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Title: Sympathetic Magic
Author: Brown, Paul Cameron
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Cover Page 1

Sympathetic Magic
Paul Cameron Brown

Copyright (C) 1985 by Paul Cameron Brown

************************************

Cover Page2

"...the language is that of a poet who
who knows what he is doing and how
he wants to do it
                The Malahat Review

"He moves... at the edge of lyric
experience."
                        Quarry

Paul Brown has a carborundum eye for
the most extreme poetic minutia at a
time when most of the younger poets
indulge in introspective rhetoric,
dulling that faint minority of poem
tasters.
                        J. Rosenblatt

"...Mr. Brown demonstrates his ability to
carry images, word play and fantasy through
a poem from beginning to end."
        Canadian Book Review Annual

        ISBN 0-919581-25-0

****************************************

nopage1
SYMPATHETIC MAGIC

***************************************

nopage4
Sympathetic Magic
1985 Paul Cameron Brown


ThirdEye would like to thank the
Ontario Arts Council for the financial
Contribution to this publication.

Published by
Third Eye Publications Inc.
31 Clark Side Road,
London, Ontario, Canada
N5W 5W5

Sympathetic Magic Paul Cameron Brown

***************************************

nopage5
Dedication
"Yours is the earth and
everything that's in it ..."
        Rudyard Kipling

***************************************
nopage6
By the same Author

POETRY
Whispers, Three Trees Press, Toronto, Ont., 1977
Eyeshine, Three Trees Press. 1978
The Long Necked Bottle, Swamp Press, Oneida.
   New York, 1980
Coming To Grips With White Knuckles, William
   Wallace International, Toronto, Ont. 1982

PROSE
The land of look Behind, Three Trees Press. 1980

CHAPBOOKS
Isles & Rivulets, Killaly Press. London, 1978

BROADSHEETS
The Rake's Progress, South Western Ontario Poetry.
London, Ont. 1980

Acknowledgements

Many of these poems have appeared or are
forthcoming in: Amelia (USA), Writers' News
Manitoba. Germination, Repository, Arcane (USA),
Jimson Weed (USAJ.lron (U.K.), Muses's Brew Poetry
Review (USAJ Northwoods Poetry Journal (USA),
Lucky Star (USA), Winewood Journal (USA).

***************************************

nopage7
CONTENTS

The River Cuts a Channel 9
Primavera 10
Sanguine 11, 12, 13
Hamomlette 14
The East is Red 15, 16, 17
untitled 18
untitled 19
Rocking Horse 20
Rouge and Gray 21
Cubits 22
Buzz Phrase 23
Ambergris City 24
Wincing 25
Toronto 26
Crying Scene 27
Night Sky 28
The World of Tezcatlipoca 29
In the Cenote 30
Belize 31, 32, 33, 34
Picaroon 35, 36, 37
The Cable Car 38
IL Giardino 39
Every Man's Hand 40,41,42
Ending Up 43
Offerings 44,45,46,47
Regalia 48
San Cristobal 49, 50
Guadalquivir 51
Leaves of the Cecropia Tree 52.53
Southwark 54
Kublai Khan 55, 56, 57
Homuncular Forms 58
Antarctica 59, 60
Blue-eyed Grasses 61
Moccasin 62
The Bullfrog 63
Ancestral Memory 64
Entry Point 65
Bloodcount 66
BloodStream 67
Rogue and Privateer 68
The Camera Cage 69
Fence Line 70
Adversaries 71
Bargaining Unit 72
Palais Royale 73
Alcatraz 74
When Labouring to Break 75
This way to the Sixties 76, 77
Pogrom 78
Baggadocio 79, 80, 81
Dress Rehearsal 82.83. 84

***************************************

page9
THE RIVER CUTS A CHANNEL

People with money but no fortune
or stomach for the life of an albatross,
watch him soar on self made wings,
fetch the dingy redness
of morning's, first catch
with a long necked bottle
he calls the captain

***************************************

page10
PRIMAVERA

A poem is perishable and,
  like it,
so much of life is spent
  in intervals --
the jarring second
  regaining consciousness,
a post-mortem flick
 of the lank equestrian eyelid
that signals, morning's first crepuscular move.


. . . a little salad consciousness
   about the tumescent room
with the sentient purr of a Cat,
 her musky oils
a green verdure
  lapping primordial scent
to engross a little readiness
  as the day progresses
to its oedipal stage
  and arrested development.

***************************************

Page 11
SANGUINE

"The clock indicates the hour but what does enternity indicate?"
  Whitman

Imagine, being told cubism isn't painting. That
Beardsley didn't die at 26, unheralded as a boy genius
or Corot didn't come to Paris after all.

Imagine, The Louvre without a rooftop, the
intelligentsia sitting down to a ragged table
surrounded by sawdust intellects, Proust not being
able to write his name.

Now that's splendour -- that's in-depth "feeling".
That's emotion to pull your socks or catch the bus on
a brittle day.

It's easy. Try to "feel" the event. It's 1896. People are
perturbed (or so we are told) because the century's
getting old. Time's rushing by. There's an alarm clock
set to buzz at eternity's gate, Midnight 1900.

In probing the malaise that hit Europe circa 1881,
psychologists would have us believe the world grew
despondent. Despondent because a whole hundred
year cycle was about to elapse; despondent because
life itself was running out. Those poor Edwardians!
Poor lovers of the elegant, the late Victorians, belle
epoquers. A penny for their thoughts when
confronting a Picasso without the vantage of
hindsight.

Page 12
If Europe and its child bride, America, grew uneasy in
the declining years of the past century. How then our
era? (These same psychologists pinpoint people's
spirits rise in the opening years of a new century.)
Now we're poised for the "really big one": the
cataclysm. What a boon for the absurdists. Peaches
and cream -- not just one century dangling but the
culmination of ten.

There's even a word for it. Millenium, I'll say it again.
Better yet, a mere two millenia since Christ's
departure, we are poised again on the threshold. Half
& half. Like a party twelve pack -- six of one, half
dozen of the other.

Remember. when contemplating your ennui or
malaise (whichever word is currently most
fashionable), you can hardly figure for less. Eternity's
given to you, my peers, a singular opportunity. And
from what we know of the 20th century. it should be a
grand slam homer. Already the clean-up batter is
staged for action. The bat looms over the plate.
There's so much bad news it's enough to make an
optimist greedy. After all, with this much horror there
is caused only for danse macabre celebrations.

1985. Only 15 years left before the digital watch rolls
over. before the cannon with the flower pops out.

Those forward looking voyeurs of hundred years
back must have felt cheated when mentally reversing
their lot with the denizens of the 20th century.

Page 13
In 1885, you could only gripe about the aging process
of a single tenth of one component. In 1985, you've got
that and the Millenia. Trendy things like atmospheric
pressure, negetive ions, adverse body rhythms and a
welter of other pseudo impressive formula abound to
help out in your witchhunt.

Surprise. 1066 saw comets, omens. signs coded in
stars speeding ecross the sky -- a host of ditlurbing.
natural phenomena to boot. The vigilant saw meteors
at Caesar's, death.

The National Enquirer predicts Australia will break
into the sea. Californians will be upstaged. The
futurists will all need waterwings. The Club of Rome
hints the next years auger more chilling holocausts.

