Poems by Richard Taylor

Emma Smith, "Rider" (2009).
Emma Smith, "Rider" (2009).


In the Silence Museum, it is not the things that matter; the stones, the old statues, the buried things, the cultural collections, the historical emblems, the Clusters, the Art, or the Faces or the great places: it is the spaces, the especial spaces — the spaces between — where we tread. And we refuse all that human history, and stop between it. (We have no theory. We are alone.) It (The History etc) may not have happened, may not even be there.

We begin. (The rules have disappeared

In the Silent Museum of memories and Things, and desires: we calibrate the lacunae, the stretches, the enormous time distortions, the Shapes, and the Darkness between

Our steps are intricate, we connect, we scrutinize, and we stand. We take stock. What is all this darkness? 

There are dates, and clocks, and lovely dust, and faces of the dead. These are beautiful or terrible; but we are indifferent and avoid them.

Music is heard, but we Reject music, for music diverts truth from itself.

“A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but this time …”

We pause. A chord is heard. It cuts. It cuts The Silence like a Japanese sword. It sharpens the silence.

But what is this my wounded heart my knee my this my bleak my light …?

Are we lost in The Museum? We have traveled long in Times fantastic the White Beards of the seas. But we have wept, wept and mapped, and fasted. (We are nearly Religious.

But we have no theories or conclusions. (Could the rules return?

But we are in the Silent Museum. We are gingerly, and step around The Things. We are in the spaces. The places of the spaces. (For we love these places. ((We calibrate. (((We summate. ((((We hesitate. (((((We stop

But what is this!!? … my wounded heart my knee my this my bleak my light my terrible red this prison this endless stone agone: this palace: this place: this endless time: this certainty we cannot share with E: for how can we not know these spaces? these space-things these place-things? How you can we know we step between in this this linear grave that warps the black? … we are … we … star dust? … you … I … time … abstract time … living … you … between … in … (in? …

it breaks! she must not die! Black and cream and damned by devil the face and this my eyeless loon at gulls’ leap on cliff’s and ocean’s edge “Tougher than anything.”:
to forget the light the hope this lake of despair of what I am and who:
but cities reform: burst violet and voices from holes the black land cry this lake and brown and dried and cracked my heart:
this ‘… heart pain is not a medicine.’ this “… drop or crash of water …”: (but someone
listens): these things that cry for the spaces despite
it has not been thought out but who in this place can think? I …

We begin again (again

again) (2)

We have agreed it is not only true or necessary to step around the Things, or to avoid the Spaces or the tremble of pulse and time that is the throb of light and of heat emerging even in these especial things in their special privileged places. We of these places and these Palaces have agreed. For, even in the very Very of the Silence Museum we now hear more clearly, and things more brightly and darkly enlight themselves: and indeed we move between, but in Our silent thought we are beginning to Be, again: for it is this, or partly thereof, that we have —
  But here we have pause (for who are we?).
  We have said that it is not the Things.
  But, whence cometh they in these charged brigades of wounded time? (Ambiguous undules). And waves. The waves keep arriving. And difficult and tough is God in those ancient bloody vats. So. So we circle.
  We circle in the dark where light falls softly as rain. We know we have not mastered the Silent Museum where Silent reigns and (it is said) (of the columns) (in the immense but deeply quiet Cathedral) that (perhaps) “tongue-less men placed them” (vast) … No! We have not mastered the Silence Museum where dusty silence reigns in great Red Brocades of lovely lace. Lace in such loops the Spider would envy. Warm and black. For we step now into the adyts, but there is no Wolf here. (And indeed there is an answering chuckle but we stiffen back to our rectitude).
  Russian music. Eggs. Clocks. Bells. Drops. Deep.
  Ancient in ancient Agony our heart clocks beat but —
  But we pause, we have clearly forgotten. For if distant and closely far in his Huge Shuffle, when and where do we enter? We re-order ourselves.
  We read 100,000 books on Everything and then we partake in a great and surely decent repast. (Time and the River …).
  Again we move in a ballet lightness the coigns the coigns the columns between. The Columns are all about us. (We know and they know and they Are and they are speechless with speech.) He is here. We think and thus we move toward. Once we had the joy of animals all that “useless love.” We move. Ah! The Silent Museum is so endless. So Museum. So true. So yet. So —
  Difficult. The Wounds cannot be ignored. Perhaps I am on an Island. Why is not a question. We dance. We are between yet nearly in. (The sad mystery of the Yellow Music). We dance. We begin to emerge and take up positions. Some become Religion People. (The Black Music.) (The Blackness). Is it true?
  The things are precious and nearly true but how are they ordered? What makes. What.
  We caper nimbly in our immobility. (Chambered ladies). (Coyly we tour the Things and mutely quest which is and which is not. Ha!
  He is surely all here, all Everywhere, we think.

