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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 1, March 2015


Charles Tarlton
Northampton, Massachusetts, USA


          But they've severed all the wires,
          And I can't tell what the general desires.

                    – W. H. Auden

in our rush to now
in the impatient shoving

Then the seeming logic
(hence inescapability) of our history
or the relentless march down the page of a schoolboy's geometric proof

all smash into an unseen wall
in the midst of a blind curve.

aside, no logic
long abides, unable to
string ideas together

it is happening
all at once, so in each one's

What do you call that movement there,
the awkward jolting of the frame? I ask because it seems each dancer
has a personal music and their own robotic choreography.

Is there a real answer?

clumsy performance
may reside in perfect learning
they are known for doing that

now only rare
as in the shortstop's pirouette

While the rest of us imagine (at best) performance
to expected applause,
the dance and clapping equally mechanical,
the length of bones and number of repetitions
all that are required.

on which we all gaze
in helpless wonder, roaring
our uncomprehending joy



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