Tuesday, 30 April 2013


"His breasts are full of milk and his bones 
are moistened with marrow" (Job 21:24)

The lastest words of philosophy: 
“the river stick
“combat fatigues
“numerological numinousness
“the lonely skylark on its raft
“o mad

When we came
to \ \ the dark cool hall
with a bicycle propped
against its corrugated wall
bare legged red plastic sandals
violet inked eyes

Sun turning glass to river
then the dark moon
is it true the bourgeoisie
are a fascist uncle's whispers?
child with a turquoise whistle /  /
neverything we’ll ever not forget


  1. Mysterious and intriguing poem which invites attention to the several external and internal hints and clues, things unsaid and implied.

    By external I mean the ekphrastic element, the photo which begins the conversation.

    In "reading" this photo I am for better or worse guided down a path which takes me either straight into and through the poem... or out the back door into the bin of my own false assumption(?).

    I "read" the photo, in any case, as an image of elephant grass in the Mekong Delta.

    (I realize that here I am "reading" a "history" as well.)

    The river stick, combat fatigues and bare legs in plastic sandals thus figure in my "plot".

    There would be a faraway, semi-abstract fascist uncle somewhere off beyond the edge of the scene.

    Nothing that has been seen in this picture will (or would or could or should) ever be forgotten.

  2. The image "is" the image of a vanished body - it's a photograph of a piece of landscape art by Ana Mendieta (a photograph taken by Mendieta). (I don't attribute images & I should start doing so. I think I feel that they become something else attached to the poem, & I rarely start with the image. Though interestingly I did here. I'd been reading about Mendieta's work.) There's something about uncles ....

    I worry that my poems continually stage fragmented narratives / histories. That may be to do with how I interact with the blog form: it gives itself to the hermetic lyric.

    "Nothing that has been seen in this picture will (or would or could or should) ever be forgotten." Thank you, that's beautifully phrased. I'm haunted by the a-dialectic of memory / forgetting.

  3. Thanks, Simon, this helps.

    Sometimes a shot in the dark will find its mark by accident.

    The lyric is perhaps a hermetic form by nature. There was the adage about the lyric having the quality of eavesdropped-upon conversation.

    (I believe that was John Stuart Mill, of all people.)