Monthly Archives: January 2016

Burnaby Mountain Revisited

First there were two or three of us. Then there were a few more, searching amongst trees in the park. Then there were more than the 13 trees cut down for seismic testing. We were growing in a forest on a mountain, mushrooms or mitochondria. And bear and deer and racoon were with us. Underneath the canopy, the bestiary. A pipe could not be put through predatory or for pretext was our mandate. Question: what is horizontal directional drilling anyway? Answer: depends on how deep you imagine unceded goes—bedrock and beyond? Then there were more than 31 and then there were more than 301. The barricade was made more from people and what transpired between people and more people than it was the junk hauled out of the woods and piled at the borehole. And bear and deer and racoons and ravens. Maybe we were animals coming to the nearness of other animals releasing a social hormone or howl or moan and attracting us and others sensing this and howling or moaning back and joining us. And children and grandmothers and queers and punks. Then there were more and more or really just barely enough in the end which was no end or resolution. Morning under tarps blue light was sublime congress. Evening and ghost cars and drones did not dissuade. Sacred fire. Drumming. I will forever recall walking through yellow wood towards a horizon or object not of this world that is of this world that was passed person to person invisible like solidarity until each person was full of this thing that was tomorrowing when cops and courts and coordinates intervened as systems of public doubt and private accumulation. And yet still we are gathering and burning and drumming. Still animals. Still only beginning.

 

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Golfing St. George’s Hill with Sean Bonney

This poem is an addenda to the dialogue between myself and poet Sean Bonney in Toward. Some. Air. (Banff Press 2015). In 1649 the Diggers occupied enclosed common land on St. George’s Hill, declaring the world “a common treasury for all.” Today the site is occupied by a golf course and some of the most exclusive and expensive residential property in the world.

Remember what used to matter
Sean says sharing the tube the taxi
cab not fucking people over not
fucking off with each of our
needs to cauterize each of our
abilities look at this night
we have opened an angle of
unending ghost escapes
here is some furze
here is an assart
we will soon reverse
our desires unstinted and
shared with the moles
not dangling from farmers’
fence posts we dissolved with
our whisky spit look I say
here shall be my dwelling
because I have chosen it
I feare none because I stand
upon a saufe ground
if England could speake
would she not make such
and such complaints? If the walls
of such and such a citie
or towne had a tongue
would they not talk thus and thus?
For if any of these bee hindered
wee have a large fielde to walke in
perswading or disswading the
rehearsall of commodities
and heaping all the properties
which belong unto conclusion
into a bucket we dump out the window

So speaking we ascend George’s Hill
unbunkered but cameo light
along verges of Surreyed wastes
wearing what golfers might wear in
capering seventeenth century hells
Sean and I figure unreason to be
the reason we are here shout nary
or full-throttle you gobbled
last night’s liquor to free everyone
Dear Impossible and if you appear
all is useless empty lands
and the same projector ghost
on turgid ponds a regal apprentice
doffs his proper proprietorship
as tinctured incumbents count
votes we have not given to
subsume us with patriotic song
like if buying / own Florida
I open the gulf for you cursed
sports witch hazel and moor howl
you can tumble moneyward
at the steepled void juddering
politicos scare me where I love
and my meat is late for the sales
if we sup now genetic dissembling
spite song saying and unsaying
my spleen begat this Dear
Impossible development and
multi-million pound homes
ringing lanes acre by stolen acre
we may still rip up in our rage

We’ll have to dig in Sean
the sharper’s course marks
not commons but fair ways
exclude killing not killing
the care taken to trim these
greens like plush carpet surfaces
of indoors taken out I take
a club in hand and say
see here I’ll wedge us past
that prying tree clip a
bough or two sending mad
spin of leaf to earth but
land nevertheless hole high
in a rich shit’s right eye
and there proclaim the
work we are going about
is this and lift my club
high over head to bring down
smart on pleasant green table top
so we do begin to dig Sean and I
and Sean is singing stand up now
stand up now with spade and hoe
and plough or at least these
irons we’ve taken from posh
fucks out for millionaire rounds
because the club is all their law
the club is all their law Sean
and I sing as we dig without
a tee time into George’s Hill