Everywhere, survival scenarios proliferate. Pro-lifers
will rearrange proverbial deck chairs on the
Titanic. Soothsayers will become all the rage as we
plot myriad escapes. A year's supply of canned goods,
anyone?

1885 has a lot to teach us. Umbrellas, a gentle ennui
like fine mist compounded by traffic in & out of the
Moulin Rouge. Perhaps a surfeit of absinthe helps just
as its equivalent does today. "Cheer up, there will
always be an England" doesn't sound so bad after all.

And there's always that one recruiting poster, "What
did you do in the Great War, daddy"?

***************************************

Page 14
HAMOMLETTE
A VICTIM OF INDIGESTION OR PATRICIDE?
MAGIC PAN: CASTLE OF ELSINORE
CHEF: THE MAD PRINCE OF DENMARK
INGREDIENTS: THE TRAGEDY OF THE
HUMAN CONDITION,
SENSELESS FORCES THAT
RAGE AND DESTROY A MAN
COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: SIMMER SLOWLY
A PERFECT SOUFFLE - ALAS POOR YORICK
I KNEW HIM WELL...

***************************************
Page 15
THE EAST IS RED

We can survive a nuclear War. It's scarcely credible, I
know, but listen.

The human race has great resilience. We've come back
before --  all those plagues, the Black Death,
despoliations, scorched earth policies "prove" it.
We're proliferate and we love the sex act. It won't be
hard; human fecundity is a count-on. There are so
many of us, see.

People have overestimated the alleged horror. After
all, (Khruschev pounding a UN table with his shoes).
somebody walked away from firebombing at Dresden.
Look at at all the escapees in Hiroshima. Get the drift?

A Bomb's a Bomb. Really. The really big one (to take
Ed Sullivan'a phrase out of context) is just more of the
same. Try to absorb that logic. Ergo, Ignorance must
be, in toto strength.

Enraged by the impropriety of it all? Anyone who
disagrees with this is coarse and vulgar.

Of course there would have to be "preparations". (If
you have "to prepare" to be a hairdresser, it stands to
reason you would have to ready yourself for this.)

Confronting, facts you can die only once. After that,
the mushroom cloud is anticlimactic. Remember the
Magic Mushroom -- the cult that centred its teachings
around Christianlty's debt to hallucegenic drugs?
Some said preposterous -- Christ a magician doping
his followers and using the Cross as a stage prop.
Amazing. In this world anything is possible. We have
finally created a mutant of people who eccept
anything. And God just another man, albeit a tricky
devil at that. Imagine fooling everyone for 2,000
years!

Next, we'll be told we're actually dead. I know some of
you have already suspected this but it will be

Page 16
"confirmed". Our leaders will troopse out impressive
sounding "flow charts" and backup statistics. There
will even be a special chamber to experience what it
was like before you knew you were dead with
carefully monitored "response signals" to give the
audience a "sensasound" aura just like living through
an earthquake, only fake. Just remember Monty
Python and "possibility".

Meanwhile, in ensuing preparations for war, no
aspect of the psychological preparedness should be
overlooked. We don't have to be told there is no
substitute for victory.

"The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience
of a King." Hamlet knew. So does The Kremlin. The
KGB can "prove" a nuclear scenario is winnable.
According to the most painstaking calculations, a
conventional war of any duration "swings" into a pre-nuclear
stage. That's when the nuclear option
becomes "viable". That's when Gorbachev and the
boys calculate "target readiness" and plummet the
depths of the human spirit.

The East is Red and ready. The Chinese have been told
by Mao 300 million or their number cremated is a
small price for global supremacy. A human dung hill
is being set in motion for another generation of
poppies. Marx lends credibility to this, but with a
different opiate for the masses. The
lumpenproletariat can hack it. Such clever playing
with facts, now I understand genius.

For a young physicist, a 100 megaton blast is the
culmination of the creative spirit. Certainly
irrefutable evidence, this quintessential "spirit".

I read Toronto would be "messy" in the event of a
nuclear strike. Half-baked and eviscerated thinking
Or just inescaspable?

Chin up. We'll survive or at least part of us will. We
really are "malleable". It will be a "transitional stage",

Page17
a step upwards on the evolutionary ladder.
Radioactivity and genetics are at work with one
another.

When the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic device,
the pilot was later to go mad.

Maybe this has already happened to the world and
there's no one to discern the difference.

Maybe a forest of "maybes" has already sprouted and
left a forest of dust clouding the collective vision.

Maybe it's all too terrifying to be taken seriously and
disbelief is the escape hatch. Like the pilot's lapse into
comforting drugs for reassurance or the dervishes
with their Magic Mushroom.

Maybe it's closer to what Harry Truman announced
after "deploying" the first "device" or exercising the
nuclear option in the jargon of the strategists.

They started it. We prepared to end it. No regrets.
Turned over on his deathbed and went to sleep

***************************************

Page18
happy happy
happy happy
trigger

happy happy
happy happy
t

happy happy
happy happy
trigger

***************************************

Page 19

ENERGYENERGyENERGYENE
n    Being alive    n
e      wastes       e
r      energy       r
g                   g
y wastes  B  wastes y
          e
          i
          n
          g

          a
          l
          i
          v
          e

***************************************

Page 20
ROCKING HORSE

Fate is a mahout astride a large elephant, impersonal
as dark sun with winds raging across a desert. Fate is
the old bones of dead Indians being resurrected as
ground mist on the edge of a salt marsh.

And not knowing what to call personal destiny we
resort to the clunker "fate" -- "beggar and king"
enjoying, or so it is said, the dust together. I prefer wet
leaves breaking canisters of restraint and calling to
the earth as little paws digging into the humus of the
sky.

***************************************

Page 21
ROUGE AND GRAY

So much time has passed
& time is a hooligan run wild
littering the streets,
squeezing toothpaste at the wrong end
shredding clothes with a razor blade.

Time is never called into account --
lives like Peter Pan
in a flying abode above it all
scot-free, the surly bandit.

A perilous acquisition --
tiny pinpricks above the eye-brows
crows' feet
-- all too visible rending of
fleshy corners bulbed
to puffiness.

Red-handed,
I caught time
his knife in Youth once more
still-water decay,
brackish trouble-maker
with tint of rouge and gray.

This school-yard tough
still picking on the corner weakling.
braggadocio and upstart
spoiling for a fight
first elbow up,
each foot in a fray.

***************************************

Page 22
CUBITS

A woman is a trough
hardly that -- a river,
a pond to sail a small boat thru,
rapids to manoeuvre.

A woman commandingly tall
receptive as water,
quicksilver to the light
yet mirages all.

Two cubits to an arm's length
a bridge to span,
virgin territory with
the compass needle jumping --
a plane dusting crops.

A woman once, parchment twice
warm treacle to the core --
a marshmellow for a heart.

***************************************

Page23
BUZZ PHRASE

Down on your luck
or, as they say, "financially embarrassed" ...
with little in the way of hope,
less palaver --
drifting in & out of theme parks not unlike
El Paso, Prairie Junction
between jobs, causes and wives...

letting "it all hang out", in the jumble of the moranese
letting despair and the pig iron law of economics
have their say --
shouting "moral support" in the face of the rocky
"well-wisher".

I read all the plots and each ends up as a grave...
once in a single afternoon I even gave up on
golddiggers
who, though just passing through meant dress rehearsal
for the bigger jive, "long_term"
and since when should "patching up and catching up"
make starry-eyed even that slip of a girl, commitment.

