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Geographical Equivalences

1: Toronto

save and print

or print and save          digital souvenirs of       we were here
and wish you
spring skies lit green with fireworks      sequencing

stuttered via videophone          words disintegration
come components combatants sibilants
silences                        hiss into explosion

ctrl. & alt.

the option key              for we’re deliciously     euphemistic
finger on remote
delirious in our choices flickering        networks of deliberation

picked up in each here we        hear accents divulge echoes
looping from takeoff into night into cursor-flash
implicit                        restless in the catastrophic

highlight and delete

the firewhite zoom       of  TV at 4 a.m.           shutting down
splinter as inaction
needle point scorched to numb            devouring curiosity

like every snack that can be      crammed into secret pockets
and opened noisily to cinematic hushing
pristinely          designer graphic

point and click

against Antarctic           wallpaper                     this is all (the language) that is available
or too much
embedded and entering dreams with    payload           

and the question of strike         marching out to
placards do double-service, revolving
overhead          shadows of wings

open and read-only

dedicated commands    passes to access            transportation
scratched into morning
newspaper-cuts scab to irritation          laying claim

to the perfect visual and its       striking lineation                     
the bridge’s uprights pictured a frame only
recently to be moved,  I take the bus

scan and send

in held horizontals       threaded peace and      flash flash
the passings-by
wheels riding over metal joins              aching

this day is like khaki or            possibly this street
intransigent latticing over opal grey
window            reads desert

lock and load

collateral                      whose hard return        whose balancing act
whose wires are
these wires that suspend the dead         living

against the river’s damage         history as isotope
flaring out in its doppler degeneration
headlights         against rain

2: London

> i went on the march yesterday.  it ended up in hyde park, by that star trek
> tent, so it was all layered with new year ghosts for me...  but it had a
> strange vibe anyway; all these placards saying 'don't attack iraq' - bit out
> of date.

gathering dusk              unsanctioned I             occupy your words
out of date
dislocated from the drizzle of dawn     (re)newing

this year we are a hundred        days off and emails
enough to stretch three thousand miles
imagination      who is not alien

when coming under     focus (friendly fire       now coloured
blue on blue
falling from top shelf winged as pages  opening

(candle) fire against window     ghost flames     flaring and layering
small ‘v’s write incisions of history and these responses
burn my skin    to inkstain, the latest rubbing off

and dyeing dreams       hairblack                      on hand
each act paralysis
splinted and screened glass                   cuts us

out in tracery and aerial            makes home/city an echo
spiralled in sign and shout for miles I am watching
shockjawed      through television’s wrong end

No doubt about it: this is not a writer's war - nor even a photographer's: the gripping images in today's papers nearly all come from the TV networks –
(The Wrap, Guardian Unlimited news service, 24/03/03)

let it not stop here        the shined parade         assailing
(who called who
propagandist) paid hostage to               these grips

toothed across ether                 pine/needling
previously all fingernail and gimcrack
suited               for protection

is against always           is ramified is night        vision
seep for sleep
sounds of rain & newyear traffic in      resolutions

asks for irrespective                 the tense conditional
earthy silence like cut to dunes at Speaker’s Corner
deserted           or desertification

erosion in sand             and tarmac, oil-slick     call it pitch
but call me
ally we coalesce in willing this war       unwritten

improvising from old scripts    patching networks with paper
envelopes licked with sliced tongues pre-emptive
imperative        her fingers command




Apparent is (apparently) enough. An extra p I feel beneath the mattress, all talk of readiness to take the plunge. But here in rubber sheeting, we have no ointment for that rash. How careless to become so irritated. Such a sap to crack at such viscosity. Imported what’s important. Substitutes are military. Are susceptible. Are not available free at this surgery. Our wrecking ball comes first, all edginess and walls of flame. When lip slips. His squeak between. The gap that nothing whistled through. Will not regenerate. Ephemeral. Seductive. Pink water and the glitter inside whose descent unleashes. Punchline missed in the trawl for bone. Cracked and glazed. Illegal fish from coastal waters. It’s getting late. Clock that: the rising seas will take their bow. Iridescent, the broken vow of care. Disrupted sleep. The flood of dreams. Potential clouds. Reform. And pour again, this time to pool. To crystallise in duct formations, apprise neuronal synthesis. Of this: the sheet grows taut, a drumstruck skin. Resonance is distant, backward echo rising through the muffle. From whose perspective. The pea speaks. Her sleeping restless weight. And in the damp of morning, all is red disguised as white. Those patches there, they’ll scar. Be seen, unsheathed and from the sky.


Foundation: bean from seed. Dark husk discarded for the meat. And sweetness, added all too soon, a cane for jaded palates. Continents as packaged goods: wrapped in gold and ribbon-tied, to give the lie when rot sets in. Abundance. None forged cleanly, powder and crumb littering the floor. And now they claim fair trade: scatter the sacred and consumed. How flattering. Presented as collection. No trifle. As always, dark liquid turned to gold and so to art. Masonry of slab and bar. The halls to house the world with what’s been taken. A moulded, fluted cake with a surprise inside. And he who breaks his tooth, and she who chokes it down, shall be crowned king and queen. Shall wear silver and purple crowns. Shall be foiled, stained with what melts. Blooms to white at their heated touch.


It is a ceremony of conjoinment and as one: black into white. Or otherwise. The swirl. The vows of steam. Fluctuant inhalation. Centrifuge with careful water and embrace. Burn to touch (through glass, clay, polymer or foam) and move away. Takeout. Must leak in order to become, must intervene but not dissolve. Dispersal as principle, molecular intermingling run up against borders (glass, clay, polymer or foam). So each different curvature will meet your hand, and each finger has its own behaviour. Though not cosmetic. Though it will dye. Stains the dry maps of once, preceding. Is all talk. Some say with salt and some with lemon. Some with rancid butter and some with wads of paper. Such healing for such great harm. Bricked as money. Picked under the sun and endlessly. Whiff of city port lands, ghost stream. Marsh flavour. Each cup containing its future, wet and fuming. To say nothing of its lumps. Such quiet silver to be so uncontained, a matted history (twist, uncover) remains when you are done.


[Sophie Mayer is the author of the forthcoming book The Cinema of Sally Potter: The Poetics of Performance (Wallflower, 2008) and The Private Parts of Girls (Salt, 2009). She lives in London and connects to everywhere through the incredible democratic right to publish. She particularly enjoys the democratisation of publishing created by blogs and online poetry magazines.[

Copyright © 2008 by Sophie Mayer, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author.