Douglas Barbour & Sheila E. Murphy

Continuations CIV:

a songline shudders  meta
                physical violence abuts
   cliffs of wind    swept   clean
                up   end   all sacred
   vices    that vacancy the cave
                 where shadows only live

all of the beyond 
                lean moments till
    palpable physical  endings
                as sweet shuttering 
                                the live linear metabolism
   of shared song

uplifted   vocal eyes or touch tones
                clouds cluttered   shuttered
                   or sheltered    shadowed
                                ombre d’espoir ou de lassitude
blues play both possibilities
                notes bent toward the futures

loud and clotted sound               rebukes
                leisure for being            a pause
   between record and                  portent
shell-shivering                 dark places
        swivel     from depth to 
                driven downdraft

                                a chill there in dark
                mess   massed feelings explode
energy plus    a neat equation    non
sense   equalities would work out on
                a field noetics    if only
                                minds went to work

aspiration trends toward 
                mind work             alongside feelings
                                energetic sound of “ah”
                                                opposing blasphemy
   equal to arithmetic undone
                as granular replenishing is spun

spanned    a bridge to far to fit
   thinking   capped with prejudice
                all worship warring against all
a swearing in of out
                                        rage again and
                again a lottery of faith unthought

wearing what is worn                   trinkets
                fought for         panned glimmer
                                dulled to sight
                no lift there
                                      ridges in the brain
      cemented and unfit

for any where    care   worn
                tatterdemalion    tatter
                   tale lost in translation
   a fool wears out
                a mind in total tottering
                                state of the tart

and for a lark (who would not in
                vest       gesture as stressor
                in the transitive transmission
of trance                 ear-to-ear
                to be “of one mind” 
    winning lotto blotto

a way of life savings
   lost   spend your thrift
                on faith    less debts owed
banking on belief in a future on
                demand    a lot to fake
                   rake fortune’s numbered balls

pending the rift
                snowed under                  angst 
                                refutured into mandatory
 faking it             aching underneath
                watching not making
                                trying                  to consume

assume nothing    the unconsumed remains
                of the day   light in pocket
                                right in lockstep
a false disorder   that illness instrumental
                paid out up to a near minus
                                percentage presaged

locket with a feather of hair
                crossed fingers                  talismanic
                                overlay                 to falsify
                certainty                instrumental
in doling what is
                left to those never in need

a fever in deed    heats up
                beats up    any reach out
   a speech impediment re
                lies   upon a blank page
                   all signing powered
                                by deepest pockets

a florid signature                 leaves
                the page better than
                                impediments, the subject
   of the sentence                lies upon
                       unplanned illness
                                speech over (taken)

token    a big pretence as
                the picture of innocence
   or pure stupidity   the will
                to not see    or say
what opening doors (re)present
                as prospect / project(ed)

parboiled naiveté is still
                the same stupidity (un)treated
                                not to say
what all do see at some level
                worst     (to wit)                 prospective
purity becomes, never becalms, false scenery

false scent    nosey or noisy
                interruptions   a kin(g)
   slaver    slicker city ways
                slither a sly routine
                   right at any T in
                                tersection / surrection

les oiseaux       hover in mind
                “for them”                       kindred
    causticity      routinely sly
                penthouse whispers
                                flicker through cities

and sing    sing   a prison
   house of (bad) spirits
                a drunken gala  gaga
once where no birds sang
                trees bare    barren tease
                   of meaning less mean

the spires instill spite
                spitting and sprees of skunking
                                barren of meaning
mean-spirited small minds
                imprison good while
                barons of bribery breach liberty

libraries might hold    back words
                into a white space flat
   and flattered by each visiting eye
                freed by a life sentence
                    to escape into the forest
                                fears rest beyond

open                  flat       each view
                sentences the mind to quiet
                                selves beyond this
         forest of might
                to visit space  
                                a tempting blackness

opening up   and out   /   eye
                to itemizing new ways
                                of loss   /   cross
    purposes    proposes a wonder
                lust     off trail   under
                    ground    down and out

rosters of need                 in the way
                item after item
                                left right where
       inconvenient and unanswered
                the trail goes on
                                apart from railing

at or against   a stone wall
                ed it orally  chipped
   or clipped   off coarse
                and captive  bating
insight   all eyes tu(r)ned in
                to whose bought talent  (wasted

yielding sorrow                from those who
                still feel                look at the blood hues
                                of the iris
   tuned to eyesight’s own lost 
                magic                  focusing
                                on the mere

con the feared    shift of
   focus (group) against a white
                (noise)   background   check
   unbalanced    or embalmed
                a floating crap games
                    the system   (down

and out of fluid                although
                grave      the color of daylight
                                gone to cloud coat
   mirroring sans shine
                the pigment-free thin tresses
once      glistening

                                     glancing bellows
fellows follows as the slay
                the slight    right    to (un)think
   all the first fine words of cons
                institutions    sequences
                    sad vectors of belief

leafy days arrange (the sleep-deprived)
                thought                patterning  
   coins fall out                 of favor 
                institutions        usurp     what little 
                light  fail to reciprocate 
a vector at a time

kept    or called     out or
                 into new constellations
   constitutions of blazed star(e)s
                 blank stirs black (blocked
                     thought   clouded   cloaked
                                 in righteous aimless anger

a bounty for past tense
                 that lives on  apart from sensory stellar
                                 lengths of wave                (blockage
    confers blankness                    where aim
                 defaults to prior
                                 takes     defining institutions

Douglas Barbour lives in Edmonton, Alberta. His latest book is Listen. If (University of Alberta Press 2017). His occasional reviews of (mostly poetry) appear in Eclectic Ruckus (https://eclecticruckus.wordpress.com/).

Sheila E. Murphy actively writes and draws from her base in Phoenix, Arizona. Her consulting work involves a fusion of theory and practice in organizational design and development.


Two volumes of Continuations have appeared from University of Alberta Press.
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