Sunday, March 1, 2015

Blocks


1
If I could write the radiance of birds
Or name the births of all the continents,
Would I be closer to your secret mind?
Others have touched the penetralia

Of your obscure recess, so why can’t I?
When will the azure of your voice proclaim
The feasts of patience come?  Never?
The death of a wish hardly makes a sound.

2
Walking around naked on the moon
I stop only to consider the coffee stain
In the glass of the soul
The house is defenestrated with griffin claws

And a leopard is laughing at emptiness
Some people are never
Satisfied they didn’t discover the Pacific
Not even I can wish you away

3
The moon mirrors the seasons and the years
Which disappear into its silver mouth
And then return like a second, invisible sun
Illuminating half-remembered dreams.

What are you doing here?
It’s wonderful to be in one another’s arms.
Later the corridors lead to other rooms
And I lose you among the ghosts and guests.

4
The sun has turned the snow into a glazed
Meringue, so that the whole island floats
In a vanilla sauce.  Elsewhere, black snow
Is a peppery oxymoron one can taste.

(“Don’t put that in your mouth!”)
Lime trees would smell good on summer nights
If I were seventeen.  February,
Someone must love your bluish hair and lips.

5
I have been waiting for the calm of night
And here it is, an atmosphere, obscure,
Enveloping the mind and its menagerie,
A caged panther pacing back and forth.

My spirit swims against a senseless tide,
And in the planes unfolding without end,
Drifting between the stars and the abyss,
It contemplates the image of its flight.

6
The languages of flowers will revolt the mind
Seeing into the long dark passages that never add
Up into constructions, like the ghosts of horses
That galloped away before these hills were built.

The obstacles are supposed to have some use,
Like an opportunity.  That optimism fizzles like a drink
While unknowable rendezvous arrange
The flowing substances, the dark necessities.

7
The story continues with or without us,
But the narration changes hand, gradually
Taking hold in the pantheon of images
That secretly explain us to ourselves

Since the forgotten dawn of consciousness.
If only we would bother to perceive them
And think, and not remember what we know,
How could the changing patterns of our lives

8
Elude even the most deluded minds,
Preoccupied, as we are, with righteousness
Of self, though in the name of higher things?
Looking into the conquered dragon's face

I see my own bright eyes and good intent
And know the hand of darkness is my own,
And know my ego, like a phoenix, will rise
And rise forever from repeated deaths.

9
...


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blocks



4
The sun has turned the snow into a glazed
Meringue, so that the whole island floats
In a vanilla sauce.  Elsewhere, black snow
Is a peppery oxymoron one can taste.

(“Don’t put that in your mouth!”)
Lime trees would smell good on summer nights
If I were seventeen.  February,
Someone must love your bluish hair and lips.

5
I have been asking for the stupid night
And here it is, an atmosphere, obscure,
Enveloping the mind and its menagerie,
A caged panther pacing back and forth.

My spirit swims against a senseless tide,
And in the planes unfolding without end,
Drifting between the sun and the abyss,
It contemplates the image of its flight.

6
The languages of flowers will revolt the mind
Seeing into the long dark passages that never add
Up into constructions, like the ghosts of horses
That galloped away before these hills were built.

The obstacles are supposed to have some use,
Like an opportunity.  That optimism fizzles like a drink
While unknowable rendezvous arrange
The flowing substances, the dark necessities.

7
...


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Blocks


2
Walking around naked on the moon
I stop only to consider the coffee stain
In the glass of the soul
The house is defenestrated with griffin claws

And a leopard is laughing at emptiness
Some people are never
Satisfied they didn’t discover the Pacific
Not even I can wish you away

3
The moon mirrors the seasons and the years
Which disappear into its silver mouth
And then return like a second, invisible sun
Illuminating half-remembered dreams.

What are you doing here?
It’s wonderful to be in one another's arms.
Later the corridors lead to other rooms
And I lose you among the ghosts and guests.

4
...


Friday, January 23, 2015

Blocks

1
If I could write the radiance of birds
Or name the births of all the continents,
Would I be closer to your secret mind?
Others have touched the penetralia

Of your obscure recess, so why can't I?
When will the azure of your voice proclaim
The feasts of patience come?  Never?
The death of wishes hardly makes a sound.

2
...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The River of Silver


The turning seasons add, almost imperceptibly,
Another layer of grime and mold
To the houses of the aristocratic necropole
Where the patriarchs fume as they decay.

The houses of the populace, less grand,
Caked with plants, wires, the slogans of yesterday,
Streaked as with mascara by the rain,
Accumulate like cereal-box facades.

The bel apartments are layer cakes
Or ocean-liners basking in the sun.
A toothless horse pulls a wooden cart
Loaded with scrap collected by a boy.

A foreigner looks up from his guidebook.
An idled crane drifts like a huge weathervane
As the clouds take the shape of animals:
Tiger, dragon, seahorse, rhinoceros.

While the more dangerous passions are alive
In the faces of the loved and the spurned
That one encounters on the shady streets;
Like destinies, they must remain unknown.



Monday, December 29, 2014

How to Lose One's Identity


I no longer have the strength to believe.
The absence of belief is my one belief,
Like a hole in my private ozone.

These spectacular flames, these oblique rays,
There is no speculation I might have
That has not already occurred.
It has been handled by everyone and you
By the time I finally take it up.
Wisdom would have to be something
Felt by all from all eternity,
Something fallen nearly into neglect,
Shined up, and placed, exactly, here.
One loses confidence in one’s touch.

I drank the broken gate before it closed
To me forever.  Some sightless man looks back
Now from a respectful distance.
I wish I could move forward or go back.
I, the statement of fresh water



Thursday, October 2, 2014

El Desdichado


I am the Inconsolable,—the Widowed,—the Dark Sire,
The Prince of Aquitaine of the demolished Fort:
My one Star is dead,—and my constellated lyre
To the Black Sun of Melancholia pays court.

In the night of the Tomb, You who did console,
Give back Mount Pausilippe and the sea of Italy,
The flower that so pleased my desolated soul,
And the trellis with Vine and Rose in filigree.

Am I Lusignan or Biron?...  Eros or Phoebus?
My face is still red from the kiss of the Queen;
I’ve dreamed in the Grotto where the Siren swims...

And twice I’ve crossed Acheron singing hymns,
Voicing, by turns, on the strings of Orpheus,
The Fairy’s cries and the Saintly Woman’s spleen.

GĂ©rard de Nerval (1853)