Legs on beach

horsey ô horsey

ebony horsey

horsey

ebony ocean

pain promises

return

to

every organ

most marked

precision

marks each moment

of night

beloved

side by side

stutter

passion

under or wings

wanton

loved limbs

armed

against assembly

who whisper so

loudly

sun steal

shadow

before our backs

capable

to carve circle

enclosing

elements

so many shadows

birds nest

on head

of beasts

tree

turns

specters

forget

being

shadow

beloved

within shadow

die

follow

fallen

walk

writhing

wraiths

come

come

light

within

light

tremble

carrying

curse

appalling

assembly

beginning

time begins

before your body

beloved

tides

torrent

of blood

mud

climb

into me

bend

within my body

absence

memory

breathe

before

bind

bound

i do not
shrink before pain

in

any

sphere

love

doesn't make me

small

smaller

than gods

wrapped in chains
running into waters

never

coming back

to commotion

cracks open

sleep

branches break

over body

beloved

waiting

through

so

many

winters

forbearing

bowl & bough

for you

to

come

back

to

back

we taste

one

another

waiting

for that

wind

way it wrenched

vegetation

from viper

mute moon

murderous

perhaps

in that period

you

believe you

loved me

instead

of monument

crowd take

down

down

brick by brick

building

i'd become

home hell

dispelling dark

home

hell wanted

to live

in pilgrimage

before

collapsing

wound rests

for me

to taste

you to taste

we taste

well

of ourselves

of all

organs we cover

as another

robe

to see

us through

these flames

beloved

believing

we preceded

plague

always in premonitions

you shared

as i took

your skin

as scripture

horsey ô horsey

ebony horsey

beloved

black beast

consent

my darling

to darker tasks

asking

you beloved

to never dance

with an angel

Christopher Barnet

Christopher Barnet

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  • i wanted to articulate my respect for those who can read in 'horsey ô horsey', a work which possesses a centraliy in my oeuvre & my life especially Christina Kostoula whoee rigor & close reading nourish me, there are other people of course, many, in fact - i want to give thanks
    that close reading has nourished me at a moral level but also at a technical level
    i read this moment, as a moment of the writing of blue boat & then it being published in france by the most prestigious edition with the counsel of thomas harlan & chris marker. thomas, in fact translated the book. Importantly it was a break with what i had written before & i think like most poets you go from one epistemological rupture to another
    it was to have a decisive influence on my focus to work with communities that were under great pressure. having written & accomplished that poem, i knew a challenging work in the community, not charitable work, but tough work demanding a degree of interiority & excellence in these communities that had rarely if ever been demanded, anywhere. what we do at LeDernier Spectateuris i believe a singular experience in europe
    horsey ô horsey for me has the same cultural political importance, though today i do not know what time i have left, what is possible to do in that time, from a position where i am lucky to be alive, i have to work speculatively in the same way baruch spinoza worked, i know i am capable of such work
    the commentary of others aids that possibility, & that is as it should be, my i is a we & has been for decades, that is clear to anyone who has read my work. the time itself, is a time of great urgency with fascism rearing its ugly head everywhere & to speak of love in the way i do, that is to say of the geography of the body, of the politics of our dreams & desires is an urgent task
    the physical state takes all my art & force to create & you without sentiment or melodrama hear the song i am singing, the polyphony being created
    the many painters i work with create a very real collaboration thousands of miles of land & sea away but in fact a presence in this studio, so small, that i see worlds that open up the carcass of culture
    above all, you witness how my struggle for breath is also love's struggle
    that that struggle necessarily places politics in command