Mike Ferguson

Invisible Lawyers


Imagine that in a courtroom, voices from unknown places articulating precedence and passion. It will be theirs or the clients’ status which becomes null and void, though not the charges. Those historical constraints which were not seen but became evident for those who looked. I like that idea of the concealed pen writing our antiquity of subjugation. Due diligence looking through the eyes of secret powers. Where new partners did not send photos with their résumés. It would have been mildly preferable if the annoying glut of no win/no fee defenders were a product of incompetence rather than malice.

In a courtroom
of unknown passion

there is a
concealed diligence,

the evident partners
(who are historical)

mildly secret in
articulating the antiquity

of their constraints
through subjugation.


There are those who have powers through
incompetence rather than malice, an idea
not necessarily preferable. It is the product
of an annoying glut of them – no constraints
on their voices, their photos, their void
writings. They win due to their secret: null
precedence; a résumé of what they imagine
is. Imagine if this was not, and not to be
historical, not to be antiquity – as the product
of how if let to be. Imagine, then have the
diligence to not let them win. The courtroom
resumes as defender, its preferable partner a
passion for voices articulating passions and
whatever charges become changes on demand.

Hell or High Water


Is there ever ambivalence in killing – as opposed to death by economics? Hope in eternal heat and deluge seems the remotest of understandable dumb thinking. Oh those jokes. Vigilantes are just protecting, right? We cannot watch before that moment, but now after, its prescience rolls out across a never-ending landscape like tumbling. One was a mean dude, the other only acting a part, historically speaking. How the heists are culturally our Robin Hood of selfishness. Even jalopies appear mystical in a getaway. Oh brother/s. If there was redemption it got buried with that car, so large and premeditated the hole. Retribution, however, is a haze across the plains, sunrise the same every day apart from storm.

What appears ambivalence
is everything discarded

in the hope eternal
of death economics. 

That dumb despair of faith
is a better redemption joke

than prescience by 
eternal retribution.


Better for hope in every ending day that it is
discarded, protecting the tumbling on and on,
and what rolls across death is the killing 
thinking jokes are retribution – faith made a
premeditated mystical / eternal / ambivalence
of dumb getaway. What can be opposed to
economics? All is understandable in the storm,
and a sunrise is haze just as it is remotest heat.

We are buried before despair as prescience.
Hope in every ending day is a dumb landscape
Oh brothers / Oh sisters: large plains of eternal
rollin’ and tumblin’, understandable as it is.
What’s the faith in redemption when vigilantes
are chasing after a day’s retribution in jalopies?

Mike Ferguson is an American permanently resident in the UK. His most recent publications are And I Used to Sail Barges (The Red Ceilings Press, 2020) and Drawing on Previous Learning (Wrecking Ball Press, 2021).

He notes: "These two come from a sequence of poems that each begin with a found prose poem which is followed by a further two versions, these constrained mainly to the words in that 'starter'. I want to explore how 'meaning' transfers across the versions within the restriction imposed."
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