A miserable git no quarrel there…

One of them difficult poems i’ve been banging on about lately.

A miserable git no quarrel there | Larkin
the everyman’s bard, the lad the lark Going, going
— i see what he was driving at | it came to pass
: our tarmac | clogged up vagus nerves & ventricles
the fields fenced & penalties for fishing pools
—the folk don’t give a toss so long
as there’s a Topshop in town & extra pubs
so they can move in cycles of that place
got shit so now I drink in the Lamb’s Arse
.
They’re all the same unless a messery’s on draught
or the landlord never rinses out the pipes
—maybe if the Guinness doesn’t go down well.

The world’s always been down the shitter
& yet Max Tegmark blathers on about AI
to a crowd of Google maniacs | the coming
Enlightenment of Tech
— everyone claps
he sells books of guess work | larkin about.
Seems to me another resource squanderer
but i like him & | a Luddite with an LED candle
worried machines will lay off some poor sod
left to scrap a livelihood from soup kitchens
& what he forages in refuse. There’re interims
between the point of calculus & results put
to some benefit | “by the populace for the populace.”

In that gray patch | plenty of room for error.
Regard Thatcher’s great plan for the city
Gillette’s cylindrical monolith apartments
J.W. Dunne’s Serialism & inventive streak on time.
i’m pissed up | the booze is cheap | best quit
while i’m ahead | trail off to the Land of Nod…
(…Tardigrades living on the floss n’ lint
of my nonsense | when you’ve so much to eat
beyond the Oort Cloud! | Millennia later
you returned to Earth evolved & full of fever.

i speak with one of them | measured words
from the lips of a doughy scholar | looks like us.)

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Probably the first time I’ve read the word ‘tardigrade’ in a poem.

    1. i am mining vocabulary these days. Anything uncommon is getting serious attention.

  2. Tim Miller says:

    weird reading a poem with bunnyLarkin staring at you. I do miss the usual DPM music here–that war memorial poem begs a public reading taking on a line or two of all the voices. & I like using the | as something more than a common or semi colon or dash.

    Since it is difficult I could even rearrange it, the second stanza first & the first second, & let the poem end with the Guinness not going down well.

    “Luddite with an LED candle” is (sorry) the highlight for me, one or Orwell’s poor shivering at the feet of machinery & manual labor….

    it’s only the last stanza that doesn’t work for me, but you may not want it to, it may just be a prompt to look up Tardigrades & Oort Clouds, which I’ll grant you is one thing the Greeks could never do, simultaneously while reading asking Siri what’s an Oort Cloud. It’s not my cup, but it’s getting you somewhere, & I’d read more of em.

    1. Do you not feel the usual music of my poetry here? That’s interesting, as i have mixed a little of the Charlie Poems with my usual pace. i think they are very musical. i have still taken pains for them to be sonically crafted. The line you picked is Lud…LED. That is me all over pal.
      i can’t help but feel a little poetic justice that you were prompted to look up Tardigrades & the Oort Cloud, y’know fella (i am laughing) all your Old Europe poems & their Dolni Vestonices are obscure to me & i have to Google for archaeology sites to give me a leg up so i can get a better idea of the poem, so i am glad to get some revenge, haha. But i do quite enjoy the prompt of your poems to do that.

      Lately i re-read James Longenbach’s essay Lyric Knowledge & in that he looks at the rearrangements of poems. He does it with Stevens, his aphoristic, punchy imagism is almost written for it. Couple this with what you told me about wanting your poems to be a document. That’s what i want to achieve here. If, people of the future rummage through the time-capsule-internet for voices of the past & find my poems, they’ll see a document of the multitude of shit going on now. The Tardigrade episode works as the end because it is a dream, a motif of the infinite potential & indestructibility of creation. i also read some dumb click-bait about scientists apparently blasting a petridish of these microscopic critters to the Oort Cloud to plant life elsewhere in our galaxy. So you can in practice rearrange these poems as much as you like. & as with the world as it is, you may not like everything in these poems, but you may take away a little something; they are difficult only for their disparity.

