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Mrs Oliphant

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Paid to Race

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Poem: ‘Traveller’s Tales: Chapter 90’

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Old Tunes

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Victor Serge’s Defective Bolshevism

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The Murdrous Machiavel

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Diary: Insane after coronavirus?

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Whom Are YouJorie Graham
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speaking to. What is that listening to
us. I’d like to know whom to address. In this we call
the physical world. Is there another where the footfalls go
from this stony path as it grows granular. They dis-

appear. The silence is ruinous. It seems there could be thunder hidden in this blazing
blue, but it’s just dry wind reaching the field. I’d like to know again whom to
address. To say warm mist used to arrive in time & settle-in over our summer day. To
say it stayed. It stayed. I say to you it’s summer now but we don’t really know, in the

unlistable new seasons, what this one now is going to be. It’s not the one
it was before, last time we called it this, called it ours, called it time, felt rise in us hello my
day
, you are all forward now as I stand up in you, and just behind me there
is where you were just now – just now we say rising from death again. Would like

to say again to whom do they go the curling of these words into this most
immense slow time, this which is summer, was summer, all hum
at zenith, though no clear zenith, no, it all just stays, it flows, it sluices round
the sheep in the near field braying into day’s seeping end. Just one. Then one. I hear

them low. I feel the ancient sound come thru the dry late summer air
to me. They do not sing. They say they know. They make one note, only one
note, they say they know they’re bred for slaughter, that slaughter is different
from death, also from sacrifice. Would like to know, please, you wood-doves so

alone above the propositions and promises of grass, whom we
address with these slow voices, now raised, now
low. Whatever is proper for this occasion, we find it in us, always ready there
at lip, at sill – the love, the silly alphabet – & here it is again wanting so hard to hold

its world – a shore a sound a form, what whitens the roof as it passes
away – the high thing in us which wishes so for something higher yet – & how it rises now
as if to leap from flesh but not to let it go – rises to drag the body up into the im-
material, knowing each thing to be the ending that it is, wanting to be a wind in wind

as the end of day upwells → is it bad to have come here → to have come by this route –
is it good to have come at all → was this the only way we came even if it was not the way we
should have come – there will not be more of our supremely simple being – no – will not –
as dusk picks up each needle of the pines against last light, & we push the last of our eager

peering out. We cannot shed the eagerness much as we’d like. It’s pitiless. It turns & turns
in us. And still we want to speak, to stitch our vacancy to the hill-flank where
dusk’s sun-drop raises a sudden fast new wind to sweep thru all the place at once – it is so
sure – as in its blind spots flies die down into the hum of this new here – who’s w/me here,

it’s so sewn-shut – it’s not our sound, we hear it & we know it well, it’s not our sound. Not
us.

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