November 9, 2007

Take fear and call it lust


Grace Weston, Nitey Nite, 2005 chromogenic photographic print

Dream
-- John Newlove

The lone figure leans in the snow.
A rifle is stuck beside him:
one hand is on it.

He waits an approaching figure.
He will decide, when it comes,
to kill or to run.

It is the white centre of the world
his reason squats in.


They Came
-- by Odysseus Elytis

Translated by Edmund Keeley and George Savvidis

dressed up as “friends,”
came countless times, my enemies,
trampling the primeval soil.
And the soil never blended with their heel.
They brought
The Wise One, the Founder, and the Geometer,
Bibles of letters and numbers,
every kind of Submission and Power,
to sway over the primeval light.
And the light never blended with their roof.
Not even a bee was fooled into beginning the golden game,
not even a Zephyr into swelling the white aprons.
On the peaks, in the valleys, in the ports
they raised and founded
mighty towers and villas,
floating timbers and other vessels;
and the Laws decreeing the pursuit of profit
they applied to the primeval measure.
And the measure never blended with their thinking.
Not even a footprint of a god left a man on their soul,
not even a fairy’s glance tried to rob them of their speech.
They came
dressed up as “friends,”
came countless times, my enemies,
bearing the primeval gifts.
And their gifts were nothing else
but iron and fire only.
To the open expecting fingers
only weapons and iron and fire.
Only weapons and iron and fire.


The Weather
-- John Newlove

I'd like to live a slower life.
The weather gets in my words
and I want them dry. Line after line
writes itself on my face, not a grace
of age but wrinkled humour. I laugh
more than I should or more
than anyone should. This is good.

But guess again. Everyone leans, each
on each other. This is a life
without an image. But only
because nothing does much more
than just resemble. Do the shamans
do what they say they do, dancing?
This is epistemology.

This is guesswork, this is love,
this is giving up gorgeousness to please you,
you beautiful dead to be. God bless
the weather and the words. Any words. Any weather.
And where or whom. I'd never taken count before.
I wish I had. And then
I did. And here
the weather wrote again.




-- Potluck flyer by Stereogab

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