the madman’s inkwell (poem constructed using William Burroughs’s cut-up technique)

dread the chains no longer

for the grace has fallen!

and many a land of poverty.

pose them to submission,

sanction the mystical obscurity

of a former age

how rich a cluster

of attitudes liable

to feel baffled

formidable only

in awful truth

Deadly terrors the stars now clasp

immortal hands threw down the spears

and the night

divided for us

the judgement of the lordly ones

could once twist the sinews

thy heart began

collocations of grave devotion

what wings dare he seize?

aspire the fire?

jostle against chaos

our first impulse distinguished

to mutter some statement

of cosmologised disguise

Eternal reason be borne

its proper act and end,

the elaborations it invites,

an array of books,

doctrines testify to the profound

dread grasp

what the anvil dares illustrate,

existence as a cosmic drama

the gloss of the human story

must decay

now free to confess

arrogance unbounded

lost in shining light

the creator smiled

with ferocious strength

with the smile of daybreak

throwing light beyond question

the spirit water’d heaven

convincing the divine spark

in the distant deeps of thine eyes

of instincts revolutionary

welcome again!

to an age of paradox

an impregnable,

divinely-ordered world

united, mortal body



and in tears…

time and death break down…

silent, invisible

and in thy well of broken sentence

Infant Sorrow imagines

Its first experience of danger

the world walk’d,

transformed, bewildering

among the lapsed souls

weeping, wooing

selfish father

chained in night

here afore thy sight

outward eyes

the mind descries

absorb’d by vacant mind

feelings… still

metaphors firmly

vision bestows

the vast temple buried

beneath all these things

this Universe within


striving against

bound and weary

upon the gate of the tongue


these abstract commandments

of Heaven and Hell


into the emotional reality

of the Ancients!

Call for fires!

For heaps of smoking ruins in the night

For splendour!

For Glory!

Abrupt bursts of words!

slumber my fears

eclipsing curse of God’s relation


we see…

into the life of things.


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