NOTE: Both ‘Conversation Piece’ and the preceding poem - ‘Band in the Park’ - are from ‘Central/Peripheral’, the 7th and final section of POEMS 1970-1971 (Gogmagog Press, 1972). They are reproduced in their original typesetting, as found in GOGMAGOG (pp. 53-54). While most of Cox’s poetry is meant to be read aloud, the ‘concrete’ nature of these poems requires a different approach. The preface to POEMS 1970-1971 reads, ‘Here the central, descending statement, is supported by words seen peripherally on either side, which contribute an added background on a different space/time level. The eye should feel free to roam up or down, or from side to side, until all the subtleties of meaning inherent in the relationships appear to have become realised.’ - BH/03