"Brief Remarks of Uncertain Consequence"

Alan Halsey

the element is as liminal does




On the summer solstice

2013 we were reliably told


there had been 'a big

revolution in transparency'


in other words a

funnel plot in which


'the less procedures

the wider the funnel'.


We were also told

that if we looked at


our arms we might

see lightning flowers.




a sea of wiseacres -

holy day of ambiguities -

it's for the commercy sake

of them that speak leasing

[Ps. 5:6]

we've been saved


('One reads

in order to ask questions' -

that's Kafka -

query the pronoun -

'lost among these

entirely strange people')




(4 Aug 2014)


stained also sustained

indelicate noise of

warring duplicates

cloudier than soldiers or

warplanes in warp lanes

tableau empty except

for Hamlet's helmet




'Like a deal of old coves

that has nothing to do

but hidles away time

in reading or pottering

about a garden'


- do you see me? -


You're listening to the

sponge-merchant's tale

as Mayhew told it -


'I do believe people

reads theirselves silly,

he would

talk away stunning'




a microsecond's rose

in a month of sundials


mental litter found as

venomous as them'n'us


when tomorrow's trials

are yesterday's contrails


fickle as they come and

go in likeness or likelihood


what starts as a boogie

ends in goodbye




watch how they do

the shortfall shuffle

wingless as a wineglass

at tipping point although

it's no use looking for

respite in semblance

when only things that

can be touched

can be vouched for



falling off

their perks,

as if) 




medallions of modality

Narcissus narcosis

a kind of attitude sickness

also known as

Responsibility Control

doing us some

serious imagery

with focused obscurity




repercautions neither

bidden nor forbidden

'wrecked havoc'




buoyant as a buyout clause

succour for punishment

but please no applause -

prehistory's a comfort

in the light so to speak

of more recent events

but as for me my other's

out on parallel parole


correction: 'patrol'

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Author Bio: Alan Halsey’s Selected Poems 1988-2016 is published by Shearsman. His edition of Bill Griffiths’ Collected Poems 1966-1996 appeared in three volumes from Reality Street. He is an affiliated poet at Sheffield University’s Centre for Poetry & Poetics.