Jim Lyle – Tribute (Provincial Review – May 1952)


Senseless as two playing cats the hands of my clock chase

each other around a pole of no existence

Yet tonight in flickering madness i must come to bear your

gifts for these no entities
these seconds

I give to you for they are yours

Some say that only history is real but i say that they are

fools that only the future is real and yet on this night
your night
i would fill the coffers of your heart with history for
running out of its many cracks and seams come jagged
fragments and shreds to clutter up tonights consciousness
my consciousness
your tonight

But i bring no future

no realities
promises bind me and so in fear i bind them

Senseless as two playing cats the hands of my clock chase

each other around a pole of no existence

Yet tonight i must speak to you

tonight i would speak to you because i cannot hold you
and i cannot hold you because i cannot speak to you

Or is it because you cannot speak to me

i never can

Senseless as two playing cats or a score my thoughts chase

themselves around the cavities of my mind yet with these
phantoms riding ghostseconds i would comfort you if only
i were their master long enough enough to muster them
for rank and file of audible tongues

For when i do not speak these specters do my bid until such

a time as passion or emotion or care or yes
even hate should call for…
wisdom it would do
but even words might help

Senseless as two playing cats the hands of my clock chase

each other around a pole of no existence

But tonight i must speak of things of no existence and offer

reasons unreasonable and comfort which burns because
remembering things which are gone is senseless and i
guess it is my lot to be

Still i bear no promise

no realities
promises enslave me i have claustrophobia of the soul

The part can never contain the whole some worthy philosopher

must have said that but he was wrong because how many
hours are handled tonight in the space of only seconds
and these seconds pregnant with hours are placed them
selves again in microseconds until my brain whirls

Whirlpools by their very nature always contain refuse and look

here at parks and combs and buttons and buildings and
golden hair and memories and silken hose all spinning
intruding because they never let me alone how many times
i have pleaded to be let alone i cannot count

Yet tonight for it is your tonight you must understand

these things that understand not themselves as tributes
to you
little golden intangible idols to you
i think that existent in even my cosmos of possibilities
are things otherwise you are more wont to have but please
take these things which no other can give that are yours
anyway and dont think them less that have not conventions
and promises

For i bear no promises

no realities
i have claustrophobia of the soul

You must i think i hope forgive me when i remember you for things

as worldly as flesh and blood and warm ripe laughter
but these things i understand and i touch and i taste
along with the heathen

But being animal and i am i know nothing of spiritual realms but

maybe ghost icons of dim awareness springing wraithlike
from nowhere like the very gifts i bear you

Forgive me if i forget intelligence which i know is there i think

but melts just as soon as flesh and lunatics sooner and
i find it not half so warm so forget as i forget your
thinkings which live in a world apart to themselves that
i cannot speak to

Or is it because you cannot speak to me i never can

remember and if you cant
could you or didnt you bothers me

And if again i should come to you weeping remember and forgive

reasons unreasonable and comforts that burn in fiery

And also forgive this night your night which in weakness i would

use to barter should we meet again for this is seduction
most damnable

However if you should forgive me for desire and aspiration then

i will not forgive you who would judge to forgive the
one thing for which i am never ashamed but listen and
i will give reasons unreasonable yes even mad but cursed
in their logic

Tonight as time is consumed in your honor i must speak to you

that i cannot hold in my arms and therefore need speeches


In gods country there is a hill

there i stand after an evening shower when the
mountain wind sweeps the air clean and little
trickles crawl moonsparkling down the hill

In gods country on this hill i stand because there with something

that i dont know what is i am filled

Where newly washed stars hang in blackness to dry by

carefully adjusting themselves to rub not against
each other i feel the presence of do you know what
i dont know what

It comes from these stars and smells like the wind and chills

slightly but i like it

Because there…

did you ever climb a hill after a rich young nighttime
rain and perform a ritual crazy sticking ones chin
rock jutting
into the wind daring it to erase you from the hill

Knowing full well that it cannot because
Because just by looking at stars the blood of destruction burns

coldly in your veins and carries insane knowledge that
all things work together for them that love the lord that
you also are one of the elect that is given to know is
beyond         .good
to know that it can be fully moral to
have cheered for the villain
understood dictators
willed with egoists
slept in your mind with vileness
knowing that black is white if you make it so

Despairing suddenly one dark cool night to find that you were

free to make your own tinsel world but sickening in
your stomach at the horrible aspect of freedom

For freedom is a drug

Freedom is an enigmatic efflorescence increasing in direct

proportion to the size strength number and of yes we
must not forget particular gender of chains or so
traditional religions politics governments and people
would tell you but have you ever

Watched roses smell as sweet by any other name while freight

trains run backwards upside down to prove freedom
only comes in institutional chains
or maybe even         Southern Baptist


In gods country is also a desert and i live there because in

the mountains there are cool streams and green valleys
where condescending pines balm and towering ridges
protect from the sun which flows against their sides
but which hold me down by protecting me and enslave me
when i eat green grass and drink cool waters

So in madness i chose to starve in the desert which extracts

life itself for its freedom and i am bound because i
would be free

And at times i am a coward and again look longingly and do run

sometimes for the mountain but again
i turn
afraid to be bound

But when night comes with a jutting chin feel power by looking

at blazing stars which tell that virtue and values rise
and fall as the size of men

I fear the dawn


Senseless as two playing cats the hands of my clock chase

each other around and they have several times caught
fought and began again since i came to you tonight
your night

For tonight in the echoing canyons of my mind tributes

sadnesses bright passions and dull memories of you
pass the point of my awareness

And how many times have i thought of you i cannot remember

or how many times i have longed to speak to you but
then i cannot speak to you or is it that you dont speak
i cant remember

But most horrifying i fear of the times to come when in my

mind i shall fold you in my arms
and shall put to bed you
and shall touch you
and for a time find some value and some agonizing comfort
in passionately dissecting the anatomies of cell like
memories only again to fear that i have
touched of things untouchable
dreamed of things not mine

And ever again and again to be ashamed of being ashamed

Two playing cats chase each other and the only gift i bear to

you was eaten in their play

But know this

tonight i watched for you
here tonight
they play for you

And for things done undone and to be done

tonight i offer reasons unreasonable and comfort which

Like the desert burns for on the desert there is only

rebellion and if more than one
But no love like love in the mountains pinning down


The desert bears no promises

no realities but
promises enslave me i have claustrophobia of the soul

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