***************************************

Page 24
AMBERGRIS CITY

Felt no pain against the water,
the tea-cup sky was a turquoise colour in its wrath
illuminating ambergris city in spot checks below.

The sperm whale population was in decline.
Little or nothing remained of former commitments.
A bitter legacy consumed itself in half-truths
against the sound of upturned lies.

Winding alleys come as the conscience of well plaid cities.
are open zippers revealing the indecent poor.
The fire hydrant lives of cellar inhabitants strain
these urinals
for wretches sniffing out the edge of completed walls.

Gray nuisances, the men in asbestos overalls finding
their way
through the apricot fire of dark, eclipse Park Plazas
with the
stately elegance of empty dinner dishes or red trash
cans
against indentured snow.

***************************************

Page 25
WINCING

You can't go back,
to Love, a home.
memories of Pearl Bailey
even a scatterbrained job
curled like a Morning Glory
about the ribs of day.

Everyone repeats not going back.

A sly ripple on the cape of wind,
peaking with
absentminded glee,
into that bulge from within
your past, beyond your left arm,
called "before".

Dismissing angels, refusing to
court hardship, not to mention
wincing that comes from attaching
the mouth too fiercely on privale parts
and all flasks with firm memory;
wheeling drunkenly on her thought.
her sayings, sculling backwaters of your mind
with little fingers each repeating
sane warnings.

***************************************

Page 26
TORONTO

In Toronto, trendy bars absolutely must have a theme
or at least end in "S". It's an unspoken rule. In-spots
(notice the "S" again) recall the Lost Generation:
Garbo's, Hector's, Lucille's; though less thematically
inclined imbibers can indulge at plain sounding
Sammy's/Charlies...

The really jaded seek refuge at the Parrot or Madcaps
which more than suffice: while those seeking purity in
their draught can take consolation at the common
Brunswick or Molley's.

There's even a Barbary Coast for privateers.
While on the subject of Exotica, Magoos or the Kon
Tiki infuse that Tahitian feeling. For the medic middle
of the road cum professional, it'a basic Malloneys,
Eroticism is both underlying and apparently felt in the
lush decor of Hemingways or, in the obviously
suggestive supple Fingers.

Money could be added to Kissinger's aphorism power
is the ultimate aphrodisiac, Certainly, the jaded or
those otherwise afflicted with ennui and creeping
malaise have a whole city as their ripe oyster. And
what was that Montrealers say of Toronto?
Quennelles. Lady of the Gold Horse wilh Diamond
Eyes. A bottle of Napoleon brandy for the Count and
two Persian lions carved in wood.

Salads Nicoise.

Dinners at Pre Catalan in the Bois, a Toronto
equivalent. A girl named Chantilly burning charcoal
in the forest. I drank a cocktail with the girl of the
white polo coat. Or as the cynic said,my pipe is the
tent, the tobacco the days of my life.

***************************************

Page 27
CRYING SCENE

If you're going to drop the gauntlet
at least put on the dress
of a full warrior --
paint, rouge, lipstick,
sheer stockings and
enough powder to smother
a savage;
then form a straight line
and chant the litany
(wise aboriginals never forgive, you know)
and a good poundmaker is so adept
at keeping score.

***************************************

Page 28
NIGHT SKY

I can call a lake a kettle
a splendid, ivory comb a snare --
tiny feet cataclysms off a mountain.
the night sky my ariel home.

Nothing matters with my heart at my ribs
a collarbone of doubt
inching into my anatomy
Everest-wide.
surging canals into my throat.

I am a pianist plying my trade
playing to waves --
the wharf and pier
passionate onlookers
entranced with joy.
sailors wearing blond caps
in stout approval
their tall ships wavy as decorative pins.
smashed bottles accumulated days at sea
lapping the dock.


***************************************

Page 29
THE WORLD OF TEZCATLIPOCA*
"...the fourth state of water in its plasmic state ...
elements as plasmic water have programmed goals which
they follow like earth encompassing genies.

In soft light
amid hues
of barbaric green.
walled edges of
the cenote's fortress
shine as eyes of the Cyclops,
bloodlshot and ringed
with nettled stone

A break in the clearing --
then ramshackle growth
broken with vengeance
of uprooted vine
confronts the eyes of a jaguar*
(axe-breadth apart)
between canopies of trees
millenial rot,
algae and monkeys
carved in
a jungle setting
the shape of an iguana's room

* the same

***************************************

Page30
IN THE CENOTE

Under a candlelit operetta
of stars,
the vertigo horizon trails
to a shudder
until,
swallows the size of kites
handstand in flying motion
about pools of water
then glide within reach of the cenote,*
cisterns deep
and flagellant
scars in earth
that cradle still hands
of pale, pumice stone.

All the tears
of old Mexico
refurbish this soil,
anxious in blessing
a brittle toil
in sisal* groves
harvesting hennequin*
to symbolize pity
in flat expanse
of Mission stone.

* A deep natural well. The term is of Mayan origin.
* Hemp.

***************************************

Page 31
BELIZE

Giving myself permission to write --
points from Ciudad Juarez
as well as the compass where
taboos complete bayonet-sized memories
a tadpole of doubt gleaned from
shallow Canadian upbringing
sojourning in the South.

A stranger came --
his beard the Columbian hillcountry
mustachioed, the voice trailed off
whisper-thin, steeper than riverine jungles,
the Black Mamba or boomslang before
brief rictus of pain.

I am writing this
with an eye on fortune,
it's not the cantina is dry
just walls above this cot
squeeze the soul like a padre's blessing
between rosary beads
and the day is hot.

Extend a cigarette,
fumble another Spanish syllable
pretend houngans are hombres
Hidalgo just another green wine.

This utterance is mutilating
and paper scrolls are an oath
to take their toll
pockmarking my thumbprints forcing blood.

Page 32
Buenos dias, sênor,
only don't say
S a s k a t c h e w a n
like light over mountains
it's of little importance, really, won't, change the
cabfare one i o t a.

The sea may cough little stars
or an emerald coffin
sit like a lampshade
somethings go on...

Begging your pardon, ma'am
this train would do well
to leave within the hour
and the ferry from Topolobampo
Out of persistence to form
has never arrived early.

"Piratas ingles" read the mural
now I know
seedy tropical ports
harbour wayfarers like the Marlboro man
adjusting his image,
(inspiration may well be poetic
but the instrument's blunt)
bare feet the colour or lanterns,
white ducks
pressed too much
around lean shanks
and a visage
to trouble Satan

Page 33
Taking a profit,
Mozart up in smoke
down the tubes
water reverses itself,
runs counterlockwise
impecunious in this
juxtaposition of a hemisphere.

Poor Mexico -- far from God &
so near the United States
a snippet of history remembered
though the Gadsen Purchase seems
irrelevant. How a propos
& natty too
the moon is a hummingbird
& painted porcelain flask for you.

Backstreets
a la seduction
this demimonde,
a whole continent as intrigue
do twin fists pounding
on a door
resemble gunfire
especially at dawn or
is that just the mule
so obstinate in you--
the poor creatures
pressed into service,
litter the landscape
bedbugs thrown from cars.

Page 34
At the Ponce de Leon
adrenalin with white caps
comes up bare
as language
forced into riot,
not a humble metaphor
in sight.
the occasional half-witted vowel
staggering under the onslaught
pirouetted
clamouring about the edge
-- no easy familiarity
here with the English language.

