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J A C K E T  # 5
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Kevin Nolan

for Bernardo Soares

An accident disfigures three men at your
workplace, your tankers spill millions -
when the fur trade calls that inevitable,
when you call Max and Max won't answer, is that
fair, to poison a river the rap for some failed sendoff ?
The world is run by the men who slow down, who
take up the belly of sleep so we poltergeist blink
to beat time, perceptions are just
more resources, what can you do
as air chills near a precipice, surrogate news?
From the ashes of British Columbia to the walls
of the Philip Morris company, the William Morris
company, father of rock and soul
and the millions who never lie, hating the thieves
who torture our pastures for treasure, your
revenge is stuccoed in traces of posture -
as in the high-style deuce of bitterness
the air all around. Who can blame me, you, self-
ministering? who can blame you if I
stand down, keep critical this faded intermask?
How can I think that logic logic amends, symbol and
management to power elsewhere, crisis of smaller hours
loosed to the sphere's inner edge?
Old soul in the critical twilight, you
are my myth, my underhand flayed in the
palm-open style. Only vulgarity's porno-
graphic, compatible lies striped in the forests of
Wardour Street, chilled by the air: whose face is the
route of empire, flower of shame
dyed with a look, power down in leaden error?
Only yours to be speaking is mine to allay,
to speak out feeling by air at the precipice:
I am Orphic by progress, stiffed in parapraise,
luck running out fire with fire. I am turning my
back on something. Once I lived through a crash
you foreswore, call it a life I am turning
to, double or nil; if poetry christens the void it entails
what have these recently paid invalids done to deserve?
Professional humans smile at the choice -
a new day of pain for some silences thought,
as all thought is thought of the precipice.
It's the price you bear for the poem, the spill we
contain, as crisis to power is the power outside,
the ocean awake, Robert Morris, with oil,
price to the management's right to be management
power to the children who never stop,
custom of darkness the word comes after,
power to the one we mourn, the one we repay.
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