Joshua Clover

(Berkeley, California)

Royal - Poem by Joshua Clover

They moved across the screen like a computer simulation.
They moved across the screen like complex models & we learned
to call this a nature show.
Animals but set in gray shades for video capture with a lighter area for
the face.
Almost white they moved across the screen like a compressed
meditation.
But the song was never familiar.
Because this was the only room this was the only room where we
undressed—:
that was the plot.
They moved across the screen across the room but it was not happening
to us.
The image burning in.
Coated with hair & then a lighter area for the face meaning exposed
skin.
We have learned to wear the architecture despite the sky's numerous
advances.
All these things—the speed & the music & the room—happened but
not enough.
We undressed in the room we could not take off where I handcuffed
you to the story.
This is the work of the brain—itself a bloody spring or electric wire
wrapped in ripe gray gauze—
you like it.
(2 lobes resembling the holy tablets delivered into the veldt's dry
speed—the Laws
prefigured in the neutral network's burning thicket.)
They moved across the screen howling but the sound turned down.
This happened over & over again—the blue light leaking into the
room like sand.
Burning into the brain in a finery of filamental fire.
The Laws which do not unravel into noise & make a kind of story of
kinked plot
which can't be straightened like a motel wire
hanger looped around your wrists.
The loop like a computer simulation—the thought of the thought—
the image burning in now.
We began to understand what they were—:
the Thou & the shalt & the not


Comments about Royal by Joshua Clover

  • Gajanan Mishra (12/30/2013 8:50:00 AM)

    image burning, I like it, thanks. (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, December 30, 2013

Poem Edited: Monday, December 30, 2013


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