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HEMINGWAY a farewell to arms

i was

always embarrassed by the words,


glori o us,



and the expression



we heard them sometimes standing

in the r




almost out of ear shot, so that only

the sh out ed

words came through,

and had read them,


that were


slapped up by billposters over other proclamations,

now for a long time,

and I had seen nothing sacred, and the things

had no

and the

that were




were like

the stockyards of Chicago


nothing was done

with the



to bury it.

kafka's last words

probably near low, snow covered houses on an endless winding street, doors closed, the illusion of leading somewhere

is, in a corner of time, a smoky hovel, with bearded men soaking in the washtub and a dying candle and guestless moon

suggesting wet boots on the floor,

a coachman's discarded black loaf.

there is a church in this village under shadow

only because there is a church square;

a narrow place where all is reduced to reference and knowledge is passed in whispers.

here, one can only imagine things that are not the sum of experience, that emergence is possible from the present state;

that a third [psychic] event can occur out of THE finitude OF


from the bitterness of lemons, perhaps, and sweetness of sugar

an event in continuum and newness like an inkpot and pen hidden in a wall's niche, where possibility is elation under night:

"lemonade, everything was so infinite"


The Babylonians invented the zero Which the Greeks banned And the Hindus worshipped Christians fought off heretics with its curves And now it is set to destroy astrophysics As the mystery of a black hole;

A kind of loving opens with Victor Brown In the Yorkshire town, Cressley; It ends with a cold night two-weeks before Christmas;

A picture of William’s army caught in quicksand

Precedes Harold rescuing two soldiers; Which rests next to Stevenson beside a donkey Eating chocolate

Swallowing a mouthful of brandy And smoking a cigarette in time Before the cold disables his fingers;

It would be idle to search for the grass-pea Until the flowers are out

I am told – for it grows in meadows among grass

And it is got up to resemble a grass plant exactly;

Anne Frank writes that Peter thanks her

A thousand times

For helping with French

- but he’s much better at English and geography!

Huxley’s essay on Japan details his arrival at Kobe:

The air was cold and smelt of soot There was deep mud in the streets,

A little while after he had stepped on the shore It began to rain: “We might have been landing

At Leith in the height of a Scotch November.”

Avaricious and Envious Are granted by Jupiter Whatever they wish On the condition that each neighbour has twice as much as he:

One asks for a room filled with gold The other requests a single eye to be blinded;

“All of us, at the same moment”, Octavio Paz declares, in his Labyrinth, “have had a vision of existence as something unique, untransferable and very precious”;

“So it was the janitor”, said the teacher, pushing the assistants away and turning to K., who had been listening all the time leaning on the handle of his broom.

* from an idea of an ongoing poem by Jim C. Wilson

fresh woods

i'll be naked under the carnations clipped between celan and cummings

you'll be tatooed in newspaper print from international air mail presses and we'll meet in the poetry library up stairs and following skin kisses between the wooded bookshelves you'll be fragmented and fully flowered i'll be stamped with the words between us and like suited flares marigold of meadows there'll be a constellation of visitors or vagrant deft scholarships dripping down ankle bones a suited meadow flaming marigold imperfect and fresh

on the myth of longing

she picked at old diaries and looked for your name found it scribbled with an exclamation mark underlined, or the page punctuated by stars; the joy of finding it thought to look at the map to see your house and imagine life on those westward street-names nearby witness the london borough of ealing all its glorious snakes of lanes and cuckoo alleys with late august sun painting shadows on irish footpaths;

she’d cut out pictures and colours from magazines, too which most days said you'd enjoy a farm tractor nestled by sheep, a train cutting through the landscape of cerrara, deep rouge, soft nettle-green, an egg-shell orange, but she wanted to pass them on in the way you speak of things leaving them perfect and fresh without wrapping them up

no icebox only part of the process of being out and making do in the creeping of autumn into time when the fiction is over, the myth boarded up the train parked, the sheep asleep and the longing wrestled, but rested

white canoe (after peter doig)

i.m. joan

there is a light rolling when fences come down

and locally quarried stone bleeds the undergrowth of reckoning:

a stilled train on an empty track

cloud flocks over humbled terraces the green within the heather and the huge bright sword of rainbow


on a process to somewhere else by factories facing north tarmac vibrating the red and ploughed field bends in crystal skies

there is a light

whipped in the thickened grass of mid-September evenings in the pattern of a guardsman's waistcoat

a tiny tree from a distance

the red of the signal stop and the pines under cirrostratus in Northumbria starlings at dusk the edge of hayfields under blue and partings in hair in the loss of folk on a process to somewhere else cows black against green and the solitude of a lighthouse

the last great romantic war

It was a town an inestimable fraction in size

of a real town some miles away under the hills and rains of Austerlitz;

a wooden miniature

in which a shop had little loaves carved from lolly sticks and a puddle-lake homed whale-minnows

by the matchbox church; it was a miniature Wednesday

a little time in the middle of a smaller week

in the crack of the licorice-stick schoolyard gates and the roofs of the farm barns built from book covers in the compressed village in an opening to a short-story I found in a book of stories on an orange seat of a tube train built by Metro Cammell ninety-four years ago part of the D stock wrapping its way through Chiswick:

there it goes past Ravenscourt on a Wednesday in January that I’ll enter in a few moments time ten years ago.

urban history

my weekly planner may come alive when i have a big bounding panther shaped dream of you tonight:

the two-dimensional page unfolding into a wild theatre; orange tigers roaming in moonlight; dagger shaped leaves of green shadowing a beach scene; phosphorescent stars of the night raining down as the birds squalk and cry sharp songs of their nesting and plight.

unsent postcard #2


n that greets Gatsby



a r

n a



o n

before he kisses Daisy after l i s t e n i n g to the stars is an elusive descendental moment

following a vision:

a ladder of houselights l e a d i n g to the pap of life available to the anonymous, the alone; while in the kissing the l i n k to the perishable and the human


must be warm or a form of slow-motion

s n o w slow

new jersey ode (2005-07-16 @ 5:17 p.m.)

are you weary, blue sky, in this easterly, hoboken division?

tickled by the oaks standing in early shadows

do you wish for rain montclair-boonton drops, forever dropping?

you enter into darknesses releasing your song of pascack stars

while the blinking moon hangs heavy over the northeast corridor

oh, blue magician sky scissoring the newark way

- to the rhythm of boy-scouts picking the border at the delaware banks

the sounds of sledding, skiing and fishing in vorhees and hacklebarney

and the ice-cracking on musconetcong - bring me home, lead me to lusscroft

and let me lie there, lovely and lonely

The Rashomon Effect (by Geof Hajcman)

The river is a natural border

In profile you mention this

Before the grandeur of clouds

History is in stasis

Everything is visible below the surface

Look fiercely! Even the water

Eventually ceases to be water

[The Rashomon effect is the effect of the subjectivity of perception on recollection, by which observers of an event are able to produce substantially different but equally plausible accounts of it]

clarification over the phone

In oils, right? Black? Yep, jet black night Deep background, no light save a flamboyant spray of purple for moon With hand-scythed hay, a pressed field as the middle, using a knife Below the veranda of the house on stilts A wooden American-type thing, bamboo colours from candlelight But just the decking in view; Foreground? Yep, But this bit: torn by a tremendous gale and loose impressionist rain Rabid, a man, sanding a rocking-chair With all the diligence and envy of a honey-bee.

writing pastoralles centralle

from the hog-fog of the demi-god came ‘epilogue!’ make it sheen Pythagorean like renaissance diligence en france per chance acute observation not telecommuni-fuckin-cation

‘preface’ said the red-faced ace race at pace in my space give it to ‘em shoeing and chewing trance ‘em by dancing and chancin’, johanessen manicured manipulation not mental masturbation complete neat and sweet off the street

the forget-me-not plot claimed ‘the goddam lot!’ lock-stock and copshop sweatshop and hot bot you twot not the quilled tranquil pastorale but hyperbolic tropic bucolic colonic kaleidoscopic the danger of the stranger, l’estranger tout le mange

so it couldn’t get much better with the editor in a sweater wetter than a jetter on the never-ever lake metier said ‘cut the rope and quash the dope!’ NO FUCKING HOPE - but hun, the sun undone all the un-fun, so we could run!

