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Turner Roth


There is time now but that too has worn thin; 
We’ve gained where others have lost in the crucible of markets, the searing 
flesh in austere pose, mannequins borne in window,
shops having swelled and coalesced, their meaning distributed in 
glowing figments of future:
We have gained time but it too has gained, the lots drawn
weigh more to the empty chalice we're swimming in:
Hollow fullness of flesh glimpsed through the Garden's back gate.
“We are more than is” says
the Resource Manager, lip curled to where camera's eye shines through.
“The wires have been crossing but never mind,” thick in pause before the sounds
recommence in a further room;
“We’ve smashed the hell out of ‘em.”

A notice is written on letterhead: 
Speak now or forever hold your position. A dance in rags spun
from distant looms, the time is achieved
in having never been won. Democratic lights
flicker in the hall, 
A pundit passes a word or two.
What was the point of it all?  

Factory scents line the pillow of the sleeping child,
mother embraces father and dog kept close on leash:
A flash and it’s over.

The skeletal beggar is kept further and 
further away as waves lap the garment-ridden shore:
    The skiff rests dark and alone in the ocean’s depth.
Soft, the drowned face that awaits us,
we who meet the day’s extremity.
Bastion of a billion lights,
a billion years in which time—unmercifully—
May go on living.

Octobre, MMXIX

To turn all into her spiraling element, the garbage, the
crossed visions.
Chiseled moments in the mounted stone
that surround it:
La Seine de Paris, falling headlong.
The putrid heaps that float as perfume, the braided bodies
gathered along the shore;
Crooked necks of pigeons, eyeless, toeless.
To scrap it all, jumbled as a million butt-ends:
food for the bottom feeders, the blessed, mutated
Carbon suckers.
La Seine qui rêve tout, dans laquelle
tout est exprimé:
The glass mouths of Russians, the beating wings
of Japanese, the block-fingered Americans…
When all the leaves have fallen you become
a shudder, a single digress
through metal and wash of concrete, letting out
the blood by which
you run clear.


In the heart of the world.
Cracks in cement,
the orange wall peeling. Stratum
of sound overhead: collected activity of man.
I burrow into the shadows of its dispensation, I am
covered over with wheat.
Fleck of sky on the ground, reflecting endless rooms. City
squeezed out of dirt. A border, a crossing:
vision of here and away.
Sun setting, passageways drifting,
forever on the heels of what keeps it together.
A world of reflecting surfaces, an unimaginable
concatenation of time.
Sky that tends toward falling, the cut
of roofs and scraping masses of glass and brick,
each stitch of street leaning toward, their surfaces
full of newly-formed faces,
the rocking dynamic absolute, tresses
of hair undone, smoking, waiting.
The birds fly over, the street empties:
Sovereign life in the field of limitless life,
the droves cobbled together, straight, jagged,
billowing, stretched and drawn,
gaunt and immune, dying and never dying, holding
forth and bending toward, the sky stretched and
spiraling up in the folds of bay air,
making her way to the waters beyond.

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