69. Our Lives Lived Here in the Dark

for UKPoetry ListServ & especially for Keith Tuma

Our lives lived as we know we ought
our lives lived in ordinary disorder
strangeness smiling at the heart of what we are
half-illumination by clumsy ochre light

Lives must now be living tenderly
each worthless object irradiated by wonder
the future always let be postponed
leading us into screen memory in its maze

& laws, inescapable & unwanted
people unaware they are people or dust
everything held into the missing dimensions
the ones that pretend the unconditional

Can we still manage w/in this improvisation?
Spicer found this pressure absolute & fatal
the mind overtaken by particular certainties
infinite consequences bleeding out the brain

Nowhere, I think nowhere, is here
flesh suddenly unapparent, worthless, fake
oh shit! – this total suspension, no
lived again & again just here in the dark

68. Our Lives Cutting Silver in the Dark

Our lives flourishing & dignified
– strangers, inhabitants, all unabased
dapples radiating in ochre lights
a brief smile thanked tenderly
we developed in concert & wonder
the fresh future had not a king
leading this always outside, delight
et leges civitatis, common rule
people, people shine, familiar stars

together, the loneliest, the unconditional
psychotic on principle, some gross improvisation
Spicer or Bonney or Amiri Baraka
demanding change, never certainties
infinite consequences – this is really magic next
nowhere outside, of course too delusion & death
demonic worship on the pavements (fake)
oh hit it! We knew, never did
movement of flesh cutting silver in the dark

67. Statvta et Leges Civitatis Cathari1

The City
the caravan road to the hinterland
routes leading to mines of silver, lead & copper
strong craft activity developed
goldsmiths, blacksmiths, builders
under the brief rule of good king Tvrtko
complete its construction as an urban centre
a permanent orientation of their inhabitants
and their wish to live freely in a common state

Its People
the lowly people of this place
familiar & flourishing unabased
their faces shine – circumstances of power
for they were all strangers once
decided at the national assembly to unite
moving in concert as they had always moved
dignified men & women relishing their lives

The Welcome
soon the Old Stars shall begin their dance
radiating life between us, faint ochre in colour
your results had a social note
a birth, a dream, all in balance
new patterns appearing behind the old
all to achieve this moment

The Union
she said softly to me,
prepare your sword, my love
fall fertile & utter
a smile of delight
to live freely in a common state
reaching the top of our craft
not material goods only

A Future
we ran to the ship & thanked
in the dark woods brief dapples’ll bloom
behind them now fresh points of light
an uneasy balance
carrying that up again



1 Venice, 1616. Accessed online as a part of the CD-ROM Historical Archives Kotor http://poincare.matf.bg.ac.rs/iak/iak.htm

66. All The Comradeship of Deviant Art: A Praise Song by the Crowd of People Welcoming the Vagrants & Migrants Into Our City

for all my students at Harlow & Braintree, a goodly crowd

If we praise you
we praise ourselves
for we are all
the lowly people of this place

If we praise you
we praise our children
for they too bring hope
for what does not change
is the will to change
our children and yours
shall carry that on again

If we praise you
we praise our gods
familiar & flourishing
as fully here
as we or you
unabased we face them
& raise up their images
all the gods
upon the trees of this world
& all the others
their faces shine
let your faces shine
let our faces shine
radiating life between us

If we praise you
we praise our poets
for they were all strangers once
before they fell fertile & uttered

If we praise you
we praise our cousins
the blessed holothurians
lovely & sloppy
never to be eaten
addressed w/ a smile of delight

If we praise you
we praise all the moths
& all the foxes too of this town around

64bis. All My Own Words Now:

some pasquinades & squibs consequent to the preceding, that were passed around the crowds, as is the tradition

to write on paper
is an absolute act

as an author

cadences writing poems
& fertile glitters
hallucinatory appeal finished
dead joy spilt

the water bubbles & coils
falls down then rises
slowly coming up

& the children gather
learning to be serious as old folk
but breaking into bursts
of occasional glee

and we do have free choice
        – in small matters

lolloping along
an English bulldog
agape through carefully bred
inherent malformation

& how can we make these people real?
– w/ names, attributes & no inner being
endlessly repeated yet fortunately
each operation marred

The sun in splendour shines through wintriest skies

– oh, that’s brief, alright