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for good behaviour

lars palm


for good behaviour lars palm

Differentia Press Santa Maria, CA

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for good behaviour lars palm Copyright © 2010 All Rights Reserved. Published by Differentia Press Book Design by Felino A. Soriano Cover Art, “Army of Eggs”, courtesy of Petra Palm Except for the sole purpose for use in reviews, no portion of this book may be reproduced in any form, without the written permission from the publisher. Differentia Press Santa Maria, CA 93458 submissions@differentiapress.com

Differentia Press Poetic Collections of the │Experimental Spectrum│ differentiapress.com

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some of these poems first appeared in PFS Post, revista encuentro virtual (first in their original english & later in spanish translations made by the editor Roberto Mascar贸), on Amy King's blog & on my blog mischievoice

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this book is for Petra

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for good behaviour lars palm

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(the great somewhere-or-other novel) fork, he said. then he explained how to use one. she left

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(british colonialism & swedish public service radio) an hour extolling the virtues of the old-school colonial white landowners in zimbabwe. (& this is 2009?)

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(lanzarote architecture) would be easy building a house here. the basics are: white facade. no more than two floors. doors & window frames may have other colours, although the darker spectrum of greens seems to be the preferred one

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(old danish town) on christmas night 1263 the church tower fell & killed several people standing below. wrath of their local god? poor construction? both? neither? sabotage before the word? then in the 16th century the town burned. & was rebuilt largely in stone. since then?

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(confused it) faces grow out of the walls. yes. this is a third-rate horror movie disguised as a panda. pandering to their dust. lusting for disgusting things in life. back to the wall. & the featureless face it grows. repeating �give my remains to broadway� so many times he forgets to mispronunce it. then growing features to sell to some national newspaper

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(wake up screaming) for some reason known only to themselves four teenage kids have gone to a cabin way out in the woods with the stated ambition to drink themselves stupid. one of them sees a man in a hockey-goalkeepers mask lurking behind the trees. he goes to tell the others & they are paralyzed with fear & do weird things for about an hour. then the man removes the mask. the kids are relieved to see he has no face

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(moonlight serenade) when darkness falls the cicadas start their song. unused to it, the northerners are at pains naming the phenomenon properly. how the cicadas name it is a matter best explored by more seasoned entomologists. i can only imagine they would use very few consonants. the entomologist may wonder at the relevance of consonants in this context. the cicadas may marvel at the relevance of any context outside that of making noise

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(witch trial & (t)error) trees spawning dark matter don't matter much anymore. any more moorings to cast off? are we talking about a revolution? something about the number of them per minute. the hour stretches into seconds. served by deadpan cops along with the summons & the rubber bullets. shedding your mortal coil. coining another phrase for excavating any number of cavities. caving in through the door. before. & after climbing that tree

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(removing california from the map) for Brooklyn Copeland

in the 19th century a landowner near nizjnij novgorod in western russia founded a town he called california. he wanted to get back at the government for selling alaska to the americans. for a hundred years or so it was a lively little town. then after the collapse of the soviet union people started moving out en masse & in 2000 the last inhabitants left town. california has now officially ceased to exist, but it remains unclear what is to happen to the remaining buildings

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(note on informal employment) in arrecife, as in las palmas, as probably in santa cruz de tenerife, as possibly all over the archipelago (& maybe elsewhere in the world) some of the homeless serve as halfofficial parking guides/attendants. for which they get a couple of euro from the drivers using the service. they divide the streets between them, usually downtown sidestreets, & work from seven or so in the morning until nine or ten at night. the only criteria are that you be reasonably sane & sober during working hours

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(walking to borĂĽs) for Jim Dine

did you tell pinocchio the quickest way would be route 40 from gothenburg (or gĂśteborg as the locals call it)? did you tell him it might take a couple of days? did you tell him anything about the town? how it for decades lived almost exclusively on producing clothes & selling them in hordes of factory outlets. & how in recent years production has been outsourced. & how it has had some hard times figuring out what to live on now. do you think pinocchio will be happy there? or will he walk on?

