Issue 14 • 2011



On Negative ~


by Simon Dutton





The Argument



what is most clear

[penned neatly and followed by ellipses]


~had become a constant of concern deep beneath these sinking brows~


that some image or thought might scream from its own device


.its very want for wanting.


and the foolish demand [some function]


and the loved assume the same

the loved — those loved (and wanting)


and the foolish — the very same.


so so between these pregnant strides


(these being to strive and to be deprived)


sits constant


having been.


constant .(resting?). constantly .(resting in between).


lament as follows o filling cup ; dry beneath the drip





Everything I Am Not



At Curtain: the sound uttered (nasal and with inflection) was the first name given [and adjectival preceding all nouns] and he named it before any other had provided for him the same appellate significance and so predicated [this thing] without predicate (non-no thing).


and before having known the second distinct from the first all had been [singular] he had not known himself apart from the scene and this narrative a retrospective conceived long after the exposit groan the cry that began all time comments in full knowledge that its facility is fallacious its facticity a lie.


And yet we are compelled to let the story {tell / choking} peel itself from infinity (where not knowing time) and bind itself tightly to inception ab demise.


“so he (the first to be our lord)


\substantiating without substance/


came hunched and naked from the litter


that rolling mass of whelping soul(s)”


each lacking definition : each preceding being each


and. . . 


thus the words of the lord: words never said (not heard) having none (not spoken) for our lord has no tongue and his flock empty ears so he lifts his head (upwards) creating there the sky and dropped his gaze down where the earth came to be here at the beginning with the eyes of god cast towards the ground and the bleating fold screaming silence - soon to make a sound.






these and many things did our father bring to be before he himself had being before he had need of he when the light drained slowly from the fresh blue sky when the first day ended


having finished




finished before it began


the great god became darkness


the unknowing deity


soon to be (a) man








as you have eyes (to see) set focus over this expanding scene


look [as the sun sees testing the neat edge of dawn]


this light presses hands


with splayed fingers


firmly over the


ancient solid ground having been before existing and now birthed by knowing {a new world} one broken from the whole -first the sands .uncounted. spilling inwards to the (2.) shoots of long leafed grass and trace up the vein to the tips tinted silver and higher over the field and up (3.) the length of the tree who’s boughs feel out towards his brothers where leaves brush inquisitively the leaves of (4.) another this one similar (but distinct) and the same for the rest - unique by grace of similitude - this forest of separate trees leading further and thinning (separating) at the plains


. . .and when the sun ceased to climb [resting at centre] the universe wound tightly its cog and the heavy tick followed the click screeching. . .


. . .when counting destroyed eternity


. . . . . .when measurement necessitated lies


. . .


this thing is not the other


this moment gone; this moment still to come






Simon Dutton has had no constant enthusiasm in his life other than for the written word.  It is in communion with such pursuits that he intends to live his entire life.  About his poem “On Negative” he says, “‘On Negative (The Argument, Everything I Am Not, Illumination)’ is part of a stylistic attempt to harness the ambiguity apparent in the divide between author and audience.  Though each is written with intent by the author, even with the hope of a direct relationship to reception, the goal is to allow the reader to claim ownership of his understanding of the work.  That the reader legitimately injects his self into the poem rather than rely upon the author to provide a roadmap to the content.  Beyond content, the presentation also hopes to set lyricism above structure.  The internal melody of the words is free from formality of any kind.”