Lars Palm (Sweden): from "Footnote Poems"


perhaps because movements are so easily founded by people who do nothing. or because moments are so easily found by people who know something else. moments move to the side while some of the people begin. & while others cease. not to exist but to be existentialists. for reasons they themselves find unclear. at least when they try to lay them out. on a table in muddy shade. meanwhile back at the parole-board bored officers vandalize offices & are sentenced to any number of years without parole. that's how things go say the people who do nothing. as if they ever wrote a song with no less than two harmonica solos. or spoke to a dead french poet called jacques. or jack as they would have it. but perhaps because they just the other day founded a movement in someone's left arm they are content with doing nothing. except sit back to watch the arms race. which one will win remains to be seen wearing black trousers & a red t-shirt getting into a nondescript dark car


a boy hid it in his school desk, the only object in that classroom painted blue. a girl hid under the blackboard, the only object in that classroom painted green. a teacher hid behind the pulpit, the only object in that old-fashioned classroom painted red. a same-sex couple painted a closet black & hid in that. that started a movement of painting & hiding in that school. before long most spaces where you could hide & most objects you could paint were occupied & colourful. the first boy took something out of his desk & looked baffled. a principal crashes in through the door looking agitated, mouth moving without producing any words. the principal's face changes expression, now confused. the principal exits quickly heading down the now deserted hallway. a telephone conversation ensues. the school is sealed. a whitewash follows a few hours later


she was not the author of the black notebook she gave to him, even as she called it "mine" before adding, "now it is yours." but then authorship is an increasingly shapeless ship. a small aside for sure. maybe found in that notebook. he would know for he probably read it. she would know for she probably had some part in its making. i would be expected to know for i'm writing these notes. eileen would know for the beginnings are hers. so "mine" or "yours". shall we mine the possibilities? or just say "ours"? or even question the very notion of "ownership"? wouldn't that be fun? ownership as theft. of course. the old anarchist idea. probably stolen from some earlier anti-authoritarian movement. what did for example the diggers have to say about ownership? people before money? what will people after money say? in other words who can claim ownership (theft) to that idea? & what has that to do with her giving him a black notebook? whether she really could call it hers it was well received. & strengthened a bond between them. maybe because of its content. maybe in the simple act of giving. maybe because they both like black notebooks. maybe because m/s authorship just left harbour heading south-west with a cargo of, you guessed it, black notebooks


except that, she understood with that first nibble: she will spend the rest of her suddenly over-long life aching to taste again that poem she swallowed out of existence. in that form. & maybe she asks herself, or someone else's self, if she finds another poem to nibble: how would she react to that? would the taste of that poem be pleasing to her? but maybe she doesn't ask herself, or someone else's self, that. maybe she pours herself a glass of wine & submerges herself in a song. & maybe she thinks about how that combination tastes. & maybe she sets out to turn that combined taste into a poem. & maybe that poem tastes interesting. but she will leave it up to a neighbour who just entered, suspecting nothing, to be the judge of that. for that neighbour just happens to be a sommelier & a drummer


except that, pride is necessary to locate the eye within spaces lacking discernible parameters. because of that, pride is very proud to finally be useful. full of life a young woman skips. wait, there, could that be a parameter? & could the eye be nearby? except that, spaces discern a direction. a couple of miles, then to the left just after an oddly shaped tree. & if necessary we will hang a sign on it. the spaces nod & make thoughtful faces. the eye locates you. a big black hairy dog puts his nose to the ground. then suddenly he lifts his leg to a lamp-post. directions continue. the director tries to locate an angle, a way into the scene, thinking the part will improve the whole. except that, the need arises to locate the eye to facilitate cutting. this bread is often used with soup. this soup is easier to cook without pride. yo! a parameter. what next?

© Lars Palm 2008