One day, he says, I will hold all -nesses in my hands
Bright white whiteness 
All wildernesses
They form, in spectacle-circus-ring cant, coils

we can no longer decipher each other

The lion faces in his mouth the possibility 
of a head, likely hatted
in all likeliness

and go

Clusters of neurones pass each other monoamines 
in order to say, this time it’s different

One day, he says, I will hold you in my hands
Through seventy pushups with Dougie on his back
he wheezes I will hold you
A crosslegged yogi is the closest thing in this cell to a redeemer
Dougie says, will you bend your body in prayer?

They’ve taken his pictures off the wall
Bodies bend and build
Dougie calls and Pavlovian methods answer — can’t you hear it? 
The chiming of bells

Dougie yogi on his back,
crosslegged chewing — i am a savoir bind my eyes — a tattooed finger

jailbird jerky 

First-homeowner’s rebate in seven instalments
Dougie says, the body is a temple in another temple 
and that temple in another
A myriads myriad of palaces in which to store your mind, upon whose walls are inked 
the names of those who own you 

bind my eyes i do not need to see the name Dougie glisten with sweat

Seventy more
Seventy more

He has drawn in the place of the photos what the photos depict
One day, he says, I will crumble before you
Such a fine temple does not lie 
about its own destruction

Dougie allows him one cigarette a week on her back 
while Dougie does two hundred pushups
He must learn to cross his legs like maharishi mahesh yogi and not slip off on sweat

Agility is the prima ballerina assoluta, Dougie says
A voice that sounds like bells rings out in his dreams, the circus-ring draws closer,
a kindness to his skin
thank him thank him

In this cell hide suggestions to be inked for those who cannot read without glasses

He will know enough is enough when his cell 
calls to be crumbled
upon whose flag will I lay down my life?
The lion’s head answers for Saint George, his teeth are ciphers 
shaped by the bones of dragons

don’t you see will you never see?
We can only be read through our great sadnesses
They are the marks on all the walls of all our temples, the only marks

One day, he leans against her forehead,
I will hold all -nesses in my hands

It is for blindness that Milton wrote and Homer sang out to be sung to
What is limp and wretched in my wake will give you 
the answer
See, you will not find signs of weakness looking at my strengths

Dougie never slips but is the first to admit slipperiness as possibility 
and therefore as friend

In the second before death with Dougie on his back 
He understands the possibility of sightedness in blindness
The muse feeding Milton drops of milk from her coffee-coloured breast 
and him reciting milk-pearls to his scribe

Will you promise to see truth in the many-coloured glass?

We come through the door in seven ways if it is open 
and three if it is locked, Dougie says
He is given the art of facelessness and the gift of monoamines 
when inside the lion’s maw

I will reimburse no-one

One hundred days of potters potting will not suffice for what is to come
The jury has reached its decision
Unanimously, we will amend the law of the dead

and so it is done

Fires lay waste to impeached bodies
Ashes scatter through olive trees while the living drink wine from funeral urns
He is still inside the circus-ring cat as his own exequies turn traitor
obsequious to the authority of those who own him

It is not the lion’s body — tauthaunched plinth-bottomed overriding sand —
that knows Dasein but its teeth, sharpened on the myths of dragons 
and the grinding-bones of sacked mutton

his being-toward-death is not his own but another’s
says Dougie as the first and last cigarette of the week is smoked on his back

In the wild he would attack hessian sacks lumpy with victuals and brawn
— or with sand, slumped over 
aluminum frames, signalling construction —
never having known, caged-creature, the slow-eyed wet-roiling peace 
that occurs after a kill

Dougie does not partake in tobacco
Je ne mange pas de ce pain là, he says

The lion does not know the myths under whose sole aegis he acts
says Dougie and his cross-legged almost-but-not-yet maharishi mahesh yogi, 
who slips not in the condition of sweat, 
acts under the star of Dougie

He covers vast and holy ground each millisecond spent 
interfacing feline teeth, 
dialoguing in a household à trois
Only vastness and holiness can achieve a two-way conversation between three

Who is carrying who? Am I carrying you, god?

His priest does not dare recognise the humanity of his femme de ménage 
Her dermis welted red-black-blue signals a reimbursement 
by needles and condomless congress for hundreds of bad daddy cheques
He ministers her sacraments from afar 
shy of everything

he who has known no love since childhood, smile

Our muse will come from among the downtrodden 
There is no other way to inside out the vision of the world 
whose veil is café au lait and stock prices soothsaying 
I am all that hath been, and is, and shall be; no mortal can lift what is not there 

See in your orange juice sein und zeit, says Dougie
A vast interest network — electron-filigree in permanent 
lowest-price exchange — in exchange for an ordinary glass of OJ 

You must break your breakfast apart in contempt of comfort 
And fait attention that sympathy with the degraded 
does not become love for what degrades them
Dougie chews jailbird jerky 
to remind him of frailness

It is Dougie now holds all -nesses 
— as sweat to the warrior, as sight to the seer — 
it is love without need that leads us there, 
fury that returns us snapping awake 
as the lion unlocks his jaw


The Eight of Swords and the Nameless Arcanum (Tarot de Marseilles) from Derek Jarman's In the Shadow of the Sun (1981); music by Throbbing Gristle.

Eight of Swords: Critical position, censure, crisis, chagrin, examination, research, control, condemnation, judgment, sickness, calumny. Reversed: Difficulty, obstacle, accident, treachery, fatality, adventure.

Nameless Arcanum: Death certainly is only relative and the death of the form may mean the commencement of life on another plane. Birth down here may be seen as a sort of death of a higher existence. "The veil and mask of life is perpetuated in change, transformation and passage from lower to higher . . ." (Waite) Higher to lower as well.