Bosch’s demons, roosting against
The luminous sky of the Low Countries,
Emerge shaped of stone or dirty light,
Perched atop the haywain blowing
Fixed light overhead
Delivered to chiseled distance
Of steeple and rigged mast,
My friends quietly dropped out of high school.
It seemed each week we had parties for some guy
Going into jail or getting released.
It’s not that anyone thought this was cool,
What natural or man-made wonders will we
Prospect in those crevasses and gullies,
Boulders blotted blue as soggy lilacs
With lichen and cloud shadow? It’s all free:
For some, ardent reading forms its own end,
A drawn-out, lonely, unpaid profession.
Even as pastime, it’s viewed as creepy.
The mind greets ghosts, and no good to pretend
When it comes to love and peace, that’s it,
We will never really learn to grow up.
Tantrums scorch; jealous, hurtful flares bear light
In the darkness we fashion from splendid
It happens to us all, at least one time,
The black, caught knot of storm threatens, distant,
But buckling closer, waves capped and blown white.
Heavy tides, laden with fresh wreckage, climb,
My love, we know how species run extinct,
And greenest plants grow to fossils in time,
Mountains go molten and run to the sea,
That our careful ideas, all we think,
A young Napoleon, his hair coursed back, ferine,
Was already, as a lieutenant in the King’s artillery,
Expert in ramrod and shot. Being of lower nobility,
And Corsican into the deal, he considered
To pass the time we played backgammon with
Husks of carved whalebone on a smooth steel board.
I always seemed to win, though I knew you
Cheated. We had spent the past weeks in a warehouse