To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Reuben Woolley: Six Poems from “Broken Stories” with a note by the author


she brings black flowers
black flowers
to black weddings

from black suns
she dances

black swans
on black rivers

i want / black
sails on black seas

the outlying

looking out from layers
is not time
for counting the broken

 it's here all the tawdry

another pointed explosion
for all the relevant 
dead.we have no room
for breathing & talk
is no comfort at all

time shining

is a time away
unseen                       there is eyes
& all the twisted mix

i have my own name now
& i can speak you
                                    we go slow
not here
making shadows
the echo of sounds

through all the day i hide
my mad indifference

& bridge
a while away

are holes
in all systems

life is overrated she said

            i write

            i missed
your portrait
& all the years

every detail

hung a face
            & dried
where everything is

insufficient.a candle
will not warm us now

the broth is cold
& the bone is hollow

they did & loud
her sleep continues


this last
            there are no heroes
behind cross
focused on distance
            are empty plates
for broken tables

she walks in black
& dust

with all the silence
of tomorrow  
every move & when

is a tale for hurtling days
i've lived with me
all my is 
not easy

            i go riding
on rivers.they’ll take me
in the slow beat
of a universe

an ocean a long breath
are answers sufficient

i don't want
your infinities         self-
reflected        & old smears
                         the doubling
of alibis
glazed for auction
                         the bark
in my hands

i'm fingering for nothing
& finding it

let's go            small
in the distance

bye bye

[NOTE.  Published earlier this year by 20/20 Vision Publishing in the U.K., of which he writes, relating to both the title & the concept: “For a story to be broken means that once upon a time it was whole. A story is never finished; one leads into another. However, in these dystopian times, this process has become more complex; the story teller meets interference. These narratives that used to exist, that helped to hold a culture together are being broken by certain people for their own ends (political and corporatist) or are being weakened in our hi-tech world (with or without our collaboration). We haven’t yet produced a strong enough narratology to take their place.

“We are the stories.
“Music is a strong influence on the work. The white spaces are an essential element and should be read. The void is not empty! However, the beats are not necessarily the regular beats of drum and bass but rather the breath beats of a free form jazz saxophonist, for example, which may vary in tempo. I like to think of the interplay between different beats: the earth beat, breath beat and the blood beat.

“Among the influences on the work are a wide range of British, American and European poets, writers such as James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, whose plays I consider to be among the greatest poetry of the 20th Century and musicians such as Captain Beefheart, Bob Dylan, Roy Harper, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and Terry Riley.”]

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