David Miller

Gospel Songs something bronze or glass or else sand lightning & fire strike *** musicians in strange places strange? there were back streets & odd structures buildings where they sang & played & where they prayed & I wished to join them **** a climate of miracles healing laying on of hands into wholeness in stories... stories yes & later at least in songs *** or a climate of suspicion a climate of denial a hand or hands hoping for iron & steel touching synthetics touching tiles at best grasping cardboard grabbing at snow ice sleet rain *** belief dwells with doubt faith dwells with un- certainty uncertainty dwells with belief doubt dwells with faith *** a rain of sparrows a rain of swifts a rain of starlings a reign of quantity *** rippled glass so cold yes cold elsewhere heat haze horizons blurred harried *** she hid her face (tears) I drank wine elsewhere the child thus & thus *** start from nothing or as close to nothing as possible & call it purity as a starting point for an exception a new beginning from the old or oldest *** children slaughtered in moonlight & sunlight an escape on an ass in moonlight & sunlight & moonlight *** oldest or rather some- thing other (not Egyptian or Babylonian) *** ...& I wished to join them who? those I mean who were made whole were made whole? whose demons had been driven from them who were blind & now could see – such as we’ve heard & heard! & to what purpose? ah who were rendered limpid rendered at least but more limpid? yes in uncertainty *** if rendered then somehow whole if whole then somehow rendered *** wood & nails flesh & blood the given? the basic? & the spirit leaving the body to be otherwise embodied *** there was a road there was a room there was a supper there was bread there was wine there was a tomb there was a rock there were wounds there was a road *** who was it who wept? I drank wine but who wept? & who sang? ***

David Miller was born in Melbourne, Australia, but has lived in the UK for many years. His recent publications include Black, Grey and White: A Book of Visual Sonnets (Veer Books, 2011), Reassembling Still: Collected Poems (Shearsman, 2014), Spiritual Letters (Contraband Books, 2017), Towards a Menagerie (Chax Press, 2019), Matrix I & II (Guillemot Press, 2020) and Vitruvian Shadows (The Red Ceilings Press, 2020). He has compiled British Poetry Magazines 1914-2000: A History and Bibliography of ‘Little Magazines’ (with Richard Price, The British Library / Oak Knoll Press, 2006) and edited The Lariat and Other Writings by Jaime de Angulo (Counterpoint, 2009) and The Alchemist’s Mind: a book of narrative prose by poets (Reality Street, 2012). He is also a musician and a member of the Frog Peak Music collective., and has performed and recorded as part of The Mind Shop and with Louise Landes Levi, Ken White, Rod Boucher and others. Previous books and chapbooks have appeared from Enitharmon, Gaberbocchus, Arc, Stride, Reality Street, Burning Deck, Singing Horse, Chax, hawkhaven and Harbor Mountain. He gained a BA in History of Ideas from Middlesex Polytechnic/University and a PhD in English Literature from London University, and for many years taught and did research in English Literature at Nottingham Trent University.
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