tatterdemalion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christopher Mulrooney

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

contents

 

tatterdemalion

tatterdemalion

order of merit

recovery

flag

a brood of gangsters

the mirror of oblivion

foretold

and then again

how gracious you look down

a very little lawyer

 

 

 

the rap

umbrella

the all fired hurry

my dear will you farm

converdsation piece

a cold front on the way

loudspeaker

prehistory

primeval

 

stronghold

faux economy

fantastic

the city streets

a politicianís speech

scrolled

makeover

the background noise

formidable

tirra

whoremaster

the end of the line

 

 

 

 

 

how to curry favor in the market

the oval office

the monkey at the typewriter

village explainer

stronghold

turn

in loco parentis

hypertutum

up that crazy beat

excommunication

jakes

 

baldric

hammerlock

overdone do-over

broadcast

ancient questionnaire

on guard

watcher

the treaty document

the great cathedral

vocable

 

 

 

 

solicitation

the kennel

Boston

maison

lecturer

furniture and model

destruction of evidence

communiquť

baldric

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tatterdemalion

 

 


 

 

 

 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

tatterdemalion

 

the bill comes due at the end of the month

you pay with a stamp on it for goods and services rendered

ha a sort of superfluity

like the gangsterís wee gratuity


 

 

 

 

 

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

order of merit

 

the scum rises also in the swine pool

that is the venerated joke

a pig in a proverbial poke

bought for some by yet some other fool

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

   †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

recovery

 

right as rain says the poet or does he ask this

is it a question thusly how are you

but I am fine says the answer only just fine

fine as wheat dandy as a daisy fair as June

as he passes along out of view the poet making a note


 

 

 

 

 

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

flag

 

the summer fleet is in down by the wayside flags and stones

keeping by the wayside the summer fleet

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

a brood of gangsters

 

quick to herd shuttle and herd shunt as may be

with a few quick words to assert the principle

that one is in charge

 

the street cleaners know and breeze by

kicking up a cloud of dust

that settles by and by down the years

 

 


 

 

 

 

   †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the mirror of oblivion

 

this might be the condition you seek caught adrift in the Krakatoa Sea

meandering on a very imprecise

river


 

 

 

 

 

  †††††††††††††  

 

 

 

 

 

foretold

 

the humpbacked whales

you shouted in my ear

as we ran along the highway

something about the humpbacked whales

over and over again

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

and then again

 

and down the roll call we come to your name

your own your very own

dribbling from the ceiling like a stalactite

onto a stalagmite we illuminate for tourists

 

 


 

 

 

 

   †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

how gracious you look down

 

your idea of a kind of success

lickspittle

is to be drunk on the saliva of your masters

spitting profusely

pardon Flaubert this obtrusion of the ridiculous upon the sublime

afflatus and effluvia


 

 

 

 

  †††††††††††††  

 

 

 

 

 

a very little lawyer

 

we were there to see the show

he stepped into it like a showman out of the ranks

a Washington insider

a member of the Cabinet for Christís sake the charitably disposed

might have mentioned Pope in his little suit

afterward they named it City of Creatives

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

the rap

 

Iíll plead the defend the honor the

rest my case on this here set of facts

it canít be true that this Hyperia

is that satyress no no

someone does her shopping for her

thatís it

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

umbrella

 

the queries got so many it had to be otherwise

they were insisting to get out of the rain

we closed up shop and moved to a very sunny clime

somewhere in England river moss punting

but we wonít say where

to avoid a questionnaire

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the all fired hurry

 

flags waving brass band the reporterís loving outlook the wooden Indian

offering every passerby a cigar

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

my dear will you farm

 

 

in the furrows with a silo and all

for the grain

will you kindly mist over for the geese

migrating as they do

 

itís all up to you

or will you have of crow a piece

in the rain

and lose face beyond recall?

