back toJacket2
Douglas Barbour

This piece is about 21 printed pages long.
It is copyright © Sheila E Murphy and Douglas Barbour and Jacket magazine 2009. See our [»»] Copyright notice.
The Internet address of this page is

Back to the Douglas Barbour feature Contents list

Douglas Barbour Feature

Sheila E Murphy and Douglas Barbour: Three poems

Continuations 81 to 83

See also Sheila E Murphy and Douglas Barbour: Continuations 30, in Jacket 21,
and Continuations 58 in Jacket 36.
Se also Sheila E. Murphy: “Collaborating with Doug Barbour” in this issue of Jacket.

Continuations LXXXI:

dancing across archived thresholds
     into what volumed rooms
            blowed pages gather
                 in corners unattached
     attacked by dry rot     perhaps
            root meta forage for getting and

being beyond an a priori
            bow to clear
                        (understanding)  the weight
     lift of knowing (valuing)
            voluminous shards of evidence
            in reality             (attached)

shelved and shoveled elsewhere
      an other ring of instant
                 (rot)ation    volumes
vellumed   a binding contract
            shun gathering knowledge

on the ledge, a forfeiture of
            stamina          a guess is worth a thou
sand syllables                                     a gasp
            aghast from stemming cellular replies
                                    immune to replication
   of the views on point half similar

            news on pointed halts in military
                 archives    lost as scripts in sand
            swept by just waves
                 time rendered   temp
                        or rarely seen again
     as swept aside and broken scrolls

alive or midway     teeming with the question
    telling-yourself                 by way of goal
         affixed to scrolls of
       tasks tacit             while held aloft
     by clef and broken

glass   glossing metal licks
     high notes grounded in prisoned
            practice   / or torture
            d reams of static say-so
how the implied unspoken sticks
     beneath the latest words impressed

                        with shim
mer(e) votive incandescence      yellow
            after attic            stamina re
   framed             (plied) following
            being broken             (duly noted)
                        thickness worn away

letters litters     listserve
     d rama fic(t)ations
            stated evidence stands
     against what factions factored
            as deemed necessary
                 or what the helled

act as though hell were just
            a dense patch of             eviction
                    notice (s)
      assembled on the fly
                                    and textured
             in darkly saturated  frames

freeze of stay in grip of anomie
     anatomized or atomized
            dark matter    Dis
                 patched   in voked
     yoked to il   lucent
      burning ever low

potassium disrobes irrevocable
            banter stapled to atom after
                        oak wing shaven lucidly
    the dark retreats from background
            patches of dissent reverse
urns replete with stance

stay the dark   /  light pulses
     pat ching   a momentary monetary
            occasion    all fussed up
fused with desire    batter
     rings false in the entrance
            meant to cull favors    off

pretensive appreholding rinse
            to piece work prints made
                        infusive as slight
         casing all’s well endgame meaning
                        stark as choice culled
  from infrequency yet moist

let most fall under a bridge
     loan sharked to that end
            gamed and famed beyond
     a rainbow curvature   earth
            bound for gory play
                time tensed to shrink

am yonder mid-sensed blinking
            once under duress (hark) bowed
                       brain true to cure
        light rain tall rain round rain
                girth to mean
                                    a rink one day

frozen surf aces rink rat
     ionality   naturally sus
        pend(er)ed    pondered
     for stop thought watch
            men hold onto these
                 troths    to kingdom coming

natural ponds imbue lifelike
            return                         to thought
      just right of center
    where the amen corner of the market
              frails its thin king
faulted for presumed homecoming

gamed   and gambled on  (again
            lost with each addition
     all gone future battered
            not bettered with back
                 pain meant   /   loan
     sharking sharper than that tooth

one or another ambles toward
            betterment sans zeal and timbre
                 gain share rises
          after treading             small
            on future lay person’s détente
                        one hears the harp

and hark of complaint   upon
     the heir   apparently denying
            a cold war fever
                 found wanting in despite
            displayed by tea shirted
                        shunning of sense

