Martin Carter
(1927-1997)
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Monday, March 27, 2006

Playing Militia


Even in that place of final exile
among tombs, and mechanical inscriptions,
each leaf is a different green,
flower of a different kind
of red and yellow; also each ripe fruit
tumult of a really different seed
there, in that place.

Outside in the traffic
between the city's indifferent wheels and feet,
amid a hatred of trees,
the phalloid needles of sewing machines
have sown a new drill. The sleeves
of uniforms droop
like the wet feathers of a crow's wing
over a secret carrion. Girls unbreasted,
wear guns like earrings. Boys ungamed,
grip them like tickets. The spree
is a wake. Admission is free.


Martin Carter in Poems of Affinity, 1980
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