My poem would eat nothing.
I tried giving it water
but it said no,
bouqutes of flowers,
--The Carpathian Frontier, October, 1968
--for my brother
Once, in a foreign country, I was suddenly ill.
There are places where the eye can starve,
But not here. Here, for example, is
The Piazza Navona, & here is his narrow room
Overlooking the Steps & the crowds of sunbathing
The brow of a horse in that moment when
The horse is drinking water so deeply from a trough
It seems to inhale the water, is holy.
My love and I are inventing a country, which we
can already see taking shape, as if wheels were
passing through yellow mud. But there is a prob-
lem: if we put a river in the country, it will thaw
No matter how hard I listen, the wind speaks
One syllable, which has no comfort in it--
Only a rasping of air through the dead elm.
The trees went up the hill
And over it.
Then the dry grasses of the pasture were
Only a kind of blonde light
My youth? I hear it mostly in the long, volleying
Echoes of billiards in the pool hall where
I spent it all, extravagantly, believing
Looking into the eyes of Gerard de Nerval
You notice the giant sea crabs rising.