again) (3a)

It is not (we have convened and reconsidered these matters whatever they are) the things
in the Silence Museuum that matter, but the spaces
…. but we are no longer sure. We used to be (what wonderful days we had by the
beaches and playing with our buckets and our sa — ….!! )
      But something was wrong. Some were beginning to believe in things.

But as we said, we were not sure any more. We knew or had heard that Terror was the
Purest Emotion, but of that we were unclear. What did that mean?

And the spaces? And the species of spaces …?
But it was certainly … we knew of The Silence. And we. They. It. He. I. Matter.

The things, you see, and the Things we (and others) see

……………Here’s a little poem with bits missing we found. It might help us here:

That there thing, that is, the thing there —
The thing that was there,
Where I saw it, dark —
A coagule of wet,
Together, clinging things:
Like dead, and loving things —
Dead things caught in a hopeless,
But restless, and never ending
Parody of what looked —

In so far as you, could see:
Or could not see,
Were, as I began, wet, limp,
But together things, rapid, and, they, or it:
Rolled in the wind

This that thing I saw —

But there was too much:
Too many patterns,
Too many curves,


    — and: so much exhaustion.

Terribly — it could not be
The slightest slightness —
Of its seeming wanting
To be the


And the thing, the there thing,

Rolled, ridiculous, not even writhing:
Not even knowing,
And turning turning turning:
Being and not being,
Seeing and not seeing,
And not knowing that it didn’t see or be:
Yet —

And it drivels on. That thing is most certainly NOT our thing!
But of course it is all nonsense, but, well, it was done, once … and what isn’t nonsense? 
But the things, let’s get back to Things and to Silence: they said, in fact, of the things,
that the Things weren’t things.

(We await your answer by Return.

again) (4)  

Return. (We apologize, except that we never apologize, for the “noise” (see below),
which we cannot remove, such noise, mingling and singing in our signals is the bane of
these importations 

……beyond this seemingly happy, contented and
teacup world, is a titanic, fly-besotted lorded and raging,
foul, chaotic, brute, brief, nasty, atom-smashing blood and boil-filled
godless and sneering, chaos: whose joy is to rip us into tatters
of nothings: we who are — those of us participant — we who are
strangely marooned:

generally the numbers
have been behaving lately, but I’m still terrible about.
you aren’t?
what’s going on in the head of all the things?

What about reality and truth?

(Bother! These all “human” things keep attaching themselves and virilating our Spaces.
But to resume and recap, as we shall do: ‘As it has been apostrophized …
… It is not the things in the Silence Museum, but the spaces
… but we are no longer sure.
We used to be, but then we became Clever, and The Questioners came.
We assembled into the House of Questions.

The Things, you see, they said, are not things, or are not things only. Yes? Yes, there are
spaces betwixt the spaces which, somewhat, define the things. And reality is indeed there,
but is as equally between as it is in, but … But the Gold? What? Oh yes! Yes there is gold.
And gold is incomparable.

for example:
            cascade            opals

            in a cascade of roaring opals

But let us step and waltz with you. Think of being the things and wonder aloud that the
move between is surely energizes the fever inside the spaces. Think but don’t think.
Dance …

Who do you think you are mate with all these long words! Get him off! Talk about real
things. What about all the suffering and all the economics and the ideas and what about
the people and Africa and all those things, you pseudo-intellectual crap face, eh? I’ll give
you spaces and places and roaring apples and golden apostrophes!