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Simon Pettet

Six poems

‘There is a cruel messianic...’

There is a cruel, messianic, dim, tribal intransigence

that gains you nothing

There’s a bull-headed childish baby-tantrum

that can unleash untold consequences

I am appalled by the darkening of the sky

I watch my love

It is always my love that I watch.

‘The sheer mass of available information..’

The sheer mass of available information
And for whom do you compose?
I await entry into the extension chamber My
I am keenly disturbed by the altercation
Excellency and I will endeavor to
Root out the perpetrators
And see that it never happens again

The evening jukebox sun goes down so (quietly so)
What did you select? An evening meal?
Nah! A quiet room? Nah! An ever-expanding Universe..

‘Sleep fitful wake grumpy...’

Sleep fitful wake grumpy go down stairs in dark still morning fill kettle tin can
cold water
make tea light fire kindling  examine
the early morning light,  put on the radio (it is quarter to seven
you are listening to the farming report)

blessed sleep I know not what you wear or who you are
I imagine you in something extraordinary

slept last night again a baby what do I know?
(what is my plot?) all curled up like that
(on a blanket)

‘Peter Stupid...’

Peter Stupid
Orphan Master
Famous For His Tulip
Where Now On Broadway
The Equitable Building

‘If we had our copper vessel...’

‘My soul, what’s lighter than a feather? Wind
Than wind? The fire. And what than fire? The mind
What’s lighter than the mind? A thought. Than thought?
This bubble world. What than this bubble? Naught.’

      (Frances Quarles — epigram to ‘A Pair of Balances’)

If we had our copper vessel perfectly round

and well closed

we should have fixed Mercury with the Moon

                            — but we didn’t!

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

‘Approximately 75 per cent

of the waking consciousness

is consumed

with the monitoring of

physical functions’

— ‘either wanting it’

or already in possession of it

    — or rather, both’

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

It is when the extreme point of restlessness

is reached

that grace comes at a terrific speed.

The Sentence

It is as though he were telling us
that this small space
contains the pattern for
all eternity

Simon Pettet, New York, November 2003, photo by John Tranter

Photo, left:
Simon Pettet, New York City, November 2003,
photo by John Tranter

You can read another poem
by Simon Pettet in Jacket 21

Jacket 25 — February 2004  Contents page
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