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  1. #201
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    The Irish Parliament from -

    The Crystalline Heaven

    The new people, the quick money
    Dante's Inferno 16.73

    I sit up here, in the crystalline heaven,
    High as Dante, looking down
    On the dog-eat-dog of Florence, Dublin town,
    Through the marvellous dome of glass above Dail Eireann.
    Coffee is over; a quarter past eleven
    And the deputies file back in. Concentric hells
    Of seats are filling up, conspiratorial,
    Till the banging of the gavel, the Ceann Comhairle
    Shouting for order, and then the division bells.

    As suddenly, the House empties, through its backstage doors.
    Charlie Haughey crosses the floor,
    Engages a woman I know in conversation—
    Still beautiful, still a gazelle. After how many years
    Of marriage to a Dublin auctioneer?
    Above, the forces that govern the universe,
    Light, reason and love, a Dantean vision,
    Stream through the windows. I am alone up here
    In the public gallery, as mid-morning disperses

    Its scattered attendance, snoozing, as if not there,
    Through the luminous room.
    My minister rises. I fold my Irish Times
    And watch O'Snodaigh, leprechaun and elf,
    Nervously scrape the three remaining hairs
    Across his bald patch—him, my immediate boss!—
    The prompter through the stage door of 'Whereas ... '
    A minor civil servant, like myself,
    A lifer, splitting hairs till the crack of doom.

    And darkly think to myself 'Inadequate
    For the business of state,
    A Johnny-come-Lately ...' Afterwards, in the lobby,
    Hearing him talk, relaxing over a fag,
    'Let Charlie soon starting shiting golden eggs
    Or the country's fucked—' I'll know myself a snob,
    A shadow of Dante, the chip on my shoulder,
    Disinheritance, crystallising to heaven
    High and light as the dome above Dail Eireann,
    Sitting in judgement on Dublin, and getting older.

  2. #202
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    It's a -

    Poem maybe

    On Margate sands I connect nothing with nothing
    As our old pal Tom once remarked. These sands
    Are damp and littered, not at all appealing,
    Not like the soft sands of Manfredonia where the
    Italian boys grew onions and garlic for their
    Lunch. Can you imagine how much I wish I were
    There? No, you cannot, my dears. Especially not
    In the little time we have left to us.

  3. #203


    Victor why do you like Wikileaks so much? Or is it poetry that you like?

    I'm stumped.

  4. #204
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008

    Cool The Ecudorian Embassy and Typology Central

    Quote Originally Posted by Riva View Post
    Victor why do you like Wikileaks so much? Or is it poetry that you like?

    I'm stumped.
    Looks like I've bowled you out.

    And as Wikileaks reveals the secrets of the world, the best kept secret of Wikileaks is the Poetry Section.

    And what a Poetry Section it is. Short poems of high quality, suitable for publishing on the internet.

    The internet is made for poetry, for poetry comes from our past in our deep spoken culture, and everyday as we move into the electronic culture of the future, we are also recovering our spoken culture of the past through poetry.

    Literacy privileges the eye, while poetry recovers the ear.

    So our warm muzzle whispers a poem into your warm ear everyday.

    Of course Wikileaks lives right on the edge, with the Americans after our founder as he seeks asylum in the Ecudorian Embassy in the heart of London, just as each poem here lives on the edge of tolerance and on the edge of understanding here on Typology Central.

    And just as our founder, Julian Assange, takes refuge in the Ecudorian Embassy, so we take refuge on Typology Central.

  5. #205
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Adding up the years -

    At the End of a Ninetieth Summer

    They drink their cocktails in the calm manner
    of their middle years, while the dim lights
    around the swimming pool make shadows
    of that world they've almost fully entered.

    Like Yeats's wild swans their uneven number
    suggests at least one of them is no longer mated.
    Added up, their several ages are short of a millennium.
    This means the melting ice cubes are silent music beneath

    their slow talk, and slow talk is how gods murmur
    when eternity comes to an end.
    The way it feels for these friends who amaze themselves
    with what they remember—not the small details—

    but how long ago lives happened and how fast.
    Occasionally, usually from the wives, there's mention
    of the War, as if they'd endured before waiting like this,
    except now there's no uncertain homecoming,

    no life to be beginning and nothing to complete
    that doesn't wear already the aura of completion.
    Listen, they are laughing. One eases himself up
    to refill his drink. His wife, in a wheelchair, wants one, too.

    Another makes a joke about making it a double
    and gets up to help. They are gone so long,
    or not long enough, that someone asks,
    "Where's Bob and Jim?"

    Now and then a tentacle of the robot vacuum
    submerged in the pool breaches the surface,
    squirts a welcome spray of water
    then retracts where it continues its random sweeps,

    until it breaks into the air again.
    Bob and Jim are back, the drinks get passed,
    even so Jim's wife asks, "Where did you go?"
    Instead of answering, he raises his glass.

  6. #206
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    Mar 2008
    In Chile -

    The Pacific Is the Sky

    So torrents of the Seventh,
    Fifth and Ninth. Riverbeds of
    Bach, Beethoven and Amadeus
    rapids of the sky, peaks and pastures
    Estuaries and waterfalls of the Fourth
    tributaries and sounds
    of air, organs, summits
    of Michimahuida, Aysén and oceans:

    —The Pacific is the sky

    Torrents of the sons of Espolón
    Yelcho, lake and surroundings:
    —The sky of Chile alive, spuming
    The Pacific is the sky bearing themselves then the rivers
    that love each other opening themselves

    Like fans swelling until they smash down in the waves
    of the ocean that shatters over the horizon They are the
    ancient rivers note the men looking at them No: they are
    the tides of the sky answer the crests of the Pacific
    squalls coming on among the clouds

    In the foreground receiving the thousands of rivers
    that once went to the encounter of those beaches It
    is the ocean they repeat coming in No: they are the
    beaches of the horizon it is the snow it is us rising
    to find each other in the final torrent of all souls
    the flayed of Chile scream revived among the waters
    This is because I am the sky the Pacific repeats again
    alive blue spuming with love above the mountains

  7. #207
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    Mar 2008
    Strung out -

    At Villeneuve-les-Maguelone

    On this strung-out strand where once the Saracens raided
    and the bishop defended, now only surf whirs in—
    tumble, soothe, and seethe of waves at a slow boil.
    We lie motionless and cracked as driftwood.
    Middle age has tossed us here. Salt sears each wave,
    sand crusts your eyebrows and the rim of each ear,
    and the sun licks hunch-backed breakers with a tongue of fire.

