Monday, January 01, 2001

Poetry Clinic: New Year

Being a new exercise: at the beginning of each month, for the next year, I will post a piece of writing—a poem or a song lyric—both here and at the Barbelith Underground—maybe something new, maybe one from the archive—for examination by the Collective’s laser-sharp critical gaze. This, the inaugural number, is from some time back, when I wasn’t so sanguine about the future...

New Year

Well, now.

Hello, my friends,
and welcome! to the show
that never ends but stays
the same as but the faces
and the names all change

a convenient way of shutting
down, unlikely as it seems—
it’s another year but business
from the previous still presses
all the devious excesses and
a pestilence of dreams

the carousel’s on fire
the horses flee in panic, blind
with smoke that tastes of
Auld Lang Syne and it’s manna
and hosannahs from the choir

the canvas torn to tatters
changed hands so many times
in payment—services, you know,
in matters ranged—can always tell
that’s what it takes to get it handled
and the stakes are in rebellion with the earth

the fun-fair strains that led us on
are soured, out of tune
with the clockwork grinding down
and the pure notes of a dream are drowned
in the jingling of the
coins in the gypsy’s tambourine


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