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Look Up
              from Trethewey, West Penwith

Spread of one colouring, texture giving
advantage to another texture, colouring it
and so losing the advantage...

What colours! Edges fly against edges,
buckling and breaking themselves fragmenting
and they collide and combine, much as new,

much as the new waves overhaul retreating waves
at the fluttering frontier of beach and collapsing sea;
splashes and smears variegate the sky;

and, in the middle, battered by strong wind,
a swirl of an insubstantial centre
which might well seem to control the whole space,

a hole in it of ruin and emptiness
which does seem filled by powerful elements
ready to recombine, not subject to

external and considerable control
surrounding a settled area of grey on grey;
a little person who is chemically high

right in the midst of a crowd pretending calm;
a city on fire, blinding, a glitter of lights,
the collapse of a tenuous system working

which will soon malfunction, shunning command,
the consequence of ideology
ignoring political dialogue. Noise.

 

 

 

Look Up
              from Norwood Junction

as in a thick sea mist
the middle of the floor
exploding
                                                                                      and nobody
and nobody but this figure disappearing to one side

one imagines him speaking defiantly

if you want your –
your – the sentence doesn’t finish
we do not release each other, he says

inside the white, drifting, unseeable detail
unsealed and usable
he’d –
                                                                               he was.

he was – the sentence is the life
it can be shaped
and he can’t be

he says: don’t ever
he says: can’t be with that
he says: take my many
he is beginning to glint godlike
            as one might imagine that

many times he has it
exactly right
suffering and pink
sections of remembering

he says: how you – we – talked about –
how you happen to – you love
you went, to you, for you, when you
because you…

and then he says: take your many

and then it all dissipates

 

 

 

Look Up
              from Crugkern #2

a boar breaks out of a granite boulder
a fish with a clown's mask pushes through a block of ice cream
the ice cream drives down the back of the fish’s head and slithers
                                                                                                                  and swims upstream

a swan throws itself into the air, all water specks and arse

five bread rolls on a surface

a head turning
and turning more
degrees than
circular, each
facing timber

hands throw out of a tree not linking

a mouse splits into constituent parts
bubble packed for ever

                                                                          *

two words
reefs in shallow water

one word is long and flat
the other approaches cubic
which stands well out of waves
and yet, now, it's gone, both gone

one above the other
below or above another
beside one beside t'other
and each part unlike each other

a knife moves towards a brain

the brain divides into a complex of 2 & 3 & 1
becoming scissors.

blades which
separate &
show themselves

the body of a sheep
defending young

eyes of insects

that's one word
another's shattering

that is a third

but it is a white, horse-head dragon
roaring conflagration

these three
form a triangle

                                                                          *

a chimney, as it takes flight, forms a bird's head
to threaten words with beak scythe

words are all froth

even the sea is breaking

words in a tide, a gain,
words in a tide

mumbled words
heads and necks of cautious seals

one word above another word
beside two words beside each other
all underlined

something with eyebrows as big as its jaws,
so full they partly cover its mandible,
leaps, biting the air, towards a cartoon pig

there is fire and smoke – perhaps dry ice – the pig recoils

a navy helicopter buzzes the logan stone

the monster disappears into backwoods

the flying machine moves on

all’s quiet

 

 

 

Look Up
              from A tram from West Croydon to New Addington

Sheet metal stretched across a hemisphere
which turns through something like a rectangle
so that we head beneath dark cover.
It is quiet in the human fields today.

Individuals wander here chewing.
Some wait in pens, others by gates, obeying.
Little fights do start, but soon end. Few die.
Time passes, counted in standard increments

by those who care; and products are sold on.
In the unprotected parkland, theories
are developed, which explain and comfort,
ensuring no one does anything sensible.

Slowly we disappear into darkness,
filmed on cctv for safety tics.

 

 


 

 

 

[Lawrence Upton (lawrenceupton.org): poet and graphic & sound artist 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) (Subverten CD).
              Convenes Writers Forum Workshop (since Cobbing’s death in 2002). Academic member Athens Institute for Education and Research. Email: uptonlawrence@gmail.com]

Copyright © 2018 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.



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