W o r d s  i n  a  h e d g e

"twa corbies making a mane"

This morning, walking up towards the station, I wrote, that is, I lined up two words, I made, "straight-forward idiocy", the beginning, as I imagined, of a poem. Yet there is nothing straight-forward in the idiocy I intended to indicate. Also, I doubt, and doubted then, that idiocy is the appropriate word. I was and am thinking of what politicians do, or rather of what they say: their interventions in what might otherwise be a free world. They are nearly always underhand.

The poem, the poem to be, or which would have been, must think. Making a set of words think is, I suppose, for me, part of the composition of poems, the finding of the best? words for what is meant, rather than taking up pieces of littering language and working with them without modification of their contexts. Yet it is the mode of thought of poetry that the words are found contingently upon the discovery of the meaning they convey.

"Nearly always" will not do; one word clings, like dust and velvet, to the other.

To say I'm "thinking" as an elucidation or explanation of an attempt to write a poem to think for me, or with me, or perhaps I should have said "to help me think", is nonsense.

At least I didn't say "clearly nonsense".

"Nonsense", qualified thus or not, is too strong...

Maybe "Disingenuous"...

and here my worries about the failure of the poem before the poem is two words long become part of the poem and the major part (all these template phrases!) as nonsense becomes clearly disingenuous and the word "disingenuous" offers itself as a plausible substitute for "nonsense".

Professional political activity is disingenuous... This won't do.

To start, again, I cross out, in my head, "straight-forward" in favour of, perhaps, "self-evident"?, to identify what is most likely to be a poor approximation as (and I've heard all that on others' voices) "idiocy".

Self-evident? To whom? And "idiocy", or is it evidence of "idiocy"?, with a "self" needs examination... if that is possible, using such wrecked language. A moment's thought, no, a moment's honesty

- at this moment, across the world, coincidentally, a myriad voices chirp moment -

requires that I confess to parrothood, without plumage, scratching myself in gold light lines this autumn afternoon above Coldharbour...

What was I going to say?

I meant, of course, around the world. I look across the cage. I hear around my world.

Nor are they "idiots". That word implies, in its obesity of implications and aggression, some individuality: but selfishness is as near as they come. If I parrot them, they croak, a single merged voice of falsehood, I hope... I imagine.

Although, the other, too, has hope. The wind sall blaw for evermair.

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Copyright © Lawrence Upton 2000