the muse apprentice guild
--expanding the canon into the 21st century




SIX WORKS
BY CHRISTOPHER MULROONEY

THE POMPOSITIES OF ART

the black mass as training ground of art
the spittoons were waiting and the
black tie dinner

we were sitting down to the dull chat
when a solemn bell rang
dingaling and we were served hors d'oeuvres
Constable wheatcakes slavered with Polish caviar

the human sacrifice came out belatedly at nine
or nine-thirty nine-forty-five
let us say

after we dispatched her we sat down again
as before

we amused ourselves

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RITUAL IS COMFORTING

"certain half-deserted streets"


I

oh to be in England now
where a camera sits on every pole
on every street like an enemy's head

and in the vague intuition of a garden gloom
the randy and the very unwilling
share the desert's very water
stale unclear

the ripe inanition of an absence
see the city like a widow sits
and will not be comforted
in her distraction

let us bury the old fool

II

a milling if you like about
a certain cast of characters
the small petty gangsters
and credulous children

III

the gavel rapped
I heard in silence
I the court reporter
shush

giggling in his robes
the judge said
look here you
more giggling sneers

I sentence you
you getting this
more sneers laughter
in his sleeve

you got this down
I told him yes
he burst out in a
long guffaw

IV

he didn't like our town he thought it Googly
and offered us geometric palaces out of Europe
we let him raze our town flat till he saw
the writing on the wall and went neo-Modern

V

don't wear anything to bed
or I'll denude you
to have my hands on you
and if you make me angry
show the bruises to your mother in the morning
why hide it
you have shapely breasts
children haven't marred you
while the gods grant
let's make love
for night is coming
night without morning
in one embrace
bound with a chain
time can't break

VI

it used to be a mortuary now a restaurant
what it serves up now it served up then

VII

we're asked to read at the release party
but bidden not to leave once we have read

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THE VACANT MUSEUM

it's vacuous and lengthy
vast by extension
to the whole of
the train gears

the gilded trains
that run the boulevard's
vacuous length
by exhaustion vast

aw but we have it
the worthwhile gallery
in a painting or two
by Patrick Hughes

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"A SAVAGE SERVILITY"

the wheels lock in silvery spins strobing parallel to
the asphalt avenue here the dream spills over into daylight
one by one nodding heads slip away and are gone and
the history begins we are told it all comes out of nowhere

I am the great megamuffin you eat my berries (it says)
I have my instructions and dictate who my forests are my
fortunes and my whistlers calm down into the pyroforms
of whizzers and petrifactions in a very caramel way salaam

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OLD BOYS TOWN

piping hot says the waiter glumly you must think me daft
o credulous ones look at all this disrepair this ruin
now your glad rags cost you eight bob and a tanner
etc. you turn off the telly and sit like a Mallarmé poem

prestigious are the fears and if any man comes with a sign
to paper it is risen old Atlantis tide and time forgot
but not old credit and the wherewithal to back it up
from such as sees it like and likes what it sees

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TOCCATA

touch me for coining who was that man why Sir the shill
hath gifts he mars me no shibboleths I'll keep him Sir
belike the oft frost mars the frequent goose yes I'll bite
purpling peach and tanager where's the primping room

oh no but here's my hand on it Madam yet she flieth
eke it is trumps below for where Medusa sits in tiring-room
beside the heavy gates of Dis the one come far
opes them with a touch from the heavenly wand


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