No. 7


Christopher Meredith  


Fingers trap the moments on the frets
and weave them into coats of sound —
the right hand’s hard and glassy at the bridge
or at the soundhole fluting,
the left strokes lovely Ramirez’s neck,
jigsaws fretted screens at the Alhambra,
holds the coat up to be seen

and so

no fingers catch the moments on the frets —
the imageless precision of the coat 
masks the weaver’s hands; no screen, no thought, no
self, no coat — only limitless technique
worked on a sounding abacus, and always
the black disc spiralling towards its end,
the hiss of time like rain on the roof. 


If the unnazis came to bookshops
if they came to the bookshops where
the tingling statues were
they’d take books from the shelves
and pick and unpeel the gummed endpapers
peel them back and pull the outers off
flay cookery and gardening
undress the lexicons and travelogues
and in the tense
in the tense shelved bookshop air
in the tense still longing of the statues
in the tense still longing of the people
us in the bookshops
in the radioactive quiet of the hardpressed
tightshut millions of words
in that shut energy
they’d slither bookskins up shins and thighs
unslough buttocks and backs
resheathe shoulders and heads with nudity
unslice the knife along rejoining flesh 
until the entire turnedon aching world
was standing naked in a bookshop
blurbed hot with praises
openable to wonderful passages
titles bristling and seriffed
delicate fonts gone wet and yielding
and then the unnazis would uncase
they would uncase the violins
and dancing a little 
slide their bows
until the taut air sang
the volume and the mass of us
and every folio and runninghead and colophon
juddered and blurred with forced vibration
until the faint harmonics of our longing
gathered and sang clear
that unbearable inaudible illegible
selftranscription of all keyboards 
sang clear the shelves and books
the tingle statues fiddles people dancing
and regathered on that kristallmorgen
revitrified all there was
to a globe a shut unshattered brandybubble
one wordless ringing perfect sphere of glass

(‘Segovia on record’ appeared in Snaring Heaven.  ‘Lifefugue of 
sexual tension in bookshops’ appeared in The Meaning of Flight.)



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