What is the colour
of the world?
The bush flame?
And how should I begin?
a blowtorch on the roadhouse
the pity blues
dogs don’t let up bragging.
In the aftertaste of mourning
are bankrupt sermons ‘twit twit twit’
as the blackbird’s
night trade sharpens
J’écrivais des silences, des nuits, je notais l’inexprimable.
is without fault?
or bluff the summer’s morale.
I no longer have any excuse
for epigrams but they trail behind me.
Each time the coda crumbles
I sanctuary it.
My ligaments seize.
The sound of floorboards mocks me.
The house of labour
turns me loose.
I am the trouble of what I write.
Phantoms from treetops
fall like footprints
the brightness delaying
as beginnings do.
It’s a disagreement with time
and the place of things.
A diurnal shimmer.
Noon melts into darkness.
I wrote silences and nights
We’re preoccupied or helpless.
Hectic broadcasts and think tanks
are the only conversation.
Is sound our fault?
Is there some other source, a charm
a new style we swing on a catwalk
like a charlatan with his magical stutter
with prescriptions for elsewhere.
Something grabs me in passing
a syllable, a sound that becomes one word then another.
I recorded the inexpressible
This isn’t retreat but utterance
over ego, and the fierce doors of this house
turn my trouble loose.
The summer night sky
turns into view.
Buds have become moments.
Pollen begins to drown
and there’s a syllabic noise on the breeze.
Each new dream twitches
like a green twig.
We break, we slide, we shift.
We have secret loves
we hide away
A kind of sanctuary
a kind of tolerance
a charge on the soul (if that’s what you call it).
It feels like whiplash or a liquor never brewed
a springboard, a new enzyme, desire
that drags you out of spasms in your sinews.
It’s not a fault of sound, but a beginning
once begun continues without too much mockery.
lets every irony echo
—there is nothing that is just one—
Just as dawn chorus is not one. Even
single things rescue each other
and elsewhere is also here.
‘And how should I begin?’ – T.S. Eliot, ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’
‘twit twit twit’ – T.S. Eliot ‘The Waste Land’
‘J’écrivais des silences, des nuits, je notais l’inexprimable.’ – Arthur Rimbaud, ‘A Season in Hell’ (my version in English in section 2)
‘a liquor never brewed’ – Emily Dickinson, ‘I taste a liquor never brewed’