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Poem of the Week: Blackberries

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Poem of the Week Blackberries

From: The Moon, In Seven Easy Steps by Scott Hamilton

Titus Books, $22.

Blackberries

I’ve never been dead once, not even for a second.
The dead are arrogant.
They lounge in photographs or in the ground
with ‘famous attitudes of unconcern’.
Feeding is unnecessary: decay dresses them
with its casual diligence,
as photographs fade and faces give way.
Edward Thompson died ten years ago
Friday. They held a conference.
What if nobody came?

John Cornford disappeared outside Madrid
fighting for an orchard, against fascism.
Some 21st. Now I have John’s book
out of off-campus storage, for as long as I like.
The weapon won’t talk of the wound.
Tell it about the full moon at Tierz,
about this evening, the corrugated rain on this roof.
An open book is empty.

Have you seen the last photographs of Edward?
Legionnaire’s. His lungs puffed up
like bags of glue. Also chickem pox,
caught from his biographer’s daughter,
and some virus he breathed in China.
Dorothy found him in his garden
picking blackberries.
He’d never been dead once, not even for a second.

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More about The Moon, in Seven Easy Steps

1 comment:

  1. Richard Taylor, 12. July 2008, 0:51

    Great poem Scott – interesting the way you integrate the historical events. Your own life and Thompson’s and Cornford’s are brought into a single thread so to speak…

    “The weapon wont talk of the wound.” is an example of a great line..