Let’s go then
Because if we don’t nobody will –
I had that this thought for the morning,
We could concentrate our energies on the movement through
Weigh down on the action
Work out where the word becomes feeling
Step over into the traffic through.
Not that it has to be a morning thing,
I work late above the dooryard
The sheer distance
For no other reason
Which is chatting with you
Watching movies with you
In which the most innocent gesture
Or the smallest forgetfulness
Waiting a letter with
This I can say:
It showed me finally
That the actions of a person
Clear and pale
Thus effectively lost
I can say this in the morning
Nobody statements foreclose
No tribunal today
Not this sunshine
No letter either,
Just some life story
Played out piecemeal as
I talk to Simon
Simon sets the birdsong out of Peckham
We listen awhile and
Over the traffic
The Old Kent Road –
Which is the way things go
Things go gracelessly as we go
No one asking today
Nobody auditing –
Which is I submit
The evidence necessary,
Trousers nothing special
Watching the way
The wind blows
In your telltale shoes,
The case against
In the face of
Noticed the world wake
As these societies became more complex
The need for writing
For administrative purposes
For recording legends
Woke up startled into consciousness
All the evidence today assembled argued
And all the while some kind of
Leafing through Mayakovsky
I look at politics in poems
struck at dead of night
LET’S GET THE TRANSLATION RIGHT SHALL WE
I look at politics
And use the word advisedly
I use the word ‘advisedly’ advisedly
Picture us in some kind of ruin
Waiting for the rhetoric to show
And no-one home
I shake hands with Lucy Williams
You standing on the battlements
Contemplating the prospect
And so the sun kicks on.
I think I’ll take that document now please
And then maybe later
We’ll come up with some kind of plan
Since this is serious and you’re so well dressed
Shoes shined like your life depended on it
In the rubble
Maintenant en Français
Oui c’est grave.
You say the word ‘grave’ advisedly,
There is no word for ‘all’ in English,
Standing watching the traffic
Waiting for the agencies to show,
Tout le monde,
Waiting for the world to show
Outside your doorstep
Like lilac like
Standing still and walking
Waiting while the dogwood
At your garden door.
Which it doesn’t happen
The way the lyric steps up all uninvited
Like lilac all
You had to do was listen
Waiting in the doorway while
The world rolled past
Some kind of presidency
One by one
I am no recipient of culture
It’s an agency thing
I listen to Jarvis
Jarvis Cocker plays
At the doorway singing
Jarvis plays Gill Scott Heron
Collis starts up
Jarvis plays Olson
I had to learn the simplest things last
Not an ocean stretching out beneath my feet
Just that it’s a you and I thing
Making an agreement
Following the language
But if we had to start over
Even only air and such
Slate grey April
Nobody roots attached
If we had to start lengthen bodies out
Set down a canopy out of nothing
Table something out of nowhere
Wouldn’t it go like this?
This is my question.
I note down books people talk to me:
Edward Casey, The Fate of Place
Mystic sheer distance
That beautiful abstract reckoning
Sun drift over Camberwell
I write a poem about space
Waiting in case the world
Let’s get the implication right shall we
Standing sampling Massive Attack
Down by the salle d’attente
And we shall construct at variance
Singing in the present participle
Urban today everybody
Like some document filled with other people’s songs
The only surviving parchment of the twenty-first century
Some kind of air crash
In which the only thing remaining
Was a line out of Gertrude Stein
Quoted by Simon Smith
In a train just departed Dartford
Space of time filled with moving
I write a poem about Margate
Folded out toward an abstract reckoning
Assemble this night
In the present participle
Watching the uninvited
As they start to sing
The Wreck of the Deutschland
Set down a canopy out of nowhere
Footage you are now exiting the future.
So the names roll out again
The angel in the doorway clicks his teeth
Because here is how he likes it
Thick with song.
And ready to go again
Because these folds are exquisite.
Only the phone equal
To the next spike
And so the names roll back
San Diego, Margate,
Though nobody will vouch.
What we’re talking here is compound interest
Which stands, at a certain vantage, for love in politics
You do nothing wrong
Maybe you go for a walk.
That way there’s no redemption.
But it’s not impossible
We assemble a line
Picture a strictly ornamental universe
The twenty-four hour news cycle
Your soul at bay
You like it here
Lucked out didn’t we
That historic evening
When the angel of summer waved the whole thing through
And you stood outside the yard
Picking up the remains of the century
The way we asked them to be built.
I have this document in my pocket
Waiting to be rote
And I’m thinking if we could just do lunch
Maybe pick up something easy
Is not allowed in the building.
Watching the trucks
Shake down the evening
Video evidence cannot be used in a court of law.
Please be aware
That any person
With picture taking capabilities
May not this
The way the evening stepped forth –
This broken English
At the outbreak of the century
A sensibility at work
All singing all dancing
Only a notebook in which to annotate
Totally unconvinced by anybody’s back-story.
‘Marcie’ starts up.
Marcie knows everything
There is to know about feedback.
She stands at the edge
Listening to the qualities
You stand alongside her
She pushes some kind of song.
Things to address directly:
The way the story ends.
Marcie buys a bag of peaches.
Hides the rest from the state.
