[…]


Melissa Benham

Civilian Life




I.

No longer an excuse

for farmer or pedestrian

A redistribution of the Citizen-

Industrialist         Citizen-Artisan

The Citizen-Individual X

forms the external

belief a prisoner like me

would not last as a young professional

woman of modest means

It’s the same old survival

as enduring as the screen

indulging all your love of variety

and experiment

Why did we bother with the lies?

The holes?

II.

Despairing Cities! To make one long for disorder!

We have grown to love irregular sites

cultivate this delight

with The Three  Magnets


Velveteen or bright painted flowers

Little bunches of fruit

Gabardine or sausage skin

Agitate our hearts

with the city skyscraper’s bedlam

An allover pattern

You will of course select your yellow slip covers

to contrast with your occasional chairs

Anything at all

if it is rare and receding

“The energy of the world is constant”

excessively forbidding the point

with respect to The Organic Earth and

16th version Earth

well-known to the oldest star-clerks

as a former parasite of the central machinery

for terraforming

Decreasingly swift like motions of birds

overcrowding little moons of Jupiter

as cozy as you please

Most of space looks empty

This emptiness is normal

III.

Without watching over time

no real change presents in the visual model

though rather small cells divide rapidly

into two personal histories

Atoms randomly vibrating

this age of the science park

of miners, editors, tree-fellers, and me

an Eichler Purist!

And the means?

We present the human

skeleton for mass consumption

To be in close

contact with good

traffic    the eight-hour day

jazz and cinema

We must touch human beings

and their residential blocks

Serving to keep something from someone

A reduction of our purchasing power

In a New Town

St. Petersburg was a colossal Experiment!

Something close to sunshine

sufficed to topple the faces of millions

brazen and stimulating

taking the path of least resistance

Placeholders

Spacemakers

This developed machine-age life and luxury

I never adjusted to my “life sphere”

to reach pinnacle

Shallow-flooding of the technopolis

Clusters mid-drift rising above

new cravings and red lacquer table tops

You of course were the most obvious point of attack

No Civilization has directly related to

landscape as Real

The tramway has no right to exist

in the Anglo-American Garden City
so far above our hats


     
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