Monday, December 19, 2005

Clark Allison: MIND'S EYE


Parallel Tracks
parallel tracks there are lines beneath us
outboard climes plucked and seen before reducing
in sense stack whose ambience strung short
and undone I have varied according to
method how many times that theme which
you could and I decline slipping aside

test that and lift squarely hard and
harsh just stopped dead in its tracks
excess detritus there must be more than
doors closing spidered webs linger aflame as
if rent comprehension won’t cognise thick reflection
has recollection build up a little time

and came toward feasance not being untutored
hats synced to shirts few contest an
abstruse equation unspent covered ground quick head
of steam your realisation the fidelity of
moments to this garden among trees stepped


Spanned Attention
do I keep to themes spent tread
a mask may unfathom foreign places visit
one thing leading to others anodyne and
whither storm and tide fluent playing at
life and travelled nothing much as given
can’t help but betray itself once again

trapped as can caught within self interest
being powerful motives taken out with what
makes every good intention some kind of
preference whether truth could beauty really try
the soak of personality can’t stake another
minute where seen might believe at all

of what was imparted reads like an
abstract vast rooms hinging on light patterns
of interaction been there before imbued and
jump cut reclaiming spanned attention never was
and got to pare it all back


Shedding Light

evidence of foreign travel bags packed and
checked notched down a peg or two
more than enough sense of continuity tired
of repetition other angles shedding light his
default demeanour of unruffled gaminess taking it
all in stride enough of time ratching

expressionless static horizon plane of vision unheard
roccoco disabuse an elaboration of sockets sinked
to reason fared and disavowed going elsewhere
at reckless pace I have effaced detail
after synonym to render incomplete pixel upon
flatbed no rejig anon season sip quit

tender squib picked up and let go
the printer’s ink I withstand height less
vertigo queasy sun in the eyes spanning
out of sight the impossibilities of wrapping
up so many loose ends connected late


Mind’s Eye
oblique transit space slides the mid line
give it time and take immersion therapy
threads given instruction shudder and shiver and
only ache O relenter the company we
keep transferred over to dark nights transform
the ether lux an idea of heaven

not mine you only turned back displacement
of the mind’s eye hollow caverns with
neither doors nor lights dispel them as
narrow expressive range defaulting to control panel
restless and almost futile gestures set to
an automatic where what only comes naturally

could nearly look like trying primeval strokes
to sustain life reverting to the same
defensive manoeuvres call it personality crisis I
took against the mirror and called it
time or shape no more nor less


Sprung Loose
the day of the funeral what burns
fingers slipping drawn from life relinquish this
taint foisted immaculate and ignorant wishing the
past neither filled nor empty no imagination
a getting back appealed of words in
some sound or gesture a lucid freeze

hopelessly distracted your sentience mars the
remember last contoured dismembered cipher shed blind
catcher run the drop down you will
find colour and efflorescence currents ebb and
turn shun mastery having been here before
to thin and bind allows keeping place

oblivion and strong medicine no cure for
this disease and pass through inertly in
a manner of saying sprung loose not
recognising street nor curve pent up and
discharged covering the cost of sent far


Fade Out
tomorrow or till the end of time
the mind going blank fade out and
imagining torso rip ordinance sack taste bud
fending clover hop joust staged roundabout all
over by way of analogies bowl of
grapes by hand a wonder of apostles

by virtue of language such a long
way to go slow and glance consume
them thistle slight glow sunset breach the
cloak of wear and tear down which
way hey enough signage to post direction
impressed upon tight appearance slit and sand

the narrows that lodged air pockets and
nets to trap fish and wake no
destination how much could suffice and ring
walk road slog and circuitous revelry at
gasp and turned along the curved slope

These pieces are the opening 6 from a set of 17, entitled “Mind’s Eye”, which were put together by Clark as part of a collaborative project organised by Rupert Loydell consisting of work by 7 contributors. This is tentatively identified as a ‘17x7’ series. Each contributor’s poems are set
out in groups of 17, of length 17 lines, with 7 words per line.

(Ed: good to see what Adrian Clarke dubbed ‘neo-formalism’, and what I liked to call ‘iso-verbalism’, having its day.)

Clark Allison was born in Glasgow in 1961 though he spent nineyears in the 1980s living in Los Angeles. Author of Temporal Shift/Daubs (Trombone Press 98) and of several poems and reviews appearing in Notus and Stride, of which 'Six Paragraphs 1 & 2' at( and 'an actuality/In the mere number of us', on GeorgeOppen, at(, will interest regular readers of Pages.

2019: his review of Robert Sheppard's Hap may be read here:

Clark Allison: ‘One Side Ripening’, Stride, January 2019:

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