Words > Poetry



ASPEN/AUSTERLITZ

I loved her almost perfectly
Our past as intricate and beautiful as all the maps of India
So she left, moved into hiding
Sending back sweet birds to sing songs of breathtaking transience.
These avian messengers,
Moving too fast for color.

The heart falls even before sensing its rise.

She was fed by foxes and famous chefs
From time to time
Even by me.
There were necessary secrets on both shores
Swollen words, rolling large and fast
Hiding only in the lightest fog
Betrayal, a tiny key that rusted as it turned.

Down steep paths of dry, pale stones.
Her long long red train
Collects the forbidden columbine
She swallows twelve thousand feet of rock and sky
For the play, for the poetry, for the world.



AFTERNOON ON A BOAT WITH CELAN

In the company of grasses
And cotton-wrapped against the southern sun
The Mama Doll and I float this ancient lagoon.

With wide memory-hips and hot, rough salt,
The blue portal is reached.
Folding a fin, I sink into her tureen.

A swift escort of double-flapping teal,
The horizon imperceptibly relaxes
From precise to uncertain.

Steel prows of sound advance.
The wind fills the colors of passing ships,
Their cargo fits in my palm.

Long lines of egrets flash like teeth
Between closed marsh doors,
Green as gumbo des herbes.

Distant gunshots of morning hunters,
Like fists in pillows
Anchor my dreams of Paris and surrender.


ALMOST ALWAYS

There it is! A barn-red clue to the future,
Its skin and lean organs of soft wood
Hold not a whisper behind furtive games or the confidential lies of the pediatricians.
In its fresh attic of new pencils, cells divide and form perfect gestures
After so long, so many cowardly calculations of love and color.

This next move could yet be overtaken;
I am flirting with the knight.
He fights effectively with a delicate yellow blade,
This aged weapon unsheathed,
En passant with my elastic brown wishes.

He offers the white clue instead.
It feels fabulous in the hand, a regal, darting chance.;
But feeling is not believing when almost is always the way.
When tiny, tricky little-girl shells do not become alibis,
When lace on bowed heads leaves an amount due.

The conquest of snakes only gained the intellectuals,
Embraced in filth and fear,
Gin-dares and dangerous subway rides for which I bought the wrong tokens.
My belly hid the snakes and fermented a sassy mouth
Full of opacity and heart tartare.

Many have undeserved prizes,
Criminals swim in lovely pools.
My sins have been too prosaic, cautious--
The calculated burns of the mathematicians
Or the useless sacrifices of the rich.

What was needed was a different brand of the sinister,
Demanding of fragile wrists,
Loose in lace sleeves.
Red sash of vice, under a brooding chasuble,
Dispensing calendars of ruin on their way to the feast.



CHOPPER

Spotless predator
Hovering abdomen of secrets
Roar up from sea or closet
Jesus-bolted to my groin.

Moving too fast for color
Infrared heart beats a
WhoopWhoop slicing pandemonium
Of capture.

I raise my disconnected arms to your falling shadow.



RED CHAIR OF DESPAIR

Open
Lost all the poems
To the contemporary purgatory,
No god there either.

Save
Can I be saved?
Where's the list of actions
That will deliver grace?

View
Black leaves move into the tree
Through a path of their own disappearance
Or demise, but what's the difference?

Find
A government barn of your own information
A despised history
Eyes only, except they're yours.

Search
Requires an unavailable abatement
A belief in math
Green equations of longing.

Invisible
Distance is anachronistic
The leaves dissolve in a negative number
Fingers sag in the confusion.

Close
A grey sinuous weapon
In a former neighbor's house.
That friend gone
Too.



THE GAPS

What are the gaps?
Fraying away from Catholicism, staying outward ever since
The rose of the world, protect it.
Losing faith in the sanctified partner.

Show the gaps. How?

The rose of the world

It's all been mentioned before
Stars, sand, even snowflakes
Things whose relation to us lay in their un-countability

Unaccountability.

We should measure it by systems fantastically huge, mistakes of the heart,
Quantify longing for each singular organ, intra and inter species, before, after, and during Christ's earthly investigations
Record each movement of every eyelid, no matter how furtive, how self-effacing.



JACKS

Lately you've been like jacks.
Scattered, splintered but with a playful definition
Re-composing your floor plan according to the red bounce of our talk

Longing for the cool palm prick
Singing the rules I've forgotten.

The delicate dive, faster than risk.

What's at stake in this nimble arena,
Glossy yard of miniatures,
Moving in the staccato flit of reverse motion cinema.

Roll, listen, tether the runaway sentence
Or the name of the game changes.

You cannot enter at the same speed of leaving



NEW HEAT

Green cushions sport the afternoon pattern
Under little white tents where the glass berries lay
Moments before, suspended in cool sienna tea
Wielded by bankers and poets alike.

A morning of unexpected efforts
Uniforms of creamy yellow,
Precise as buttons,
Began to shred under bright rectangles of pleated sun.

Optical operations,
Ungraceful and unknown
Ancestors of the surrealists
Deployed the well-meaning.



LOVE, AGAIN

This erotic shelf is original, unsurveyed
I'm standing still, pinned by the hoofs of burning horses.
The Magician Poet waves his fluent wand --trap doors open, sharks whip around,;
Smell the lovers' leaking in the heavy sway of waves.

Translucent infant, balanced on the frail bridge,
No reflected light beyond its stars.
Spit, spit, jump down and don't watch.
Secretly salt the fragrant black dirt of desire.



VERONICA LEAVING

Do we move away from and into these offspring futures,
The enormity of this facile gulf reverses the seasons,
What will stop the waves what
Will that luminous world take every organ, even so will move weightless and swift
A fertile membrane covering deep memories of fields tended in
Weathers inclement and clear

Can this shrimp shell withstand autumn
After pearls have melted so beautifully towards the East?
What rhythms are sought if the sea is forgotten?
Oh! let the violet salt sustain her.