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

conversation piece

 

I might get a joke or I might not

depends on my mood or what the weather is

if itís snowing or blowing or raining or sleeting

well I just might close up shop and go home in a manner of speaking

but if itís sunny out

I might laugh and then I might not as the mood strikes me

or the weather

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a cold front on the way

 

just like a Tijuana whore of either sex

the furious paint job assiduously following the lines

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

loudspeaker

 

 

I just want to add itís wanting to add makes a horse race folks

and then I dived in for the swim from Calais to the white cliffs of Dover

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

prehistory

 

when Earth was spouting little puffs of smoke

and hides of men the fashion came

of building huts to live in out of the rain and caves

no more the sky beheld the nightlong pitiful cries of proto-men

but they learned architecture and what is more which is to say

the lay of the land beyond all doubt and question

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

primeval

 

the plenitude of whatís thatís history of dreams

refreshes and dispels in the urgent sense of

marking time for a new union of ordered beings

some lofty thing held high above the waste

a bit of a dangler and then consumed without trace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

stronghold

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

faux economy

 

humble as a stock or peasant in trade

with a trench broom plying the suburbs

on behalf of

absent landlords

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fantastic

 

with the guardian doors evoking ancient virgins

in the light that never failed

a knock on the door and the shouted name

set in motion at the greatest distance imaginable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the city streets

 

singularity here is the Mars landing for you

with the space creatures hideously Tojoing

a race of future men

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a politicianís speech

 

not the today of yesterday

he is saying nor yet the yesterday of today

are you following this

and certainly not tomorrowís yesterday

thank God what a relief

that is but to be sure

the today of tomorrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scrolled

 

it all designed to bless the poet in need

even more than the designer with a dozen mouths to feed

that bless the stern the angry loss of toil

when the cityís set upon the boil

and smeltered into nothing paperweights

manufactured by some company abroad V. Gates

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

makeover

 

now the girl has another hope

and cannot respond to inquiries

the faintly female fellow in a corner of the room

having felt her out upon the subject

will play the man henceforth to wit

duet for dykes like Beijing on a Sunday full of trikes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the background noise

 

 

a cause for audio technicians thereís Greco-Roman for you if you like

the all of human history if you please that din

that fulminating hellacious caterwauling

loo-sound

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

formidable

 

 

right on the ball the dumb sparrow with the one note

the overgrown nestling always clamoring for a worm

please mama a worm a worm for your little sparrow

minutes days years

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

tirra

 

the serene plain truth would you have

and innocent as the day is long

of any artistic pretensions

and all to be sure for the price of a song

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

whoremaster

 

the whoremaster has them in droves do you see

and the finest part of all that is when theyíre at it

client and representative of the firm

he exacts a transcription at five dollars a copy

and sells it on the World Wide Web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the end of the line

 

some say it was a certain crack in the world

some say different apropos of that

the gimcrack school has just another theory

namely to fill the void howsoever

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

how to curry favor in the market

 

fountain of youth and of mystery

and that is O that is

in Creative Writing classes

to be sought and cured

like Danaís hides on the beach at old Los Angeles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

the oval office

 

the telegram is laid

neatly upon the desk

by a servant in gloves

neatly folded at the end of the day

it reads Dear Sir

the outlying monuments

thus report in

the message is passed on

to European capitals

and foreign embassies in many lands

for that is how things are done

it is protocol it is a way of doing things

of getting things done after a fashion

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the monkey at the typewriter

 

they talk to me about statistics

gibberish is all I make of it

so much words so much paper in a certain proportion

and there you have it all summed up

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

village explainer

 

 

spitting and corpses are easily explained

the one against the evil eye

the others simply drunk

thereís for the guidebooks says my guide waiting for a tip from me

and paid by village contributions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

stronghold

 

 

the point of comedy

perhaps a long suspension

on a ticklish subject

whispers and giggles

and the thrust home

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

turn

 

 

handsome is as does

in the sunset breeze

 

it may seem silly as things go

to squeeze a tune from an old concertina

or harness the horse for a gallop round

while the tourist notes gather up the dying day

 

but what the hey

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

in loco parentis

 

