Tim Atkins






She of the biggest fins    she  between knowledge and experience
The Petrarchian or English Sonnet  with their separate demands
Namely  the unconditional        namely  a fully functioning mass public transport system
Between two ice ages  in which it is possible to live      for such a short time  among ant leaders
Impacting the death of the novel and the internal combustion engine    the breasts
& all   still      Mediterranean   to awaken on a cool marble floor on a hot morning
The watch saying    it is 5:15am  in the bowling aisles and arcades of the west
There is organic food in the belly   love   and a cure for cold feet has just been invented
Why not feel optimistic for a day   what follows is always  laced with dissatisfaction & wrath
To climb on top of a woman wearing a bearsuit      record & observe it
May well have to be enough   before being overcome by too much sight
Waiting is wrong   
                  Probiotic drinks may prolong life
                                                                                                But they can never preserve it

On 22nd April 2003   when La Vita Nuova filled me
& I ate its wet pages for the first time like a roach
Intentionality writes itself in the mind of the writer
Waiting to protect its young from insecticide & the self
If you beat on this chest you will surely hear a rattle
Like a bean which has cracked with the ice of two women
Reclining in the Judgment of Paris  beneath a tree  in sneakers
I wake up  I put on a blue shirt  I do this  & not that
Defined by relationship and negative capability   all the world
Floods in  alone in a garage   pressing the grey concrete floor with either
A face or 2 feet  a woman fixed a pipe once  to her car then   & then did it
When the knife grew closest to the heart in Somers Town
It was possible to be saved by James Joyce’s epiphanies     
But in this case                  Love                       All he promised was false

Herbal remedies like women’s names for sleeplessness
Instructions read adopt a literary approach
As a cure for attraction to jelly and what can be done with it
The trains rattle authorial teeth      250 poems in to my subject   which is—
The necessity to appear rational when undermined by the weather
The ability to live forever in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary
The happiness confronted by female stacks
The quote which rises      
& which lists
At the end of all thinking there is a life
It is a spoon in my eye & when you read it   it says this
Do not hope to see me here on this Earth
The absence of the word “again” suggests   what?
We never did

In a book called    to speak while dreaming
I am the author on the cover   & my name is Eleni   & I am tall & filled with both
Sturdiness & grace    & in my dream
In which I am with Robert Lowell in a lake
& we embrace   why is it always easier to live in front of the big books
Than a double bed   why does the daughter light
Shine without burning   although my calendar is mostly
Black around the eyes from sleeplessness    & her small arm
Thrown across mine    is written out of the official romantic story
To return the earth to its previous harmony  I will do as Blaise Pascal
Intimates in his stories    which is     resist       this notion
Romantic celebrity lunches    & cleave to the one love  written out of the official story
                                         Beneath the lake
One Daughter Light      where my heart does not break