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Area Sneaks: Andrew Maxwell

Andrew Maxwell


Brighten the imagination of those who stammer instead of speaking, who blush the moment they assert something. These are steadfast partisans.

Innocence, you have a sign upon you.


To say here, and to stay apart–
The traffic is leanest, a regional indifference.
But to stay here, and say apart,
I’m reaching out to you, yet look askance:

World ho! American, I’d prefer not to

The genius of follow-through is seldom deliverance.
Liaisons in error are neither bought to countenance
the pidgin of liberty, but assert like an iamb
proprietor or priority.

“I’ve written a wicked book and feel spotless
as the lamb”. Melville lumbers American Hawthorne,
discounting the plan in murderous privacy.
Discovery isn’t done, though the sound is

gross, while it’s ours, a snob eidolon
framing Longfellow Deeds thinking through his tuba
another gaptooth in the battle royale, thought-bubble
bruiser to refactor democracy, modulo singleton.

There’s debutante enough in the solitary occasion.
While that doesn’t phase us, missionary positioned on
animal planet, shy of variance, found royalty;
a cartoon riot is a novelty to build on, weak-kneed.

Meanwhile it happens every spring, the screwball sound
of aggregate loyalty. Too glad it’s not poetry,
antique and dubious as that is, finding oneself happenstance
on a mound of happenstance, preggers, a crowd finds its key
in a golf vacation or dinner theater, the predicates
of a life “without subjects”. Bonanza, the crowd apart,
devoid of argument save the meal it grants us.

Guess there’s no rhyming a flagpole with the pants
that fly up it, though we can start with those
stupid videos, the family plot of late. Formal companions
grow noisier when they collaborate as embarrassment––
in fact, they turn the page.

Monday’s grand voyagers are bedroom techno
trucking in an error of recyclable gusto, smoke
tree trunked to nomen dubium, tum-tum cloak bussed
to roger wilco, a national trust, and folksy got-none

What the geeks have done with the great quiet American

Let’s make it up, I’d say

Revivalists, full of grace notes, heavy with fun, over-
done w/ contrivances, but rarely clover, the mercy bulb
won solo at lucky boy burgers, one a.m. is lit full up
and not a prison powder, face “dusted”, or dubbed
so unrecorded, or an overridden principal

If to preserve the star we keep the world
half-lit, not to admit a common consent, billing
Eddie Bracken for Andrew Jackson, darkling
delivery of a sedan rurality, curled by payday
and bent by an overridden principle: no one’s

particularism, however
shorn from biding nature

Honesty impolitic, morning light is strict.

Where shall I go to fetch it?

The roundabout of an inner life
leads less to a lived characteristic
than a blind turn
to wit. No direct address
and thus no life
democratic, in the dim hallway
of enterprise. We invent anyway
to manufacture
a slow burn of compromise.
It’s an assignment, or a mess,
this music.

And music again, ridiculous fragments,
the victor:

I shall ponder, I shall guess
Outtakes, I confess

Listen, Girls, to awkward verses, nod to shockgrass
incorporate, the individual talent I wouldn’t know
being a junior on patrol, or a frank duck
brained by finance and frankly phoney
against the excellences of the past

I went out to meet it, me
And my beautiful dream.

Neither mean as Rasselas or willing
to franchise adequacy to profit, I cannot
separate sportsmanship from intrigue
so I wander off-track. Much as it’s mentioned
the world is never sought, but multi-tracked –
nomenclature jags, and that’s that

So I hang a shingle on that, the sound
grassed over, chilblain variety, and fat
as a losing streak, the pleasures enharmonic.

What is a “choice of life” beside
a rising tide that spins a liberal damage
into an ideal gas, as if, prudence laconic,
there were still also a “common man”?

Mugwumpery at the people’s bank.
I drew upon it a grand family plan.

Who’s going to pay for that one, cousin –
the novel idea in superalimentation, scanning
the table for a prosy breadroll and radio silence.
Nothing rivals direction like indirection.

Cousin leans towards nothing to suppose
we’re something, and is correct, of course;
Fear is the anti-inclination. We fed up
the children with magic, so coarse subjunctive
get stuffed. We plan on the present if
we plan on precedent, claim check a gift
from the backlot, and night-script the angel
spiff like citizen Paine. Here’s the good angle
on good boy Clean, a live pamphlet o’er-laden
with fruit, bummer pup, he’s Lonesome Rhodes

Oh I see

That mirror of gump, gimp luck: catch him
plum in spotlit stills, playing his partisan harp,
or catch him central cast as every man’s perp
and holding fast, cuffed underriver
in coffin shale. Merman,
batter my heart.

I do haunt you still, discontent
but of a page

or just a stooge, a page
Laugh riot wired up in the sound booth.

The horse is galloping, the bell is ringing
An arrow killed a lad in the street
Sweet, I swear it’s the truth
I got it on repeat

Quick, darken the studio board.

Lord outside the rhyme is weird
but the foley choice.

Ha ha, I hear him now, it’s a weird
sort of funny voice, that
either-or-ish chord

—yet I observe his railing
Is not for simple love of piety

The citizen heart is bloopers.

That thirst. It’s unsightly.

Radio editor, I need you first

My cap and feather days are numbered
and verse lived is cluttered.

This is the worst. Impassive inserts, thirsty
oops, outtook or took in, like David Staebler
or worse, his microcassette with retractable father
rooked him. Radio edit, that. I take him for a fact
when he “burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.”

Fantasy, that’s our bit.

My examples are inexact. We all imagine
ourselves to be lucky boy burghers
in an exact imagination. But unrecycled
nor burglars, nor rhyme as fact:
wild protocol, judas over-sleeve

Philippe, I’ll remember that.

Impossible to half-write
you and reluctant to
bite the hook.

Reluctance to half-wit
when half-wit is the prize
I write my self into the book,
build my fort in outlying areas
and guy the mental stair
to a stirring plot.

A “dirty work”, collaboration:
the guise legion
when the self is not.

Air raid, sirens
and then thought.

So much fuss for a “companionable
form”, a normal door cast open.
Warden, all Nature seems at work.

And music too objective
to afford us
a Natural treason.

Unreasonable mind, this
assignment I’m behind on
and I’m behind it.

I can’t escape.
The “garden of effort”:
is this a contemporary region?

The artisanal future an advance
On the past, and the advance of freedom
a calling of our time, made febrile
and sublime by a box fort rhetor?

Partisan it is, to say apart, to say a part, or
Leave the reporter dumb awhile, wise
to the niche a past records.

Artisanal mediator, vocoder, collaborator.

Freedom at last a film at last, and roars
from box forts past compromise¬—
but I want to make something

with you, bland counsel, dead
though you lie in the massy mind
hungry to broaden our view, toward
an end of course. Free kingdom.

It’s terrible how we respond in kind
with a phrase no one can use. If you could
release me, synthesizer, and to speak freely

Is everything in a word
I ‘d still hate it. Like the poetic, the demotic
remains some compartment of me, locked in

A music. To compose as to compromise, the country
Is triadic. Won’t you come calling
instead, compatriot? With your face so free

With “ye untold latencies”
and “extraordinary references”
and not this pidgin of liberty.

for Philippe Beck