In Casablanca


I did not sleep in any mosques-
after all the time that had been spent bowing
before doorways, watching the small black birds
duck into the greenwood vines, I had to

spare myself the final grand injustice
of being among the faraway few, and then
feeling sanctioned by a red-eyed God-

it did not matter that the city turned green in spring, and that it
was only the city, only the small

foggy city that would turn green, outlying the
thousands of disputed miles, being this
small island away from the

sea. and I did not miss those doorways. I only missed
the gray of the ocean, and the curtailing small birds
who would duck about the greenwood vines, and I

think I might have missed the ice that
held together the cracked rivulets of the
hardened macadam-

but I did not sleep in any mosques. they were lovely and many,
they had antiquated eyes which could be made to say much, and
even they kept dry out of the foreign sun-

but I did not sleep
in any mosques

ii.(the girl)

in vaporous cities the old faiths held sway-
they caused the weather. they had hands
with which to take fruit from small trees,

growing frightful by black rivers

iii.(BILLY/a while back)

since the french came,
with their Mauresque structure, with their Moorish
algebraic arches, this has been
a clean city, this has been a small and clean city,

where I can sleep where I can sleep surrounded
by ancient eyes

since the french came
with their small cloth aeroplanes and foam-flanked
horses, this has been a wide outpost,
this has been a great and wide outpost

where I can love beyond the redness of my loving beyond
the porous stone of that-which-i-love, beyond

the bustling open eye of europe. I have not followed the french. this is
not a city yet, this is a bundle of french and wild structure,
this is a measure of mathematic science tied in bundles to

the imposed Moorish dark stone, which is like what I love,
which is what I become when I love, when I sleep. and they
said in the sepulcher white of europe you cannot breathe in the
foreign cities, you cannot eat the dangerous orange fruit of foreign

well I say this is not a city-
a clean and small city, this wide and great outpost
with its eyed faiths-

I can sleep under this
I can love behind this
abounding sun. I do not have to duck behind the grand stone buildings. there
are none of

those here

iv.(the girl)

say his name yes
say his name in the desert
where no one can hear where
the far pretend trees can hear where
the sky can hear where there is only desert and
only the extreme dark

of self.

v.(BRIAN/a while back)

the roads were the first awful dream, then came the horses, which had
frightened me since childhood, which stared into the blank night with black
eyes and heaving flanks, which followed me down even the poorest road
until I felt like a small fox, a small and crippled fox in the

hottest field, in the hottest month-

after that
even the mockup of cool drinks, even the numbing wine lost its place. how
can you love this black city? how can you follow around with horse-like eyes
the serrated window-mosques, this alien and orange-fruit faith-

I will be in sepulcher europe.
I will kneel and die behind the great crowned churchmen, and I shall
turn my back on the wide desert-

if only for the night where you are off in
the cool dry churches

or when you are riding your black horse along the rocky capes, along
the outcropping shore and I am here(small fox) among the alien
arches, among the

senseless painted language that is getting behind my eyes where you can only
see, where I can only see that you are there. like a darkblack horse following me
home at night, only

I am never going home

vi.(the girl)

it is not a bad noise when you know there
is a chariot above the air, when you know that
there is a grand and horse-figured war being
fought, when you know the best place to
sleep, when you know it becomes cooler in the

vii.(DAVID/during a time of War)

at first it never mattered
much whether or not I
wept, whether or not

I stood eyetoeye with the stuttering form of world-
it only mattered that there
was night, that there

was someone about to watch the sun go down,
and someone to

photograph it-

now it matters that the sand
is grainy and hard against my
eyes, that I never sleep in this

soupy dangerous city, that my
jacket is too small and too hot
for the summer that is the length
of all the rivers and all the

seas standing upon one another.

the planes are always leaving,
because it never leaves. at first
it never mattered if the left at all-

but now it is the sum of their suncatching against the forever sky, it
is their blinding white noise that comes upon us from every angle, until
the city rotates in a complete circle, until the sea

is forded at even our distance-

and at first it
never had to be a secret. at first no homelands had fallen and the language
I spoke was without accent, was the drawled enunciation you used
in speaking about the relative safety of being faraway, of the archetype of
modern france standing

as tall as the Moorish arches outside the garden door-

but now there
are planes everywhere,
and now there
is no place to be trusted

viii(the girl)

see it very much matters when the gods
descend, and they smoke their pungent cigars,
and they sit straight tall, and they thunder on about
how to live, what to

accomplish. you follow the voices of gods. they
come to ancient cities where there had been
gods before, where they had traipsed across the
tented streets

ix.(MICHAEL/during a time of War)

I suppose that the
shame was never lifted from the belief
in demigods. but in all cases it is easier
to pray to something that has blood like my own,
that may have olive-colored skin, like
I was born with and have maintained in this sun-

and I never promised more than duty, and that is
all a man can. I suppose that it is erroneous to pray
to Work as well, Work without a face and a notice,
only to keep a promise, but

the covenant of 'this-is-our' Work is the toughest bond I
can imagine now.

this city never loses its fog. my jacket is light colored- it
is the same shade as the sand. I can hide better that way.

and the music is almost like work, it is almost
like men. it comes of all venues these days, when
almost anyone can be seen crossing the street to go
and photograph a green- the drink is not as good as the
music. it is more like the promise-

and I have been trying
to find all the eyes in this city
for a few years now, but I cannot
get a correct count. they keep
changing color. they keep

going blind, and closing

(oh and yes I know you once said to me there are spies everywhere when the nights
are vaporous and long, but spies go blind like men. spies go blind like demigods.)

only the music and the(yes vainglorious)Work
stay awake, and stay sighted

x.(the girl)

if you want the seasons then go to the coast-
even if it stretches red out in front, it will
still sweep away with the rotation of this broad
world. it will still play whim to tides, to the moon
pulling back from the deepness of night


I am plagued by the ghosts of economy-

wherever I run they
nip behind me and curl on my bed
like a blinded hound. I do not fear
them. no, I merely shove over and
sleep beside their coldness, so that I

am aware of them, so that I have come
to believe in them-

and when there is nothing much to go by, except perhaps speaking quickly, or making
shadows against plaster walls in places I do not know, then the raging and cold specters
of financial systems can adhere like friendship to my hands. I can wear them loosely,

and say they are my own unfettered
nuances breaking out among the drab
grays and seasonal coiffeurs that fall
upon me-

so that in this frenchafrican city I can calculate every
dropped quarter, every ripped piece of foreign
currency stuffed into Moorish sewer gratings,
and I can piece together the grand national loss,
and it comes in to sleep beside me-

I have been here for
some time now. I know there were many
secret eyes before me. I know that
perhaps even some of them could
count the money shoved into the
hungry mouths

of the fractal mosques, lining the streets in the poorer sections of

I pray a lot that
the ghosts do not go away. that there is always some grand
loss to account for, when there is nothing else but

quick speech
and my own shadow

xii(the girl)

come and sleep beside me, because we are not in a sepulcher for faith,
we are not in a drymouth country, we are in a moorish french city of
black horses and blinded spies

xiii(MATT/this moment)

once more in this
fecund night-

I will not sleep in the mosques. I will
sleep out on the dried street. I will

sleep in the cultured gardens beneath
the old Mauresque arches, I will

sleep among the small flowers that
only bloom at night, only bloom in

the deepest midnight in a city so very
far away in a city like pale arms and

dark dark eyes