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

Quid magazine: Five poets

Quid magazine is published from Cambridge U.K.
Editor: Keston Sutherland

Durs Grünbein

from Variation auf kein Thema

translated by Keston Sutherland

Again before the telephone, in the exhibit
                   case beneath a verge of glass, the door
was hardly shut, stiffened, an object
                for pedestrians at the streetside
you stare at the touchtone panel, numbers
                   like the stellar enchanted forest
there at the night sky / decimal mandala
                   which with its reachable sum lures,
with sudden nearness, whispers, betrayal,
       love even — everything coded
as long since planned ahead a life
on call and hardly dialed
a voice explodes in your head.  

Peter Manson


Go little, all of three years old
looping a sampled hate
you will not grow
to oil the wooden cog maquette
or tinpot stator.

MAFF made you a wick out of lamb
the soft, yellow fat —
got on it clumsily,
something in the valley laughs
at your bursting, the forest can’t
go with the wind, change, carrying torment
beyond reach of pollen,
boredom and the
fuck-you colossus larks.

Tim Morris

Dramatis Personae

It’s always the same place, there I hear you
         pour out bitter vengeance into space;
it sucks it up soon enough, there was no rain
         on your parade, sit calmly now, they like you.
We live in some noise, and some down their hearts
         in one gulp and crash over a waterfall of strings
to the very bottom, where they break ceaselessly
         upon their heads. And yet through all of it
a man is walking with a cane,
         he does not look up or smile. He moves
neither slow nor fast, and things wheel around him.

I have been here before, but now the room is troubled.
         Snaps of censure twist at necks, much is misunderstood
from inside certain palaces in need of care, maintain
         the retreat, anything is always ready for nothing.
This man would disappear if he could; for now,
         he stands companionably slung across the gate,
chatting to a maiden. He must be a little rakish.
         When they part he has nothing much to do,
stands there a little longer, and only then moves on.

From the damp chamber of stratagems and ruses
        come the orders, a master chooses a favourite defence.
From my opulent library of screams I give you this one,
         where the mouth works determinedly to extract the flavour,
and this drink is satisfaction in a glass, it is.
         This one hunches up, this one is all theatrical malice
to deliver brutal clues, he won’t survive the first reel.

The look is stunning, equal parts love and low cunning,
        the beats are bossa nova, and the bar will serve ’til late.
How they mill about, drop a glass here and there!
On a passing shirt is ‘SHUN THE WORLD YOU WERE
BORN TO’ from a thumbs-up alien, coldest one on the floor.
The fortifications proceed apace; they work quickly
and without mortar, they hate the foreman when he’s gone.
         One holds up a brick to the light, and squinting,
marks his name on one side. It goes in like the rest.

At the mouth, threshold of that sound, hear denial
         now simultaneous, it ripples across the features
as the aftermath. All over slumped back against
         the fire-resistant Draylon, it appears to be
consuming you. Someone whispers,
         ‘only when I lean forward am I alive’.
From the neck ring extends two feet of chain,
         this one rocks to the limit, a second heartbeat.
Close to the rim of discernable sound slam
         doors open and closed, it is not a rhythm yet.

So a new stance for each remark; so far there’s
         back left jovial, twist and back right concerned.
Exaggeration is one of the main ones, we are still
        In that world of the wise, this one begs for sense.
Smoke, goddamn you, between your third and little fingers.
         A muscle twitched in her temple, almost quick enough
to miss, out of his heart poured gallons of crude.
         This one read the battle plans one last time,
behind the curtain she laced their pillows with drops
         of jasmine, counting each one as it fell.

Keston Sutherland

Ten Past Nine

In my speech shines a radiant energy,
I can destroy hype, the wind flashes with its end,
fury and barriers become smashed
                   out, the music chars hype
broke out from me.  I sing and the serrated horizon
tilts, dirt splashes become zero each. We are
okay.  I am not even a fucking person any more.
         Without the bloom
of flowers set to crash, and without day after day,
antique throats would char.  I am not even
despite fire victimized but am okay.  The

grainy void over my speech flares and yellows,
day after day remains, ashen, vital.  The things I
do say distort hype, which may become over,
                    destroyed that
is to say our worst speech.  A face at  
my window faces that.  Without extrapolation
on me what could become smashed,
         you cut
deep into her tongue with broken glass,
with your fist you strike out.  I am ready
today, I can reduce the significance of love.

John Wilkinson

The Line of Definition

What love dominates my abstract deal
position, more now satellite revenant
canoe or oak pew, warmth is target-
virtuous, accords with the high blot
stands above. To be authority so
far kindle in dry intersected streams,
love must not be answered but established.

Answer unpeels, wants the fool, fond
frittering throughput mint-pole for an
impossible current shorted in awkward
rejoinder. Any heatspot closes up
fontanel to polish the taps in the
cordoned-off, boomingly scotch the guest.

This can’t be helped. Recognition
has been highest strip & so depressive
tests for accent, interrupt, regard
for her bootstraps. No-one stops upright.
Below that horizon are fish to fry.
The geography is never a brutal enough

taxonomy for the sand or wind stoops
to proffer an acceptable deal. Rig
new shoes but they too walk historically
fish to fowl left flapping at signposts,
alienated only from what would touch
with a full hand, for fear it might extend.
Love self-tests & fetes the empty bed.

Photo of John Wilkinson

John Wilkinson
Cambridge, England, October 2001

Photo copyright © Salt Publishing 2001, 2002

You can read Andrea Brady's review of John Wilkinson’s Reverses (Cambridge: Equipage, 1999) in Jacket 9, Drew Milne's review of Wilkinson's Sarn Helen (Cambridge: Equipage, 1997) in Jacket 3, and two poems by John Wilkinson in Jacket 3.
A recent book is Effigies Against the Light, Salt Publishing (Cambridge UK), 212pp, ISBN 1 876857 38 2
John Wilkinson is Head of Mental Health Strategy with East London and The City Health Authority.

Check out this author’s work: Bookstores in Britain, and in the United States

Jacket 20 — December 2002
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