***************************************

Page 35
PICAROON

Scouting the sun
thin clouds threadbare vests
barely to cover the horizon.
the heat or the day, canine,
a hot tongue's intensily
splashing yr face.

The docks are quiet,
prawn trawlers unloading gear
gar fish at the surface of the water
echoing little fins like
tiny waves green
into the shallows.

Bubbles anchor the lagoon --
changing rivulets into sand
stone walls numbered in shards of glass
trade universal currency
but, beware, the proprietor
cobblestones up to his door,
a candle in the window-stoop,
a creeking gate opened as an afterthought.

Come the picaroon.
Spanish adventurer
lesser known rogue, thief
a smile like piano keys
huevos sent back.

Page 36
I've seen the parfumerie
the snake pit,
mongoose burrowing into the hills
after serpentine fer-de-lance,
want bigger things waves can't splash away,
scrawled slogans to turn
the human tide.

A bottle sits menacingly on the table --
a universe on its own,
imagine her little water droplets
the key to unerstanding
a woman firm to the grasp
bare-shouldered, lips to the moon in twilight.

A coin stepped on in the street
perhaps a sou, a centime, centavo
a petty return
for rusting bells wedding the pavement,
a centotaph alluding to sacrifice
or toil in the fields
to gain one circular disc.

Bring a case of wine
those Puerto Rican girls
are dying to meet you,
the tune belts out
and I see a yacht
riding emerald waves,
think of swimming
out to greet her,
my skin opening the water
like a lizard's tongue,

Page 37
a sheaf of leaves pressed back,
a rock pitched to dislodge a noisy cat.

Who tempers desire
in the tropics
when the air is to eat,
sand golden griddles
a harvest of warm wealth
piled as a miser's hoard,
green & more green skirting the city,
experience my sacred vessel of purity.
Think or cliff vines
mucous, little curtains
then pathways up to the final alley
psychologically taut.

***************************************

Page 38
THE CABLE CAR

The Haitian effect of stars
grinds the blue firmament
like a cable car by night.
transfixing energy.

One hears myriad tokens
falling into a collection box,
then the twitter of bells
before the trolley steps round
winds near Russian Hill

The night sky is a reservoir,
a cistern stored with disturbing
elements prickling the unknown
in a man.

To watch as life forms, more intricate
than lavender curls, so hushed their tones
produce melodies like "Castor and Pollux", "Leo",
"the Three Sisters", seizes any boarding pass
along the remaining train of thought.

***************************************

Page 39
IL GIARDINO

Cloves on the table.
(jardin parfumel
are like ladyslippers
with the jargon
of their sweetmeats
preserved in
aromatic slabs
about a garden wall.

Spanish ivy
is the pastrami
of this terrace --
thick, white walls,
Hispanic style,
unite with prim elasticity
to quicken
Picasso's sunshine
like a ukulele
strumming the grave.

***************************************

Page 40
EVERY MAN'S HAND

raised against them
hussars, cossacks, zouaves
the renegade janizaries and corsairs
in for an indeterminale stretch
assorted soldiers of furtune,
never-do-wells
or just low brows duelling crusts of bread
scarce precious little else
when for pennies more,
(Wellington's phrase)
the scum of the earth
enlists for drink.

Too harsh, I think, of
imagining the Foreign Legion,
kepis of scarlet
the near requisite haggard looks
moving in waves across the desert
pitting date palms with bayonets.
the occasional fellow ravaged by French pox.

Then dunes where water should be --
storms granulating blown particles
twice the perimeter of a camel train
from whence decent men become driven
(as the desert fox) to crouch beside themselves
with poor material,
loose flintlocks and cartridge belts
rotting to the touch,

Page 41
The pitched camp (I see brackish oasis glare)
stars big as pebbles in potato white
Napoleon before Cairo his soldiery and
ragged tents flapping like tongues
of pillaging Arabs (or later battlefield carrion wolves)
on the run from Allah and sweet date wine,
their torpid hooves sound against rock
matching wits grown sluggish in still more drifting
sand.

Noon and blood purring
like a two minute egg
over and over
the spitting, curses
mandatory flies and sweat
trickling on sandbags
from manured lives
little to eat--
C rations a century away,
the good populace begrudging meals
to vagabonds and trash anyway.

See the last desperation
in classic terms
betrayed by finite trength

Page 42
brisk elements raise the odds
a measly temperature climb,
a few more driving winds to stir the pot
animal suffering dancing
like stretched canvas on thin frames.

The leading roustabout unflinching,
waves a stony mutineer's salute.
And somehow it always manages dawn
and the heat of the day wicked,
oblong in an empty stretch
forever, it seems, before bullets
open graveyards
mow the brigand down,
take the corpse for its own
mummifying with precious hands
about the contours of her desert body,
and firm cleavage
oscillating between curvatures of
desiccation, blanket heat.

***************************************

Page 43
ENDING UP

reads like
living down --
a coconut arriving with the tide,
bottles perched in sand
the blue glass
colour or imprisoned dreams
genie of a bottle cap.

Ending up.
the brow or a gondola overturned
sees memories squared away --
the window of the envelope
an all too foggy membrane.

Turning out like
ending up
no check-out time or
non-existant room service
in a flea-bag motel.

***************************************

Page 44
OFFERINGS (A Movement in four Parts)

The night is folly without the moon,
trees blank space against a frontal sky
where lattice work from a bled fish reveals
skeletal markings will not administer
the red jack of hearts to a mistress sea.

Most fickle, the ways of a cockroach
(I don't recommend them) to offerings
of white linen, cold squares atop
a stone diamonded floor.

Palaver shacks drone in ghostly light
communicating some message about eel runs
up the black river, the equivalent brush
of tombstones against dark nightsoil.

Tiny bars open as cubicles.
proverbial flashes of the coming evening,
haciendas to count every blessing.

The road to such places
snarls a dusty pleasure
and will heat thin blood
to boil in the daylight hours.

Page 45
II

Sweat corrodes the cork's emplacement
about green bottlenecks,
its azure breath tossing back
pools of sparse liquid.

I picture ships placed within such bottles
as bannisters along corrugated highways,
seawater rusting from within the steamfitters's
tonsorial edge.

Haze thickens as sails blur to an artist's brush,
then squiggles in the oilpaint of memory --
her sides fashioning red wounds as pigment
surfacing from robotical crustaceans
lancing the bottom of a deeper crevice.

III

My steps clank to the gaoler's key
to become, within, handmaidens to thorned plants
acting as fuselage along the building's exterior.
Afar, a white seagull sits as a bespectacled tourist
gracing a buoy like a madras shirt.

Early stars in an afternoon sky
are expansive in Chateau Lafitte finery,
the Rothschilds of the universe playing
a cosmic baccarat.


Page 46
A girl in a brandy snifter of a dress --
dark, sensual, runs through tomes of my mind.

It's a hall of mirrors there;
the radiating glass of the sea,
twilight splendour in tall grass,
the hands of thick mahogany chairs
grimacing against perspiring walls.

I sponge water like a good midshipman
off the brow of a leaking vessel.
Nowhere are there signs of more than
partial seepage though smoke in the
back corridors exists from the fiery aguandine.

IV

Green palms unfurl as flags
to the accordian of my eyes,
blinking back the strong belt of sunlight
that precisely floods the room.

