After we’ve caught the final installment
from the Nolan Batman universe
at a sprog friendly screening, we decant

from the auditorium and set our course
for home where we flick on the rolling news
and learn of a sudden, indiscriminate burst

of gunfire at a sold out midnight show.
I am not one for prayer but I pause
to think of how we sat before the glow

of fantasy for those illumined hours;
our backs turned to the letterbox of glass,
the unacknowledged fount, the modest source;

and how a bullet cannot move as fast
as light does as it finds the pallid screen
with no resistance from the shrinking dark

as we all lose ourselves in the same dream.


Canto L

I spend the afternoon watching a reel
of film inside the Bankside turbine hall,
a perfect storm of photons, that travelled

a fairly straightforward ninety three million miles
to bounce from object, through lens into chamber
and rest upon a strip of chemicals.

They say the day for film is nearly over,
last lab in London’s closed, and all the rest
look up to see digital vultures hover.

Its physical, the new light beams are passed
through the trace left forever by the old,
the flicker makes the pigments seem alive.

An hour from now I’ll get home to be told
that Gaddafi is dead by the newsman.
They’ll show the body, bloody, not yet cold,

the shouting mob, discharging machine guns,
a hyperactive Sergio Leone,
a phone camera held in a shaking hand,

the joyless, blocky truth of video.

Canto XXX

On viewing Bronson’s frown lines in HD
as Morricone’s trumpets frame his glare,
the closure of revenge and destiny.

I think of how the master wrote his score
before a single frame of film was shot
and once again my mind returns to form—

the old music that the rhyme scheme imparts
the soundtrack for our urbane platitudes,
for smart phone thumbs to tap out Po-Mo thoughts.

This constant metric metronome was used
throughout the many centuries by those
that kept the five stress engine running through

the countless wars, the ever aloof muse,
the change of landscape, til the carbon clock
runs out, and longer still, why not? Who knows

if this rock of ages knows the age of rocks?

Canto XXV

I love the scene in Hero when the scribes
practice their brushmanship as arrows fly.
They do what they have done all of their lives—

they ply their craft until it’s time to die.
You never make it. All you do is write.
To say it’s otherwise is just a lie.

Fuck the Eliots, Fuck the Forward Prize.
Fuck the magazines and the bookstores.
And if the call of fame widens your eyes

reality shows will always need new bores…

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