Still Life with Dragonfruit and Absinthe Glass

by Iain James Robb

Still Life with Dragon Fruit and Absinthe Glass


‚ Allgegenwart ist Einsamkeit. ‘. Johannes Jakob Hrodebertsohn



…And bright inside this space, though outside lightfall?

The spillaging of streetlamps does not cross the screens

of these encroaching borders, yet a door still opens:

into what? An inner courtyard behind eyelids opened,

as a fruit cut orange-wise into its quadrants

retains itself. I speak? A voice is always

dumb to mirror what it is, and I retain reflections-

as one thing, unreflected, centers to itself.


Perhaps a while from now, another world of purple flowers

strobes the gossam wall, that hides behind my island vision,

as a universe, in spilling through revolving doorways:

but it does not matter much, it does not care.

My strawberry pear, mine now yet full of want for always

a means to fix its distance, but it has no choice…

beside an inland lift of cloud, that shifts its patterned skyways-

but mine the silent register that mouths your voice:


an aniseed waltz at swinging, out towards repletion,

or the image of our thinking in its own repass:

the thingness of the which becomes its own completion…

a glass of absinthe ordered in a world of glass.

And it is mine there now and you are my acquired pitaya-

and it is still not mine, and not of much of ‘My' the Mass

I make and don't make gravely, for a glass of absinthe:

a still life of dragonfruit, and absinthe glass.


By the tight points of my eyes behind the light white flowers,

at the couch my harder garden you are my pitaya-

hylocereus costaricensis dreaming sidewise, no…

it is the yellow skinned one, gleaming megalanthus:

and her heraldic armature of felted vulvas

circulating roundly on their own blind sun.


There was a cactus once that held your lolite belts of  brothers-  

yet I scoop out flutes of you, and see your eye, pitaya:

and its beads are sown all across no rims of centre-

but the centering is all ways; far across the nebula

all shutters up the dimless milk, that falls at fluttering

of a star: through eyes that shadow forth as stars.


And yet the taste is bland, less bland than tears, that pressed

on days without a falling: now a fall through water.

So her flesh is white, and yet the hidden green seems whiter:

and I find more scent of sweetness in her bitterness.


Thus Eternity fleets past, for just a single season-

where the shade, or blades of substance, beat a deadened drum:

the thingness of the which is its own re-repletion…

               Artemisia, (and thus…) absinthium,

My finger rounds it all: and this concealed completion

makes of its deeper circuit of a rim one sum…    

of just an absinthe glass, that drifts a mass towards depletion,

and it is all it is, and yet it is, it matters none.


I have not crossed inward, thirstless, to the birth of sunbursts:

that match apart their shadows, through the graves of day:

but if a mask I cast flash tranceward it can catch horizons-

as the lights that bask outside, that do not mirror me.


Eternity beats its blight, for just a singled season-

whose second passed its placement yet no second is:

beside the sightless sphere asleep, the sea of listless verdure-

pear-shaped, underneath a lamp-shaped sun, that is        

where moons dissolved again, a crack in glass a fissure

in a skyline clear as acid waves no hands have spun.

No tides my ever-outward; there was no such wind there,

to mirror mind. In opal, my boat floats be-turns

beyond the turnkeys of all towers,  the floats of Fall meet many

falls before they sift for tourneys, of the scupper air;

and it was just a dream at times, yet for the little warning

I've still wound up sifted somewhere, and I have no fear.


…And somewhere, stranded skywards in the blanks of trance,

is the hiding place past swords, where I keep finding me.


Still eternity, asweep here, through a springle season,

as I shadow onward, tracking  mirrored ‘eye' through ‘I'-

is paceless as the gait that strays through seep of reason:

and no tides undér thé transparence, hiving high,

turn above the blank equator just an eye can pass:

refractions of a dragonfruit, and bask of absinthe glass;

We sip, and slip awhile wingless through infinity…      

and do we die as deep in dreaming: do we dream we die?