Magic and Devil Dancing


I feel it

A dissembling


He presents a complete, immortal man

I play Europa in robes

Play the discard of the prom dress 

Play along for the ride


“O! Pin me up against the ivory tower, you!”, I think through froth


Cold green oceans 

Glass cut hard

It’s daytime

Lighthouses everywhere

Still rock pools

Eyes shaded


He is a staunch, serious, devout foe with plain tastes,

Active in bad husbandry, quarrelsome

Pretty youth

There is nothing as unmysterious as he is, leaning against a low stile



He takes without stimulus

Happiness poison oak


“Don’t take my pen!” 


I won’t

Give / I am suddenly all clear 




I, not you, desire life after death


Copyright Vera Chok Feb 2013

Dedicated to Sarah Le Fevre, Erik Patterson, Rebecca Gray, Gloria Sanders, Charles Adrian – cows, poison oak, Kate Bush devil dancing, dancing shoes, pen envy.

Inspired by work with Liz Callingham via Chris McCabe, referencing Andrew Marvell – Poet Puritan Patriot by Pierre Legouis* and Up Against the Ivory Tower by Richard Brautigan. See below for primary material.

Marvell extract:

..there is nothing more mysterious than what ordinary human nature
offers. All his life through Marvell, like every complete man, was by
turns tender and vindictive, enthusiastic and cynical, earnest and
droll. He was a good son on the whole, a good brother and uncle if not a
good husband, a staunch friend, a dogged foe. His full  bloodied
temperament, even without the stimulus of Canary wine, predisposed him
to sudden fits of anger and quarrels; life taught him prudence and even
dissembling. He could be active enough but he preferred leisure. His
ambition was moderate and no dreams of immortality either as an author
or a statesman seem to have haunted him. He had plain tastes and yet the
necessity of making a living seems to have played a far more important
part in his career than the desire to live after death. He just managed
to avoid poverty, which ill agrees with independence and self-respect,
yet he did not yield to the temptation of riches. Neither a Bohemian nor
a bourgeois, he had something of both.

“Up against the Ivory Tower”
I’m sitting here (at a cafe) thinking
about writing a poem. What will I write
about? I don’t know. I just feel like it
when suddenly a young man in a hurry
walks up to me and says, “Can I use your
There’s an envelope in his hand. “I want
to address this.” He takes my pen
and addresses the envelope. He’s very serious
about it. He’s really using the
     pen.” – Brautigan
Andrew Marvell – Poet Puritan Patriot
Pierre Legouis 1965


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s