Warren Falcon

Warren Falcon Poems

Dying trees easily fall..
Poems, too, as they should.
Dead wood rots from which
One good poem may grow,
...

for Anthros Del Mar

The animal we are
reserves just rights
...

...

An ellipsis (plural ellipses; from the Ancient Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, 'omission' or 'falling short') is a series of dots (typically three, such as "…") that usually indicates an intentional omission of a word, sentence, or whole section from a text without altering its original meaning. - from Wikipedia
...

for Crimson Love


This can only go well.
...

for Karthik


that salt adheres to the palm
...

1

For all the words dished up,
A plate without meat. Maybe, bone.
...

[from early poems,1970's, youthful attempts at voice]

Fogs of summer
Through the green
...

for Lida Harris

Then died there the rose beside the house of tin.
...

I think that poetry should stay
awake all night drinking in dark cellars.' - Thomas Merton
...

'The bells, I say, the bells outbreak their towers...
- Hart Crane, from 'The Broken Tower'
...

[from early poems,1970's, youthful attempts at voice]

For 'Spider' Bottas
...

'O Poesy! for thee I grasp my pen
That am not yet a glorious denizen
Of thy wide heaven; yet, to my ardent prayer,
Yield from thy sanctuary some clear air,
...

From ashtrays he rises
when birds in backyards
have been fed their seed,
a dove amid the starlings.
...

Who To Blame - On The Ocassion Of The Deaths Of Robin Williams And Michael Brown

'My head is full of fire and grief and my tongue
runs wild, pierced with shards of glass.'
...

Seeing the moon whole could mean
madness, now or overdue, for the supreme
vanity of daring to eye-gulp the whole swiss cheese.
...

[NOTE: this is a revised version of an earlier beginning of it posted some years ago]

" everything is descending,
even the scholarship of the
...

Of Po Chu-i, Chinese Governor & Poet (772-846 CE) :
As one of his poems explains, he suffered from paralysis
at the end of his life, one leg becoming useless.
...