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(night) now how's about a little prose poem for ye to get the night moving? a cat on a rucksack. a man-flute breathing shallowly in the next room. radio on low playing old swedish hiphop. rage still burning ice cold as the night outside is, directed at nothing in particular. the canterbury tales open to maybe page 15 beside me. a lovely lovely book. now what is all this about? & who could be arsed with it? another question? maybe a statement? addressing the cat? or the man? or the nothing? or the radio? or geoff chaucer? or you?

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(in & out of tune) play, fiddler, to that orchard. never mind orchestrating riots for the media most happily lapping up anything the cops say. sway that consensus. stray strands of hair. chairing a meeting. sharing this year's yield with your neighbours. caring little if they dance or not. as long as at least a few eyes sparkle. & a crack of thunder. & a snap of your fingers. joints back in place. backspace. rats race. pacing in & out of space. to a steady beat. the retreat. to heal your wounds & tune them strings. not attached to those things you play & drink. say & think. links blink in the early sunlight. might something good come of this?

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(what's) for Christopher Rizzo

what comes after this. is sitting for some time. so what we will do we will not tell. think it. some fires set in the north-east. best to use water. lots of it. this comes after what. then some. come summer. but it already came. game set. let your head eat in peace. then rest. the rest is not silence. but silent. the difference is. this day another mysterious fiesta. the difference is what comes after this. it thinks. & puts on his sunglasses to protect himself from the cool wind. wound up like a clockwork dog. justin’s justice. not law. flawed trees tremble. & the immensely popular yorkshire terrier barks. as usual. usually soap is used for operas. operations ceased. military mostly. most of which caused a need for surgery. maybe standing up comes after this. walking off laughing at the little trotting terrier. mean-spirited? just possibly. but the streets just may be meaner. been meaning to ask for some time. what comes after this. is

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(levelling the seagull) for Paul Siegell

by land or sea. see that slingshot from bristol. bristling with. or out. side with slow motion. pictures taken. a back burning. turning around to sea. sorry she says coulndn't resist that theme song sung in the background. underground some subjects are plotting to let an american singer have an accident. with an italian inflection. meanwhile a newly self-selected sheriff elects a mayor to replace omar shariff in all black & white productions made since the later era of pre-commercial television. vision blurs. visions refuse to recur. refering to a time when news started travelling a bit faster than you could whisper them in chinese. though you've probably caught up by now. & how it's a kick in the head & a prison bed & you tell me it's the law to explain the implications of such a statement to its neighbouring state. mental hospitals may appear near. here your ear hears fear that disppears from the lizard parked for five hours above the same door. as before the war. the picture book took flight. at last. or least

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(small treatise on the habits of balls) for Jonathan Ball

bouncing. paris was closed cold dark & rainy. more annoying than romantic. another jumper writing notes on how to fly dogs out of the islands. entry blocked by elephants. their drivers say nobody here even heard of mutual aid. or wolves. rolling. the navy base is quiet. a little too quiet. let's riot. & possibly general health. or cathcart. if he ever got himself promoted. not with a bang. but with fangs bared. barred the door. flying over fences. fending off airplanes. he fancies himself the bane of all things winged. & rosie rings. a ring of roses. hoses pose as toasters. causing a small diplomatic brouhaha. all but forgotten three days later. when finally the ball is set rolling. bouncing all over the square. where had it been made of metal instead of leather. perish the thought. though the thought was tougher than that. just sat down on the ball & said diddly squat. hurting when squeezed or kicked. swear by your nearly extinct balls. calls back immediately. rosie says she rang a bell. bell calls from his resting place saying not to disturb him. he will get back to work when he feels like it. in the meantime do what you will with the roses. or go to paris in the spring. & spring that trap. now clap. one hand

