Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Le Cheile 2/28/12

I want you to be happy
At the times that you leave
Your hat. Therefore, the inner tube
Sleeps sounder on torn sheets,
The angels of clear water
Know the underside of your feet,
The elf and her sister grieve
For comedy is not for tourists
With their shorts on backwards
Least of all. There is a land
Laced with thin streams that sparkle
Down the back between the wings.
Buildings can have myths of flight:
A pot of milk so wee
We see the thoughts of peers
Disappear on the screen of a face
And all the places fade in glee.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Letter

The south was my Japan.  The head a moveable house, like a tree with legs.  A palette of wheat and whiskey and peas.  Straw hat ploughed face.  I painted a chair.  It was a candle.  The phalanges of the Virgin in silhouette.  The blossoms signal the beginning of the end.  We are walking to the church.  We are going out to the edge of the property.  The cypress oscillates, flickers.  We are halfway there.  Yellow crackles like dry grass on the souls of your feet.  There is no color that does not see you.  The factory in the distance spews its white blossoms.  We are out for a walk in the paint of earth and sky.  It is a slow burn on the road to joy.  The nights are more radiant than day.  I painted a book.  A melancholy doctor keeps it on his desk.  From the windows of the asylum I see the orange dust of the fields.  The gleaners slump like marionettes in the barn.  I painted the wooden hands of the women.  The water in the stone basin is so clear and cold it cuts your wrists.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I am Not

Ted & Gertrude & Tony & Ben
& Eugene & Natalie & Kenward
                            (“His name is Kenward?”)

Janice & Ron & Rebecca & Tom & Fanny
& Charles & Noah & Alice & Maxine
               who are
                 part of the scene.

                What if I’m

Are they going to           
                   pay me    extra
                                     to go to the moon?
Hell no.                 
                       Are you fragile? 

                                  Will the sky

your stem?

                                                                    Get out there!

(“The line starts around
the block.”)


Put in a “book”
                 We are sending

(“Where is Noura?”)
                      The Bô

                      I loved being with

                            of happiness

Friday, February 24, 2012

Have a Poem

There is nothing to be said,
Never was.  Clarity of sound
Is not a given, it is a created.
It looks so dirty under the sun
All the sounds in the world,
And not one of them to put a name
To it that will stick.  Prattle brain,
Be still.  Silence is your strength.
Then and only then
A name comes to seem a thing,
Hydra-headed, orchid-like,
Familial, with an alien sting.

Only in special cases is it the mind
They wish to marry.  It comes wrapped
In ecstasies of the flesh
Or grotesque cheeks and chins
That never really were beside the point.
But some are more beautiful
Than others in walks of the spirit.
The mind is tossed off a cliff
That is also a horizon
And lands on its feet in the air.
Here we are, out here, beyond the fat.
The wind draws you in.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

At Long Last

The moon is painted glass
And a small crack is beginning to show
Under its eye.  Don’t touch it.
We don’t need the milk all over the floor.

The speaker wore a salmon necktie.
He understands how clouds unfold across lakes of sky.
The moment a Japanese girl
Penetrates his soul, she is flying like a fish.

Later they get undressed in a dream.
It is time to spread joy.
A yellow cat serves black tea.
The butter and blueberry stick to their whiskers.

Night was a sparkling blue paste.
Hand me the toothbrush.
Telephone!  It was his mother and would he please
Not forget to bring her The Way of the Samurai.

Close call.  Mom’s ear was nearly shot off.
One fella had a pitchfork.
A bloodied rage by the side of the road, or was it a squirrel?
Pharsalus in a puddle, and then calm.

The arrows of happiness are released by the sun.
The snow descends like rice.
We are out of the fight
And it is a great day to do laundry.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Smell of Mendou

The Smell of Mendou

Some nights you would lean across the table 
and tell us stories of skunks that lived in trees. 
(They knew no fear, you said, 
but had grown tired of being roadkill.)
Their treeing had known more peripeties,
and the integer of their climb furrowed our brows
late into the night. In the afterglow of the tale, 
in corners that seemed smoky to children 
who had neglected eyes for ears, 
we squatted together with conspiratorial half-smiles 
and solemnly concluded the frivolous vow 
to concretize our narrative solidarity by dyeing 
long white streaks in our hair (black for the few of us 
prematurely and juvenilely silver-maned). 
A fierce clan of stink merchants; boys lost.


