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Hello Gozo, here we are,

the spinning world, has

it come this far?

Hammering things, speeching them,

nailing the anthrax

to its copper plate,

matching the object to its name,

the star to its chart.

(The sirens, the howling machines,

are part of the music it seems

just now, and helices of smoke

engulf the astonished eye;

and then our keening selves, Gozo,

whirled between voice and echo.)

So few and so many,

have we come this far?

Sluicing ink onto snow?

I’m tired, Gozo,

tired of the us/not us,

of the factories of blood,

tired of the multiplying suns

and tired of colliding with

the words as they appear

without so much as a “by your leave,”

without so much as a greeting.

The more suns the more dark –

is it not always so –

and in the gathering dark

Ghostly Tall and Ghostly Small

making their small talk

as they pause and they walk

on a path of stones,

as they walk and walk,

skeining their tales,

testing the dust,

higher up they walk –

there’s a city below,

pinpoints of light –

high up they walk,

flicking dianthus, mountain berries,

turk’s-caps with their sticks.

Can you hear me? asks Tall.

Do you hear me? asks Small.

Questions pursuing question.

And they set out their lamp

a      mid the stones.

for Yoshimasu Gozo

From Company of Moths, by Michael Palmer

Dream of a Language that Speaks

Michael Palmer

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