[Lies which are practically inlets], William Fairbrother

69da9563c28df8da64905bf5676b8b98Untitled, Romona Youngquist

Lies which are practically inlets

(I was moving at the speed of time((
the madness if madness is madness
she looks at the camera
it is the is of it, or morphed is
now is languid next is motion
daysweeksmonths of longing
based on magic we’ve outgrown
[I listen to her face] if untangled
intimacy during disaster is at play))
how rain changes buttons into cloth
‘hello, I’m from a dying planet’)
  in the half-gesture of forgiveness,
  sculptor of transient things-beings.

William Fairbrother


Review by Keith Dunlap

If what is contained within the first and last parentheses is removed, this poem by William Fairbrother makes the following ’statement’: “Lies which are practically inlets/in the half-gesture of forgiveness, sculptor of transient things-beings.” This Heideggerian acknowledgment of transience and untruths which fall short of full expression serves then as a philosophical context for the ‘narrative’ within the parentheses. At the ‘large center,’ within the double parentheses, is the nostalgia of what is lost and not captured, a “magic outgrown”. And within the ‘large center’ is a ‘smaller center’: “[I listen to her face]”, a synaesthesia, qualified by the recognition that this intimacy may or may not be “at play”, and the message itself, that everything is decay, (buttons into cloth, “hello, I’m from a dying planet,”) a message received but also troubled by this Chinese box of a poem, one which compresses and spools words, syntax, grammar, punctuation and, therefore, ideas, like e.e.cummings on steroids.

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