August 25, 2006

August 14, 2006

August 12, 2006

Ball too small to see, by Ken Belford

- for Si

The same ideas seem more likely now
as we move toward completion at the end
of our cycle, when time speeds up and
boundaries dissolve. An occluded line
grazer, an all-at-once animal beyond
syntax in the liminal slime, I’m drawn
toward you through time, to all the last things,
and all the lost things. Why all this talk?
The phone rings in the middle of the night
but I don’t answer. No-one’s ever there.
An updated node and ball too small to see,
when I rearrange my room, interference
patterns and three-dimensional images
reflect living forms. Telephone used to
be a noun made by combining forms
but it’s a verb now. You are not here,
and you are nowhere, and I wonder
if that coherent beam outside my door
is you, casting your shadow in.

August 11, 2006

Poem Shops for an Image

Anything really, a visual
cue to go along with the abstract
status of being arty, or vaguely
original. Poem casts about,
almost frantic, for his image.

He tries make-up, you know,
mascara and blush, but
it seems redundant and his white
skin reacts in odd allergic ways.

It doesn’t seem appropriate to go on . . .

He tries acting school, a good one, and
shows promise; his vocal range is
wide and he is able to slip
in and out of character at will. His timing
is impeccable. But his stage presence
sucks and soon the director has him doing
voice-overs for animated films instead.
Poem talks to mirrors, trying to project,
to evoke, to smash through that
blank vacant stare . . .

Poem flails.

An animal, he thinks, I could
be an animal, a bold creature,
majestic, loaded with national
fervour, a history of violence . . .

Poem is not himself.

A musician who radiates light and
transcends the stage, climbing the scale
higher and higher until he blinks out,
a flash of recognition spilling down
onto the upturned faces.

Limits. Poem is what is not-Poem.

He gathers himself, sets off
out the door. The ordinary day
follows him.

August 1, 2006

Not a Fighter

Poem’s Industry & Progress

A review board convenes, votes
to lift the restrictions

lines on a map appear

for the prime investor, it is a coupe, capital
flows into the machines

reading extracts the resources,
truck loads, driving unsafely on questionable roads,
filled with significance, leave
for the container ports, and markets
overseas send a cheque

but jobs are created, review
publications, chapters propped
up thriving on Poem’s product,
that shining bin, that exasperating cargo

economic forecasters watch him,
his subsidiary paper product tax shelter,
and then, the vein is near
exhausted, the reserves spent,
the harvest dwindles and
Poem is left vacant

the road is abandoned,
saplings grow through the windows,
a wealth of rodents move in

Poem pleads, ‘Wait, wait
I can do other things—
look, this waste can become
something else useful or
I can be a call centre or, or
I can, I can sing!

but he is alone, a ghost
town echo

only the knowledge
that his wares, bobbles and
cheap lining material have traveled
the globe, filling drawers
and lost and found boxes

Poem rests, coos at the rafter
pigeons—it’s okay, everything is okay