There are no coincidences. Everyone knows this.
All that occurs in this rain-washed, sky-shrouded world
Is aligned to the beat of a greater heart:
This expansive stretch of time,
Reaching out like the alphabet
From the Anthropocene to the Zeitgeist
Is ordered and labelled for a reason
And there are no coincidences. Everyone knows this.
There are frequencies on strings we cannot hear
That buzz and thrum to a separate rhythm
If we cannot understand, why try even to listen?
It gets harder to stretch outwards and explore
As each day tightens, knot like, around our ankles
And shackles us to what went before, until we learn
That there are no coincidences. Everyone knows this.
But the consensus doesn’t have to be true:
If it is written in the stars, we have to learn
To read between the constellations.
The sublime isn’t found in the regular repetition
Of rhythmic rotas, and the lines that border our days
Can neatly be hurdled: and if, just if
This claustrophobic alpha asphyxiation of hours
Can be escaped into a beta of beyond
Where we ignore what is written for us, and
Dance a drawing instead: then, only then, will we find
That we can make our own coincidences. And we will know this.
We are in a gallery, and you are seeing Black on Maroon
for the second time. You are telling me about parallel lines-
which, you say, will rarely ever intersect. Rothko’s lines
could continue on and on and never coincide. I think about
living below those two towers, them hailing out slush, them
ploughing apart whole landscapes; me, pale and craving sun.
And even though I don’t know the first thing about physics, and
even though you’ve memorized the first and forgotten the rest,
I vaguely recall something about infinity, or the earth’s curve,
and I’m sure they always meet eventually. And besides,
the closer I look at the painting, the closer I see that the lines
do meet, anyway, one sucking at the other’s iron shavings.
I see how the oranged high rise blossoms with trees, how Ali Smith
appeared, and jolted paths and tranced a room, how her character
crossed lines in the sand and made a house, how my feet are
crossing lines in sand and making nothing like a house just a poem.
this frail, / Travelling coincidence
Which out of nowhere makes me think
about my mother playing marbles in the streets
of Singapore. Orchids, like an eye mid-blink,
strung up in glass like pink and blue sweets
clattering from her bag into the drain
and down the road. With tears in her eyes
she wandered home in the absolute rain.
When the time came she made her goodbyes
and went back to England. Or Hong Kong,
or Berlin – wherever she ended up I was there,
if no more than a pattern in a marble flung
down a street I might never see. Look—here
you can see all the way from my home
to where I drank tea with you in Morocco.