune
I've emptied most of your perfume
We start with two and end with none
I think I've had myself some fun
Yes I did, I think I did..

It's gotta be demonic
this possessive urge
but you know when I'm on it
I don't feel the purge,
The world is a merry ol' place
I think I'm in love with my face
Come sit down, admire my face
Come sit down, don't be a disgrace
You stupid cow, you filthy dog..

Ah, where's the logic?
we're not made of it
You think I'm neurotic
I think you're incredibly fit,
You wanna show you wanna prove
But I already know the truth
from worried man the missing link
that leads to blissful ape is drink.
So have a drink, lets have a drink..
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