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Peter Richards
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+When I came to it was a place impossible
 
When I came to it was a place impossible
to distinguish from my sleep
and so severe was the damage done to my sleep

I could see a great mistake had been made
to have slept there at all and what it did
to my sleep the dream where I lay sleeping

made shingles of known quantity
as though all learning truly is recollection
a sash that is also a tourniquet

trails through one cataracting room to the next
because there are no paintings really
just static land-based projects involving executive hair

and fully robed statues preexisting their quarries
spending more and more time alone in the villa
they can barely recall this honeycombed ridge

mouthing characteristics of its own terrain
inklings my taste had gotten used to
full truck sunsets

oars made of thickening glass and sudden postponements
the sensation of being featly carried
inside a whitened swat of applauding spheres

voyages where each man can bring his own hug
the ditch where I saw a mainsail completing itself
and exactly which part of me did boiling a hammer

not intend to say and running up to a bridge
without even asking and the sudden feeling
Ashtar drew me in his likeness

he drew me his pistol and asked me to wear it
and possibly being raised by two talking fissures
and stopping to watch three show-me-state dancers

working the banquet from three-tiered coaches of air
in another life I disgraced my uniform by helping them
murder a priest and carving fierce looking figures

from their slum and became wandering around
in the thereby testimony of tropical air and soon distinguished
myself from the jackalopes you see in the paintings

by taking three tallish brutes whose nudity was their art
because breasts make their own streetware in heaven
with a light heart I was their sunbathing leader

writing crude tax-law from serial cafés of hair
and if I often sketch one sucking her servant
my diet consisted mainly of poi and 400 university suppers

and I did not amuse myself by demanding discipline
from a poorly photographed dancer she strolls about
the village with this new argument sheen to her hair

and planting new membranes in the yard
she built me a bench where superficial greetings are made
and half sitting complaints flexing in starlight

and if they wrapped me in a thick guava sheet the bats
were landing there and together on the island
my dog and I instinctively look around and the people

of tall grasses sitting carelessly at my feet
and all the ocean was given to me a single black shinning violet
and a moustache falling loosely to my neck

and totems they grant me
their happy fatigue preceding middle height
and that universal oval face lowered like a grill

onto a face set free in the ventricle of a comet
where indeed I was blasted and conspicuous
and white.


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