(i)

 

first fundamental law of the sane: shun bell-curves of enchantment

            with would-be colonizers perusing mirrors

                        over breakfast, multitasking the grimy business of chitchat

 

and whistling Patsy Cline like maybe you’re a serial-numbered life form

            attached to faulty recharger … inside these refrigerated minds, the whirring

                        irks even (and uneven) saints; next fundamental law

 

of the sane: avoid interrupting all who stare like children into

            techno-divination, those hubristic robots prone to feeling immense

                        sovereignty when not exhibiting classical shutdown

 

behaviors; life is, after all, no empire drama for work-free belligerents

            banished into the psychic wilds of a never-arriving

                        Oedipal epilogue … a further fundamental law

 

of the sane: social capitalists trade upward, always, near-empathy for the broken air-con

            of a conversation about the neighbour’s new divorce

                        or another workhour lunch spent googling old flames, exchanged

 

for a grandmother’s not-forgotten sense of the impending; the heart

            is a complex ledger, where nothing can be pretended nor any ever truly go debt-free

                        (final fundamental law of the sane: be careful,

                        human being, those condominiums are full of bad days)

 

 

‘Enchantment’ (Sherry Turkle)

vs ‘From Old Europe to the New World’ (Thomas Piketty)

 

 

 

(ii)

 

typing names in the boardrooms of our inertia, we

            make ourselves a home, hanging pictures of sanity from hooks

                        in the fattest shadows of enlightenment

 

ancestors (look!) crouched in cowyard idylls, pointing at howling timber,

            ‘here, here’ punched back-and-forth ’twixt tribes like ontological sport; we are

                        re-typing names in boardrooms of inertia

 

surrounded by edutainers suggesting history was once

            populated by shaman and BMWs, sacrificial plastic, certainly there were

                        plenitudes of electricity; inside the fulsome gusts

 

we’re protected from marrow-eating lunacies

            by civility, training winks across mirrors each moment we’re not

                        typing names (feverishly) into inertias

 

of boredom, our domains gridded by inexhaustible machines

            roving like fellow creatures across primordial, twittering districts

                        inside the fabled gossip of our enlightenment

 

we sleepwalk (unhandsomely), dreaming in the

            registers of castrati, the ideas of light hanging in small globes through darkness;

                        typing names inside the boardrooms of our inertia, we crane

                        ears toward approaching furies

 

                                                    

Paris Review, Spring 2005, #173 (Les Murray)

 

 

 

(iii)

 

so many searching for a someone, hitting all the parties

            to purr speech into rooms hopping with Bodhisattvic supertoys, smitten

                        haltingly in the warm atmospheres of foreground

 

these festivals of experimental affect, where none need licenses to hunt

            and emergent fondness happens like eye contact between insects, so

                        many searching for a someone busily

 

consulting with internal directories, our quirking babble

            functioning (near-impressively) across intersections of autonomy, lorn and

                        visceral in the warm atmospheres of foreground

 

we are dolls enacting life-sized repertoires of symmetry

            smalltalking bodily toward futures set to moonlit photography etc, so many

                        searching for a someone, hitting all the parties

 

while outlines of historical selves rattle kinetic across backdrops

            and musak functions like fingers pointing at mossy utopias with underfloor heating

                        in these warm atmospheres of foreground

 

attachments are happening in real time around tables of baked custard,

            the cold and juiceless dunes of night swinging new angles at us, mirabile

                        dictu, so many searching for someone inside parties

                        faltering and astonished in sudden atmospheres of foreground

 

 

‘Complicities’ (Sherry Turkle)

vs ‘Where Are We Going? and What Are We Doing?’ (John Cage)

 

 

 

(iv)

 

our sorrow liaising with unlaid ghosts, we take nothing seriously

            intoning into dictaphones held against the heroic, dead grammars of conformity

                        inside these rooms there are

 

many passions (viz. skilled chafing; listening to blood throb; brainwashing) while

            vulgar wads of money tuck into the waistbands of reality, things growing everywhere

                        and our heads complex with virtue, we take

 

nothing seriously, the newest costume among those born damned and always wanting

            straight ahead in formal, regular measure while

                        satyrs wander the rooms seeking fellatio, like a heart attack

 

so many common territories to disappointment

            below blizzards hanging limply inside photographs, the valves of businessmen

                        tuned to the lowest hostile octaves, taking

 

everything seriously, the mood an endless shriek inside homespun habits

            where ideas shudder like birds in oil and devils slouch, authentic curios

                        inside these rooms there are

 

such inventive restraints, imitated inside bodies, waiting

            acutely while questions flip off lips in wondrous sound, and yet

                        we regret almost nothing, seriously, our passions liaising with unlaid ghosts

                        (inside these rooms there are many)

 

 

Paris Review, Summer-Fall 1964, #32 (William Carlos Williams)