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(04/23/52 - xxxx / Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA)

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It Bears No Rhythm In It's Head - for Robin Blaser

“Burning up myself, I would leave fire behind me.”- Robin Blaser

1

I would speak to you
after fire

from after fire proclaim
a kingdom
beyond what can be said of it
or what can be made of it but

only must this, just,
only-now-time, tell you

to speak at will as you
will as if to please
a silent vase in an
open window
and so sing

because much
there is in image melody,

blood song,
appealing oranges in the
wooden bowl a monk once gave

“handmade for poets, ”
(he whispers)

bending forward as if
to lunge

pointing toward the heart
and what is left
between its beginning lilt there
and the pretending to

end though displaced
air and silence be captivated,

miscreant
tongues at work in darkness
and breath.

What remains, remains.

Afterward there is not even
counting or even a surmounting
sense,

“the point is
transformation of
the theme -

enjoinment and departure” yet

“the swans have gone.”


You have left no choice but just this
to say

that the pitiable
hand cannot bend to the
task that only knees are
capable of,

and let me not speak of the heart always

over-reached...


2

Of Mind there is much to
say but can't and cant rave
as much as should and ought.

I never bought
too much of Dante's
extended argument
though well stanza-ed

in clinical Catholic
thought and virtual
form, Virgil
at hand to lend
a terse account,

but in Latin
have joyed in his
heaving forth
rung by rung
and

trying
by his tongue
to gain a
loveliness
beyond the castle

(there odd numbers are key) .


3

“not to be named is to be lost in light” - Blaser

Spicer told me once from
the other side
while I was humming
Edith Piaf about
a rosiness so very
real o're the well

the spice garden
the backyard spread
before the orchard
on our personal
hill reveried

never once climbed
so enamored of the
bees at work
there

their Queen of
the Hill (Duncan)
and the Apple

named “Bittersweet”

not to be
disturbed
at all
in this
or any other
May to come


comes Spicer
permitted at last

to the meadow
returned

with Robert (here too)

enjoined me to leave
only
a guidebook:

Cryptics For Cripples And Cantors

“The rest, ” he sneered, “are
matters not concerned; broken Maker or
broken meter the world wags on,

not one stone
bitter
in the House
That Metrics
Built.”



4

“the window-heart speaks
shattered
as god speaks,
speaking
does so” (Blaser)

Only the shattered
can make something
of bread tide,
of slow rise
thin breeze
through

the kitchen window,
the curtain there
draped, torn,

the old pipe burst
jutting red from
wall shale,

drips into a tin (dimpled)
cup its own psalm
stippled blue

“how long o Lord,
how long” of candles
in the attic study

making books dance,
a wooden cave devoted

of ghostly
images made;


there is
the sad mourning still,

the letting
go of even a leg up
in the world because being
as it is known the way we know it

has
no leg by which to balance
or can't like a candled book
or a cancelled look
dance upon a sill,

or chance upon that which may
be withstood to stand

upon though

stand we will
and must and

flutter-foot alight

so many winged
ones addressing

the old and present
wounds.


5

Of holy tunes the forest is deep with them,

rife,

among the loosestrife
bees saw humming on,

mouths full, pollen-full
legs bowed by daylight
“oh work for the night is coming”

where now I have fled to a place
where my bed is already made
beyond the fiddle's bliss

and the ferns to turn Rilke
on his head dead by roses,
the pricks -

I tear at
earth again
to lift me up
from it, once
again

to mark place,

to burn, rave beneath
catalpas,

kiss the cow whose
hooves
are Loveliness Itself,
Lucy's, in ever melting
snow and mud;

storm clouds, too, in retreat
swearing off ditches, giving,

or trying, up
the need for rhyme.


Rain persuades even the dead
that it bears no rhythm in its head

and I am persuaded most

thinking again “of
the bewitchment upon that hill”

the forest fire that startles
holy there,

the captured hands among

leaves do ramble,

crab

and out-star

bestowal beyond

what can be said of it,

or what can be made of it,

but only must this, just,

only-now-time, tell you

to speak at will, as you

will, as if to please

the persuaded rain

to brim to gullies

yes even to rhyme

a joyous river

stuttering pouring out

Submitted: Sunday, June 03, 2012
Edited: Thursday, October 17, 2013


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

All quotes in the poem are from Robin Blaser poems and are noted beside the quote.

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