 

Big Chief Wet Puss the Mayor of Prairie Dog Town

quiet you gophers

has this to say so mind your holes

go ahead Chief huzza

 

me have very many braves with ear to ground

to bring me news

now they all deaf with dirt

me need Tomahawk missile

launch heap big spy satellite

blanket world

 

ugh

Big Chief have spoken

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hypertutum

 

 

I am not yet satisfied old sod

you are yes you are he replied

no no you are not yes I am

and the gag duologue dies out in confusion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

up that crazy beat

 

 

down the asphalt jungle and up Park Avenue

the drums carry the message

Eat at Joeís

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

excommunication

 

 

so youíre out says the media specialist

no sale at the clientís door

no youíre out says the client closing it


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jakes

 

 

you simply havenít heard

two complete outside chances like these

number one the guy in charge of this fiasco a rare sight enough but

number two wow you never see him the financial backer

cool as a cucumber on a patch of dry ground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

baldric

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hammerlock

 

with apologies the mugger stalks the car

apologies and staring eyes in broad daylight

at the shopping center in the great city of worldwide fame

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

overdone do-over

 

that second shot another identity not you any more

definitely another person

 

not there yesterday

unknown to passport photographers and the press

completely anonymous

to say the least that can be said

 

do you down that can be said

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

broadcast

 

the slippery agent of a very foreign government

he affects us all in various accents

but in the long run gives himself away

lavishly wondering at our laughable shibboleths

ha ho he

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ancient questionnaire

 

why is the Franklin stove so popular in America?

because you can stoke it up and it heats you

itís all in the name

it has an attractive shape

all of the above

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

on guard

 

on guard duty whilst the customers pass

one who looks askance with a wry face

that is the man

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

watcher

 

always on patrol in this ward

vaquero hat automatic weapon

kerchief over nose and mouth

to bring it to heel

a Latin American custom

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the treaty document

 

the plain discourse and I donít know what it means any better than you do

except what it is not will serve

here is the dainty dinkins for a rough night

if that is your cup of tea

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the great cathedral

 

it is great disused

and great Gertrude Stein would say

and the ruins roundabout with Keatsí squatters

Keatsí visitor

Keatsí traveler

to the great city

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vocable

 

it just escapes him who

who do you think the poet at the sight of this

pearling in his mind or that

who do you think at all

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

solicitation

 

the dull fellow

with his hat in his hand

asks for a few coppers

a shelter anything

his dullness spreading like a stain

not of ink

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the kennel

 

out where they keep the dogs and I do mean canines

the dogmaster has his dog treats for them

and to be sure the whip

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boston

 

if you can find the city

by rising in a balloon

or mayhap digging into a construction zone

if you can see past the surface

to anything resembling the curtains and rods and windowsills

why then youíre welcome and more power to you

otherwise sink back down and backtrack

meditatively reflecting like a pool the sky and monuments

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

maison

 

the season grows the collection worn in Paris

that is the makeup of a style on the hips and shoulders of

mesdemoiselles

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lecturer

 

like the bald critic

who thinks he must criticize

this reflexive academic

thinks he must lecture

 

no-one ever graduates

from his school

 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

furniture and model

 

the house stands empty

light modulates

with weather

the sofa and other articles are there

the beds and fireplace

the kitchen etc.

articles of clothing where they belong

books etc.

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

  †††††††††††††

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

destruction of evidence

 

the witness deposed that it was dismissed

says the judge

and thatís all

 

a reward for services rendered

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

communiquť

 

the language remained

incommunicado through its practitioners were

throughout the island green country

in every palm leaf hotel cuspidor and avenue

always the same song to be read and learned again and again 

 

 

 

 


 

 ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

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baldric

 

and the sum total of that was whatíll you have

and that was all right because two beers

we had imagined a course altogether different

thatíll be exactly right

but thatís no problem your change it all adds up to

what was I saying?