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William Leonard Dec 2018
History shoves. I am whisked down Maudlin Street
In the crisp eye of the living noon. Women
With children pass and shake their heads.

Can't you see what he's strung up for?
I don't know, myself.
My self, I know, however. It wreaks

Horrible imagination, wrong times, wrong places,
Each pull at words sending me further.
Let's file it under 'not to be'.
William Leonard Dec 2018
You think about all the words you've ever written,
Reams upon reams, spiralling spell-like back
To when you first scrawled an 'I' upon a dotted line
In school - think staggeringly of it all, then visualise
Where these endless written words might have gone:
Pages lost, thrown away, forgotten, left to
Rest with all the lost works of Antiquity,
Though never destroyed (as nothing really is) -
For every character we carve, whether on stone,
Papyrus, paper or type, lingers in a reflex,
In a human constant, a further spiral into the future,
A carbon copy always in a cabinet of the mind
For when among friends you can pull out and show
In the form of a memory, a knowledge, a history.
No world could explain me; no daughter of life,
No saint, no flowers that watch in warm silence.
They are of surroundings—I feel separate.

No tongue could untie me; language I scorn, in
Thoughts I rest uneasy and unknowing.
Deeper through layers abstracted I lie.

What I know I have no way to prove. I sit in a
Room of no walls, on a chair that houses a ghost.
No words, no words, from hence the sadness comes.
Whiles I peruse the archives of the past,
Occurs a mental transformation fast—
As thru accounts I search, and journals read,
A bold mid-cent'ry impulse seizes me.
The words I write, in structured meters fit;
Infinitives begin to slowly split.
I have at last attain'd a style so grand,
It captures an Augustan poet's hand.
O what great writers we might have today,
If Dictionary Johnson had his way.

— The End —