Being doused with warm
Dijkstra's illuminations are still beyond me.
The lanterns pass, one proof succeeds another
over forty years a commination
each mutilation of sense remarked upon
as sense goes on uncommon
audacious in its purity.
The basic things astonish and delight.
I am found out in my ignorance. It is late
for me to be starting off on Codd and Date;
to be learning that an algebra is - quote -
"a set of operations closed
over a domain". At school they taught
Algebra, not what an algebra was.
Leicester UK 23:53pm, 7/09/03
A sudden shower, heavy and short-lived,
like a bucket being emptied. I was in my shirt
and tie, on my way home. Later, thunderstorms.
My daughter smiling when I played guitar.
Leicester, UK, 10.21pm, 7/16/03
"Streets of houses": two facing terraces,
two rows of cars, a strip of one-way traffic.
Impossible to get from my front door
to the main road, without meeting someone.
Bhavesh stands in his doorway. Baumica
scowls and smiles. Shrey pedals up and down.
Oliver greets adults with a beeping noise
because he is a bus.
Leicester UK 23:07 7/23/03
There once was a fellow named Fox
who thought so far out of his box
that the surf-happy slob
quit his programming job
for another, which totally rocks.
(A fellow more full of conceit
than this Fox you're unlikely to meet:
he rates himself highly
enough to date Kylie
then dump her, for someone more l33t).
* * *
"l33t": l33t-speak for "elite". Popular usage amongst haxor-d00dz, a.k.a. script kiddies.
script kiddie: teenaged (or younger!) exploiter of buffer overrun-based security vulnerabilities in Microsoft server products.
Leicester, UK, 7/30/03
Aruna sends round three mats, old patterned fabric
sewn into a rectangle and plumped with rags,
for the baby to lie on. Radhika is attending
nursery now. Doors up and down the street
are open; Hanesh waves back from the shade of his front room.
Bhavesh has email, and stays up past his bed-time.
The next morning he pokes his head round the door:
"you didn't answer me". It was past my bed-time too.
Asylum seekers make good water-cooler
conversation: their aggressive dirt and religion,
how they provoke racism in decent folk
by abusing toleration. All of us are tolerant
and so abused. Our taxes buy their liquor,
cure their diseases, send their kids to uni.
We have to struggle; they glide by in rags,
imperiously needy. One day soon
I'm going to start quoting Auden, "Refugee
Blues", the whole thing start to finish,
riding out the "yeah buts" and the scorn.
I'll shout if I have to. Someone bloody should.
Dominic Fox, Leicester UK 22:45pm
"Standards of evidence": massed banners on parade
as witnessed from great altitude. Correlation
and causation mooch past each other, like cows in the night.
To prove is to draw out the entrails of the thing,
long spools of algebra - "worked out with a pencil",
as one joke has it.
Headline: NEW VACCINE SCARE -
what I would call anecdogma, which is this world's
inexorable answer to itself, wherever the question
comes from and however it is phrased.
ASYLUM TB MENACE, says our autistic
savant columnist, pricked by danger measles jab;
barren of empathy, not knowing that fire burns.
Assemble expert suicides, forlorn stalwarts
of hard-pressed causes: truth will outlive lethe
provided you don't swallow. What is given
is not innocuous, but is medicine
indeed for self-inflicted vertigo.
Dominic Fox, Leicester UK 23:19pm
new flagstones where the insalubrious
lavatories once stood.
Canals have plugs! We know this, because
someone inadvertently removed one
and a long stretch of waterway drained on the spot.
There were the shopping-trollies,
the accumulations of silt;
here and there perhaps a few discarded wedding-rings.
No clean-up was attempted.
After four months
the authorities replaced the bung
and refilled the trough.
Dominic Fox, Worcester UK 20:54pm
Share prices up; all expectations exceeded.
Sparkling rose is our dividend.
New SMS release not without glitches -
I get commended for "nifty troubleshooting"!
My tarot reading for today is doomy,
which signifies renewal - at some cost.
I used to have deaths-to-self once every weekend
at least. But it didn't change me very much.
Something is up, afoot; don't need the tarot
to tell me I've been dreamy, welling over
with sap of adolescence. It's the wedding:
I knew that boy when both of us were boys,
that girl when I was a boy and she a girl.
Don't laugh, you old sods. This is news to me -
that all you get for your time is iterations,
exams to resit, glasses to refill.
Dominic Fox, Leicester 03/09/03 22:29pm
Oliver on a tricycle, then a scooter -
afternoons at nursery include a vehicular
interlude, where everyone races round the yard
on two-plus-n wheels. No pretending.
This is a real toy car, with a real hooter.
The witch won't come back (in Hansel
and Grettel), will she? No, she won't.
