Three poems by Louis Armand


& William Blake on the Manly ferry

shirtless at bowsprit, big dipper across the Heads.

the poem sought you out,

gullscreech in wide mandala sky, a ravenous

thing. lifetimes pass

though art pretends not to, a burnt stub

on manicured suburban lawn,

once, almost.

Trojan women eye you between the hydrangeas.

pilgrims come & pilgrims go,

less often now communing w/ the dead, who are most

prolific. if all graven images wash away,

vile spots, well almost all.

& cld any of that have happened differently,

now the long afternoon has swallowed the last of its


inside the fallible memory

there’s a caged parrot wherever

you choose to set down, it’s been expecting you it says.




multicellularity is an inherent property of bacteria,

control of the territory by other means.

neither cause nor effect.

neither “capacity for reason” nor “relation of mutual

understanding.” from the anonymous

dancerhythm of the insurgent enters a state of grace.

Pasolini on Ostia beach.

mobile sediments undo the great engineering projects

one drift at a time, there’s

much to consider.

emphasis on drama pretends the mighty tugofwar has a

rope at either end, but history knows only

a singular gallows.




again the sympathetic mountain urges seaward,

endowing night w/ no revelatory intent.

what puts itself on display, moistly prismatic,

tells of alpine mists, perfumed narcissus,

schismatically rendered. a glacially prolonged

steppe-white cadence, their Artemisia.

the migraine swims breathless in the moon, un

responding to first caress, or by movement

of plain air. all hidden resources sing abduction’s

praise, cavernous as emasculated stare. its

skilful vapours distil into the vacuum of space.

departure rushes up like a 1950s black&white

stuck in slowmotion, soundtrack w/ trumpet-mute.

Jean Moreau is walking & walking through yr

dreams but you’re frozen inside the camera &

can’t even cry out. a room’s a diabolically

simple thing, barely escapable. years taking

dictation from the beast howling in the chimney.

a oneeyed visionary telescope-to-firmament.

wind’s rubato, the cuckooclock’s wind-up

solfeggio. switching off the lights didn’t

produce the desired seachange, which necessitated

getting yr feet wet. poet hunched at writing

desk w/ chair. captain on bridge, idiot in box.

done often enough, even the act of breathing

acquires the force of necessity.



Image by Rafael de Nadai


Louis Armand

(2011). His critical works include Videology (2015), The Organ-Grinder’s Monkey: Culture after the Avantgarde (2013) and Incendiary Devices (1993). He is formerly an editor of the international arts journal VLAK and co-directs the Prague Microfestival.

More by Louis Armand ›

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