Issue 2 – Summer 2002 – Tony Lopez

Tony Lopez


Screen One

from the forces of nature. These are “mechanical birds”
hanging from a chandelier as if they had abolished
all literal meaning. The brain has become a blur
in the discourse of painting and is mostly fat.
Table 5 adds to this dichotomy
but no-one imagined she was a saint. Spot colour blue,
reads alert but neutral. The barbed wire looks like foliage.
You run around and shoot at cars viewed from above,
patched-in sirens and packets of crash soundtrack. 
People from care homes in TV’s next big reality show
called Collateral Damage. In rapid expansion
the dust clouds perfectly demonstrate self-similarity,
neglecting home-viewers. Most innovators go bust.
Foliage partly hides a waiting tank that slowly turns.
The diary holds within it an implied criticism
worked out in diffuse landscape remnants
with plenty of chrome. Turbines or radiators
bring him back into focus by late afternoon
as the linseed evaporates. Pyres are still burning
coal, pallets, and straw piled up in the fields, ready to go.


Screen Two

They stand before you in a light that comes from elsewhere
having no possible origin. Is this art history or mass immigration?
We can do unrelated facts, reconstructed contexts, lost aporias,
for we know well enough all these squadrons and arms dumps. 
A van full of explosives parked close by a school —
then two small dogs join us in the graphics
as a site hosted by Tripod goes down the plughole.
Add 3. A full-fat blueberry muffin in “absolutely 
incomprehensible”, the latest makeover style. LEVEL 4.
Who threw the first stone? Who dug the foundation trench?
Shadows that never quite gave them a third dimension:
were small, back-lit, well-informed. ClioTwingoXSara
are the magic names that will be embedded in stucco
inside of the tree. If you need to make a claim 
you write it out in longhand and blot the page.
I hear that Bush has decided to rat on Kyoto
and work on projects that would have otherwise
been impossible. Are we not all Palestinian?
Petals turn into butterflies, historical pipework,
a grey-green aperture in the middle ear. Ready or not.



Tony Lopez’s most recent American books are False Memory (The Figures, 1996) and Devolution (The Figures, 2000). His work appears in the Oxford University Press Anthology of Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry, edited by Keith Tuma. He teaches in England at the University of Plymouth.