Douglas Barbour & Sheila E. Murphy

Continuations CVII:

how turn    or turn away
                that simple     easy
    to say      nothing
on account     the cost
     deferred     yet no deference
                indifference    allows

sealed future platform
                terse with easy-to-remember
    bullet points
let go all nuance       as if
                nothing required
a difference    to extract      the flow

chart   what    charred hat
    in ring   sing or shout a new
                kind of public self
a base meant to stop all thinking
    calls to arm new barbarians
                beyond the walls they built themselves

elves sustain the project like 
                built-in correction fluid
                                chuffed around basic wins
   in lieu of barometric guesswork
                a projected public watches boundaries
                                chiseled by barbarians seeking stoppage

rocks fall    rock fills the new emptiness
                carved out of negative space
                                black holes pull the light through
caverns slick with blood   or just tears
                of rage    sorrow twisted
                                into a new geography of fear

pacing  sound within
                earshot                  the vernacular pulls
                                carvings from transparent
  aging                                 twists of normal
                distribution blur the corpus
                                rinsed of tears before new lack

a loss alas no body holds on to
                sense less than sans per
                                or exceptions to what rules
beyond borders sensed as solid walls
                gates closed    as minds wont
                                let a new thought in

scepters leave another form
                of grief still on
                                the table       a stake is driven 
                in         to sparta       athens
deep border lineage as bewildering 
        as sensory arrest

warranted   but un-guaranteed
    incremental awareness shutdown
                a new kind of filibuster
mouths open wide yet   nothing
                emerges    a heavy breath
                    (ing)    fetid thoughtrot

ephemera grow wicked
                cool    guard dogs with nothing
                                to save                 voiceovers
underpaid       just mouth the goods
                warrants                 out for various unrests
                                for the sake of nothing         much

how does untouchable mean in which warped
                hire-archy   a rush to mountain
                                   topsy-turvy economies 
of say watchdogs   walls    wills
                power(ed)   perverted
                                   parlayed with all fixes in

attainment      unwatched
                red versions    vertically 
                                arrayed                 part will
  part fixed    desire                   to shun 
                the mean                        from usual roadway
                                en route to the spire

one breath in    one breath out
                so slow   a high     heave
                                of rhetoric into abyss
of reason   transformed by a right
                cross    doubled down on
                                a t-bonehead butchery

pulse                    tentative       reveals
                the present tense       constant
season  formed                   double bass
                                low point transitive
                the right time                   placed
   within earshot       of ensemble

hearts raised in song    or tune
     d in    to     something like
                a harmony    (k)not heard
     fit to be t(r)ied    a side
                by side    tap dance 
                    tripped into trapped into tripe

unity                    does not                        harm
                sensory                         scansion opens
  the trap                      to yield
                surprising richness 
                                a flow-through
                                something to abide

withy    what s wanted but
    wanting     waning
                a shaming moment
airy nothing s    melee
                speech spat
                    sputtering engine falter

alterations make the dress
                not puttering from shop
                                to shop                  leeward
     a secondary antonym for 
                happy is        divided
                                (t)hereby fallen

ad dress nausea m aches mere
                speech suffer ever greater loss
    memory says history stays
                boxed away   hidden then
                    there on a s(h)elf
                                imposed upon

utmost leveling of historical
                renditions                      poses as
                                truth in boxes put away 
as if   unseen grief
                meant stashing means
                                certain removal

enter the archives and burn
                maybe turn   toward
     off   license to kill one
                more resolution    all resolve
    gone into the whirled
                off whitewash

till the oil    solve resolve
                wash wards off white
                                one way 
   baggage      no way entry
                works                    no one 
                                works                    nothing

her   or there  upon
                what argument for or a
                    gain st all reason
     able to dig ever deeper
                holes in ground less
                    rhetoric of savage re turns

age brings depth or
                repetition      witness
                                holes in this yard
   defining where (not) 
                to walk                  thereby
                                stalling the proceedings
                                preceding the stalling
                makes for good bad
relations    to all wheres
                and here to fors
cant told   each single lack
                of honesty so loud now

hearing trumps sense
                of prosperous accounting
                that pinpoints incremental 
                cover      taking
                poise      be      held 
                                from    be      yond

nothing holds over yonder wall
                harmony slide into wails
    played   out      into a moil
                of angers unaimed
unnamed    so many strings
                attached     to what dark whom

monetize regardless
                of the wailing                   (gerunds
weigh nothing   meandering
                as they do      through 
   clouds of gravity
                    darkening the unpaved spaces

traces   of too much weight   of
    gravy   train for long distance
                gain    the winners circle
shrinking    economies  sabotaged
                always from within
                                   those streets with no shame

increasing distances  convey
                trace elements unalloyed
                                wrinkling comics
highlight       hamster wheels
                poor economic news 
                               encircling vested sabotage

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

Sheila E. Murphy's recent books include Reporting Live from You Know Where (Meritage, i.e. Press, and xPress(ed), 2018), As If to Tempt the Diatonic Marvel from the Ivory (Broken Sleep Books, 2018), and Underscore (Luna Bisonte Prods, with K.S. Ernst, 2018).

Two volumes of Continuations have so far appeared, from University of Alberta Press.

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