On “The Contexture of Complaisance”
for Geoffrey Hill
Respecting memory as an architectural
force legitimizes the fantastic.
When included, hash marks deride
a passing over to teach rhythm,
also the power of numinous footnotes—
personalities like a toothpick box:
spilled moods. Whether decaying
or not, what does this leave rewarded
but presence misunderstood, reloaded
for affect or | exasperation’s |
inscrutable hatred of the affected, or
passages punctured by Christian magic?
That somewhere one cups a light
burning in an ocean shell.
People don’t care about much but cruel concept
in middle age. Art goes an evil depth
in affectation, like fire’s core
seeking oxygen it fights to win.
Middle age, animus of iron.
Majesties of flame in a copper basin,
True Temper wheelbarrow beside,
a valediction that cruelty reigns.
Sunday evening is an action of flames;
with knowledge that tomorrow brings
a job commute, the forehead tightens
to compute the good, the face melts off.
One cannot be more sorry or more sore
this is the arbor vitae that remains,
our chief misunderstanding. To bandy
otherwise is but an ornamental notion.