A crow squawks in my face
A shadow obfuscates my sight
Two weasels and two foxes
Cross the field I am riding by
My horse’s legs give out
My servant falls and foams at the mouth
I hear thunder crack the pillars of the sky
A ghost materializes before my eyes
Charon calls me to his boat
I peer deep into the earth

This river runs upstream to its birth
A bell tower is mounted by an ox
Blood trickles from the rocks
An asp copulates with a bear
High above the rooftops
A serpent shreds a vulture
A fire burns in ice
The sun is a black space
I spy the moon as it drops
This tree has moved from its place


Un corbeau devant moi croasse,
Une ombre offusque mes regards,
Deux belettes et deux renards
Traverse l’endroit où je passe,
Les pieds faillent à mon cheval,
Mon laquais tombe du haut mal,
J’entends craqueter le tonnerre,
Un esprit se présente à moi,
J’ois Charron qui m’appelle à soi,
Je vois le centre de la terre.

Ce ruisseau remonte à sa source,
Un boeuf gravit sur un clocher,
Le sang coule de ce rocher,
Un aspic s’accouple d’une ourse,
Sur le haut d’une vieille tour
Un serpent déchire un vautour,
Le feu brûle dedans la glace,
Le Soleil est devenu noir,
Je vois la lune qui va choir,
Cet arbre est sorti de sa place.

Théophile de Viau (1621)

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Sun Inside

The sun floats, to everyone’s relief.  It costs
Nothing to black it out.  Adonis shades
The simple day and the cinema of her sleep.
“Stones or loaves of bread or buckets of clean water
Let me carry it for you.”

The tickets were included when I stopped.
The telephone is an archaic fragment.
The renewal notices gather dust, unnoticed
But for the holes that have been filled like pockets of thyme.

It will come out in this shower.  How sad, how wonderful
Now, while it lasts, drinking
It in and breathing it out, and the others will do
As they please, with you.  One fades into bloom,
The mystery being that they ever knew you at all.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I used to Be a Narcissist but Now I am a Flower

Capitalism is dreaming again but when will it sleep
Its buildings are more beautiful with my eyes half-closed
A nano-sized version of myself ogles its cleavage

There are some rules that need to be explained
My job is to invest pleasure in these very small machines
And once the masterpiece has been authenticated sell it

You are a spy dressed to kill and I am bleeding
I have something romantic to say don’t kill the messenger
You are more beautiful than the wind and the stars

And I love you more than money
Which by today’s standards is a statistical anomaly
But you are colder than a tulip in February’s tits

Your ego is like a troll we must band together to defeat
Before you put me down you won’t rub my strings
A black dove is impossible if you have no imagination

The other day I glimpsed him riding the underground
Him or his stunt-double wearing a cracked bomber jacket
And sneaking a bemused look at Ganymede’s wine list

Cheer up, fellas, eventually things will get worse
He was queer from the hospital like a mine shaft had coughed
A diamond into the rough gassy and drunk

I wanted to lay a trout at his feet so he could measure it
Like a man that is true and a man
Everyone and anyone could pass that test, he said

Be mindful of the gap on the island of happiness
The last time we said goodbye the light was crazy with drops
His dream slipped into me like the spine of this book

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Le Chéile

1 packet contains the sweetness of 2 teaspoons
ingrained in the afternoon after 4 or more
we were leaving when the sky broke
like an ugly family sitting on a bench
weeping into a box.  At the end of summer
the windows were shining less; the temper
of steel in the trees as it was scraping
the roof or the door.  A sound inside a drawer
Is a nano-version of yourself moving the furniture
around and the walls that never stop
sighing and laughing and quarreling
like pieces of paper with bland stares
holding paper balloons, in confederate
regalia, for the class picture of quiet
achieved total stillness and now is pure time;
a table with lines a laughing disease a flavor of mind.