To render the city – remove everything that does not look like money.

 

*

 

Is this a photograph

of a column of soldiers

moving into the city, or

a photograph of the same

forces moving backwards

out of the city, or is this

a photograph of the same

figures standing as still

in the city as they appear

to stand in the photograph?

 

*

 

Q: Is “monies” a real word?

 

A: Yes, strange as it looks. It is the plural of “money,” and may also be spelled

“moneys.” After my return from Europe, I found five different monies in my wallet. [This

particular example is more likely before 1995.] In some contexts, “monies” may also be

used interchangeably with “funds.” Monies earmarked for social services. [See previous

note.]

 

*

 

Conurbation! O

green city I

love you so

much I would fain

pay dear to be in

or with you and never

would I leave

you for another

except in a staged

withdrawal over

days and seasons

of forces as memory

its surcharge exacts.

 

*

 

 

Yet denomination is

a fiction there is

one God only

and everywhere as proven

at 2:45 on 5/6/10

when money’s singular

eye briefly blinked

the city’s very afterimage

out down to

its masonry and blazons.

 

*

 

I remember saving paper by not writing on it.

I remember saving film by not taking photographs.

I remember saving the city by not flying over it.

 

*

 

We paid to move

into the city.

We paid to move

through the city.

 

*

 

The “eat” in “theater,” the “evil” in “vaudeville,” the “it” in “city.”

 

*

 

The photograph is centered

on the photographic paper

though the subject is not

centered in the photograph.

The corporate campus

becomes its site as a scarf

becomes a shoulder or a map

its territory. The image is in

the photograph in a sense

the subject is not. When it comes

to occupying stuff, freeways

are the new buildings.

 

*

 

City you are not yourself

in the photographs taken

in the booth you could hardly

have expected to fit

inside. Too dynamic

to be rendered, entered, fixed

for long in a satellite’s short

memory, you are the total

entered at the base of a column

of figures, an entirety!

 

*

 

One may pay

to photograph

a man or a woman or a city,

a city or a woman or a man

may pay to be

photographed.

 

*

 

We (were) paid to move

through the city.

We (were) paid to move

against the city.

 

*

 

You are not yourself

in the photograph you pay to

have taken and printed,

the one for which you pay

to have yourself made up,

and there is a vampire

in the checking account

growing paler and paler

with every withdrawal

that flushes the cheeks

of the city that does not mean

to be a map or a mirror

with a memory but is

burnished by use to reflect

the lamps that you pay

to have trained upon

yourself in the photograph

 

*

 

We paid (them) to move

against the city.

We paid (them) to move

out of the city.

 

*

 

I know how flesh behaves. I know how not to photograph it. Darwin, in London, is on

the money. But few of those now living can look into money and see themselves, their

semblances, engraved. I know how flesh responds.

 

*

 

Yet occupation is

a fiction there is

one task only

and constantly one next

action never completed one topdown

list tucked into

this I Would Prefer

Not To tote one

operation I might care

to perform on time.

 

*

 

Q: Is “cities” a real word?

 

A: No, strange as it may seem. There is only one city.

 

*

 

The funny old Gilded Age sound of “monies” and “monied.” They resemble verb tenses,

implying others. You money me.

 

*

 

The “Cialis” in “socialism.” The “demon” in “demonetize.” The city in it.

 

*

 

A clarification: The light

appears in the photograph,

the lamps do not.

 

*

 

 

money            you

 

 

           city                 me

 

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