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This poem is taken from PN Review 156, Volume 30 Number 4, March - April 2004.

Tableaux I-XX Christopher Middleton

The Antinomian

Hell is not any crowd you happen to be in,
    Alone, yet not so, feeling a fervour
Attack your marrow, still, in isolation
    Bordering on the profound
Lonesomeness of a damaged animal.
    The fervour of the crowd infects,
It hangs on the hedge of nervous defences
    Heavy impediments like the huge
Static models they make of bacteria.
    But then, for once, you notice
The interstices, holes, crevices, gaps
    In the stems and baubles, hiatus
Happening everywhere; hiatus, the secret
    Long bending corridor of a breath.
It is the crack through which your close-packed
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