A poem by Benjamin Mullen

The Aral beach                                       
‘My lens is emotionless.’—Laura Hocking

So situated we can only stand:
overlook from a long
thick-and-great-windowed room the tide’s errand,           

then type. The crass dock circulates a song,               
we jeer and shuffling grouse—                  
what’s wrong is we can’t quite say what’s wrong.           

Enjoying there the fluid world—its spit and douse—   
call this utopian place                              
immense, enormous, the size of a house

with toxins downed at million selling pace                 
where knotted men keep watch             
over the chyrons as for Vitti’s face,

where thinkers wield the solaces they botch.               
Here ruins lean unmarred.                            
That keyhole of a legginged haunch-notch                   

gains the hostess multilateral regard.         
Of her impounding spite                        
internal clouds that build, cough and discard              

drizzle consist for their half-metre height;               
beneath, an umpteenth straight                       
stern missionary nails a sanguinary rite,

the standfirsts panic over people’s weight,                
and stare. (Career’s romance,
unbroken darkness squares with him to state          

Loss making PROPHET-POET feints and rants,      
overplays his lines.)                          
Resources wait in verdurous expanse,                 

the rubble’s bullion the roof confines                     
we’re paid until we’re broke;                        
for photographs we frame the spartan pines.

Personalities claiming they misspoke—                
all fiddle and alas
fluff the many many many stars’ bleak joke.

Laboratories radio their impasses                    
over a shallow range.                          
Just protocol detains a pent ripped mass             

from rupture; espressos and polls arrange
spammable espousals.
Deep blankness gives a period feel to change.        

Aspergery with withdrawals
stays the year.                                                  

Pity the late the clarities they bring:
from the end of our quests—                          
solipsism’s dumb dream—we die waking

and hymn the fears to which our faith attests,       
we lunge to clasp at some                            
future’s roseate spectre, and hug our chests.              

Spume of misspellings, in the comments come.
Each has itself to heft;
spells Take me out of this and wholl be numb?

—but Llangennith: relapsing waves have left          
for seconds on the sand
the Channel’s soapy rind, proof of their theft. 

Spectators of our losses, even we disband—           
reacting it with joy                                 
we void our peace on threatened land                       

far from the rilled pall which issues us joy;  
but abreast of its beach                 
We can only stand and stare at England’s joy.

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