ever the heirs loom
            old play hurts the being
shunned on faith alone
   the wound of mis
                       interpretation, and of being alone
       with understanding (how the world)

wonks   winks at working
            a swindle   often
      enough to buy
            the farmed out frame-up
fractures snafus   or lets them be
            fore grounded   fogged warriors

              fending off imagined
        beings from footprints (and by heart)
        despite fog             intermittent            brushed
                      up against             a farm
a frame            working
                  off the war

lord    lording it    above the
     freight of loss leaders
            hip to hopping
the hope line   cope line
           credit where it’s do
                 or d(r)ying out

bovine lapses rate with some
            one yearning to be coped
                with             turned hope             op cit
            in labor-
a/tories them selves shelved here
                        akin to do-doing-done

                                    din    divined
      as anti  /   a heck of
            a brown nosing around
a conservative view   /   point of
            orders   obeyed sans
                      criticism   ancient of ways

long lost lambent sequel
            to the ring          stippled
                        up close(ly read)
      in point of fact       bay window
                            sheltering the round
             paved verge

sing on heresy   here say
     the monoliths    be
            spoken in granite
                 ground out of
            being       centered
                 strongheld in the whirlwind

lithographic mid-space
            winds down from night
spokes dazzling
                                    turned gray toned
     out of touch with
                        being out on call

Continuations LXXXII:

touch toughs it out   up against
     the walled mart    stock marked
            ideologies of then or then again
                 that song about the future
            hedged and hocked to
             passed and passing understanding

steadfast fasting me/and/ers to
            a zero-based pose approaching
                        leaps unbounded
    pass/ages old that consecute
            the way through here
                        in major form   of minor key

up to nothing     more than
     a wander ringtone song of
            cat as trophy  /   charming
                 with caterwauls
            for tuned walls where
                 wailing awaits what will come

may no harm befall the recollected
            tree             unequal to this tree now
                        may nothing come to
splinter the arpeggios in tune with
                        shower song             a photosynthesis
of fourteen charms ashimmer in the yard

                        armed to their tv
                        antennas   attenuated
            branches    broken song
                 bird births    zero pop
                        growth graphed against
    hits (bombs) parades in black and white

ranch lit             long lines
            path proportioned to                       a phantom gain
    these roan hue mountains
                   near a pasture        distilled
                                    in memory’s own
       mind a tempo        ranging

far and wild bodying forth
            a dance step steeped in
                 statutory laws of
                  gravity   dug in
     dead lined      night scoped
            sheer falls of walls of stone

to cope is to do
            (water varies from all
                        tone depths
   aiming sotto vital
          signage to induce         the scope
                        to just one       portion

positioned then to make a stand
     ing offer    no returns
            refuse dump(ed) as
                 futures invest
iture    furnished
                 room of one owned

impediments are also seeds
            first earthbound and then springing
                up and into worlds of making
   peace with as-is
            furnishings   niche mark
                        downs that return

on philosophies invested in
     theos or bios   /   how dis
            putatious  /   punctilio
                        aside   foundling funding
            staves off intellect starvation
                 brain stoked on oxygen

under pieced together ounces
            of haves vacationing from
   genesis as told by
                        the electorate trained
            and stoked by heated history
                        along embedded habit lines

ley lines lie lanes highways
            addictionary learning
     words worn thinner
            than thinking makes it
                 sown   not owned
                        on loan to ideologistics

fences stippled with live
            lanes weigh the air space
                        shapes of glass addenda
    to perfection             still shots reveal
                once mourned into
                        tanned open prior hideaway

filtered filmed and foundered
     a loss leader upbraids the troops
            tropes aglow launch a low
                 blowback      so black
       ops stand stock   (stasis  /  caught
      in the head(f)lights

rupees here             repeating there
            aglow with             ought
in (opt out) blank terse backstroke
   tending in four-four time
          to tithe to leave
        a film             to mean             a standing

watered down    weighted downs
     fields dreams to masque an order
            ed iteration   institution
                 all percussion   /head
            banged     bungled
                 or beaded     ankle deep

