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August 2017

another argument about poetry

Strange flowers, you say, an operatic

they-are-nothing of morning noon or in

the going-dark day. Just in the absence,

you say, when all the others stop they

come to something in the cracks of our

metallic puddles. A dream of tangles. A

load of penitential downspouts. So smart

to have been asleep, approaching the eye

invisibly taken for Terror or rude Joy,

dream’s bubble popping around the kids.

We looked past his fitful signal into an

oval gap but didn’t know how to get there.

as a monument in

motion useless as useful ‘what

were we talking about’ we

weren’t talking you were

staring at a space between

your eyes and the letter F

‘I was considering the sufficient

wreckage of these my later days’

and yet big people still take

little people by the hand and walk

them to school ‘this is love and

is called love’ of parent for

child ‘yes’ this is common among

them ‘but kept from some as if

they knew’ yes not everyone gets


‘yes there’s no work to do’ I

meant there’s no go for some

‘just clouds, you see’ right

good I get it now just clouds


and if you saw me now I couldn’t

justify anything ‘there’s nothing

to do’ doing nothing at any rate

‘but grinding stumps’ hardly that

even ‘then just go to your room’

go to your room yes ‘unfit for

company’ as they say step away to

it ‘a room without books’ grieving

room ‘for grief’ as they say get

over it ‘how strange that you

never had children of your own’

left behind in a quiet room ‘the

world was unmanageable’ nobody

to open the door ‘nobody to knock’

more’s the pity and treeless the

world. ‘I grieve the books I rid

myself of’ books you couldn’t ‘


no I couldn’t so I’d pick them

up to hold and study what

they might have done ‘where

they might have gone’ of course

their way

The sky is only light and brightly now.

One car then another and so many more insist on their own place in motion. 

A friendly and aggressive honk. The risk can multiply and divide.

If I walk the sidewalk, I’m an object subject to observation.

A subject among objects is a king and a queen on substantial pavement.

I’m afraid of the oversight and the judgements that come with it.

The sky completes a circle with a guess.

like one propped up in the elder hostel

whose moronic compilation of difficult messages says

“funny that it was a misunderstanding all of it”

you thought we were hungry after our books, now pale sand …

with others we’re lost in the day, their ideas about light

sagging into their darker choices like whiskers, but

what is it you love in this flat early gleaming, a bird?

he insisted

that’s not true

well, that’s not true

it happens while the grass-

cutting proceeds with abandon or

the bright red engines howl and honk

down the tree-limned avenues of Hyde Park

it happens all the time

an actual experience

I met a young cowboy as an old coot,

and this is what she said, sir:


“The monotony, yes, I just commented on this this morning.

It gives one the sense that to organize and cooperate rests

on the same excitations that form stones—and stone forms.”


“Once you stop it all, there might be a great kind theory to hold you up.”


“All the beauty belonging to itself. These are rough days.”


“Finally, the language manages to recuse itself in these matters.

Since, if he doesn’t feel deeply about anything, he will be forgotten.”


“Otherwise, we’re all unapproachable.”