Wednesday, October 28, 2015

i.m. John Riley, 1937- d. October 27/8, 1978 and John Anderson, 1948-d. October 28,1997


Midnight Interrogation
(A review of John Riley's
Ways of Approaching)

the feet of the old begetters make your dozen
jump : the new images observe each other
a tickle it is the freer the line the
more wilful the stirrings : no 
one halts the caravan with such
avarice as you

you would tell the first inhabitants get
out & walk if their promenade across
the mind's peace the ash-woods the
cleared fields made parade of
Oh tis Autumn or
this view Lady & you
& by the same token would
deliver you to the dreadings of your
perennial night-walk on a platter the
lines of doomed auxiliaries felling the 
after-dinner song & 
the scents of mint & nasturtiums at the
poem's centre nothing to

the nothing at your centre the
flight of love's victims the
collision of affectations & easy
procedures with love's caravan : the nothing
of which you write it's
nothing you say secured on the
base-line of an empathy with the beautiful gardens & a
native lad running his kite 




The Last Sulk

(acausal parallelism : ) train stopped. the (unmistakable)
river bird preens its leg of our conjunction. never 
ending city reducing vitality trailing out
along the line. mile upon mile. so what "a tennis court"
but suddenly a silver generator's just fine. John Anderson'
s the poet who explodes our "white ibis". relegated*
to a footnote is simply not what we will be. what will
he be? what will we be? Last Quill & Restaurant. 
i'm looking forward to the great blank news.
the next decade is requisitioned. whether singing 
or tilling it's our first chosen beginning.
her hair or land-mist & rivulet
red lines in my fingers. he said/she said
kiss me. almost did. provided for in day-dream.
their fare's a kind of Zion. two birds on that pond.
more mist in the eucalypts of the valley.
sunshine on rising mist & smoke-stack's
grey climb. HITLER'S WAR i'm languorous
demurring "mine". its hill profusion &
dimpled plain. & trapped fog again.
i cant help thinking Our Power Was Thrown Away.
green so swiftly purple (verdigris). i'd settled
for nothing tending the abscess my fingers
trailing through air instead of their red hair.
A NIGHTMARE. tunnel through granite. then
smooth curve of river & never-a-care.
hard to proceed from there. i hanker after
rank lines. that buggerizing jalopy the
rhyme & style. resting motors on the highway
not one car to pace the train. 
think no more.
deny upbringing's cadence.
LOST!  but in which vernacular forest forest
host of heaven. i go home
i see brown rushes
i see broken branches sawn trunks
a by-road's damp patch
pulling red lines from their hair
my fingers curl flail no more the empty air
my fingers couched in the ardent there

* there now gasp!
rapture aside
aspiring on my time
red lines at my throat

[June, '79]

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