This piece is about 5 printed pages long.
It is copyright © Sam Sampson and Jacket magazine 2007.
The Ship Beautiful
Reason of course, four corners
set in perfect unison.
The headland falling away bracing its fictive presence
a crystal spill opening this salted source
a cry: is the abyss white on a slack tide?
neither here nor there: markers guide mindfulness
glide towards the horizon, their pinpoint sense of depth...
quixotic : exact : erased...transparent points, if nothing else.
Reset default settings: correction,
can’t I reshape the untouchable?
yearly collusions: the only way not so long...
where I float back slow
rips suspend the island, a vacant blue sky
turns certain stars on
highlights: an import of observational heaven
close to shore, milky-like
slack motion links visible sounds
a perpetual theme: being here then somewhere...
tides allow bits to float
the most important factor depth
to be deep down we feel more delirious
years spill their indented scent
salt mitigates guidelines several languages
laugh the distant gulf; conversations
grow fragments...fracture...they end-up, and resurface
a strange confidence greeting all that gathered.
(Lines for, and from Samuel Beckett: Centenary 1906-2006)
Any length all white
light creeps lengthwise, nacreous: no mistake, never talking
old habit of walking non-stop for miles out to the end
buffeted by a winter storm
no sound in the third person, at full stretch dark humour
no sound exits a corner where
shadowless, head high conducted back through eyes
eyes burn ashen blue and lashes grab
one lightning wince per minute: blink... on earth...
heaven says, no sound, no way in, none out
tightly initialised; imagine other murmurs
all clear, all six planes, all tears
when shining, whereas unheard in dark this is a well-known thing
at last a slow ebb, ten seconds through a thousand
darkening greys, till out and confident
what world could do without resonance
the way lay wrestle of articulate fracture
if spirits low no sound, see how the light dies down
images squeeze again in between tips and palm,
that tiny chink
full glare all this time, say like red no grey, say like everything shellacked
so arrive through no true image on earth attached to this
bottle of scent, like that
here alone so little by little all pre-arranged
for tremor of sorrow
a faint memory of lying side-by-side
murmured only the voice and bones remain,
then only voice (not to be confused with the leaden churn of hurdy-gurdy
words) in the heart again wrestling the unalterable note
sounded earlier, the piece remarkable only under breath
breathe the wet of conception
a dead-end road
for the moment at least the spot fixes
of greater circumference than the sun itself
chanting in the late evening
the future is a sordid trance
walking more and more towards total emptiness
language itself crumbles to nothing,
written only as an engagingly simple sign.
Sam Sampson lives in Auckland, New Zealand. His works of poetry include: The Deep End (with artist Peter Madden, 2006), and two chapbooks: Encompassed (2003), and Gauguin's Poiësis (1999). Poems have appeared in literary magazines, such as Landfall, Stand, Slope, Poetry Review, Salt, and Shearsman Magazine. His first full-length collection of poems will be published in 2008, through Auckland University Press (NZ) and Shearsman Books (UK).
The Internet address of this page is http://jacketmagazine.com/33/sampson3p.shtml