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October 2004  |  Jacket 26  Contents  |  Homepage  |  Catalog  |  Search  |

Louis Armand

Port Lights Shadows & Particles

have sobered up
from summer puberty & moonlit
smells — now everything
is politics & fastfood escapism — up on stilts we made
          first quiet house from
out over the reeds & water blue light
born of darkness — the night the salvage crew
          broke down
          the old derrick in port arthur, texas
like a violin in a mercury jar
saint petroleum will guide thee
& protect thee always
               in private life though sometimes
one is too controlled &
     remembering to quote our favourite oriental
philosopher at each opportunity
thinking a chair uncomfortable with itself
all the blood you
left behind in rooming houses
seems forgiven now & you are more beautiful &
lucid without it — in venezuela
rain filled the shoes left on the windowsill
                    a bleached-out calendar year
records that we are long past our time
& have been
all along — waiting for the news
to arrive by any other ship than this one
anchored beneath the skyway of neon babylons
as musical faces in porthole windows
look back singingly forlorn where
              twin shafts of sunlight illuminate a room

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