6 may 08

the blue cat dreams of the planets created for you [* Gk. Kobalt, Kobald: lit. 'fairy, demon']

Cow-cat chewing grassy telescope-bored dreams tuning into the disposition of sea-horses argot smoulder causes of wind, tides of hay and moonbeam quiverings.

Sea-cat non-bedevilled by the pebbly perception in Damascan afternoons comet flotsam the spectrum of gesture nor currencies' shorelines, tidal repetitions.

Space-cat you are nomadic and Arabian sweeping through galaxies and snow-time slickly stepping solar-system shadows bolting across history but always histrionic with dream-grace, rested ease, effortless cobalt.

imaginary ordnance with progressive romantic ornamentation #3 for maddie walder

the wondrous new water feature and buckled radii in Saint Andrews Square with cornered micro coffee house is not enough for us:

let’s meet

under Houckgeest’s classical swan-contemplative, ‘Architectural Fantasy’

in the middle of a mid-week school-trip scene in Edinburgh’s National Gallery

hold our breaths dash through the Weston Link

then gasp at the Academy’s flat-line and faultless Finlay Room airs

- all modernist wash, clean hang peaceful precision of spaces -

only a brief skip from our minds

(pear tree still, creased and


in red leather chairs, dodgem-car backed to the custard sculpted Graces;

or, in Lady Stair’s house

by Burns’ rustic reciting stool where dreaming of a sailboat off to a wild mint and nettle laced medieval castle of peach-coloured quarry eggs

positioned firm on a highland headland with heaven- reflected pools -- the muscular belting

of cloud undersides, asymmetrical armour and trademark Scotia sublime latitudes --

while Aengus Óg spells summer calm on the amorous reach of sea,


eagerly embark upon downstream-tributary-drifting for three days and three nights

like “Diana and her Nymphs’” freeze-frame flight zoetrope-flickering through analogue patchwork earth-bandwidth forests

like the passing stop-frame animated bucket-thrown hooked and silver eyes of stars snagged on space,


viewed on our backs, chests high,

on a handmade bamboo raft,

an amalgam wedded by weeds things unspoken



hands swords of native alumina

and balm of heartbeats

go through cloud-grained quiet rested villages in owl-purple night

tunneled and banked by grasses’ malachite diamond dew with broomed infiltration of ink-wash spreading shadows making a late sunset soaked sapphire sky slip through the fading fuchsia fired fabric

of the moment’s finite fortitude

(falling phantom-like from the furnace of fantasy

in freckles, in festivity in fertility and futurity)

and (in) farmhands driving cattle to a farmhouse under moon.

Old Library, Institute of Geography, 29 April, 2009.

The notion of imperfection

‘The great fact all the while however had been the incalculability, allowing, in the most liberal manner, for brilliancy of change;’

The universe is flawed, All’s past is unchangeable, beautifully so And the dead often speak, clumsily.

We orbit acts of kindness Graft memories to presentness Splice the circuitry of the universe

While acorns hang in stillness Under cloud-racked near-Easter suns That defy causality

[Acorns, being too heavy for wind dispersal, require other elements to spread. Oaks therefore depend on biological seed dispersal agents to move the acorns beyond the mother tree and into a suitable area for germination (including access to adequate water, sunlight and soil nutrients) ideally a minimum of 20–30 m from the parent tree] In literature they have long been a symbol of patience (can take between 6-24months to mature).

