On Reading War

It could almost be read.


“We are spent, criticized past martyrdom,

walking mirages, forming what the wind calls winter;

tall spindly angers, coughing, arthritic animations,

struck dumb by bullets – past us, through us, ruby bridges



A jitter can paint a chest, fixed transvestite splash back –

A man loves a man dead, trapped in print, hanging

on a Motherland mantelpiece every Christmas,

where no rum could account for,

no khaki can account for, nor your place instead.


They understood, clicking their fat tongues,

heads to one side, up to their knees in old country.

They understood, they said! Their tongues loosely tied

around the breaking of the bread – at their feet,

scattered crumbles of white; a feast where Raven’s wed.


Where the paper listed is where the paper bled,

past us, through us, where the conscience read

and what words can make

more than what the fallen make,

that makes a wish to be unsaid?

◄ Endgame

Hikikomori ►


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Fri 7th Jan 2011 19:48

This is outstanding, Marianne. I need to read it many more times. Sometimes I think your words, your phrases, are like ingredients in a mixer, all different in themselves, but making a homogenized whole with the spinning of your poetic mind and its crafting skill. Lord, that sounds daft, but never mind, I'm not removing it.

Janet Ramsden

Thu 6th Jan 2011 11:06

Brilliant Marianne.
I do read much of your poetry and don't always fully appreciate the meaning or understand your language but this one touches me somehow.
There's too much to pick out as favourite bits but i love those last two verses in particular :-)

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