reams of deciduous leavings
            hold still in the mind
                        allow for present tense
  (the walk through beads)
tapping intuition’s
raw new nerves

swerves in leaf mould    branchings
     not taken     tokens
            float above eyes flailings
                 failings or fallings  off
                        guard    grid   /  linked
           tattle tails    follow downs

bovine stasis yeses             minus duress
            from this parlor
                        view           the grid
chaps zilch
            in keeping with guard
                 dogging what is usually tailed

trailed to failed futures    how home of
     land of     turned tail   cons
            truculent walls    wails
that fear makes bully
                                    pulpits   pupils
            widened   weighed

lure is what we stand by
      and for the record, pulp begins
                        pitted in evidence
     of pupae in a truck
            walled off from being
    ear trained             always trailing

all way back    logged and lagging
     a fiction of catch up 22
            signs of a pocket
    slips of paper mashed
moshed    a dance of dearth
            hearth felt fallen

paper straps slip
                    fictive catches pelt
   windows imagined                         hearth
   a signal to have
                        settled as a pocket falls

empties    keys to or on
            to logical bureaus
      of (say) soft history
                        thinking full past
     times tentatively argued out
                             of any responsibility

rose is almost
            soft            in full      any
                 (thin(k) passion
            never quite itself       tentative
    or even            arguable
as history

or spectacles       (specialized
            in active induction
                 conducted    ‘electric’
            moment (um)     chorale
the widening   choir

deep and wide             spring spectacle
            the lectern still
                        full of the live moment
            um captured            sizzlish
       the adroit feeds
inducing minds to their elastic

spastic speciation   /  how con
     quest for a ring
            side se(a)t   up  met
     row    sans paddles
                        peddles the man
            you are   so deep in

proof of mettle
            tames                 hormonica
                        when adulation
    deepens               tone poem of
            the normal curve             yet
parametric despite            despotic pedestrians

Continuations LXXXIII:

harmonium as a way of lifting
     eyes and voice skyward to trip
            and fall in grace   a full
            agenbite of inspace   in
     substantiality   the fog of
            faith   full tide waning

apologia rescinds the stain
            from memory        as memory
swerves            nerve endings             damage faculties
   fogged surfaces             space
                        shale plots where steps
                 still             fall

away    a way taken from to
      day light a room full of dark
            remembrances   these for
      getting    some form of just
            ice    broken through   drowned
                  and swept apart foundering

retracting lace from trees
            even the chill sun takes
                        thin crystals from branches
darkness lifts             as spring comes
    to mean a way
      of light    round             forward    warming

or warning   preconditioning
                 perhaps    a prognostic
     nation    programmed
as if seasonal sessions might contract
     for petitioned safety    a stay
            in safe houses putative /    spent

gnostic here(tic)             traction safened
            pends programming (elation
                        haptics condition yardlines
still in season            rationed
            here(tofore             by might and wild
                        nest                         housing the spent

cart ridges   of long doubt
     less hear(t) said inclined
            nations    notions of
     faith in defile    a march of
            more ons than ins
                 tall mentation fallen

line drawing acclimate
            all notions of faith and
fatuous inkling(erings)
            long (of tooth)
                       s/aid from nations rationing
        file f/olders          and containments

constraints meant to drain
     a rational climate of
all restraint   repression
                 repossessed    a money
        s hot new reproduction
                 technologies divested

fallen posses trained to
            ration lists of what
   to do to own often a trait remaining
                        in the money of invention
      elbowing away a dulcet
            fever in the body drawing

the heat off   the hat off to
            prophylactic practice
                    (or is that prophetic
     disaster for dummies
            booked and (half) baked
                 theory rise to ruckus

image rasterized akin to
            rook skin’s mundane
   vast pro forma salience
                        amounting to
     intolerance (mere theory
                 of a blemish upon rucksack

                    racketeers   ratcheting
            rebellion up (wards fail me
           dium massage   mess
                        up the age demanding
     some sense of real states
            on sale signs of an ending

mandatory heart wrench
precedes expected pendulum
(roll bars ago) leaning to one
inviolate side state
    of tactile fading
to the traced young (t)ouch