Sailors jostle this crowd of memories,
some surly lipped with broad tattoes.

A naked mermaid presses her thighs 'gainst
memory door, then winks as the
stellar crust of oblivion takes me.

***************************************

Page 47
In sleep, waterfront toughs are transformed
to storeowners that smile, exchange pleasantries in
Saba.
(French gendarmes embrace on the other side
clustering like starfish on the twin breasts of a beach.)

I devour cups not of riverwater in this cell
but the best pink champagne at the captain's
reception.

With hatfuls of intermittent rest,
blurred outlines recede into mists
thin as General Winter's treasured April snows.

The bony M of a hatpin,
the passkey to better redress of fortune --
the turnstills, concealed within lavabeds of
bladegrass.
beckon upon the return voyage home.

***************************************

Page 48
REGALIA

If the rich are different
they show it with the
clarity of their table
as Scolt FitzGerald decreed,
the breathless hush
of their regalias,
the manner in which wedgewood &
crystal are cleaned to a
polished exactness --
the shimmer of expensive china
no less repetitive than
the hulking boys
waiting in window stops;
monsoon rain pelting
the upper Punjab plains.

***************************************

Page 49
SAN CRISTOBAL

A gypsy sits in a taverna
joking with a sailor
who has left
bridges and maidens
along islets connecting
many a storied sea.

Ducats tumble from a
cloth bag the way
the gypsy remembers
caravans and the
remembrance of gold
steeled against
warm flesh in
moonlight of his native
Umbria.

Lavender is the coat of dreams
along navy blue hemmings
the colour of the gypsy's
eyes, the blood's
colour progeny whose
men of wealth
both are related to.

Page 50
The gypsy stares at the taverna
wall and the ducats gleaming
to outside rain.

Men joke at rail depots
where in a like fashion water
splashes mud into little
arches up a riverbank.

Neither has the shallows of
minnows at his command.
Bunched up stubble in the wind
cannot fathom lies
or gender hope --
it is lhe province
of the mind,
the coinage of perhaps
a Spaniard on discovering
San Cristobal, one's own
sieglo oro in fortune
squandered in sunlight
with only the sweating
Appolosa still straining
on this, the last
taverna ride.

***************************************

Page 51
GUADALQUIVIR

In a pleasureless world, pure pleasure exists.
Particles of sunlight, exquisite with nightdrops &
leaves stringent with dew,
persuade tributaries with inset eyes
to depart down foible breast, sticky fingers
up delightful steps.

And taking pleasure with an earthen spoon --
sipped long and hard down tubes and winding
entrails;
soft relief canyons swollen blood vessels.

For your brow shines like olive branches,
Guadalquivir's river or nectar drawn from golden
wells
and, as such, unfolds loveliest eyes
out from fond embrace not hedging lies.

My darling, amongst flowering cherub trees
a moment shared with you is pretty mirth
accounts all Arcadia's treasures, the
angelic breath off passing wings.

***************************************

Page 52
LEAVES OF THE CECROPIA TREE

And what of privileged things
mur & frankinscense
or sandlewood --
yes, teak, ambergris
or skies of indigo blue
-- I cite these gifts,
caravans offered as treasure
Christopher Wren putting
the domes of St. Paul
in place like worn spectacles
over a cherubic face.

The last gargoyle pops in sight
near Notre Dame
such cathedrals are whitened sepulchre
stones in "stately
pleasure domes
decreed".

I see the Taj Mahal
where Mahatma Gandhi might have trod.

The utterance of a tulip
in every parable Christ talked;
rosebuds gleaming milk
on the breath of lilacs
their shields of lilies
shone where Solomon walked.

Page 53
Song of Songs is none other
than the poet's heart,
water across stones.
a warm sun working double shifts
as a pitchfork stacking memories
on a summer's day
shooing aside leaves of the Cecropia tree;
old Walt resting on a bench
mumbling his prayers.

***************************************

Page 54
SOUTHWARK

I noticed a bust of Shakespeare, an effigy in stone with
latticing to mirror the ages. In the same cathedral a
notation commented John Harvard was baptized here.

Outside, rain fell on tombstones scarcely readable,
their letters frail imitations of what each man
considered important in life.

The church itself breathed renewal. We learn John
Gower, epic poet to the court of Richard II,
worshipped here. I thought of translucence, then muir
and gems the wise men brought the Infant Christ.
Prayer candles glowed and fell into a lap of pyre. The
crypt held Edmund, brother to the Bard.

A handsome altar betrayed sentiments Gray used in
his elegy to another courtyard. My thoughts
continued onto nearby Tower Bridge, steel and energy
dynamos before steps of the multitude released at five.

A sign read no alcohol was to be consumed on church
grounds.

The very name of the place visited was poetic, half
twist of muscle, more pull of silent breath.

***************************************

Page 55
KUBLAI KHAN

The Japanese are coming! Now there's a fresh twist
and just when Pearl Harbor seemed poised to become
another Asiamerindian household word amid
electronics, megavision and technological hoopla.

Surprise. They're outslugging us. We're cannon
fodder amidst cunning economic wiles. The "sneaky"
Yellow Peril (updated and given a newer "slant" from
that 19th century prejudicial posturing) has gone
awry. No death march at Bataan. No G.I. blues. Old
Cornpipes General MacArthur at ease; Inchon still
years away. Where is Emperor Tojo when we need
him? Who remembers the Aryans of the East? A
Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere?

Is SEATO still intact? If Korea, Formosa, Singapore
and Hong Kong are "little Japans" does that mean
we're to become, by default, the new coolies?

Tha land of the Rising Sun is broader than a battleship
listing in heavy seas -- it's the New world Order. Is
North America being prepared as hewers of grain and
drawers of petroleum? Alas, co-existence brings
dilemmas: the Toyota outwits even a "K" car. And
them outpacing our GNP at 6% per annum. It's enough
to rethink the whole scheme of things. They're
obviously in the forefront of the New Economic
Policy. More than just "Nippon" -- that's simply a bad
press release from the dark days of a misunderstood,
but euphemistically labelled "second global conflict".

Page 56
Rubber and fibre sanctions will do it every lime. The
Arizona and Oklahoma will testify to that. Feudal
Japan would never have tolerated it, either. Who's to
say the Samurai are caught up in splilting hairs?
Admiral Perry should have stayed out of Tokyo Bay.
The Earthquake of 1923 just made things worse.
Land's End means more than Manchuria and resources.

Industry and wily opportunism have broader vistas.
The Kuril Islands are a No Man's Land hut so are the
Ainus, a primordial white race of Asia.

What's red and white and comes in with the tide?
America. Compared to the Japanese miracle, it's all
washed up. It's hard to contemplate N.Y.C. as a
suburb of Osaka, but try. The Japanese believe in
communal bathing, so will North Americans when the
recession hits full stride. Remember, shower with a
friend.

Japan is a land of aura. Of mystery. Genghis Khan
never got there in one piece but sent his legions
anyway. Flotsam and jetsam. A bully vanquished.
1066 in reverse.

Britain was the workshop of the Victorian world.
Japan is the Britain of the universe. The whole cosmos
is borrowing her tricks. No one does things so
efficiently. No one has developed cooperation to such
a fine "T". Nowhere is individualism shepherded to
the goal of the "greater good".

