47. Taking the Royal Road (that’s free to all)

the power of dreams
 the dream of power

it was the day
when the cats went out to settle all the fate of the world between themselves
then went back in & tried to tell us

flesh isn’t gendered
only intent

once we all had the same name
now every name is different

“Large figures, dressed in white, were conventional types of divinity, but they bore no signs of personality, and unless they spoke, the question of identity was left open. Even when they did speak, they could not be expected to be direct . . . usually, they gave hints and riddles.”

Robin Lane Fox, Pagans and Christians: in the Mediterranean world from the second century AD to the conversion of Constantine (Penguin, 1988) p 158


Thank those gypsies w/ their tambourines
or no one’ld ever have left their home

floating down out of the mountains
attention to circumstances
will become delicious

shriek & french & italian
– any language but this!

“Als wie ein Ruhetag, so ist des Jahres Ende,
Wie einer Frage Ton, daß dieser sich vollende,
Alsdann erscheint des Frühlings neues Werden,
So glänzet die Natur mit ihrer Pracht auf Erden.”

Hölderlin (signed Scardanelli), “Der Winter”, in ed. Michael Hamburger, Hölderlin (Penguin Books, 1961), p 259


“We ran, silently, from the grey-green pathways of the mountain pass into the quiet, colourless streets of the city. We sought out friends. We had wandered, maddened and goaded, for all our lives it seemed: now to dwell and live and again to build.”
An old couple, tenderly hand in hand, had sung this song.

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