Andrew Giles


Sendai

I am standing in a place I do not know in dirty water
& the:

it seems wrong
Yuura saw a child run out to sea on the tip of a wave
that was mottled & steep & so very big &...


smashed glass
here & there & a boat
balanced on the town hall, a flying
train, nothing. My wooden house kissed the very big
wave & exploded
the child balanced on the lip of the wave
straight up, mouth curled like a smile
eyes wide &:

the water is so dirty here, like soup &
stormcrows hang close about.
Yuura said the child ran with the water for more
than a moment, what a picture!
Like he & the water were a solid liquid seam


Comfort

Comfort in wood. The kitchen beam,
capsicum, onion, good, good. Comfort

in stone, cold flags on bone knock-
footed around the house: comfort

in sound. Hum the tunes, ok, sing them,
ousting the birds. Go to town. Comfort

in words, coat the page slick & lucid
& afraid. Comfort in body. The ends of

your legs, your arms. Hands. Four bread
tins lined up dead straight & one by one

given to the hot oven and left to rise.
Comfort in machines. Comfort in steam,

left blind. This is well-played & hard-
headed but sit down hey, stay, comfort

is man-made, it's mostly absently mislaid
& time runs out on us hot & sick, amazed.


Ludwig Koch on the set of Orlando (tapes I–V)

(I)

The day’s contours are indistinct. She hides her fleeting fame
from the swampish English half-light, as if winter had left
her uncanny instructions behind the veil to heave & heft
against the gauzy fabric, slowly diffusing the moving flame.

(II)

A hush is locked tight in the wintry steel, a whisper filed & bound
in aller Stille that collects hours like firewood, fashions
a suit & stitches its body in, walks from frame to frame - same passion,
no difference at all - just that glint in the light spun by sound.

(III)

Decide not to be afraid - nobody knows if we peel the pith
of it. Words don’t hold their meaning. I guess you read a rake
of e.e. cummings whispered oblivions ago? Read his poems like
champagne to your lover & i like my body when it is with


your body was the sum-total of your fears. Now there is a face
in every vortex, every portal, every unreal place where all nearness
pauses; the washing machine is reloaded, starts a spin cycle, the mess
of clothes turn round & round grumbling soapily until they brace


& sit ready to be strung on an endless line arm to arm.

(IV)

The day
sucks winter into her cheekbones & tramps along Thames-front bars
where the toothless tie blades to their feet & carve great scars
in the ice, some carving arcs & half-moon shapes on their gliding trajectory
to the frozen sea. No time to breathe. Time continues its ecstatic compulsion.
The ice came this year in May and stayed, the news reported mayhem. The weather-
girl died of frostbite on location. The location teemed with clouds of tubers
& hooded funghi that sprouted between the cracks in the emulsion.

(V)

The machinery’s in decay—lower yourself under the water to moan
into the microphone. This sound file will surface on, say, Radio 4
in twenty years, or not, depending on the weather, the signal tower
impassive & concrete, bleached & unsinkable like a close-up moon.


Allen Ginsburg

It wormed itself up. It was quite
underrated,
the way morning rested
slightly on the cusp of the night


in a world slashed with nickel
and chrome. There are some
like this that run and hum and run
and perform a trembling prequel


or hitch up the skirt of the story.
This day held its drapery softly,
it visited the museum, funny—
all the caged Beats and the hairy


mammoth together, the meaning
of afar and the starry gaze
on paper skin printed sideways.
Space split and started keening.


Day pickled the dusty cases
in light, sped on and on, grew
to think itself the night. Moon-
made gas hid ghosts of faces

that stared ahead blind into forever.
Shush, I hear a silent howl stuck
in the exhibiting case. Crack
it open or close it whatever.