I’m sick and tired of how and when
We’re short of money so make it, then.
-Faust pt. II
Pulp, wet and left with traces,
Staining hands like wounds would.
The fuel of the turnscrew:
The vat, the press, the burning muscles.
Engine of progress and a devilish bid
On the knowledge of inkstains. Staining…
Records and accounts are made,
And for all that a past is lost:
Papered over memories.
Paper wrapped in paper.
Brown bricks of one hundred sheets:
Building blocks, empires of iron
Forged in portraits of exchange.
Slips, slipping, slipping…
Development! Canals dug
For rivers of bookkeeping.
Swimming authors and stewards.
The circumlocution offices, our swamps,
Nevsky Prospect, Princes Street,
The streets we know of in papers.
Paving stones with the stench of tint.
Gothic streets, subterranean arcades.
Cats, gunsmoke, manuscripts
That cannot burn. Burn…
Stamping, stamping feet, rubber
boot soles, rubber stamps.
Sheets in the wind, drunkenly
Floating on our way through
The press, the hand, the bank.
The middle-place, the empty air,
The in-between, the blank page.