Saturday, August 15, 2009


Along the flight-path of angels was a village called Poetry
where stir the artful dawn-dropped moments pictured

three floors above a flat centre of what green cold
sweat, threatening to tear out your eyes, as lust, bushelled

under a thick rain, pitch black, no flickering spotlight
in the earth's ceiling this morning:

"not the scars of your childhood and childbearing,
not the birthmarks and blemishes of your skin,
not the graying of your hair,

not even the weight of all my burdens upon you"
filled you with dread.

Afternoon lock-ins with bores and villains,
buying hooky gear just to fill the time

" liquid fire - the sun shone that morning,
it was beautiful" exemplary saint - mannequined,
muted and risen to perfection, ready to embrace

the halo from where we slept, still clasped in a watching
angel's palm "that spreads through the sky as my step-
by-step-ladder to say goodbye; for together

we're leaving at the first breath of day, and my love
is asleep and dreams love can be all of life, at best

death, a timely rest - for who yearns to stay the course ...


There was a village called Poetry
i beg you - hold this letter from my heart,

for life well lived: light now in the corner
where a month ago was dark

you who travel too swiftly for me to follow,
lovely poem. Taste the essence and define
what professors of English name sublime

resisting the impulse to slide again beneath
and mould myself to the contours of a body.

What else could we have done?
accomplished other than quietly ending
in sleepy self-embrace, or prayer
simple shadows of the window blinds
tattooed in my memory
by the orange ink of dawn?


There was a village called Poetry
Abode there with we who sing wind-sighs

so many "why's"

trees lining the street
as two recommended friends meet

mist-plumes of water we have sung - long ago
going back, when psychopomp sea-goddesses
with foamy hooves of light, an audience of pillars

in the night; talking till dawn on long golden
strands of Atlantic breakers, in muscular arms -
laid across a naked breast, hailed a cab and went
back to your place; lost the fey D'Arcy my darling,

the swift onset of dawn and dew that rent
my petticoat, its moistness leading to a chill

darling dearest, why must men quit me so?

The sweetest suitors dissipate before the first cock-
crow: a multitude of sins to bloody awareness with,
though it really doesn't matter now I can remember
wild hair and warm smiles,

remember how we sat for hours, affirming love
as true; though our hands were parted

still wedded through this pen to yearning aches,
to be as one with you again my darling.


The above piece is a write-through poem. Write-Through is a form very few poets exercise in. Probably because most will be unaware of the forms existence, but also because many will mistakenly believe it too challenging a form to return rewards; which is not necessarily the case.

The current July/August edition of Chicago's Poetry Foundation's Poetry Magazine (read in full at the link) - was devoted to Flarf poetry, and in an article by Kenneth Goldsmith, Flarf is Dionysus. Conceptual Writing is Apollo, he informs us of:

..the great mass of free-floating language out there just begging to be grabbed, cut, pasted, processed, machined, honed, flattened, repurposed, regurgitated, and reframed - from what it is, into poetry. The radical presence and significant force in contemporary American poetry, asks:

Why atomize, shatter, and splay language into nonsensical shards when you can hoard, store, mold, squeeze, shovel, soil, scrub, package, and cram the stuff into towers of words and castles of language with a stroke of the keyboard?

Being reared and working in the British and Irish equivalent of American contemporary language poetry: in the Concrete school of doing things on the page, it is only chance I stumbled across this compositional method. Virtually all but a handful of cued in poets with a working background knowledge of the more inconsequential threads of contemporary practice, work in the Concrete poetry form, or know its lineage, peaks and troughs and relationships with American poetry as it is now.

I have written in depth elsewhere, of how I came to write in the write-through form.

Sometimes the finished piece will bear no resemblance to its original, because it has been altered at letter level, using the letters of the words, to create new words. The label Found, therefore, only applies when working at the level demonstrated above; which takes - more or less - full lines from a variety of found poems, all being culled from their original context and re-woven into this found-piece.

The poems came from this months guardian books blog Poster Poems thread, whose creator is the much neglected modernist and fellow middle aged radical reared in the linguistically innnovative branch of poetry, Billy Mills. The posters whose pieces I have stolen from, are pretty much all writing anonmyously and posting under the names: anytimefrances, creel, HenryLloydMoon, hic8ubique, Iamnothere, Leemar, Martianisms, OhGodNotHimAgain, Parisa, paulspen, pinkroom, reenimus, Stoneofsilence and UnpublishedWriter.

The only two I know of who are not anonymous, are class agitator CJ Underwood, and woman of international glamour, suzanabrams.


Anonymous said...

Hi Des,
Will seriously need to have a word come Monday. :-)


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