Sunday, March 25, 2012


Your brown eyes are like the night with the day piercing through
Your lashes are like the dark feathers of a radiant bird
Your lungs are more beautiful than wings
And your tongue speaks an alphabet more colorful than music

And whatever the spring is it is because of you
And whatever the night has always meant it is you
And whatever limits there are to solitude is you
And whatever dreams there are to dream I know is you

I was barely breathing like a brown paper bird in a pocket of cement
Then you erupted like a tropical island in the desert of the sea
Now the ink fills me and exits me at the edge of my fingertips
Now the axis of my imagination turns around the stillness of your feet

It is like finding an arrow that has fallen from the sky
It smolders there so I pick it up and throw it back into its element
And watch it burn as it picks up speed and descends to earth
As it was in the beginning so it passes even now from me to you

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Le Chéile

The tiles on the ceiling need to be swept
and the garden descended.  As the clutter grows
here and there like rocks on the moon
the people looking up find the space to be
a ten-sided box with ten-sided boxes
in the corners.  And so on.  Something to count
on if we could ever find them in the mass

Rabbit ears keep us focused on the clover
and the discarded cabbage keeps combusting
like meteors or bottle rockets in the dirt
where the animals gather to chat and barter

The gospel of the ant precludes a dance
songs can't clean the bathhouse of the forest
clicking and clucking at the nubile geese
lounging in the water at the root of sound

Monday, March 19, 2012

L'Enfer à deux

It is a little known fact that Satan is a herring.
He is red, isn’t he.
All of Canada and parts of the Midwest are going to hell, he says.
I ought to warn them.  But I so want to see the look on their faces!

On my last visit the palace was rather crowded with Spaniards.
They wanted to get a good look at the famous people.
They pushed right to the front of the line.
I slipped out the back when roll-call began.

There is still plenty of good real estate in hell.
If heaven is not an orgy of justice, then why go?
Let’s stay here, order a pizza, and neck all night.
You can be Jane Eyre and I will be the mad shut-in.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chess with the Man of the Field

Market day in Cheltenham
The shadows of the Schloss
Your favorite song
Comes from your hand
And the glint of glass
As you raise the phone

How do these moments compare
To the dirt road behind the school
That somehow comes unbidden
Or is the memory the thought
The understanding of the scene

Now it is just the strategy I’ll use
In a field of squares
Traced by strings
Dropped from above
Then we’ll stand around
Like mechanics
Told to “Irish up” a Volvo

国王的游  The game of kings
没有国    Without kings
在棋隧道  The board tunnels
无情的  Ruthless rules

Each piece is made of the past
But is the same true of the rules
We’ll maneuver tin cans and gravel
Inside drain pipes
And the wisps of smoke
That surround the vendors
Will time our moves

An often respite
Of reckless endeavor
And the ceremonial now

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Plateau

We are scattered by the wind, like a whisper, till other winds come for us. One feels them blowing in stillness. North is south and east is also south. The ringlets of the sea fizzle like fake foam in the mouth. I forget the color of her eyes. But not the rough music of her hands and feet. Neap tide sends me back into the house where we sleep in the stairs. It is too close in here. Up in the basement we have the privacy of children. We dimly perceive that the world of adults is a game they have forgotten we are playing. But the play is at its most intense when it is they who are forgotten. The way a painter captures a white muslin skirt that eclipses the persons in the portrait. There it was, all along, a window, sweeter than water, her wet scent. Future days are a calendar of white cliffs, as the sky is smeared by the galloping winds. The past is a blizzard in the face. Other forces are called for. It is the pleasure of perceiving angels walking home from work, that and their musical speech, which brings me on this new plateau where the city’s trees go up in the flames of an early spring. Thus my unhappiness rests incomplete.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Today, there is the walk to the rock.
A plan to take tender digital pictures of saxifrage.
We could go together,
But like the seagulls flying in the rain overhead,
The weather is different
When more than one finger clicks the shutter.

Ink, says the merchant perched high on the cliff,
Is more vast than the sky, and he strides off
As we watch from below,
Trying to remember where we left the tripod.

And there it is, spread down the face
In a mascara of moisture and mold.
The brief instant when darkness
Is understood and worn like belief
Reflected outside us in the sheer wall.

Our two fingers making contact
On the small button, jostling,
And then the agonizing picoseconds
As the light spreads its ichor
And the rock changes plane.

Do Not Go Mental Into That Good Night

Do not go mental into that good night,
Old people should burn and crave a dose of Bengay;
Rage, rage against the flying of a kite.

Though wise guys in the pen mope day and night
Because they have no fork and no wife they
Do not go mental into that good night.

Ballet men at last wave good-bye crying how tight
Their pantyhose when they pranced like a green fay!
Rage, rage against the flying of a catamite.

Real men who caught the flu and died in flight,
And learn, too late, the Dow-Jones doubled today,
Do not go blubber into that good night.

Grave Republicans, near death, who stand and fight
Blind mice gazing at ICBMs pointed this way,
Rage, rage against the spying of a Trotskyite.

And you, my Captain, there on the sad height,
Curse, but pay me first, before the devil take you away.
Do not go gentle into that food fight.
Rage, rage against the flying of egg white.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Absolute

Where is the space of the mind?
Does it exist when others are not looking?
Does it have more than two sides?

What if Botticelli’s Venus lived next door?
What if you actually loved Marie Antoinette?
What if Adonis had rather be dead?

I am not sure about these things.
A question has many faces and names.
It often gets trapped in a semiotic loop.
It is a secret even to you.

It does not really concern us,
Only our being.  It is whatever we are
And more.  It is everything there is
And nothing else.  It persists without us
Except maybe for the indentation we left
In the grass.  I just wanted to leave a note.
A lemon in a stainless steel bowl
Does not cease to be whatever it is
When a mind stops thinking of it.
How softly can I say it so you will hear it?
You are a secret even to me.

Friday, March 2, 2012


On the Texas coast
Between Mobile and Galveston there is
A great garden filled with roses
And there inside it stands a villa
It is a great rose

A woman is often strolling
In the garden alone
And when I pass on the road planted with lime trees
Our eyes meet

The woman is Mennonite
Her rosebush has no buds and her clothes no buttons
My jacket is missing two of its own
The lady and I observe almost the same rite


Sur la côte du Texas
Entre Mobile et Galveston il y a
Un grand jardin tout plein de roses
Il contient aussi une villa
Qui est une grande rose

Une femme se promène souvent
Dans le jardin toute seule
Et quand je passe sur la route bordée de tilleuls
Nous nous regardons

Comme cette femme est mennonite
Ses rosiers et ses vêtements n’ont pas de boutons
Il en manque deux à mon veston
La dame et moi suivons presque le même rite