Page 57
Pierre Trudeau would be pleased. "To each his own
according to his worth." Sounds impressive. Does that
mean Jaffa oranges are safe to eat -- mercury and
cyanide poisoning notwithstanding. Will the Levant
acknowledge the supremacy of the Orient?

What's new about mulberry leaves? Are silk worms
interlopers, too?

Shogun is too realistic for the narrow orchestration of
facts. The difference? They play to win.

Hands down, Kirin makes a wonderful beer. Sushi
bars are all the rage. Leyte Gulf was more than a
tempura explosion, Corning Ware or "Made in Japan"
labels produced in bulk.

Coral Gardens is a real and legitimate extension of the
Rice Factory idea.

Cipangu. As you like, what you will. No race has
undergone a swifter transformation in the world's
eye.

They deserve more than groping admiration. They
deserve our admirals, too. Who else outfoxed military
victory reversing it from the insides cadaver out? The
peter principle enshrined. The victors don't enjoy the
spoils.

The Lion's Share is as it should.

***************************************

Page 58
HOMUNCULAR FORMS

Cape aux Morts.
Cape Diable,
Points of Massacre
Rocks and Island
a plethora of Wreck Bays.

But on Funk Island, nothing matters.
Brahmsian rhetoric could describe the island
Prokofievian,
the sound of Mars
homuncular forms;
an imperative monotone.

Murrelings fell from cliffs into the sea,
rose and floated in foam, screaming.
Olivaceous puddles.
Murres and gannets, kittiwakes,
sun splashed white & pitiless
light on rock --
argon, radon, krypton
seasons of millennia suffocating
in the original gases of earth:
xenon, neon.
Granite intestines
with its outer edge lost
in the darkness between the stars.

***************************************

Page 59
ANTARCTICA

Perhaps it is needed to balance the planet: to provide
employment for penguins, or that ice in the form of
crystals calls forth tiny sleighs.

That the orange hibiscus be associated only with
deepest tropics
...plankton learn to feed Baleen whales
And iron hulks, off ships. submit to greater Masters.
the elements.

SECOND THEORIES

Another supposition projects...
snowy wastes are but vapour trails of jets and tatter
sails.
Sleet comes only from cannonized rain, galvanized by
inclement ironmongers.

Yet a third hypothesizes frozen energy is stored in the
form of ice caps and that the lost amongst departed
souls are reborn with every powdery breath.

Ptolemy knew of a southern polar continent. Cook
and Shackelton attempted separate conquests. Ships
voyaged as early twentieth century probes amid
frozen stellar space nudging Earth's feet.

Footprints the size of muskets where left as evidence.
So were a few red flags. No oxygen bottles trailed the
ascent like those that packed Everest. Amundsen as
to Hillary across the South Sea face, yet this
Matterhorn has a logic and bedevilment all her own.

Page 60
Norway and Russia claim exploration of her frigid
body. The British in the first virginal thrust
christened Queen Maud Land after a brilliant
courtship. Shades of Spencer and his Faery Queen;
the Kron Prins Olaf Coast, anyone?

Ice. South of the Antipodes. The floor of the world.
Magnificant pack to the drunken global jaw, growlers
or submerged ice packs. A cold porterhouse steak to
ward off the combattive edge, the chronic boxer's
inflamed orifice and eye -- the nosebleed's staunchest
friend.

Terra Australis Incognita, the supposed southern
continent; hoof of the Cenotaur stringing men like a
bow across nipples like raw wounds. clotted hair and
blood on a precipice for a chest.

***************************************

Page 61
BLUE*EYED GRASSES

Rocky shale, pale voile,
sun lighting the
clearness of the bay;
come Moccasin Flower or Grass Pink
unto Painted Cup --
big with primula eye, these septs off wild
and inland seas.

The delights of success and heartbreaks
of failure among the people
in the land below Tobermory;
the rocks on the cold hill,
the lilacs by the doors...

And it was at their expense that this land
came to be supplied
with vitriol, camomile and liquorice,
yea some camphor and jallop,
oft'times basil, lemon or rhubarb
--- all sent from Glasgow
in wooden boxes
stout as pioneer hearts.

***************************************

Page 62
MOCCASIN

Backwoods cabin, opera house
from the pines awash with stars,
skullduggery in place over spruce hills
dredged to open revolt
against invading plough --
where greenest leaves
in a miser's hand part
rotting gold bags
all nugget strewn, step to step,
with water speaking magic
over the sound of countless woodland ducks.

Hocus-pacus, the
flies are sleeves over the world,
black granite pull-overs
slung thru the air
a twinkling of the eye invokes
funeral trees, deerskin in colour,
the rabbit in the hat behind
rich birchbark racing thru the dark.

***************************************

Page 63
THE BULLFROG

He sat with no more compunction
than an eel fish
big-faced, bloated,
the complexion of a beehive
-- a dragnet of emotions
crammed into a tumbler
upended in water.

His eyelids wore the effort
of horseblinders, a
spongy leather
masquerading as torpedoes
and I saw him
lonely at the crossroads
matted grass,
a strip of wire, cold current
chasing flecks about
his person, then lunging green
exploded into rapacity --
caressed the awaiting fly strewn stick
with emerald mouth &
coffers of appetite.

***************************************

Page 64
ANCESTRAL MEMORY

Patrician to my plebian,
aristocratic leaning versus
unbridled backwoods feeling --
distinct Old World breeding
countering rudest colonial lean-to;
his carcass lay, roadworthy,
blinking back cold starlight
with all the forest as silent voyeur
stretching for a look,
black fur & quills
in disarray like Crazy Horse's warpaint
after the Big Horn,
this roughneck Canadian porcupine
shot clean with bumper & chrome.

Then little hedge-pig
quaint as porcelain china cup
half a world away
greeting pints of milk
in an English doorway
half his scalp torn thru
dirty, British lorry choking fumes
the petrol in its tank loose.

***************************************

Page 65
ENTRY POINT

Ants colonized it
-- huge abodes littered with the dead
(leaves, sticks, the occasional granulated insect
piled high, totemic-fashion)
reaping a fortune in scenery,
though probably not food Ojibways were next --
their tell-tale encampment by
pocket-sized waterfall,
inlets off a winding cataract
& moss, loam-thick with black soil
a future arboreal dream
inching over rock, darling crevice
for northern orchid, then kiss
of red death the hybrid trillium
& more sinister cousin,
jack-in-the-pulpit
for Indian foragers.

Animistic limestone shone hands,
poked thru the forest with stealth,
petroglyphic lava beds
-- a cougar pouncing --
runic carvings the cold in the
Giant's stone nostrils billowing
off the lake like a presence.

***************************************

Page 66
BLOODCOUNT

My mind had almost died.

It had refused a game of tag on a common
with surly children and they steadfastly took revenge.

My fate like Blondin's walk across Niagara
saw cataracts looming large,
hiss & foam,
then visions of serpents,
farawy monsters &
inner tension of rocks opening.

The churned, brown water opened like a basket before me.
Maurading bubbles took on elephantine shapes,
my barrel creeked.
Faraway, the edge & drop yawned in indifferent harmony.
The brown walls of my fortress barrel became like palates
& sutures of my skull imprisoning the brain;
the trickle of invading water ever a reminder.

The close of the story?
Nothing. What is there to record after a river passes?
What remains of things unseen, of antelopes in flight?