Warren Falcon Biography

From The Dusk Of My Ghost House - Adventures Of An Autodactyl - Variant Excursions Into Ipseity - Autobiography Of An Inner Life, A Crestomathy, A Vanity Mildly Tourettic Somewhat Forethought: I cannot understand why my arm is not a lilac tree. - Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers Dear reader, if you haven't read Cohen's first novel, Beautiful Losers, hasten to it! I read it in college and each page turned turned my Wheel; I thought, 'Wherever it is he lives inside is where I want to live' and thus began my perpetual 'striving-after'. Thus, all my poetry efforts can be called 'The Striving-After Poems'. Soon I shall be only 'striven'. Epitaph for a Spider bidden, it bore not a grave but a door where is no need to knock its life grokked it is no longer there's no mock in it tho as it was and now is all that is not never was its business but its was only to obey That which bade spider poet maker it made all praise to the Bidder ** PRELUDES I think poetry must I think it must Stay open all night In beautiful cellars. - Thomas Merton all these, or many, for E. B for 'Dear Low Mc.' aka Steadfast and for N. Nightingale, everly Empress of Contrails ** Aubade Bidden With Apologies to Red Robin These graceless things, Autumnals most now, now all einfalle*, footfalls of a life gathering, guttered, muttering often enough for a bit of daylight or, sounded tinnily enough, 'distraction fits', more like keeping the bit in the mouth, letting the mane lead, tack the tales, it, some of it all, keeps coming back to me for reprise or mercy or even glad surprise of at least a line, a phrase, an image, an effortful stammer that is more than a glance against the nog, nog, noggin' along ** Prelude Blue: Life, dear Barcelona, is sweet. One endures long enough to break through thunder, a taut belly, a smooth place for lips to land. One may reach a 'Pure Land' which has no logic, the tedious seasons of long life endured. Still, one gathers names of each joven prince passed beneath loving, yes, arduous hands. Again, upon Kingfisher's wings I blow these kisses, this music, your patient ear awaiting the purist pearl, for you were once the bequeathed, escaped girl without fear of oceans, this one between us which now must be overflown to reach you. ** The Empress Of Contrails Writes Upon Darkness - Anxiety Of Influence I, on the other hand, have lain down with countless thousands. My tent is worn out. Stains mark love-cries, some blood where tongues are ground down to root words, utterance hard pounded, soft tissue torn letter by letter, tender verbs opened to pain, that which is paid for more than these alabaster embraces and this strangling of waists. My tent has drained more of love's body than a mortuary. Spikenard scented oils taint fabric folds and flesh. Rote, worn pillows are daily, sometimes hourly turned where I half expect to find teeth or coins hoping still for one true word for love without name else it flies, moths repelled instead by flame, pillows revealing nothing. But I turn them still. Oasis and cloaca, love birds parched, now moves caravansary toward heart's always winking horizons. There are many before the sun rises. Perhaps my name goes before me, my press, Empress of Contrails, peacocks in tow, trailing tallies, scores, arrivals, departures, ejaculations, rejections, all faces hands have held, and yearning beyond possibility hesitant dawn's mourning doves. Recall how hot winds blow loudly as do I, billowing the tent. Men cry mad for my return yet burns no desert impervious to heat of all kinds, even human, excepting the heart its capacities to startle, its dunes in vast stretches beat on what moonlight can only suggest to scorpions in silver shadows, pitying serpents coiled smug in their ability to shed skin, unlike the veiled men. ** A New Postmistress Yet Again - After Reading Duino Elegy Five Before Dawn '...this carpet forlornly lost in the cosmos...' - Rainer Maria Rilke A new postmistress yet again a disaster she seems to be unable to read to coordinate for instance yesterday two arrive for me in two separate mailboxes one in my neighbor's I find one at my door just now when going to the roof to shake throw rugs stringy now rags mostly doormat too letter's there in one old boot left right doesn't matter can't toss either out not yet must remember their miles not yet ready for a last winter a heap ready or not I shake the throws over St. Marks dust is blowing sun's not high just enough little cloud just somewhere beyond between buildings morning glory's already opened closed an accident of placement its indigo ** Fodor Not Fyodor - Night Walk With Images (exerpt) '...Because we are partial beings who yearn for total states.' - Michael Eigen Petrograd (petrol-grade) how damnable (are) your clever- nesses now Saint Petersburg not one sister city purges between shrubs and out of mis- placed long necked lilies breathes vodka and sex grim chorused pigeon-churn Icon of Our Lady (O the lilies white) drapes drips robed smeared candle smoke sags the fagged ghosts' conjugal wax in inkless sky ** Minimus Flees 'I, Minimus, a boy, withstood the spelling bee. Lost the word, its spelling, E-q-u-a-n-i-m-i-t-y. So tread I to the apple tree where the dreaded bee hums night and day, tells me to be gay. Mute, I fled. Running still, away.' ** Oh, pretty boy, Can't you show me nothing but surrender? - Patti