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(winning taipei) a helping hand brings you closer to a secret goal. a joyful reunion awaits your arrival. a new friendship will help cast a spell of enchantment. a secret goal is in sight. hang in there. a visit with friends will prove an enjoyable occasion. accept the next proposition you hear. all the little things will add to a happy journey. an unexpected gift will add to your pleasure. another's expression of appreciation will delight you. be patient & the answer will be revealed. bouncy ball is the source of all goodness & light. concern for a friend's happiness will enhance your own. know yourself so that you might understand others. meet a new challenge with calm assurance. memorable moments will make your trip delightful. new experiences & new friends will enrich your life. stay calm, cool & collected, & all things will fall into place. strange new experiences will add to your joy of living. that fleeting thought is worth pursuing. the concern of others will make your trip a delight. through the eyes of love all things will take on a new meaning. travel with a light heart & happy expectations. unexpected offer deserves serious consideration. unseen forces are working in your favor. unusual offer will enhance your future. welcome the chance to learn about others. what you do with sincerity pays the greatest reward. whatever you do, make it fun. wherever you go, there you are. within you lies the power for good - use it. you will attend a party where strange customs prevail. you will relax in the lap of luxury. your trust in a friend will prove well-founded

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(spanish translation of bush translated) subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, subtitles, 26 | f o r g o o d b e h a v i o u r


(a king's alibi) for Amy

a machine played back the story. mother phoned father to me. enchanted the little kettle dripped hints of home-ground coffee. a cornershop spirit. an old minstrel show. warm featherbed & hope chest. a glimpse into the black. cigar so historical. set upon the anteroom shelf the words keenly followed. a crew telling in-jokes to themselves. the tailor divining milk from its coat pocket. that was the day a battery box suspended quiet. history told as an eminent doctor above water. napkin-folded boats find purpose at sea make a miraculous bluebird. make wine to toast the tender empty church echoing bats. cage the dog's bark. veer into stampbook etiquette of peace. photograph a functional razor where unarmed people approach the hovering trees. sing songs of memos on tender tendons. break from citizenry & become the land you've always meant. lip-sync history along with the world. brighten the woman on the curb. report before sundown they live as if within a large city nestled in a valley. husband mows & wife vacuums. they stretched each other to influence. they were like moving in. she broke every crayon in the box. household acts boiled over the likelihood of work. your signature loving you stings paying a piper's penalty. bulletproof people who classify ketchup as a vegetable with or without faith. you cannot believe the wind last night. made of water & light an iceberg floats into you. a patchwork seamstress watches her flower garden. i eat the neighbor's mountain side. i steal lines only to ask if there was ever a question. i have lived on the rooftop in internal weather. sun on top. i'm also taking your small house. shocked that one day i fall asleep the crowd never acts on its own theme. giraffes feed on leaves from my upper branches. streets report back to me. like snakes we shed guns another freedom learning only the lights of asylums. city-born flies bark & reach toward the rafters. mosquitoes & night moths fill government a capsized girl holding court. neighbors on a fence rumble. ramblings of old men seated on stoops. they discovered color returned. he dons his work-worn cape. resists a person who has false teeth & makes a certain hour. he was a bee in summer & in the wake of your buzzing bridge. played a sleepy harmonica that pushed puddles to deeper lakes. a peony eats its neighboring cow. after dinner teak wood fell for cork. lightning drowns veined wooden frames. fat berries ripened brought back from dust fields. peasants dance stomping tile flowering with sin & perfection. bourbon-doused dusk. every twig snapped. vipers in the grass heard their sleekness between thin blades. wars rained upon the fields. wine-stains or silk vest. background cow smiles loudly. silver night spreading westward. toad on an old country road exit. creek babbles brook-like. disappearance messing with directions on the drive back. sleepy gravel road pours forth evening breeze

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some notes the italicized line in (levelling the seagull) is taken from the song Dirty Davey by the Levellers (winning taipei) is composed of the little messages that appear when you beat the computer at taipei (a king's alibi) is composed of phrases from Antidotes for an Alibi by Amy King

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for good behaviour  

Poetry Collection by Lars Palm