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POEM WRITTEN ON READING DENISE RILEY'S LATEST COLLECTION


POEM ON READING DENISE RILEY'S LATEST COLLECTION

It won't be when it is;
it, it - identify the culprit.

That's mystery, not this:
we know what does the deed;

deeds are legal instruments also;
no day is quieter or more sad

than a May Bank Holiday Monday
when it is about to pour down

or the rain has just barely ended.
Gloom. The day presents badly,

won't look us in the eye.
Don't say autistic.  Closing down

the long weekend, time like
a French Play amuses with doors.

I have no business (being an I)
intruding or hiding here.

To conceal is to claim I am
a thing worth keeping from someone

or some thing.  Some body.
Bodies are extended metaphors

for extension, just as bank loans
are tropes for needing money.

It is all the same to me.
This landscape is a painting

in a gallery wandered about in
by lawyers here for the wine

and the chance to hit it off
with someone for a variety

of reasons, not one remotely
to do with the art. Which is okay.

Art is hardly interested in them, either.
It is a two-way street, indifference.

Most things remain remote
from the world of other minds;

it is unclear what things feel
about being inhuman, inanimate.

What would they say to Disney
or any two-bit Michelangelo

who might disturb their dull stasis
with reverse Mimesis, fantasy?

Guess what? My heart aches
with regards to legal matters

of the head; the hands do cartwheels
on the grass and the brain

half-believes the spirit is the soul
when suddenly, pig's organs

deliver themselves unto our selves
like ripostes from life itself,

a sort of mass-engineered
roller coaster of the damned

we are strapped into at birth
for the sheer hell of it.

Have no words. For it all.
The colossal shame of death,

the word I thought (I again)
might leave unnamed

as if that would be a defeat
for this non-linear thinker

which is only a disease, a knife,
heroin, a streetcar, a fall, a crate;

thin ice is one skate away
from being a simile for tragedy.

The woodchuck would, but won't.
Quite quaint, working in couplets.

They twin the mirrors they relate.
They spin their tectonic plates

like twins isolate their differences
in subtle acts and ways too shy

to be declaimed or claimed exactly;
a red not blue blouse; a moustache;

well, not that subtle, not too loud.
The cloud of objections to any vehicle

or tenor is diminishing as fewer
comparisons are made.

Quite how it ever got loose is
anybody's guess. Bad luck about

the box, the vase, the lamp, the cage,
whatever broke at this late stage

to let it out to roam at will like words;
the swords of pillage in the early days.

JUNE 7 2016
MAIDA VALE
TODD SWIFT

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