or pushover   king ransacked
            not summed    up as lost
      leadership   sunken (s)tress
            shored against ruin   run
                 off sideways   soft
            shouldered aside   (that hurt

tresses stress the sidelong
            g/lances piercing   sunken
   d/reams of silt on
                        broadcloth shipping
      shoved come to pushcart
            running runes with gain share hurting

a slow march following
     into what dark structure
d (reamed) cavern
                 (coven    even deeper
            cover finalized judgment
                        reading wrung dry

in        frail             patches                        lip service
            rinseful              après pierced
     recusal         aimed         unfulfilled
            nonetheless at eurhythmic
                        broad            suspense (suspicion)
              lunking on        the lance

the wound    up     coming
      attract/shun    a pay
       meant due diligence
                 elegance of argument
     against interpenetration
            frontiers affronted b(u)y

lamping sing    unclingingly
            the logic parasailed across
    body of work’s radiance
            up front and argued
for and center (four and elegiac
    penciled mercies

                                of the fall
            en meshed      mashed
                 masted full wind
            up and a way of shading
      lightly    laying the lead
            across a paper darkening

as indispensible
         ave of papyrus
                        way shade masks
    a light alignment wasted
                        on approach    lead trance
       ashen to the full

fashion to the fall
     of tyre   any   wave
    the flagging tide
     if the affairs of management
            go for reining in
                 ruining insight

fair market markup ages
            wave wise to the flag
                  all bitten by the reign
          of gone shunned open manger
                        sightings leafed through
      indefatigable memoirs leaving deep lanes

lines cut through a forest
    downed for all that green
     was their past present
                 (st)ations  doubled
            crossed     crassed per
                        haps  (all bets off

tall buildings             sacrificial leaps
            of (most) favored (rations) on hiatus
               indicatives of doubloons
available as stations
                        crosswise from the down draft
of a practiced winter

palace coup   coping mechanisms
tune up for heavy weather
            ing of rhetorical storm
                 troops traipse through drapery
                     darkly hung   juried
jarred from a tuneful century’s sleep

heterodox jury box
            for centuries takes runes
     from the back room
   stor(i)ed with pro
            forma root wording
                        from the mouths of rapscallions

raps a calling on what dark futures
     bet on   /   a sure thing
            moves through the long night
     ice and fire / light enough for
         terror to sink in
                 an investment lost to ideolog

rough radical moment:
            flight to ice revokes
        also warm of fire, resultant
                        error paved into illogic
          suture vested as invoked,
               name calling,             not a calling

out   or forth    right of
            writs wrought from iron
     aged    rusted thought process
            clanks and rattles    (auto
                 chthonic past present
                        ed as if still running

sent             taught               beneath            writ phrasal
            pause                        Degas
    ironically muted             as wrought
                        run time admonished
for eventual new
                        youth overtaking rattles

     the riddle revokes precedence
prescience perhaps on pause
     paucity of materials or
            a method not yet comprehended
                 minimalism avant la lettre
            dancing in what lost light

white secrets chance
            better things                   the moment
    as material                   wit(h)ness
                   (nothing lacking)
           with/in                        purposed      pause
      called                   to equal             called for



A Note on Collaboration

Douglas Barbour and Sheila Murphy met in Arizona when Douglas and Stephen Scobie were in the State to perform their collaborative sound poetry as well as their individual work in association with the POG Reading Series and Chax Press in Tuscon and at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts Poetry Series in the greater Phoenix area. Following that visit, Barbour and Murphy corresponded online. Among the topics pursued in written conversation was Murphy’s enjoyment of the collaborative process. Douglas asked her to participate in building a text together.
      Murphy and Barbour find collaborating a chance to get outside the self in linguistically tuned and turned ways. The process brings forth a different creator, representing the combination of energies often vastly different from those of the original participants.

Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that all material in Jacket magazine is copyright © Jacket magazine and the individual authors and copyright owners 1997–2010; it is made available here without charge for personal use only, and it may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, or used for any other purpose.