A Miniature Book of Hours


In lieu of honour,
pecuniary gain, just
this crafted colophon:

unable to clown, con
or flatter. Scissor-

succinct & integral.
Wholesome as truth

sometimes is.


Lapidary is sometimes
commendable, founded
on marble or upon
green jade. Hard-hearted

mots are usually, in the
long term, more

C’est vrai; I still believe
in paradoxes immeasurable,

seemingly so.


Style as sincerity.
Style as physiognomy.

Style as Schopenhauer’s
carbon test for a truer
originality. Most fall

as imitators merely,
unable to strike oil from




serrate this silence
surrounding word-clumps.

Poets should be sculptors
liberating slaves from a
massy chaos, where the

Fourth Dimension
remains as:




Sycophants of the so-
called ‘scene’ lap up
what’s not lapidary.

More a froth, a fritter
of vain enthusiasms, of
ebullient & emptying

For them, this art’s
competitive, where poets
hawk their wares like

sniffing out their next
commission with flattery

& ruthlessness of an
Asmodeus or Maugrim.

Only Helicon weeps.


To erase personality,
will’s petty jealousies.

Not striving, nor envying
that man’s craft, that
woman’s consummate
energy; not a jot.

Ploughing solitary, an
idiosyncratic inventor
expecting only applause’s
negation, inverse notation.

Returning to silence’s
unvisited sanctum,
ever so gradual.

Neither desiring, nor
regretting: pivoted
to the noumenal.

As an unconscious
happening’s fixed
sempiternal within quotas
of spliced timings:



Cleft or hewn?

Taking up the chisel
which Phidias’ perspiring
hand clutched with
dexterity & poise

of a ballerina, a ballata,
a ballad.

Intelligence dances
within interstices, whilst
poetry gambols in,
at least, five dimensions;

guided as ever by
arrowing irises, & so
acutely aware of
planes &



‘Difficulty is our plough’.
You just can’t fake style.

Not every blue-eyed son
can assume physiognomy
of an Orpheus, dally with
Erato in eiderdown.

Helicon remains the
haunt of a craft-
consummate few.

Shirkers need
not apply.


Each makar to their
coracle; each scop
magnetised to fig-
tree-arbour or vine.

Denizens of a popular
neglect, inhabitants of
an extreme isolation.

Who can ultimately assay
their sweat? Curate their
misbegotten seed?

Begin the slow labour
of reassessment? Bring it
to a satisfactory,
a canonical




Where’s your misplaced
plectrum? At which caesura
did you slip, ultimately

In whose guild were you,
at first & last, implicated?

Caedmon? Sappho?
Orpheus? Anon?

So many penpushers of
unknown provenance;
so many dark woods
to circumnavigate.

And yet few are the laurels
rested in funereal niches.

Few are the winnings.




Mark Wilson



Mark Wilson has published four poetry collections: Quartet For the End of Time (Editions du Zaporogue, 2011), Passio (Editions du Zaporogue, 2013), The Angel of History (Leaky Boot Press, 2013) and Illuminations (Leaky Boot Press, 2016). He is the author of a verse-drama, One Eucalyptus Seed, about the arrest and incarceration of Ezra Pound after World War Two, as well as a tragi-comedy, Arden. His poems and articles have appeared in: The Black Herald, The Shop, 3:AM Magazine, International Times, The Fiend, Epignosis Quarterly, Dodging the Rain, The Ekphrastic Review, Rasputin and Le Zaporogue.

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