Ptarmigan

a grouse with completely feathered feet

10/03/2004

The cure is won across twice, in glitter
patches so cheap they thrill each bidder,
staring ahead to the empty room where

brightness is born and tagged; to beat
the windows of the dying year's fast
turn to a faction cut-back. Ever so

smiling at this sudden real candour,
what to shun of this set cure's topmost
retort: remember me: and now give over.

--J.H. Prynne, from Not-You

*

It was only much later that the qualities of the incandescent period became apparent, and by then it had been dead for many years. But in recalling itself it assumed its first real life.

--John Ashbery, from "The New Spirit"

*

No crooked leg, no bleared eye,
No part deformed out of kind,
Nor yet so ugly half can be
As is the inward suspicious mind.

--Queen Elizabeth I, written in her French Psalter



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