Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The name one has

             So that I could mark it, the continuance of
             quality could in some way be that, the time
             of accord. For us, as beneath the falling water
                      we draw breath,
                      look at the sky.
             Talking to the man hitching a lift back
             from the hospital, I was incautious in sympathy:
             will she be back soon I was wishing to
             encourage his will to suppose. I can hardly
             expect her back he said and the water
             fell again, there was this sheet, as the time
                      lag yawned, and quality
                      became the name you have,
             like some anthem to the absent forces of nature.
             Ethnic loyalty, breathe as you like we in fact
             draw it out differently, our breath is gas
             in the mind. That awful image of choking.

The present American government has
challenged the latent ecumenicism in
every honest and inquiring heart, to
recoil into denial of both qualities.
At this, it is said to have succeed-
ed; but how hollowly, how transitor-
ily does that intimidating edict a-
chieve our hearing, given the dial-
ect of the voices which give this
verdict. It is not of the languages
of our continent -- French, Swahili,
Sioux, Spanish, Dutch, German, Gael-
ic, Italian -- but of our illiterate
merchants of obliteration as revenge.

We do not risk choking on the breath
of our descent, but on its aliena-
tion from others who would comprise 

J.H. Prynne
The White Stones
  Concerning Quality, Again
  first verse
New York Review Books, 2016©

Carlo Scarpa

Ivan Terestchenko
  Beach fire

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