    Hypnosis of foam: the surf sounds endless.
    Nothing is endless. The cathedral of Maguelone
    hulks, a battered shell on a wind-roughed island.
    Seagulls perch on the rafters in the shadow of cypress.
    And if we two, sprawled below on the sand, are burned
    and offered, it is to no god we will name
    and the sea that lulls us is spelling its own end.

    Yet we are given. For now, day is suspended,
    a kiss is a salt mirage in smitten air,
    the brush of your hand on my hip a tremor of sunburn.
    I could see you, but instead I turn my head,
    glance up, and the whole sky hurtles down—and where
    we were, we aren't: just a long horizontal seizure
    of aquamarine. Tide spittle. The shuddering shore.

  8. #208
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    My mind and my -

    Dear Doorknob

    I turned you and you slipped off—cold, heavy

    brass in my bewildered hand
    as your counterpart

    dropped on the other side, baritone clunk
    against the hardwood,
    nothing to say but
    what rose to my lips: "Whoops."

    I wobbled from wine, so

    sliding your spindle
    through the spindle hub

    wasn't easy, the other guests
    tipsy in the living room, oblivious

    to my clumsy handiwork—that goes into
    this that
    like this.

    There is a click, a round
    gold sound that tells me

    I fixed you.

    O, if only
    you could return the favor, repair this
    small defect of my mind,

    some shoddy
    wiring with the on/off switch
    that sinks me

    mercilessly into darkness
    no matter where the sun is.

  9. #209
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Why are we -

    Listening to Black Birds

    eye listen to a flock of black birds jamboreeing high up
    in the large mango tree in my backyard in guadeloupe,
    wonder what they are jabbering about hidden
    within lengthening shadows of twilight approaching darkness
    spreading its wings like these birds when they take flight,

    their jabbering reminds me of black people gathered on corners
    underneath my window in harlem during summers running down
    whatever game their jazzy, jambalaya language offers up
    as food for thought—the loud insistent slap of dominoes hitting tables,
    spiced with boasts of men—women, too—who have mastered
    the sarcastic lingo of tongue-in-cheek put-downs mixed
    with salt & pepper wisdom saucing up air around the game,

    eye have always loved listening to language like this improvising
    solos spit from lips—or beaks when talking about black birds—dripping
    syllables popping through firecracker sentences dropping neologic words,
    sounds into everyday lexicon of hip oral speech—language
    has always been the fuel driving duende/music of my poetry,

    but these black birds are a special case since eye can't enter
    the meaning of their language—are they happy or mad, hungry
    or sad, making fun of humans like me listening to them perplexed,
    trying to decipher—translate—their intricate jabbering music
    packed with jackhammer rhythms—a language so high-pitched,
    so insistent it seems close to frenzy, as if they were discussing
    important topics to themselves, relevant to survival of the globe,

    perhaps what they are jabbering about is crucial for us, too,
    though how would we humans know since few of us listen,
    or even hear anything we say to each other
    when it comes to important matters
    like, for instance, the waging of eternal war
    pollution of the planet with oil—what about the gulf of mexico, alaska—
    the politics of corruption by outright bribery, runaway, rampant greed—
    the list of human deafness goes on & on, dominates the sordid,
    sad history throughout the blindness of the world,

    so why would one think anyone would pause to listen to black birds
    jamboreeing high up in a mango tree in guadeloupe,
    jabbering away about whatever in their jackhammer rhythms,
    in a high-pitched language so insistent it seems close to frenzy

    perhaps a poet like me—or you—would listen to that language
    possibly holding mystery, magic, beauty, if only for clues
    we may decipher from secrets these black birds might know—
    the boasts of men—women, too—who are masters of the sarcastic
    lingo of tongue-in-cheek put-downs, the wisdom saucing the air
    surrounding the insistent slap of dominoes smacking tables—

    what the language could offer up for me or you—if you are
    out there—perhaps, is a thread, a possible connection, where
    we might locate our spirits in a common, fertile space, where words,

    language might be the glue holding communities together in place

  10. #210
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    Mar 2008
    We long for -

    A Peaceable Kingdom

    This dream is too dry:
    it takes moistness to survive
    the night, not broken towers,
    flattened obelisks, hills
    reclining like a sluggish lover
    beneath a sun-bitten sky.
    So this is how it feels
    when the wind comes
    scratching at that door
    you closed: your pillows lie
    abandoned, an erratic landscape
    chisels into the marrow
    of your sleep. They've got
    a sale on plots like these,
    and they've saved one
    just for you. Let this emptiness
    be your permanent bed.
    No king spread these sheets.
    No queen will stretch
    from satiny sleep bearing her peace
    like a cup of blessed wine
    into the day. Oh shadowy
    swiveling angel, is it enough
    to let light fall
    on half a face?
    If a door exists in every story,
    a window in every dream,
    this vacant bed
    might still conjure flesh,
    conjugality, mirrors that glint
    with what could have been: a blue frame
    extending out, a checkered
    pathway in.

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