Douglas Barbour and Sheila E. Murphy


Section LVI

moved beyond ends or fin
              ales    allied     or fans
      tactically overwhelmed by
turns of eventual shadows shot
       across affronts    standards
              roaming into empire defiles

              ale stand (when in Rome)
the empire waistlines file in
      by the dozen        less one             urns
              of proffered root fizz
                           front for shadowy
       ends-means conversations      merely
           tactical         finagled shot put

put out       of thought   less   horror
     orisons      over such edgy
              trajectories    to   ward     in
telligence     televised      token
     theologged    fogged      ruins
              (burial) grounds for plain tiffs

              quality of thinking mirrors
quality of feeling              choice of edges
      wards off            purity as if
and only              manufictive theo
      clogged the ruined passage
                  ways and means for deeper breakage

blocked age thinged into
             morrow sorrow narrowed
      again   st    one way    road run
              n’er roar of engine s
inked authority   thrown a
                  way     pre    munitions   burn out

            out the row to under oar's
      author'     sin     neru nit y
  soroptic urns hold            utmost
marring done in
                 ink              way atop
     the surface facing topmost hinge

turned awry    /    burned away
     all (l) inks      sustained
              wretchedness befallen
                     angels of dealt
     doubled nothings     slapped down
              all taken tokens cellar blown

tainted laps around the ink
              well temper(ed) ken en
       liven double-dipping into urn's gelatinous
                   cell wreck slated for
                           an on-the-town night for
                                a species once considered wry

                                auspices wan since concerted lies
                            announce brown outs   /   core
                   services     belated torn lives
              rubbled     gripping onto worms vertiginous
       hell   /   trip entered in an
faint   /   collapsed foundering link

                            blasphemy’s grip allows no syllables
                 to sing              a once delicious vice
           comes tired     and rips the body’s heart
from glow            a power assumed has lapsed
     reverts to late rote jousts to hell
           alone and under cover as imposed

to cover but   /   what happen
      ing now rote rout(ing)    through
metamorphing tale told
              physical loss of eye
     s clear knowledge    to fall
              off    a base    meant

as compliment              how low
             disguised as high
                          can greed shove
      the collective mind         into
                those depths beneath
                           the finite ground

                                                     ground in
                           to unmoored sand
              which    or witchery    packed
impossible tricks of perspective
                           parsed as past re
              turns of a screw up upended

specter of lack        a rickshaw
              brisk although unfeasible
                           hacks along street accustomed
              and pronounces        pending
  patter           rue the day
                           which has to happen

             stance of ready mess
      to run   /   a way of cop
                           ink spilled
crock   or dial-up response
               only one chosen
only one answer   /   given   (up

domestic steadiness garnering
             legitimate       supplies          parallels
      pillage (increasing
ly the object of            attention
     in which nothing's given
                    all is stress and lopped off the (in) common

                           such fields as open aired
              queries queered by silence
s meaning inferred    /   incurred
       dogged    fogged        clogged
              drains or throats   /    wha
where cant be stated     stayed

tears in        fur         request
              repair          mid-air steep
les    s          field than       incursion
              while plan   ts    number in
                           the milliscopic
(looked-for statements      dogging)

best laid trans   parenting
     stand(h)ard   s    lowering
to fields fragmented speech sub
              tends   / a deflocked
following    embarrassed by new new
     s untold /   caught beyond the crook

              tantamount to lockdown
rooks in place          the flock is full of t
                           ending       reach
         low flying          guards
                                        rend plans
           to lower standards        field a quest

set all at half    massed generations
                           mire and blood
              soaked   /    smoked
    across eras   /   how it hangs there
              above or    floating black
toward beaches    pennants (no penance signed

              in contrast, oak         holds
signal trespass in its girth            the half of it
                             leeches from unspecified sources
              (lack preempts silver stealth)
                                        (here lies a roster that details
                    a mantra long forgotten)

                           oaths mis-taken token
              memory loss    its something
                                        stupid in repose
                           d questions grown ever
more thick   /   a canopy of bays branching
              leafing universes left behind

              some of the simplicity's       staid
but underneath                           grow
                           quest    ions           revered if heard
                  the plexi-view from upper
      registers bequeath              to the adventurous
                  rhymed branching      to the left of pose

lay about way out error stretched
      beyond       belief
              s battered heart heat
      seeking     misses      massive
runs over bearing      res
             pons     epic asinine arch lie

                           bear mark(et)s aspic
             art contrapts          sketching t
race       eeks out a way
                   through / to plump    error’s arch
enigma ma matrix
              having mainly wool

lead covers all radiant redemption
              a traction at temptation
      s door      a way out in
sight    /   stretched right
             eousness    on

                           economic bounded
rafts              one li    berates
              the in          vocation from
profession           listen to the dictates
              of imperial
                        neglect    the headache pounding

              the heartache foundering
      as imperium    im     presses
                           placates a who
re    armament    as proviso
              desired     de     serve
returned     racket rocketing back (lashed

sockets blank         now visibly (de)pressed
              (close)              down
played         once too
                           many    times     presumes a s(p)iring
                           the market wholly without raiment

Douglas Barbour, poet, critic and Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Alberta, has published many books of criticism and poetry, including Fragmenting Body etc. (NeWest Press/SALT 2000), Breath Takes (Wolsak & Wynn 2002), A Flame on the Spanish Stairs (greenboathouse books 2003), Continuations, with Sheila E. Murphy (University of Alberta Press 2006) and, most recently, Wednesdays’ (above/ground press 2008). He was inaugurated into the City of Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame in 2003.

Sheila E. Murphy's most recent book publications are The Case Of The Lost Objective (Case) from Otoliths (2007) and the above-mentioned Continuations. Forthcoming from Blue Lion Books is Murphy's Collected Chapbooks, featuring works published in small formats from 1981 to 2002.

Murphy resides in Phoenix, Arizona, where she founded and coordinated for 12 years (with Beverly Carver) the Scottsdale Center for the Arts Poetry Series, featuring the commissioning of poets to create original textual work in response to visual art included in traveling exhibitions.

The University of Alberta Press book is the initial 25 sections of this extended collaborative work by the two authors.

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