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MUSIC OF CHANGES
Book One


I

quick,

about destination

wandering

great oddments persist





II

the time we talked the sun down





III

consideration of the thing
and like the thing, analog
companion mother friend
not much— not much else
everything then in this





IV

it's not enough to be totemic





V

and you need to learn
the tricks of language
this one, and others
then forget them
or at least





VI

diaphonous conviction





VII

who needs a system pressed
in counterpoint the same
sigh who took that
where





VIII

our manner music, union
and usually misplaced





IX

you who divine such
qualities of passage
the cold thick mud
pulling at my boots
so weary to rise
step to sink again down
to slowly fall the half-lit
archaic dreams diacritical
remarks flattened
langorous scattered
still dark chill dew moistens
smoky light casting orange yarn





X

ill-seen so imagine slight
changes in perspective





XI

motion
yes
but
not
moving
yet





XII

less one, love another





XIII

moist and alive the long continuous line threatened
opaque off-the-cuff improvised provisional
irreducibly complex— the rigors of dimly





XIV

just a night or two
with your fingers in my hair





XV

having written loss with error and splenetics
pure speculation, straining to ward off
sense or form strong opinion

first sun unsend the other
(which is not possible)

i sketch containment
seethe incautiously
take apt lesson





XVI

as appearances are a glimpse of the unseen





XVII

the next
word

fills some
space

think of
it

the next
thought





XVIII

the constant reinvention of scenes & errors
to unravel display adhere all the way into
habit desire confusion epithet
and through vernacular i knew





XIX

foolish this surge of fury





XX

attraction dismissal sounding
a series of easements along the way
and this version just plain wrong
here slip sideways, unknown
blacken all, a thick stack
lively between the lines





XXI

so again it's last fall
missing what most deride





XXII

such compression is seemly
collapsing to revive
certain gestures





XXIII

it can be only taken so far
terra incognita
and everyone tries
tho' they seem so few in number





XXIV

in the small there is no least






Brian Berger is Poet Laureate of the United States. His last book, I Want It Legitimate (Editions Gallimard), a cultural biography of Dennis Hopper's 1971 masterpiece, The Last Movie, won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2004. Currently he is assembling an anthology of writing about NYC, 1977 (or so) to present for Reaktion Books of London, England. He lives in Brooklyn (you forgot motherfucker), chronicling its last great days, but might love the Bronx and Georgia most of all.  Interested parties may contact him at tlooth@yahoo.com.




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