back toJacket2

This is Jacket 14 - July 2001   |   # 14  Contents   |   Homepage   |

This issue of JACKET is a co-production with SALT magazine

Douglas Barbour

Three poems

from Recording Dates:
December 1961 - November 1962:

Say it was a beginning then
it was an ending too   always
over and over again the one
and the other play through the melodies played
over till they’re known in the body once
again as fresh as the first time loved still

You hear them fresh then now
don’t you you play them with such ease you
know the inner structure intimate
what you’ll take apart in a
love so supreme you’ll make it whole someday
is that what you’re beginning to realize

Too far too soon the roar of the
young lion’s a growl smeared
to shatter structure of easy come easy
go away into sounds barriers broken yet a
steady running beat of blood sustains the wail

All of the sounds gather in your head
or everything comes to
nothing if you can’t push it out
at the world pushing back
all that ecstasy so loud & melodic it moves

I humbly asked to be given the means and
wish to reach the point of making music spirit and now
I do perceive and have been duly re-informed of what I
knew all along these secular songs only suggest

It’s going to come he finds it
easy to hear the future in these popular invitations
to the profanest dance I now
remember is holy holy holy too

Nancy where are you are words
with little meaning for him yet
the poem appeared about the same time as they were
laughing listening to the playbacks of songs for her for anyone would
face the music & what it portends

from Recording Dates:
November 15, 1957:

All right   all night   into the
mornin’ sun casting
long shadows across the studio’s floor
they watched them shorten.  We
can’t remember or understand how one
take 17 minutes long works   but
that is what they were there for.  Take
away the bottles, ashtrays,
from then to now’s a short step for
me   for you   for whoever’s listening
our will to do so is the shared
delight they made possible,  making music as always

From: Fours

The Bar presents in many different ways
The woman: she is and is not Manet’s,
Mine, yours, theirs; and she is both less
And more -- brushstrokes, blocks of colour on canvas.

rain song
’s long gone appeal
’s advent’s late
again against commerce’s hold

yesterday’s gone sound
’s tomorrow’s found sequence
of zeros & ones in tandem
dancing integers integrated

leaves gleam in
early morning sun
not quite unfolded yet
translucent that light emerald


actually it
corrodes anything
I touch   so
don’t let it touch you

rhetor  you stand
apart, you enter the clearing, you
give little
evidence you comprehend anything

run then, take
over whatever leading
attribution you need going
down,  out,  away

love said it once
and lust said it
twice   too much of
everything every time

told you so you
aren’t going to
king or queen it anywhere
even if you thought you bought the vote

travel broadens,  you
run into your others all on their own
itinerary,   they see you too
pre-empt your glance: where are you

had it there
in tense relation to
vision lost,  last loose
engagement with what we had

reading writing in
evitably trapped in
a time-lag,  the
dead clichés that speak so loudly still

look the outward or
on the bright side of the road
or ledger,  screen,  where
kings & queens stroll always in the sun

cave-in caveat
at what distance from
venting steam, the heat
effervescing the darkness below

I think I know what I want
not that     not that
this   or this
one I want it too

run away with or gone
under,  beyond all we
now know of that ancient inscription
entered each time new reading

comfort:  see under built for,  as
opulence,  open heart  surge
meaning     go there
enjoy the surroundings   slow down    relax

J A C K E T # 14   and   S A L T # 13   Contents page
Select other issues of the magazine from the | Jacket catalog | read about Jacket |
Other links: | top | homepage | bookstores | literary links | internet design |
Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that this material is copyright. It is made available here without charge for personal use only. It may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose

This issue of Jacket is a co-production with SALT magazine,
an international journal of poetry and poetics, edited by John Kinsella
PO Box 937, Great Wilbraham, Cambridge PDO, CB1 5JX United Kingdom ISSN 1324-7131

This material is copyright © Douglas Barbour
and Jacket magazine and SALT magazine 2001
The URL address of this page is