Characters in their own stories
Characters in their own stories intermix
on avenues of danger, those not in
the frame invisible.
Now, and then, one
flees from us, becoming unreadable
from a point of view. More’s discernible
of those who stay, skewing interpretation.
We have fun at carnival, consuming that
which might have grown fat, fearing death. That fear
animates each. As we stir at our own fear.
Some of us. Fragmentary godlike words
collide in test chambers where exponents
of lies and terror clamber round others,
clinging. Indolence provides the ground cover,
overwhelming fences, bridges, thoroughfares.
Stories get muddied, muddled; directions
change in direction in their fat middles,
adjectives turned eponyms. Apposition
Time for Herod to ponder Truth. We must
get moves on. Before we know, we’ll be back
at beginnings, every sphere windfallen,
every name half-lost; waiting
preparing the dead
the thing about preparing the dead
the way we prepared them!
was that they were less prepared than ever
when we were done
their insides were contained and muffled
their mouths were left inoperative
had they known, they might have felt discouraged
they were books of a single page, and that uncut
do you read me? / No / No? / No
Pickled in their own piss
Wrapped up in their own sticky blood
We prepare ourselves or let go the dead.
We prepare, ourselves, the dead.
Two graveyard poems
self of friends
one selves; and, then,
regains, in timely
in importance, importing
ephemera and processes
taking down such barriers
as exist, fragmenting
parts played up and out
let us prey upon each other
ambiguities of inquiry
not to react
a vacuum polarised
a set of expectations
glancing at his watch in shadow
glancing at his watch in shadow
an expression as deep in appearance
as it is shallowed in emotion
head nodding its numbing routine
as the way he committed data
from recollection to the hard world
news from blood rushed through a brain
being shown forth elsewhere, sand grains
on a promenade before rain water
pushes them into the gutter
down the drains and thence into ocean
where in due course they round more than once;
and so with this idiot chasing time –
as he smokes too rapidly for breath
and begins coughing, which lasts some gasps
[Lawrence Upton (lawrenceupton.org): poet and graphic & sound artist Recent publications: wrack (2012); Memory Fictions (2012); Unframed Pictures (2011); and Some commentaries on Bob Cobbing (2013). He co-edited Word Score Utterance Choreography in Verbal and Visual Poetry (1998) with Bob Cobbing, with whom he also made Domestic Ambient Noise, spanning 300 pamphlets totalling more than 1800 pages and taking over 6 years to complete (1994-2000).
20 + text-sound compositions with John Levack Drever.
Second solo exhibition (“from recent projects”) September 2012, London. Made photo, synthesis (for solo viola) on commission to Benedict Taylor (2013), now being premiered (Subverten CD).
Convenes Writers Forum Workshop (since Cobbing's death in 2002). Visiting Research Fellow in Music, Goldsmiths, University of London.
Copyright © 2014 by Lawrence Upton, 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.