WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS ELSEWHERE

Nomas*Projects invited me to help reflect on the Incarnation with a joint exhibition with conceptual artist David McCulloch.  The exhibition is entitled:  PROMISES PROMISES.
It is exhibited at 9a Ward Road, Dundee, Scotland from December 1st-31st.
My contribution was an experimentation with writing a ‘concrete’ poem, which is displayed between David’s contribution:  two marble squares inscribed (one forward and one reversed) with the legend:  ‘WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS ELSEWHERE’.
Here’s the poem:

Too
sm-
all,
too
po-
or,
too
eth-
nic,
too
an-
cie
-nt.
So-
Ph
-ie
won’t claim it.
The Stab won’t touch it.
They can’t see it and refuse other-
wise to feel it. Yet it burns like stars on the whorls of their fingers and lingers like a burnt offering in their no-
strils and like ash-into-beauty on the
-ir tongues. Dig ears to see.
Dig eyes to h
-ear.
Let
so-
ul
cov
-er
fle
-sh
lik
e s-
kin
an-
d l-
ist
-en
in.

 

©DOJP 2015

tuck-in # 1,667 (approximate)

Lovely miniature neighbourhood of night,
just assembled from some titan’s toybox,
lamplit and shrouded in clouds,
tucked snugly in gloom.
Parked cars on sleepy streets,
trees still as stones, driveways tightlipped.
Nodding houses, interior lights winking.
‘Good night, Night!’ she says
from her upstairs open window.
She falls asleep curled into it all,
a ball of love and burning dreams.
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forgotten fragment

[found this on a desktop document – forgot I’d written it, sometime earlier this year]

 

they thought they were someone
they hoped they were someone
they imagined they didn’t care at all
about whether they were someone or not,
only that they made their sound,
sounded their unique flesh-mind,
just as I watch my fleshy, skin-draped fingers
flex slow-motive and metaphysical – what is it?
what is it all? how does it coalesce…

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Through Ferguson’s Eyes (1st attempt)

Those with guns

get sons.

Those without

go without.

 

Beautiful brown hands

are raised,

shots are fired,

hot life runs out,

is not gathered again.

 

Does the blood run

right to his home,

avoiding the carpet,

to tell his mother he’s dead,

like in the Colombian tale?

 

It seems to have sent a trickle

to every house

in the neighborhood

(‘these are the people

in your neighborhood’).

 

Every single citizen

bears a single drop

to the scene of the

shoot-shoot-shoot-shooting,

shaking with fear and horror.

 

They pool the drops together

into a great red weeping

question mark

that smears into a raging

unreadable scream.

 

This is the way the world bends

down,

to birth another enmity –

and fire must follow

as surely as tears.

 

Sooner or later,

weeping and gnashing,

rioting and looting,

rubber bullets and

tear gas reactions too.

 

Shadowy masked figures

loom out of smoke, heavily armed

and blue-lit like bad retro sci-fi,

a corny dystopia

not funny now at all.

 

Those with guns

get sons.

Those without

go without.

 

White skin is beautiful too,

but it’s harder to see

right now – it just looks

bloodless,

absent of color.

 

Good cops exist,

and peaceful protesters,

but naked animosity

runs deep in all of us

and very near the surface.

 

No one really knows

what’s going on,

but we blog and tweet

and like and share

to show we (appear to) care.

 

We don’t know

what we care about

or care about

what we know –

it’s just a show.

 

But we do feel,

and in our better moments

we try to follow wherever it leads,

to whatever little truth

it bleeds.

 

Those with guns

get sons.

Those without

go without.

 

Or so it seems

when we’re living

hellish dreams,

where power never left

its hallowed whitewashed halls.

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protest # 173

thank God for Immanuel!
thank God for Immanuel!
go ahead,
bind and gag,
bind and gag.
thank God for Immanuel!
I’ll shout it through
the dirty rag.
all the gulfing chasms between us
bridged by a yearning star burning near!
I’ll die on a choked and muffled
praise in my mouth
thank God for Immanuel!
and you’ll think I begged
for my life.

but Life begged for you.

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