The shroud of Monte Cristo tossed carelessly into
sea
did not fall open to the touch but was knifed with rifle
force.

***************************************

Page 67
BLOODSTREAM

Camping out, a miraculous thing happened.
The kaleidoscope of vision was focused on a precipice,
caught endangered water about to fall
under microscopic attention.

Moisture was shortlived; so, too, congealed lava
sheets
& bedrock over which the water flowed.
The cabin in the distance seemed prisoner to mist
while a rainbow gathered its wits for the next
performance.
Nowhere did leaves intrude though a fly made
headway up a glass pane
embedded in wood like antidiluvian plants have been
known to seek amber.

In their chorus, other flies droned then ran up & down
the ledge.
In the iate sunshine of the day, a bastardized vision of
dirt farmers,
pioneers imprisoned in similar toil.

***************************************

Page 68
ROGUE AND PRIVATEER

The Squirrel, a corsair,
rides the wind black arm
of a pressing sea,

Tribal hostilities finished,
she slinks into port.

Traveling lightly across open ground,
a squirrel upends a brigand sapling.

Grappling the ragged ends of a thicket
with riggings shredded by heavy wind and storm,
the arboreal sloop ascends to the highest mast;
a bush re-taken, the Crow's, Nest reconnointered.

***************************************

Page 69
THE CAMERA CAGE
As a child, all common sense decreed
pirates wore dear teeth --
enamel white, with tusks to rout an elephant
(the result from eating carrot sticks, I was told)
-- not a solitary doubt clutched my mind
ivory mingled naturally with black cord and sash
in the brain's Bluebearded eye.

Then, it was so matter of fact
like taking sausage to bed,
saying a proper good night
for the wisdom of the mother-provider
was similar to a pirate chief.

The let-down came in advanced picture book form,
childhood crisis accelerated on seeing
Kidd brain a member of his lusty crew
but the upstart taking the beating
was toothless and sore
no arcanely romantic rake at all,
more like a strange woman in the park
with whom no one dared to speak.

***************************************

Page 70
FENCE LINE

That Captain Kidd scribbling of rock in the fields
yellowed bristle of pages
back of a farm where
piratical breaking of land knocks
clean holes in the soil,
gypsy dancers vernal growth before
a spy-glass hour moon.

And black print smudged
on a thumb, a child's glossary of tales
thick with terror
before the faceless wretch
crawls for grog,
his peg-leg
in step with
one part of my brain
Old Phew hardly
any Smee from Peter Pan
but the holocaust --
the raven in the tree
eyeing the baby Treasure Island,
that fledgling reason
butchering both nostrils
at the skunk cabbage whose nectar
is the prize of cemeteries
& wild reunion of the bees.

***************************************

Page 71
ADVERSARIES

He held his hands like plastic --
his vestments the finer
calling of his trade,
vocation as modern strummer
of Nature's laws
Engineer in brief --
wine glass in hand
bestowing the more salient points
of mawkish disbelief with
cigarette to numb the spine.

The Reverend
looked down on fire,
caught papryus smoke in the bellows
of his chest,
made laundry of
the Plumber's intellect --
tore savage parchment
from the soft cheesecutter's
contemporary breath.

***************************************

Page 72
BARGAINING UNIT

The man about to become a sparrow
is shouting his head off
wearing green trousers
with red eyes framing mustier tweed,
he lambasts the lad
for not conducting
his person properly
in showing up for work
in a white shirt.

The fact the future labour
requires only lifting boxes
to a shed
is a fine point
about as important
as the man himself
who has transformed
himself into that sparrow
where several would not
span the breadth of a
bigger man's hand
or four could be had
in the Biblical sense
for less than a penny.

***************************************

Page 73
PALAIS ROYALE

The night cold as nuggets, dark as acorn,
against your chest; snow falling
like abandoned echoes releasing energy
into the spyglass, umbrella moon.

A solitary figure trapping hapless sparrows
not in a net but with his footprints
doubling as dungeons against the sun --
here & there rusting eavestroughs ballooning
into avenging shadows their harpsichord voices
spun on dreams Dick Whittington once used to buy a
cat.

And once Tom Thumb Upstaged Peter Pan by
appearing
under a petunia but this is not likely to happen soon.

The dawn, forlorn & grey, is a court muffin's
handkerchief
waved at a sailor far out at sea.

***************************************

Page 74
ALCATRAZ

White ibis/blue crane,
the arch of wings
in full sail over leafy barques
a wise stork scanning water
like the Disney character,
conductor on his train
with eye-glasses
& stop watch.

Sift of wind,
unseen hand exploring the pond
the stork ungainly on a single leg
the bird-man Jolly Roger
a pirate burrowing in the muck
add skull and cross bones
upending frightened fingerlings
the snout of the bandit
a rifle shot away
creasing the shallows.

***************************************

Page 75
WHEN LABOURING TO BREAK

Perhaps one is in prison --
fidgeting as time
draws to a close --
a scrap of house tunic
between the fingers
or when labouring to break
cuticles on swollen fingers
pressing both hands against ears
that refuse to hear the stop sound
of rushing blood.

Then again, in the last hour before
end time, before dawn's arrival and
floodlit sky finds you --
knuckles clasping bars, pitiless bayonet-like
with eyes swishing truncheons at all the
getaway air your lungs will never take;
wheezing in growing fear to the sound of footsteps,
clank of keys and gallow's humour as they prepare
to Skuttle your short life, wall up clouds of their
own pestilence nakedly mask each firing squad
gathering for its fighting chance.

page 76
THIS WAY TO THE SIXTIES:
JOHN LENNON'S DEATH FIVE YEARS AFTER

It was a red letter day and all within a decade, the
sixties.

Psychadelic and all because the Electric Circus
opened up
Walking Yonge Street in the December cold, aging
"hippies", the word itself a joke, reminisced:

National Guardsmen, for one, doing post-mortems on
their rifle butts, record covers carrying the first life-
sized zippers and mashed up rubber dolls; Cher Bono
getting up nerve and a career to name her child
Chastity but walking off with a card.

By the end of the decade they were asking questions.

We had landed on the moon per schedule but who
would have believed in the efficacy of Rock or the
efficency of napham before Vietnam? Frosted hair.
Body paint. The sixties produced a lot of it. With one
bullet, the Beatles, the secular saviours, were
breaking up. Before they had finished reuniting the
world. Before the history of music could be written.

Before John Lennon, did we dare trust ourselves,
World leaders, gurus?

That was the meaning of the assassination.

Page 77
History won't budge an inch for neophytes, The
Clockwork Orange was instructive but didn't go far
enough. Frodo wouldn't live in Yorkville today if
given a chance.

Now for the most poignant mental lapse of the Candle
carriers, mourners and mock biers with frozen
flowers. Simply the reminder half the population
didn't share his vision. Veterans grumbled. The press
paid more attention to this solitary event than
Armistice Day. Schoolchildren tittered. What was
that? The so-called generation gap seemed poised on
that comment. Then John's comment the Beatles were
more popular than Jesus Christ
Donovan didn't survive tunes like Epistle to Dippy.
Lennon won't survive the Elvis Beatle syndrome.
The lights are going out on the sixties,
The eighties are austere.
Cherry cokes are the memory of a laugh.
The Purple Onion only causes perplexion like Charlie
Brown's Great Pumpkin.

Forget about words like "catalyst".
Lennon was the conflageration.
Graffiti after him has renewed licence.