Smith The boy stood on the burning deck Whence all but he had fled - Felicia Dorothea Hemans So that three-legged dog pants, knows only that piss-scented tires owe him a leg up in the world. At least one. All opening lines are strung up years ago when you were that freckle in 'Father Frank's What-The-F*ck-Land', all the books (never false starts) read and to be read written since then and now and to come during the insufferable hours, forlorn miles in the merciless cab all jib jab flap and flutter real voice about poor human choices which even at their worst vote for 'visionary company' in those universes revealed in now glittering Texan and still warring Iraqi sand. It is so brilliantly human to find the diamond in the sh-t. And no need for genius which used to mean something but not any more. On with the boring center line endlessly dividing though broken on purpose suggesting a way to veer. No guide needed here. Fear is the drive shaft, and longing turns the wheel. Damned good you are inspired then amidst progress's smoking mirror, like Blake, a wake-dreamed jeweler mining away in-breathed while sucking those cigarettes and lovers, the endless hash browns along Texas highways and byways waiting for another dispatch to Bumf*ck and Divine. The psalmist says it right, no matter the blight: 'Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.' I await another dispatch prayer for the far flung tracers. ** Totem for auto nights in flagrante, Tempests not understood, barely withstood, massive pagan quakes there where sap does rise born again long of old half-dreams boned aromas, pines adolescent amonias sticky there where a tarred groin-boy aches, patient, limb to limb, squints holding weight and breath without complaint or brakes Whereas once of the spinning stars docked, the spillway Galaxy spins out, or tries, its star-child every night for a week, from-front-seat-from-back, breaches Nova - a star's sudden bright increase swells, slowly inward turns, burns back to original hover over some months then settles half-past-and-beyond Carolina before Interstate 85 was ever of blue and grey, states blue or red, this morning's metrics convey the once-were-living too very late to Art, to Poesy, to stained cemetery angels' questioning sentinels leaning whitely into space rendered mere gestures in the dusk. They conjure abstract eternity from years ahead of our deaths as if we had already passed on. Just what is it the meek shall inherit, after all? Such is mythos - the inheritance, and the transcendence, of dirt — First hurts hurt us into conscious selves, thereafter the losses, the embossing scars we call character—glyphic scratches on cave walls such are brain pans. Only bones remain which in their stiff muteness provoke the volumes we call Myth, Religion, Art, and History—blunted inscriptions of impermanence, precise and precipitous prescriptions for living, we think, free while leaving that 'stained white radiance' eventually stumbling, foolishly surprised each time, into all our grave or urn or scatter greeted everly by 'the conquering worm'— so goes the Funeral March's drum Tum tum ta-tum ** 'Of these beginnings, gay and green, propose The suitable amours. Time will write them down.' - Wallace Stevens That Salt Adheres (for Karthik) that salt adheres to the palm proclaiming only this that purchase requires both sweat and the one hidden pearl of scraped touch much there is in the hand bequeathed; beneath the thigh the grit burns smooth the groove where you lay tapered fingers flame that these lips may chaff chafe more the love from the grain which skin frames from cloudless scansions Kindled limbs do not go out do not ash hot to powder nor the colder grow though each is made distinct, distinguished, though each is extended, extinguished in the other's contradiction neither brother or lover but both of palms of salt Preserve. ** Preamble/Prologue: Ah! I am so forsaken I will worship at any shrine impulses toward perfection. — Arthur Rimbaud, from The Broken Boat, second poem in Ipseity, fun to say, moribund to be, means 'the quality of being oneself or itself; the essential element of identity which begs the question of the nature of identity, upon what is such based, existence (LATIN: esse) or essense (Latin: essentiam) . And thusly the hitherto wither hurled wags on... Chrestomathy, ponderous what, is a librarian's word for 'compendium, ' which is what all this below is, and all the poems listed, many to be justly, clinical term, 'deactivated' (as will I be, deactivated, sooner than later washing my socks, one can hope, pray, wish may come, somewhere else in the multiverse) . These graceless things, Autumnals most now, now all einfalle, footfalls of a life gathering guttered, muttering often enough for a bit of daylight exposure or sounded tinnily enough, 'distraction fits', more like keeping the bit in the mouth, letting the mane lead, tack the tales, it, some of it all, keeps coming back to me for reprise or mercy or even remarkable surprise of at least a line, a phrase, an image, an effortful stammer that is more than a glance against the nog nog noggin along, with apologies to Red Robin. Seeking a central conceit is tricky but (I've found) tone is conceit-enough such as 'in the dream the dead sister always returns as a bird' - dear bird that she is/was - mordant muse, bit in the beak, always necessitates a rearrangement of