Douglas Barbour and Sheila E. Murphy

Continuations LXIV:

vanished in ashes   falling
     embers   letters umbra    burnt
offerings     to what god
     forsaken    for satisfaction
     s guarantee of nothing
                lost   gained    re/collected

collegium sharing cloth binding
                truth for what good
(for nothing opens 
                like place      like minds)
                      (rising in place)
                to gain         with vanishing

                                phantoms fading fast
                into darkened choirs   where
shadowed    no bards sing
     wafts of warrened dark descend
                minds  mend(aud)acious
     embrace the winding sheets of sound

offer a goodbye             brace for
                the long wound  wind
skeets         palpable shadows
                singular ingredients of traffic 
patterned after
                choir towns without faith

in   is it    or for tunes unheard
     how futures lie  / forsaken
                short changed investitures
     meant lost leaders return grand nadas
dark hollows followers mis t rapped
                to the beat of mechanic drums

unison asunder plunks down
                vestments led by adamant
     followist rap sheets drawn from
                heat beat to canonic
                                rum fest sakes
alive the future hides

in time flown    flows per
     chants barren choirs repeat
                reports retorts lost chords
                last shards of reasoning blown
     cannonization all that dirge directs
against the counterpoints counted

perimeters shelter shards       as if
                reason propelled (point blank)
                               tort law as canon
                this preponderance of serrated glass
      leaves line of choir
              to offer dirges next to gain

said bits of color coalesce to hold
                a haloed body stretched
     as hymns of martyrdom haul
fear and loathing into the sepulchered
                darkness    reaching far
                     beyond reason’s rationale

what mist breathing upon hymns
                the water plump in texture
                                stretched prime beyond
    earshot reason rationed
                                                out to be held
        in color and beheld

beat holt and polder    drum
     dream drags each rationed moment
                back beyond belief  /  or
to it all unwilling   lee
                ward border crossed
     loss of faith less melody

in chambers even the willing
                lean in on borderlines 
                                belief not systematic
leaves momentum and the backstroke
                delimiting young history
                                retracts sanctity for once

                retracks sainthood into the furthest choir
                                s shorted out dark looms
                a transparence spectraled faith
deletes  / no honest broke rage returns
     returns re turning points debased
                beyond the always doomed to repeat

traction ages       turns honest after
                faith based in doom
                               retreats toward trans
                position of the point click
                                yonder furthest yoke
                                    revoked initial sweetness

                                a taste now loathed low
                oaths following the late uprising
of whose gorge    who s lost faith
     too base(d) in drugged warren
                war on wherein the tunnel
                                never ends   emptied  of light

geo urges not rugged mere
                ly ruthless base and empty
oath erased to low form
                                of war      one without
          reason         faith en
                                com  passing sans compassion

com placations to what retrofit
     gods (those carved in dark
                stone  (bonehead con
                                spirit seize the night
                side / split shares in the new
whorled  ordure      wastelanding

fit for the odds                 bone toned
                seizures                 flight waste newly
                                spirited hatched also
as landing shares in retro 
               ark plantations 
                                         en plein air

quickened / brushed not   tied
     up    tidied up laws loosed
                endings     a convention   all
war rent gone   un pardoned
     paragon of parade restive  (or at
                spirit hatchet edit ed out

soon venting at dons
                on spires                 the minions
                                rush untidily to tall
     lies as if ardor equaled
                a license to tend sole
                                ly to the self

imagined as self   (as if
     affect offered interior décor
                (h)ating    baiting bare
     thought unleashed as metatomic
                physics    a burn across borders
                     new prison housed language lost

finned motion rises to bait
                the leash beyond physical 
   prism multiplies loss times housing
       senseless interior presuming self
                protection equals
                                an insensate pantomime

foolscap preliminal airy fall
     in(to)scription erased so
                silent running beneath con
     temptation    to give in to
                give up the weight
a stash of a moral might bear

limn an eight into 
                the frozen pond       roses
    tempt givens        incur a stash
           of oral recitation 
                  flight caps off
                           all silence once bequeathed

faltered insolence to be questing
     still in is   o(e)lation   an 
                ordure given   a vacuum
     full of less on lease     the insistent passive
                airless (careless)    closing that window
      lies only seemed to construct

guest workers pass through
                care and less  losing structure
      stretch goals offered in a vacuum 
                allow lies to be the sole
                                quest backed elongation
      for one is here then into air

tossed and forgotten already
     battered into sub/missive
                misled   (missiled)   empirical
(as proven by the latest  (latex(t)ed
     givens    governs from on how)
the singular word descend (depends

missed opportunities by way of silos 
                lately guile emerges via text used
                                as verb that leaves each daylight
                                                limber         scented        low
            on the horizon         quietly portending
                                morning frost 

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. (NeWestPress/SALT 2000), Lyric/Anti-lyric: essays on contemporary poetry(NeWest Press 2001), Breath Takes (Wolsak & Wynn 2002), A Flame on the Spanish Stairs (greenboathouse books 2003), Continuations and Continuations 2, with Sheila E. Murphy (University of Alberta Press 2006/2012). He has read his poetry and lectured in many places around the world, & also performed with Stephen Scobie in the sound poetry duo, Re: Sounding. He was inaugurated into the City of Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame in 2003. He writes a review blog on SF&F & contemporary poetry: http://eclecticruckus.wordpress.com/

Sheila E. Murphy is the author of several books of poetry, most recently American Ghazals, from Otoliths Press (2012) and Continuations 2 (with Douglas Barbour) from the University of Alberta Press (2012). Murphy's current pursuits include writing, drawing, and teaching, in addition to her consulting organization Executive Advisement™, of which she is co-founder. Her home is in Phoenix, Arizona.
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