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COLLAGE

It is not yet a tragedy.
The eggshell of the polished skull
Is still intact,
The workings workable.
They are not yet baffled by broccoli,
Not yet
Hopelessly interrogated by carrots,
Not yet
Shaking hands with the dog's hind leg.
And maybe it will never
Come quite to that:
The clock losing its numbers,
The newspaper dropping its dates,
The banana peels
Ripening to hysteria,
The pavements ejaculating.
Maybe it will merely be,
One day,
A friction of vowels and then a halt.

It is not yet a disaster.
The sun is still bright
Though not
The luminary promise that it was.

It is not yet a disaster
But it is a halt:
Activity without purpose,
The recycling of friction.
On the gawgle box
The monkey is watching the dog's legs.
On the CD
The music of the narwhal
Explicates the meaning of life.
And this goes nowhere.
Tyre pressure but no journey.

Elsewhere, the busy world is still at work,
Flushing the oceans,
Stripmining the skies.
Here, the conveyor belts have halted.
The calendar is pointillistic with propositions:
Coffee, teeth, blood pressure.
Reality has no masterplan.
The career has flatlined.
The architecture of the future
Is collage.
Life is confetti falling
Through the winds of smoke.

It is the way
Of all flesh.
Things lose their purposes and pass.
Falling feathers forget the flying bird.

This poem COLLAGE was first published when posted online by Hugh Cook on 2005 May 15 Sunday. Copyright © 2005 Hugh Cook.

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