      1. Tim Miller says:

        it’s just a different music, from say the smaller Jeju lyrics, or even the war memorial poem. Sonically crafted yes, but as yr intending, in a more difficult way, think comparing some transparently beautiful & easily graspable Beethoven, with his Grosse Fugue. …& you bring up a great point, I like to think of my history poems as not difficult at all, but the difficulty often starts with the title, what the hell is Dolni Vestonice?? ….You mention not having gotten into Donne much, you may like him even more now, he really brought in all the new scientific words & put them to strange poetic use. He’s probably appreciate tardigrade. …the other comment is a good hint, it’s more form than content, whereas the long poem about the apartment fire (that touches on some similar ideas) is clearly more about content. Where’s the next difficult poem, sir

  3. Pablo Cuzco says:

    Not so much content but great form. I might end up appropriating your use of the “pipe” in my own stuff. Maybe I’ll use the format as a template. I guess all free form verse has a likeness. The dense verses give it a nice sense of depth—very little empty space between the imagery. So far as the difficulty, I wasn’t able to draw much from it—maybe a difference in culture references. I think the concept needs a little fine tuning. I’ll put one out Saturday, a vast remake of a hippy-dippy song I wrote in the 70s. Will add much abstract imagery to an already abstract piece. I like where you’re taking this.

    1. Thankks Pablo. If you read Larkin’s poem ‘Going, going’ you’ll find it is a riff on the foreshadowing he articulates for England in that poem. This leads to the finale dream about Tardigrades, not actual, based on a clickbait articles about some scientists apparently blasting a petri-dish of these indestructible critters beyond the Oort cloud. They interest me due to the difficulty of harming them. They stand in as a symbol for longevity & the unbreakable.
      Some ideas i am still processing unconsciously, but on the surface their is an odd progression, if you will.
      This is a very English poem i guess, might not be easy to get some references, welcome to a Brit’s mind when watching American comedy shows with their in jokes. Haha.

      1. Pablo Cuzco says:

        Amazing poem, that Larkin’s. I got that he was writing this about England today—then saw it dated 1972. My contemporary!
        Then the reason I didn’t understand your poem is that looking up Miller’s “bunnyLarkin” I came up with a footballer. The pub references in hamlets drew a blank. I might humbly suggest more universal themes—politics, catastrophes,

      2. Pablo Cuzco says:

        etc. But your prose definitely speaks for itself. My poem scheduled for Saturday was original written in 1972. I’ve done what you did to Larkin’s poem to my own. Amazing synchronicity.

      3. Pablo Cuzco says:

        UPDATE: I’m publishing my piece today, after all. I feel it more timely than waiting for my peak traffic day Saturday.

      4. Larkin is one of England’s most revered poets. Everything that concerns him in ‘Going,going’ has sort of come to pass. Larkin’s England is a relic, it subsists in pockets, stubborn refusal, in nostalgia of course, there but sort of fabricated. The pub ‘The Lamb’s Arse’ is a satire on the naming of pubs, there are some silly pub names.
        You’ll find more universal themes in other poems. i hope you’ll bare with them, i sort of need this brief spell of catharsis. During my hiatus i was reading a lot & i have stopped watching tv & discovered podcasts, which much to my surprise are crammed with a great detail of information on subjects, which gave & is giving me a lot to consider. i still have straight poems, but i am sending them out to publishers. Got an essay coming this weekend you might enjoy.

      5. Pablo Cuzco says:

        Great that you’re sending out to publishing, something I haven’t gotten up the courage to do yet.

      6. i have had a handful of publications up to now. Hoping for more. Got 3 out at the moment. i am hoping the lateness of their reply mean i have been accepted— wishful thinking.

      7. Pablo Cuzco says:

        Good luck. Your poetry is definitely in a world class.

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