Andrew McEwan

from Of Matters Diverse and Confused.

Particular Subjects. Subsect. 1.


The temperature of the body overthrown. Left impulses,

memory. Inability being a common infirmity. Like kingdoms

under such heads, bodies groan.


Mock folly, mock one another. As a drone – unprofitable. Such

an economy of motion. Bankrupt neighbours. Actors intrude

on common ground.


One purchases, another breaks. Diverse medics beckon. And those

that live inland still desire islands. Daily neglects worn as bejeweled



Acknowledge proximity. For each action, an equal and inverse

mania. Tired of stories, he began to urge others to put forth

sentences beginning ‘I’.


By moving, the body’s outwardly carried. Yet inwardly moved

also. Felt pressure and flashing vision before collapse. Exhale

maligned vapours.


Temperature regulates limbs. Proceeds from organic parts. Touch,

the final sense and most ignoble. Injuries displace a heavy appetite.

Their organs, their objects.


Systematic Arrangements. Subsect. 2.


Exquisite sense. This labyrinth of accidental causes. Gently brings

sensation as a siren to this irrevocable gulf. Harsh departure and outward

animal motions.


From causes operating on the bodily frame. Reject excessive mobility,

drink water to manage moisture. Judgments scaled against minerals

inflexible to the skin.


All ailments rise as fountains from a dilated heart. Peripatetic faculty

of three requisite parts: that which moves; by what it moves; and that

which is moved.


Eyes weigh the common catastrophe against the trade. Diversely, all

tempered and mingled containers. Scratch tough hide, expose tendons

stretched beneath the spoken form.


But I conclude, the pit of symptoms disrupts our model. Though we sense a state

disrupting rational faculty to excessive labour of mind, fanaticism, zeal,

revolutions, &c. As ships run ashore in hunger, we move.


Corollary Questions. Subsect. 3.


Are you a mixture of hot and cold. Are you nauseous with uncomfortable

fullness. What enemy is this. How many such spirits does it contain. And

what further proofs of misaffection needed.


Do you suffer an overflowing of thought, a constant anxiety, or

a constant staring at only one thing. Does our anatomy afford the mobile

desires of multiple tongues.


Do you opine your skull to be glass. Who is not vulnerable among

planetary conjunction, moved in foul weather, dull and heavy

in such tempestuous seasons.


Do you have fumes rising from your spleen. What will not a fearful

mortal conceive in dark. What violent motions. What distempers

rise from limited sense.


Have you handled poetry recently. Have words thrown sand in eyes,

provoked grief, labour, care, pale sickness, miseries, fear, and poverty,

hungers that cry without relief.

Andrew McEwan is the author of the book Repeater, shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award, and the chapbooks Input / Output, This Book is Depressing, and, most recently, Conditional. He lives in Vancouver.


Author: D Zomp