You sing along with her
Some kind of dictionary of sensibility
In the right hands it’s a love thing
Hitting all the wrong notes
A siren, a cigarette
Sure signs of somebody’s emergency
Riffing when the song stops.
Marcie cuts her own hair.
Stands outside the arcade
Learning to trust the way a person tells it
As a blackbird locks down the skyline
Scarcely credible on such a scale
Only this is the way the story opens out
People clustered together
In the Arab spring
Marcie not confident of anything
Save some kind of reckoning
A car horn
Did the percussion section leave you standing?
Did you call a taxi yet Marcie?
Or did the footage persuade you
This is somewhere you could stay
Lined up against the square
Though nobody said so
Capable of a simple
Marcie checks out.
The blackbird sings into
A person’s whereabouts
In the city
Some person’s washing
Leaving them hanging
In the wind to dry.
Air and such
While the networks go down
And you just standing
As the story breaks –
Still no letter
Only the operations.
Good to see you
We should stay up all night
Watch the law prosecute its business
Still no letter
Walking the beach
Watching the aircraft drop
And you dance sometimes and I work
Because all this meantime
What else is there?
Arms laid against him.
Still no letter. Possibly so.
Things to address directly:
In the dooryard momentarily the traffic stops
Too late for birds
And no sound happening
Of anybody’s emergency
You smile in another language
I sense a dance coming on.
Because there is space
Jarvis samples Arrested Development
Crowded only by the skyline
Not a measured room
And not stopped
We decline the implication
One must not have a permit
Push the tables
He slept deeply until morning
Went out into the brilliant
It’s what we should pitch I think:
The ground is now the sky.
Breeze to zero.
A person takes notes
Watch as you dance
Foot out the architecture of the century
Co-ordinated in somebody else’s neighbourhood
Only a history to call your own
Riffing on the direction of travel
Silently annotating the new geology
Pictures told in three dimensions
Even by telephone in dead of night
In all the available spaces
Dapper like the morning
In those tell-tale shoes
A rebuke confronted
with the structure of exception
Clockwise and counter-clockwise
Still no letter.
I use the word still advisedly.
Still you say still
Struggle to get the intonation right.
Stutter over the doorway
A plane goes down
People gather before the wreck.
There must be something we can make of it.
You stand there radiant before the court
The moment you first came through
Impossible to frame
Only this is the way things happen
Eyes set deep
Subjected to examination.
In this broken English
The sun sets laterally across the century
The fugitive lands
Crowd under separate names
Joined in semi-abstraction
You stand and regulate your bearing
Certain outskirts of our cities
Hardly a way back through
Down along the Medway River
Shipyards in the cold
Bystander taking notes
Down by the intersect
Where the language happens
Forms like lilac
Where the uninvited
Stand in line.
And the radio fades
Nobody certain which way we’re headed
Maybe somebody somewhere
Assembled evidence enough
At variance with the theme
Some stack of mistranslations
By the state.
But that’s their story.
I make a mappemundi
To include this point.
Your story air and such
Doorjamb at variance
- FREE: 20 Poets anthology
- 91: NO THEME VIIISUBMIT to C Gaskin 90: MONSTERwith N Curnow, coming soon! 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith Fiona Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith Vladimir Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith Judith Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith Keri Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with Dan Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with Pam Brown 52.0: TOIL with Carol Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with Luke Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with Bonny Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with John Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with Tracy Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with Corey Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with Michael Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with Felicity Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with Jan Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with Derek Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with Kent MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with Ann Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with Gig Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with Duncan Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with Kent MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with Libby Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with Sarah Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with Sam Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with Astrid Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with Sean Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with Alan Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with Jill Jones
- Alex Creece Reviews Marion May Campbell’s third body
- Ivy Ireland Reviews Steve Armstrong
- Magan Magan Reviews deciBels 3
- Claire Albrecht Reviews Manisha Anjali’s Sugar Kane Woman
- Review Short: Simeon Kronenberg’s Distance
- Review Short: Judith Beveridge’s Sun Music: New and Selected Poems
- Melody Paloma Reviews Keri Glastonbury
- Submission to Cordite 91: NO THEME VIII
- Judith Bishop Reviews Phillip Hall’s Fume
- Bella Li on as Associate Publisher
- Alex Creece on as Production Editor
- Review Short: Diane Fahey’s November Journal and Carmen Leigh Keates’s Meteorites
- Review Short: Vahni Capildeo’s Seas and Trees and Jennifer Harrison’s Air Variations
- To Outlive a Home: Poetics of a Crumbling Domestic
- ‘The Rally Is Calling’: Dashiell Moore Interviews Lionel Fogarty
- Jackie Ryan: Teaser to Burger Force 3
- Dispatch from the Future Fish
- Introduction to Cordite 89: DOMESTIC
- 7 Portraits by Ali Gumillya Baker
- Selections from 3 Yhonnie Scarce Series
- Kathy Acker and The Viewing Room
- To Live There: on ‘Dispatch from the Future Fish’
- The Wild Workshop: The Ghost of a Brontëan Childhood in the Life of Dorothy Hewett
- Externalising the Symptom: Radicalised Youth and The Membrane
- On Deep Breaths and Friends Forever: Im/materiality and Mis/communication in Happy Angels Revisited
- Letter to Anne Carson: Work of Remembrance and Mourning
- Translated Extracts from Chantal Danjou