Always Die Before Your Mother: Poems by Patrick Woodcock

By Patrick Woodcock

Deftly relocating from the stifling warmth and politics of the Arabian Peninsula to the darkest corners of South America's rainforest, this number of poetry gives you a searing observation on humanity's many failings. Politics, faith, societal constraints, and familial relationships are all fodder for those pointedly written poems.

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Or, never look into a woman’s eyes, her mouth shapes the real answers. And it was true. You could understand villagers simply from the shapes that came from their mouths. Children were taught, before they could walk, the importance of all that came from within. When they were in the terror years — those between childhood and adulthood — they were sent higher up into the mountains to study at the University of Every Time You Speak a Work of Art Should Be Produced. It was there that our two lovers met.

Take that one — he smokes like a hairdresser — eyes full of sunshine and all that teaboy scurry. And him — drunk and reeling like a whirlpool . . he could silhouette even the finest Catholic vision. Okay, I have been drinking, but I still think their horns sound like a harpsichord shitting a cat. 59 LOS MAGNIFICOS I am watching six men create fire: in a perfect arc they lob halved leaden balls at two triangles of gunpowder. I sit below a corrugated metal roof that is being battered by rain — it is leaking in three places — always on us.

The sidewalk didn’t want to be greater than it was, so it swallowed him. And then the man became the sidewalk. * A child was taken from her parents then became a parent. One night she decided to photograph her children. ” At their funeral she wondered why her children were so common. * A woman hid in a tree trunk and then became a tree trunk. She made insect mittens and debated how to die gracefully with her own tremulous echo. ” 54 BRICKS Tally the starving, tally their egos For the umbilical of beggary is tied to them now The bricks have moved, been carried away Abandon your bibles, burn all your bibles Shake the delirium of chickens on coffins The bricks have moved the bricks have moved Cardboard the city, corrugate your country Sit on your rooftops while hayfields float by The bricks have moved, been carried away Drink to your mother, drink to the hungry Drink to your children and all that is sunken The bricks have moved the bricks have moved Bring me your iron, bring me your mountains Bring me your wisdom and all not of bone The bricks have moved, been carried away Dance with the fleshless, dance with the sluggards Dance in the moonlight beneath broken glass The bricks have moved the bricks have moved Who has no money, Who has no family Who has no children or none within sight The family has moved, been carried away I started off green, but now brood black and blue Blunted and cheated and left here to rot The bricks have moved the bricks have moved 57 Now there’s no blood, now there’s no bone Now only skin only fragments of skin The bricks have moved, been carried away At night there was laughter, and maudlin dissent At night there were windows far too many windows The bricks have moved the bricks have moved Yes, we were poets, not blacksmiths but poets Yes there was wonder wrung out of our landscape The bricks have moved the bricks have moved But now I’m seditious, and now, I surrender To the god of consumption conducting me home My bricks have moved, been carried away 58 PA U L D U R C A N WA N T S A TA X I I N T H E C H A PA R R A L Take that one — mourning until dusk — what a great rock!

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