1: Salamander’s Wool

As if it were the drug, the cure for it, the consternation of it, perpetual favour to it
The funeral pyre consisting of sweet fuel, cypress, fir, larix, yew, and trees perpetually verdant
As if it were Tuesday, ten or eleven days earlier, Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius
And the other months whose names derive from numbers, and conclude at ten, truncate
As we, following a Sovnarkom decree, continue to observe Resurrection
For then the sun renews his finished course, and the seasonable spring refreshes the earth
As the pleasance of it, of the having been buried in the sadness of winter now worn well away, relieves
And is germinal, momentary, and forth come judas trees, romaine lettuces, horse chestnut, arugula
As hosts to voluminous silence, boxes of skies of torrential educational-industrial darts
Blossoming sea thrift, fritillary, borage, valerian, wild mustard at its conclusion comes, naturally
As brandy, re-echoing disclosures into the sweet weave of daily makers
And the days roll over like a sleeping dog
As a cat, a buck, a doe; hares, conies in the desert, bats, owls in the shady bowers over
In melancholy darkness hover throughout the weeks of continuous production, drowsy
As natural philosophy is just that changeling jazzy tree beyond my window, so weep, muses
And throw the baby out, poetry in the crook of a spurious London and its technical depression
As if counting backwards, revises, adopts its masked silence, its gaping mouth

 

2: Specular Stone

And what we found there, on that island whose glassy fixtures manifest as earthenware meet
For archaeological rhapsody, were, formed through senseless salts and air
A great number of gems with heads of gods and goddesses, an ape of agate, a grasshopper, an elephant of amber, a crystal ball, three glasses, two spoons, six nuts of crystal
For then, still as signatures amongst the glossy leaves, though there, in Ithaca, are none to shade
And solemnise, and like marbles the fruits of these trees are small, hard, and issue no juices
For gone is rotundity, sweet continuance, echo, civility bends like an elbow, an oxbow
With so many naughty, lewd and unlawful games, as dice, cards, tables, tennis, bowls, quoits
For do not these send the haunters of them straight a stealing when their money is gone
And then to repeat, variations on a theme of exodus, meditations on the ecstasies of re-echo
For an ape of agate, a crystal ball, an elephant of amber, gems with heads of gods and goddesses
With so many this saraband of exchange, these early fruits from the politics, and from its sex, doubled
For a grasshopper, three glasses, nuts of crystal, two spoons
And some odoriferous or medical thing signifying the dissolution of the impossible suture
For is not summer become winter by the intervention of the third or ‘glorious’ sex
Easier described as an infinite number of crystal walls gathered triangles to encounter your curious eyes
For your curious eyes, your two spoons
And your three glasses, a ball, and practising size as a grasshopper, then an ape, into an elephant
For gods and goddesses, idyll and fleshy softness turned to crystal, glass, crystal, amber, agate, gem
Or a panacea made from a mummified body, most bitter to the taste
For it is bitter to the taste to give and have the bower broken by an incrassating triangulation of gazes
And geological time, an auspice, a letter, the small fruits of a theme of exodus, and lacunae, and departure

 

3:

With 2 pounds of bones, teeth, with fresh impressions of their combustion, extraneous substances like, pieces of small bones, brazen nippers, combs handsomely wrought, handles of small brass instruments, some kind of opal
Some kind of opal
With much gold richly adorning his sword, two hundred rubies, many hundred imperial coins, three hundred golden bees, the bones and horse-shoes of his horse interred with him
And mentioned in the 'Itinerary of Antonius, on the way from Venta or Castor unto London, Thetford or Sitomagus




 

[Benedict Hawkins is a poet and university administrator based in London. His poems have appeared in a number magazines and anthologies, and his first pamphlet, Ode to John Tristram – a series of poems about instagram, gay porn and Big Muskie (the largest dragline excavator ever built) – was published by Broken Sleep Books in 2019. He is currently making lists of early modern lists.]

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