Douglas Barbour & Sheila E. Murphy

Continuations CII:

spins span night and day    a shot
                in the dark   a new sentence sent
&nbs   from a hilltop sentry post
                posted into the heart of
                   contingency far far away
a passing franchise or a franchised past

frenetic in its executable form
                beneath frame’s provenance
                               all that shows is tarnish
    despite assigned eyes         sentenced to see
                               from points at which height render
      specificity not tall

nor tailed   among shadows
                saddened    fried
                   circuits   break errors
    broke    bearers    letter
                perfected   as to delivery
                   recorded almost (a)live

hades has adherents roaring
                to do bitterness
                               apart from olive branches
    that would form hypothetical agreements
                at the inflection point of
                               barren and besieged

takes a grammatical turn   in to
                off ramped up rhetors
                   reaching back to dark
est hierarchs     fallen and
                jelled   material lies
                   deny all reaching out

already pinned to amperage
                the stress of self                destined
                  for urns                as quaint
    as viewing audiences turned
                into line drawn
                               heritage presumed revealed

as my sainted (h)aunt    a master
    full   of vice   all    awaits
                smallest innocence   odor sancti
                   fie the newly erected self
hatred given    ex(op)pression
                hidden deep in the vaults

nascent treads                viewable under
                microscope solely      play through
                               the awareness                taint
smooth surface first
with strata stress                as if
                to last into             selfsame

sell some     internal or
                eternal real   a state
    of lost union   or multistate
solution    dissolved in
    rising tide of rupture
                rumor as tumor expanding

seeming immune to sundry
                reversals                exposition
“show your work”             of poison’s
                     dire inflection      frittered
                motion                tremors left
      to rise      then rupture

explosion as new state of being
    ignorant    as no excuse
                but used anyway    an any
                say    something more than
    bind faith    bond security
                laying cash on the ‘mine’

tapping plenty from                    up-
                start point                where
                               recusal prompts
    stasis                worded in common
                parlance                new and used
                               excuses vying for being left alone

why is this fell for  &nbs; an eye out
                off it    such a shame
                full but unfathomed
    sea change   /   a singular
                moment    airy nothing
                   to say for that lone ()hood

unheld one       nothing can
                prevail except the arm
or         fallen                 drawn sea light
                               tantrums come to naught
      unless the constant present
                    tense smalls         then and then

provoked against a past past
                all remembrance    fell
felt    philandering minds in want
                to know    beyond belief
                   believing    behaving
                sadly    forgetting all

aspiration trills leaves                the known
                fluttering beyond evocative
                               right brains
     behavior is the white sail
                drifting after mindset’s
                               philosophical inflection

sales in the moanblight    infectious
                philosophes renounce a new
    metaphysics    metabolize a mind
                set in its way ward
                   ing off all actual
                               thinking (as perceptual real

feckless loss leaders
                enunciate parables with
                               a mind to push back
aggregate                           aggression
   the act of actualizing philosophy
                may be moot                   ’though newly set in

stone(s)   or stoned    a loss of
                real   whirled balance
    top spinning    bottom spun
                an other kind of shove
                   it    or that
                               effective disparaged index

ostracism may result in
                bottom feeding                lack of intonation
                               settles in unpinned hovelry
       while mood festers as though wooden
                               thoroughly unfun

unfinished always    all
                ready to throw off the chains
    remains a dream only    fostered
                out    laws laid down to ensure
                   rejection    a mind made up
                               by shackles long paid for

watch the sail for lessons
                long laid to rest in someone
                               else’s dream     a foster
                chance to manage lack
                               all smooth finish made
                                              to seem seamless

or shameless    is as do
                nothing till few ear
    drum meet air from
                furnace   ashes only left
    the economics of that
                rhetoric all burnt out

things drift from fundamental
                drum beat                the economy
    and its manifold derivations
                               burn and burn as man
              as cannot be
counted                caution’s gone for shame

of goofing round   agon
    eyes fronting a blind beggar
                hold up    only one
    thousand times will suffice
                to fill his coffers
                   new offers accepted minutely

guard dogs stay
                put         coffers hold
                               the offertory blindsides thousands
    new and used
                minutes pass    expended as expendable
                               all eyes on beggars

all ayes on biggers as betters   nays
                baying at every smallest gift
                               to any sadly lacking
    prime signifier    soft machined
                election    drooping shags
                   dropping flags of compliance

anyold has done                will do                 (it’s said)
                for the duration           as nations
                               downgraded into lowest common demon
   teach looking into mirrors
                all decision making inward toward
                               granular selves

how number the grains    sanded
                and painted to false
                   full frontal exposure
expostulating values only employees
    or the underclass    (so many
                undone…)    will have (to)

hone      drone personalities
                painted numerous      fractions
                                              lose value
    sand counts                as whole
                with posture undergirding
                               samples seen

and scene samples     repeat
                in ghostly   (or ghastly
                               images alone
                lonely as cloud(y)
                               computation   (amputation
of a mind lost in memory   constructs

essenes rapt with known
                white carried ghosts of selves
                               echoed cloud                imputed
     lore from    the unseen
                memoirs lived                instruction
                               fueled the lonesome

Douglas Barbour's books include Fragmenting Body etc, Breath Takes, &, with Sheila E Murphy, Continuations & Continuations 2; & the critical texts, Michael Ondaatje & Lyric / Anti-lyric: essays on contemporary poetry. Listen. If will be published by the University of Alberta Press, Spring 2017.

He was inducted into the Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame in 2003.

Sheila E. Murphy has been writing poetry actively for a almost four decades and the writing lives beside her business life. A few things on that other world can be found here:

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