***************************************

Page 78
POGROM

There is an unhurried resemblance to pain, here,
this Fiddler on the Roof commodity, potables, fine
oaken chest
for one and furs; but wait,
the Czarist police are busting up the place --
a program is having its desired effect
on our emotions, the wine cellar smashed
as tears are falling like bloody heaps
in the red snow, cuttersleds
carting off the sundry feelings
we've invested in, a relationship
already staledated two years old.

***************************************

Page 79
BRAGGADOCIO

Chess playing Death
-- no, the reverse
Death sitting decked out and self-satisfied
in black no mandatory top hat but a shroud
shouldering a cowl.

There stereotypes end --
appearances have to be kept up
tho' hardly any cinematic gnarled fingers
of Baron Samedi fame
rather pudgy digitals reflecting
gentile prosperity
(after all, Winners do take all
his fellow satanists bank on it).

Of course, such things are fictitious.
Death plays no favourites (and waits
for no man when rivalling Time).
Still, parlour games are one indulgence.
Hardly comforting to know human beings
function at one purpose
when this Hallow of Hallows puts on the smirk.

Dalliance with the victim is the upshot --
the chess motif again.
Sift thru the chicken bones a mite --
let the chump stir the rubble of his dreams.
Something of gallow's humour or gangster largesse.

Page 80
Offer a stiff drink (brandy will do), one last cigarette.
Then, too, for beaten gladiators toiling bravely the
apparent rewards accelerate. Truckloads of flowers
at the funeral, for instance. Preferential treatment for
the guise or mercy must be kept up.

All lies in appearances. Prepare the feast. Sit the
guest of honour on a splendid cushion, then serve up
dish after sumptious dish.
Dining splendidly on one's own children
unbeknownst is a favourite -- maddens the victim no
end.
Brief success turning to bitter sawdust is the supreme
moment of ecstasy. Serves precisely as metaphoric
extension of all earthly reward as illusionary. (A
delicious ruse borrowed shamelessly from fellow
representatives on Earth --the Sicilian Mafia.)
Further spin-offs centre about the Absurd But spare
us juvenile intrigue with petty omens like a bird loose
in the house. Rather, a swift check-mate served up in
the best Grandmaster tradition is more a propos.

Therein lies the jest.
Workaholics and their polar opposites, the dead lazy.
effortlessly come around. When realization hits home
all distinctions blur. No difference. Sharp laughter
unceremoniously greets even the self-composed.


Page 81
Especially intriguing are the ambitious. Endless
quirks really.
Concerted mockery recreates further patterns of
futility.
Basic strategy remains unchanged, though. Disguise
is paramount.

Dress her in robes of tarter gray,
implant a slight smile, then beckon
from around each corner.
Create a maze, but attractive-like with flower pots.
Faint knockings behind every door. A cooling breeze
overhead.
Genuine affability like an open air Swiss cottage in a
summer meadow.
The greater the false hope, the greater the final
squirming.
Funny stuff, for even Death at one remote corner of his
being partakes in occasional mirth (why not, with his
monopoly intact on everything else).

***************************************

Page 82
DRESS REHEARSAL

"The universe is expanding".
There's cause for reflection and bound to do wonders
for "who am I" queries.

At this late moment on the Celestial Clock, man isn't
sure if he's stumbled into a Black Hole or just the
debris from the Big Bang Theory.

Many of the earth's residents desperately want to be
E.T.'s -- travellers with carte blanche passports
welcomed in any galaxy. Therein lies the ultimate
twist to "getting away".

Alas, what if we're alone?

What if the universe expands so much it forgets
there's an inhabited world and obscures the planet
from our collective vision? Sobering stuff.
Meanwhile, on a spaceship earth preparations are
underway. Preparation to abandon the planet.
Preparations to forget life is a serious matter.
Preparations to drown protracted speculations about
existence's intensity.
E.T. mania is carrying the day. People adorn stuffed,
life-sized dolls of imagined creatures on the
dashboards of their cars. Children queque up for
hours to get gingerbread designed from scary,
monster dough. Everywhere, the question on
everyone's lips is "how many of'em are there"?
When will contact be made? Will they want to throw
in their lot with mankind or "take over"? After all, it's
our Arc. No one seriously wants reminders of Von
Daniken's chariots riding again or the genetic mumble
about intergalactic breeding.
Going to bed with E.T. is too much. It's the Outer
Limits. Propriety still has some hold even if Marian
Engel did slip up and get it on with a bear. At least

Page 83
that was recognizable earth life. Darth is too much of
a transition even if it's only a One Night Stand.

E.T. is just like Bambi.
He wants to go home.
And alone.
He's not interested in sex.
Too many other myriad problems are floating in his
adorable, gelatin head. Surely earth women can relate
to that. Surely, if the universe is expanding, then it's
because of intrigue in high places. Because cosmic
particles are hammering out new definitions. Anyone
of a thousand theories.
Star Wars can stuff it. We want "peaceful" contact
and on our terms. Ask Orson Welles.
Or H.G.Wells.
Time machines are old hat and another invasion in
Newark is too much to absorb.
With NYC across the river, they've already got all the
action they can handle.
We like our extraterrestial life tailormade and
preferably in our own image. We're prepared to accept
them if they conform to stiff criteria. They have to be
like us and prepared to cooperate. Seeing eye dogs
help the blind, horses were good draft animals for
centuries. We might even want to decorate it like the
Hindoos do elephants; make it into a "religious"
procession such as a Roman Triumph. It would be the
same for outer space visitors. No mutants or Roving
Intelligences allowed. Earth is "off limits" to
marauding predators -- we'll fight at the suggestion
they're here on "reconnoitering missions" as a prelude
to Conquest or the Bermuda Triangle is one of their
many "staging areas" or dress rehearsal sites.

Earth for humankind carries more immediacy than
"Canada for the Canadians". If they are "out there",
they'd better behave.

Page 84
Hollywood's got it all figured out.
There's no shortage or scenarios.
Life support systems will be rushed wherever there is
a sighting with artillery back-up.
The Pentagon is in control.
The Moonies have asked to be informed.
Crackpots the world over await deliverance.
The Earth has big plans for the visitation.
Contact would displace Ihe Copernician revolution as
"a first" in blockbuster events: edge out Columbus'
hat trick, even erase Caesar's Gaelic campaigns.
Such things are no longer "relatable".
Every school kid can fathom "aliens" even if he can't
decline a Latin noun or understand the causes of the
Renaissance.
Unveiling the first spaceship would cap the
evolutionary quest for Enlightenment or realization of
a greater Oneness.
The universal thirst for knowledge would be satisfied.
Still, our trek to the stars would turn in on itself if they
got here first. Something like the Seminoles arriving
in Paris in the 13th century overland from Nice or
finding an orangutan piloted the Viking ship, Sutton
Hoo, into Vineland. It's barely credible and has to be
remade into "tangible" dialogue. No sapient, red
puddles or Dryads need apply. Fuel up the
Crematoria. Break out the electric cattle prods. They
may be common as blades of grass in a meadow but it's
our show. Orange Pekoe intellects will naturally be
suspect. Benign intelligence better be the order of the
day.
Earth is a "closed shop".
Everything Koltur. Everything above board.
No renegade "interpretations".
When will the Juggernaut be?
Human nature is nothing to toy with.





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