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Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Short Official Guide IV

Loyalty is rewarded this time with a shortish extract.

The Study

Here, on a bureau, overlooked by most,
find stories, scrapbooks,
and photographs from Picture Post.

Cabinets display Noah's logs,
itineraries, trophies, relics,
souvenirs and diaries
of ocean voyages and treks;
of vain attempts
to find that most
elusive wilderness. Read
thoughts on sail-aways
and welcomes home,
including that last time,
The Voyager's Return.
We picture Noah
complete with bride, The Princess
Able Clare,
on whom he wrote a thesis for the tech'
and whom he treasured as a jewel until the fall.

Reluctant to reveal,
open at their arbitrary pages,
revealing in their very arbitrariness,
admittedly not all,
but much of our relationship
to those remote and foetal ages.

Shannat... Shannapse... Shambhala!
Shambhala the ancient city can be reached.
Tickets cost... excursion rates...
the native guides, 'shifty-eyed'
deserted - it was said.

Brochures and travel agents
flood the centers of our minds,
now difficult to reach,
with neon light.

See in the final montage: the long night
slowly freezing from its first beginnings to a stop
(the sunken eyes, the wasted limbs,
the questionings awaiting en famille
having screwed him to his station),
as Lord Noah,exiled from his milieu, stands,
boots no match for water nor Pak-A-Mac for frost,
out-waiting the reluctance of the dawn to break.
Before he gets his turn to pay, the milk is gone.
Then with the armistice comes liberation.

Too late by far: Noah's child has died.
Chi-Chi, you may spot, has tin upon tin of milk put by.
His child (well-overfed)
is dancing with the ballet.

Featured here: Petrouchka's final act.
Sprawling in the marketplace.
Sky grown dim,
stitches leaking sawdust,
every limb
(You'll find him in the nursery,
still in disrepair,
propped up in the corner with the teddy bear.)

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