35. Off We Go

So here in a low winter sun, to write
what the words are saying today. They
hear it all, really they do, even this far
past the absolute point where we all died.
First Mark D was shot, then the police laughed & lied
and it all took off, and then we crashed.
Nothing changed where we are – but what we want
no longer nameless. We can’t utter yet our future.
It sits on the chair and laughs.

Glad to have escaped Tone Vale. Its scars
the tokens of what formed us – imposed power
the Head Which Is Not in its dutiful pleasure.

Everyone’s story is the same. They haven’t
told it yet is all it means
decaff is bad, and missed deliveries
if you have a meeting on a monday
why not? at the granular level the balance
wavers & havers, you can’t tell or understand
go through with it, please, eyes open
it’s a pretty minimal joy isn’t it?
but it may be sufficient here
you’re so keen, then off we go.

A mouse, a mandarin, the talking horse &
the ever-bleeding head of liberty, removed
from underneath the White Tower, stolen out
from its jewelled reliquary in the basement of the Chapel
of the Opened Book.
This is narrative now
which I am glad the laws of avant-garde poetry don’t allow1.

There isn’t any more consistency than this in anything
OK? with gods above and gods below, they allow

whatever sort of cake we choose to eat.

Shots of Our Gracie leading the mill girls dancing down the street
amazing what a sundog does for you once seen aright
optic effects our tokens of hope & delight.

And then they all sat down to tea.

After blue, red, the mouse decides
not to modulate, but shine
delight is clear, bright, we hope now open.



1 exceptions made for some Cambridge poets I believe

One thought on “35. Off We Go”

  1. Tone Vale: built as the Somerset & Bath Asylum, 1897, closed 1995, was the main psychiatric hospital for South and West Somerset. It was a pioneer of ECT and leucotomy, and with a controversial children’s unit. Read Joyce Passmore, The Light in My Mind (Speak Up Somerset, 2010), and on the children’s unit, David Austin, Delivered Unto Lions (Checkpoint Press, 2010). I feel I am lucky to have escaped such places, which loomed in popular consciousness in Somerset, through my childhood & youth.
    “underneath the White Tower”: where, as you ought to know, the oracular and atropaic head of Bran the Blessed lies buried (hence the ravens)
    “with gods above and gods below”, from Sol Invictus, “Believe Me”, on In the Rain (Tursa, 1995)
    “Our Gracie leading the mill girls dancing down the street”: closing shots of Sing as We Go (Basil Dean, 1934).
    you can’t need the murder of Mark Duggan explained, can you?

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