[my bergson poem:] not immutability

the discussion o

n the subject of

free will would come to an end

if we saw oursel ves where we are really, in a co ncrete duration where the idea o

f necessary dete

rmination loses

all significance


since in it th


past becomes i

dentical with th

e present and co

ntinuously creat es with it - if only by the fact

of being added to it - somethin

g absolutely new

mount eden the fifth

try to imagine a city with two harbours (siblings or lovers) stretching into the suburb’s sleep:

crippled octopus metropolis crackered city to sing of blitzing pockets firework veined phosphorous lightning with far off fisher-folk morning-star guided and reigned by near whispering November trade winds while every block wades into the momentous musical mystery of sea-torn sparkling southern-hemisphere halos under and above the watery Auckland moon

New Year Hangover Punctum

The gap between what you said and what you wished you knew or felt Did not make the subject of the comportment of your breath, or the locus of meaning half-said Just empty

You played the card dealer as you were painting the crystalline structure of Whatever The emptiness that is working you, and you hate it, Is unreadable to you

And none of this matters

[A camera lucida is an optical device used as a drawing aid by artists.

The camera lucida performs an optical superimposition of the subject being viewed upon the surface upon which the artist is drawing. The artist sees both scene and drawing surface simultaneously, as in a photographic double exposure. This allows the artist to duplicate key points of the scene on the drawing surface, thus aiding in the accurate rendering of perspective. At times, the artist can even trace the outlines of objects.]

[Punctum is a genus of very small air-breathing land snails; ALSO:

[as Derrida clarifies when reading Barthes’ CAMERA LUCIDA – inconspicuous spot – a little thing – is detail/ point of singularity that punctures the surface of the reproduction]

Victorious, Happy and Glorious (with borrowings from Don Paterson’s Rain)

Messengers! As the horse is to the open field The dolphin to sea And the man is to the dream When I went out To gather daffodils In the Spring meadows I enjoyed myself So much that I walked home by the moon And found the skies, once again silent

unnamed by e.e. cummings

Yes is a pleasant country If’s wintry (my lovely) let’s open the year

both is the very weather (not either) my treasure, when violets appear

love is a deeper season than reason; my sweet one (and april’s where we’re)

XIX by Hitomaro

Gossip grows like weeds In a summer meadow. My girl and I Sleep arm in arm.


[Lenin’s seat in the British Museum Reading Room, 1902-03]

the hills are shadows and they flow flow into the time outwith and beyond us

and north bridge eyes

original soundtrack available in july executive producer rooibosch chai the plaintiff and sycamore fold under north bridge eyes and everything else in the world, my friend, steals and then lies

dockyards and cargo, years of solitary-fire-escape-haste radio romances and doors marked private gather then lay waste the minor atlantic dante cries wolf and then (most quietly) sighs for the taste and the quick of the loch of north bridge eyes

conjur a thicket with pond and blackboard resting still use your gaze to etch the time of your awakening if you will not the spirit level and tempest apprenticed first by north bridge eyes but an alka seltza helter skelter which never knowingly satisfies

- the climate saving industry of deepstream technology

conductor solar technik the stealing cameo-logy as clouds in their flocks number in series and fly by; an aperitif, no more, to edinburgh's nightly north bridge eyes

- a widow smiles with menace in a weary antique land

a roadside jay darts selectively from the border truck's rumbling hand great american cities die in the pearl of north bridge eyes and diaries fade-out to the measure of edinburgh’s michaelmas skies

how late the true history and bedtime cartography how small the last mystery and lead-limed bar Socrates how quaint and kitsch the past and its ties seen lovelorn and luckless near noontide babylonian norse brave north bridge new born eyes.

tutorial email

after seeing you in the national [library] yesterday

I had this amazing dream last night

and you were in it

- you won this amazing aston martin car

and it was filled with tropical green flowers

and leaves and things and we had to climb in amongst the foliage

to get to the poetry class

- except when we got in

you drove off to this big white house with massive windows and made us shout the poems out the window.

facebook response, april 09

seat yourself sultanically among the moons of Saturn, cross the galaxy with eyes to this encompassed honeycomb finality:

a cloistered embrace of internal tidemarks, winds, and poles,

the environing blue crystal ball/churn chalk mark of inland souls.

it sneaks and nudges in silver rushes

a maddening dandelion cajoling grace;

a wild lawned island lost laboratory

in the shadows and steppes of space.

detect the morning siren’s call, the rhymes in history, the embedded, half-hidden cushion of crocuses’ spring cartography –

abundant in meadows and the clocks of waste,

moving across the world in horses […]

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