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

          Tom Raworth feature

      Trevor Joyce:
      Dark Senses Parallel Streets

(with & for Tom Raworth)

bones show through images
of friends though they
still move in dialogue
in darkness what relief

forgive me it’s a dream
standing alone waving
in search of its lost era
not just geography

walking parallel streets
of tropical flames
with a political broom
ominous as a smoke signal

over a farewell meal
of dust in the dust
before an open window
weather permitting

step sharply within
the labyrinth of raw meat
jingling those keys
dimmed by sweat

unthinking insects click rustle
for bare subsistence
in the skeletons of organizations
inexorably crushed by vice

they themselves go into hiding
one on top of another
in their natural colours
green smocks masks and goggles

taking likenesses
to build a screen
alongside the trail
of pearl lightbulb shards

this curiously shaped barrier
contains gestures and rites
simulated leopard skins
smart cards and our ideas

for fear of disturbing
the pose of philosophy
fashionable at the time
they stand in complete silence

in unbroken sunlight
wearing masks
as aids to memory
attributed to interiors unknown

they did not break
under their own weight
the experience of generations
proved far more effective

acts of representation respond
in order to survive desire
cheated by false hopes
in voices hardly above a whisper

local weather prophets
proclaim their laws of storm
radioactive rain restricted
to areas over toxic waste

the nightmare atmosphere of ruin
washes away in close-up
striking spatial effects predicted
if the mask is joyful

produce a sublime gesture
opposed to voice or action
a system of reflections ordering
the necessity of ornament

more opaque than tissue
strut pressured between joints
with tongue blades fluttering
to accumulate some utterance

don’t mention it
it’s easy to be fooled
rich spoils
forgotten in the foreclosed mine

try to conceive the waste
blossoming from the settled earth
to suppress the outburst
you needn’t understand

make smalltalk avoid disturbance
breath lays down
another field of vision
in clarity precedent to the rain

no time to lose here
though deepening fatigue
won’t achieve much you know
regrettably the outlines just blur

case on case scavenging
replicate the given circulating minutes
to the extremities
the central pump stutters

in heavy concentrations
level obliterates level
exhibiting an astonishing mimicry
rendering discrimination vain

vow to represent all valid subjects
transfix each distinct stage
ideal ghost doll exactly fashioned
reaching back to darkness

bonding fine with foul
offends memory and ambition
such odd effects are collateral
of no account

the familiar infirm ground
is an exhausted problem
their expressions were captured
reduced to immobility

an extended field of whiteness
to encompass each their private night
for elaborating dark senses
byproducts of hidden systems

the established building regulations
level bearing level down
supporting the cumulative moment
with a dense stratification

in manifold discrete effects
endure recurring visitations
concentrating an intense violence
phrases disfigure

invoke the movements of fronts
against the individual
storm raging in a cell
possessed of spoil

admitting sensory leakage
what could you expect
to attract all comers
after so much

when several significant figures
question whether pleading
direct and material interest
can openly be countenanced

Jacket 26 — October 2004  Contents page
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