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Poetry #452
(published September 17, 2009)
Naughty Not
by Paul Christian Stevens
Here is no suburb of the New Imperium;
at the end of the day no quality time to spend.
Your reality cheque is not negotiable—
the account you're held to, chronically overdrawn.

Wake up & smell the coffee (out of order):
this wake-up call is in your dreams—as if!
Full credit to the other side, but death
was never made for me; this system not

designed for you, & cannot hold us due
to our inconvenient habit of not
attending role-call. We remain uncaught
by traps & filters; our grass-green smiles lost where

the grass is greener. Can we ever know not
by negatives? As if saying no, not, never
could spell away the nouns which might have tagged
each temporal location for the map

of topics blending bland-chameleon-like
with emptiness against deep emptiness.
Absence of progress bends to where queer light
bleaches out road-signs, roads, & voices drift

to silence—a walking rhythm notional—
& geographic metaphors need not
apply. We follow as the crow flies spiral-
wise into left-fields of feral thought.

Paul Christian Stevens was born in Yorkshire, England but lives in Australia. He has published poems and prose in many journals, including The Barefoot Muse, Shakespeare's Monkey Revue, London Poetry Review, Ourobouros Review, and Innisfree.

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