David Bircumshaw


A shuffle of a calendar; a body moving under sheets; light probing a smeared pane;
currents of drowning disown the sleep-child ; a card falls from the air, brightness

is a new-named flower, let us say eye's-hurt. Another shell is broken, tortoise, pick
an oracle from the strewn floor. Your junk biographies, your scrimp and scrab
to last a day again. I peel a card off a shell:

's a jack, naow a king, red; pah, stupido, 's an ace. Black. Low. That escapes me, high
homing to the sun. The shells remain, the scuff of dreams. I can read

slowly instructions of assembly, this is a translation from Chinese.


The sun is a gong, struck every second. Or a hole punched in the sky. We open
as helpless as plants, to its call, to its not for the unprotected eye. That is

a syllable of self in the English, the easy over other borders, a light touch
of they that have pow'r, a phoneme held in the hand. A branding iron
assesses horseflesh; flee, force your name, the day declares ....

under white pilasters of definition. Be graffiti of deliverance, be

marks scratched on bone.

Peel/ a line from a paupered floor ... pick a card

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