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Jacket 20 — December 2002   |   # 20  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |

Grace Lake

Three poems

... from Parataxis magazine, Cambridge
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she saw them as in a dream years and years before
the flying white faces of hatred pinioning her to the door
the floor, the flaw, the wall, the door.
she fled their confounded hatred
who split the tree did bleed and as it bled
the food went down to join the lead
a soft effulgent material pliant not needing fire
a sight too many of loud crashing buildings
where millgirls screams were barely heard
as rip roaring factories unsafe for workers
plummeted flaming her nerves.
well poor old thing said her mama
but not as poor as those
whose skirts on that fatal day caught alight
when the dry cleaning works was wiped out.


everything unreal from romance to chocolate
entrances mavis and pat
their mothers the same none too partial to gaskell
reminds them too much of their flat.

nattering swans

My mother was the mother of this blackguard
who flew to spacial bridge ramparts tensed
from falling crows’ eggs from zebra wooded
doppelgangsters screened off screens. My moth
er was an hippodrome in inner city railways
crocketing impounded depression films. He reared
and lost a country that nested in his dreams. My
mother wore his houndstooth check to amble through
the launderettes with Marietta in her black
sprig net ahunting down fresh funerals.
Dressing hymns and reading limbs ripped along gadrooning
what could not be gulped those tears
to beg forgiveness for being about something else
babies in the diet coke hypnotic provocations
together loved on hillside trysts smoked by smouldering
alder twigs, rationing gneiss handbooks from dusty
wrecked box offices perched precariously over plush becks.

i.m. Laura Riding

if thought be woven from the brain wished ill may learn to love again
a moonlit dusk by lamplight’s side a less anxious life
where proof of purse is not in pride nor strife a jokey vendetta
beginning twice more to examine extremes of sanctioned shapes
which knew to lighten mechanics with previewed disfunction
once the essentials are proven and normalities intergraved
it will not be mine to decide who are the damned and who the saved.

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