Where did she go? She went in the oven
and was burnt all up. She was burnt
all up? Yes - to a crisp. She was turned
into smoke, and went up in the air
through the chimney. No-one comes back
after that. But how did she turn
into steam, and go up in the air?
The oven was very hot. Did it burn her?
Yes. Did she say ouch? I expect so.
That's enough Hansel and Grettel: it's time
for bed. Sweet dreams. Goodnight.
(Four months old, and already my daughter
thinks I'm a preposterous galoot.)
Dominic Fox, Leicester UK 21:39pm
Love is both grand and blind, by decree
of common wisdom.
Don't you think there might
be something in it? Take a little heed
for your heart's sake, and not only that -
body and soul, dear,
body and soul are staked
out on that great wheel, in the sun's glare.
Marriage is daylight robbery: you'll lose
more than you knew you had.
To be happy and married
is to have made peace with destitution.
You want to end up like us? Get real:
it's you that will be deported.
Exile in your own house - that's
where "settling down" will get you.
Lord knows how I love my wife;
how my children vex me
daily with astonishment.
Still I must warn you: nobody *chooses* this.
Dominic Fox, Leicester 22.50pm
Sunrise and sunset seen from a moving coach themselves unmoving.
Wetness on the ground
warming and cooling.
Silver threads of rain.
Headlights in transit,
glories of the mundane.
Dominic Fox, Leicester UK, 22:21pm
Tomorrow I will be 29
for the first time -
but this is a poem for today.
Today I am 28, ride home
on the X7 from Northampton to Leicester:
icy darkness without, numb
knees and buttocks within,
Locke's treatises on government
in a critical edition unopened
on my lap. A half-hour
doze as the X7 folds the intervening
null space between stops
around the rumble in its innards.
Kettering passes, and Market Harborough.
It is quarter of an hour
to the Owl at Oadby, then the London road's
sequence of pubs and Indian restaurants;
the shop called "In Harmony", that sells
marital aids, videos and mags;
the railway station's facade,
shop on the left up Granby street.
Get off at the Haymarket, bus
again - the 25 - to Melton turn.
The neon diyas
welcome Lakshmi up the Belgrave road.
Harmony is attained as a husband,
28, comes home
to his wife and children:
Oliver bhai and Ruby ben, bathed
and in pyjamas, ready
for their beds of dreams and bedbugs
too somnolent to bite.
Thread-safety involves a few precautions,
incantations before entering the fray.
rainforest brocaded with black ice.
The thread-pool is an oily lagoon
seething with electric eels:
no getting the little feckers out.
Dominic Fox, Northampton 05/11/03 14:52pm
Gastro-enteritis does the rounds.
My son lies patient in his soiled pyjamas
waiting for morning. "Why didn't you call?"
I ask. "We would have come". He shakes his head.
His driver was talking to another driver
so he must be quiet and still. Later the same
driver insists he go and fetch some cornflakes,
bounce on the sofa and put a video on.
I want a word with this guy. Oliver agrees:
"he's naughty, a bad driver". But brave in crisis
and quick to thwart the Pontypandy arsonist.
Hare Krishna, Hare Rama. Hare, hare Fireman Sam.
Bouncing again. "My driver's making me".
I steer him quickly to the lavatory.
Dominic Fox, Leicester 12/11/03 22:17pm
Food drops and leafleting
disperse the crowd
our leader waddles through
on stumps of prayer.
Here is a rhetoric-
al question: by
what right if not
(washed in the stream
of His love, the white
skein of water
slurring with pollution)
does he stand in his
to bear such witness
before the people?
Dominic Fox, Leicester 19/11/03 / Northampton 20/11/03
Ruby has cut a tooth - or rather,
a tooth has cut her:
her cheeks flushed; she refused
to be lulled, lay stirring in
the middle of our bed, her right
leg thumping the mattress.
Dominic Fox, Leicester, UK
TAKE PROMISES TO MARKET, come back
perforated with sales-talk, high-velocity
expectorations. This is all
about oil, or more precisely lubricant:
in olive groves, in greasy gloves,
how triggers slip, how things go off
half-cocked. Be careful out there,
sheathed in patchy righteousness, poor
irony of bloody ironies.
Dominic FoxInternet access denied until 3pm
I write 2000 words by half-past one
if I'd written my thesis that fast
could've finished it in
two months flat
Dominic Fox, Leicester, UK
MORNING HAS BROKEN all previous records
for rosy effulgence, casts rays
across a broad spectrum, warming
cockles and muscles alike.
Picture brave boys in soviet
realist poses, caught on the yellow
spokes of the sun. It's warm
too where he has gone, into eccentric
orbit around another, self-swallowing, star.
Dominic Fox, Leicester, UK
Poetryetc is a listserv relating to poetry and poetics which provides a forum for poets to debate their critical and creative work. The list has over the years run a number of projects for its members, of which Snapshots has been the most enduring.
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