this blear hear-bellow below. Well intended, of course. If nothing else it is all praise, as Roethke says, to the end. And as Eliot says, 'in my end is my beginning.' After this, it goes into the sea. But like Eliot in Four Quartets, toward the end, I hope to at least pass close by a 'shining Stranger', one well-acquainted with, with what, witness in the quotidien caesura each breath is, self conscious, begging release into some majestic sense as the, or at least an, order of things. Regarding tone these quotes immediately below may approach a range-reach re: what some of the overall effects may be from what has a lifetime now come through/from/over/outta me, aspiring too much to grandiosity, certainly too pompous, a bad habit learned early on in the teeth of fundamentalist Chrisitanity, Calvinism, its dour darkness rigor mordant rack upon which a boy's tormented and doesn't yet know it but has learned that one must make a certain music or tone that identifies one as near or intending to be nigh unto to the Immortal One polishing thunder, tuning lightning, lathering Justice and Retribution in Lava from an unending Inner Sinai caldera imprisoned by Its own Purity and Law and somehow, madness but noble in its own way, requires humans, perhaps all of creation, to liberate It from Its own Terrible Nature. No way one, not this one, me, at least, is going to escape Tone the Terrible and Frighteous thus the scrinch, wench and squeal forthwith and without, in it all's an most serious Appeal - Misericord, Mercy; all that can be offered for real is earnest honest-enough appeal and response to that unflinching Hover, Searing Eye Ball and a contradictory Kindly Light. So I'll bright and bring-fling beauty all kinds, its sounds too, into the Inclement Blue Nothing. It means me into some meaning learning yearning leaning on rumored 'Everlasting Arms'. Here I'll palsy. Here I'll curtsy, even bow, forehead close to dirt (leaving a little space between for free will, possible delusions thereof) , bargain mine own hurt into the matter of Matter against His Pristine Petrification Barnacle, my adjudicating behests for clemency before the Bench while on that crowded one for sinners, a veritable separate universe to contain the uncountable herds, alluswe absolute beginners flung into this mess gathering and molding intentions toward Perfection all the while knowing its a shell game been round, still going perpetually around, a long long LONG. So, forsaken, making a case for finitude's tone, headlong I go, and if you dear reader accompany me some I am honored for your presence...bring your shovel though, your flame thrower, and, please, your sense of humor and also what you know to be true, two things, poetry is hard hard work, a hard work miracle (as are all the arts) , and, quoting poet James Dickey, 'Poetry's the greatest goddamned thing in the universe' (apart from ourselves, of course [he writes, laughing behind of his hand]: The 3 quotes before the Bench: 'Listening to music, then, we are not first in one tone, then in the next, and so forth. We are, rather, always between the tones, on the way from tone to tone; our hearing does not remain with the tone, it reaches through it and beyond it....pure between-ness, pure passing over.' - Wilson Harris, from The Angel At The Gate Riff on the above: 'Listening to music, then, we are not first in one bone, then in the next, and so forth. We are, rather, always between the bones, on the way from bone to bone; our hearing does not remain with the bone, it reaches through it and beyond it....pure between-ness, pure passing over.' 'Not, I'll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee; Not untwist — slack they may be — these last strands of man In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can; Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.' - Gerard Manley Hopkins * And yet another PREAMBLE after the above amblings plural (prolly more to come) aimed to set a tone or more than monotones 'threaded-sewn-moaned give a dog a bone'...Here's the stuffing such as swerved: A dog named Ego, the snowflakes as kisses - Delmore Schwartz 'If there were a middle ground between things and the soul or if the sky resembled more the sea I wouldn't have to scold my heavy daughter.' - John Berryman 'Yes, Paul dear, Homer's wandering in Hell. We can't afford to hire him.' - Lorine Niedecker 'How can we cleanse ourselves -- what rites? ' - Sophocles, Oedipus the King ''I still can take the sky -- there lies my path.' - Ovid, Metamorphosis THE PARADOX: 'The form of spirit as it awakens is adoration.' - Ludwig Wittgenstein vs 'Finished in lightning, the little chaos raves.' - Muriel Rukeyser thus the burden search: 'from omnipotence to madness - within this spectrum locate the ambivalent community.' - Lee, Sue-Im Fusion or union. Fission or frisson. Fissure or seizure. Lesion or leisure. Message or measure. ** '...the perfection of the work,  including the perfecting of the victim' - Kenneth Burke ...all's a confession when all's said and done. Confession to wit, to what, to whom? So bring me a unicorn, a rhinoceros horn fan, a jade spittoon...'s jus' me n You the Alone. Many questions, medieval and otherwise. Agnes thinks in squares. Or not. Layered resolutions vague the plot. Punished flesh leans into ground. Our roots there ungrieved are ungrieved still. I remain stuck in King James, entangled in lyrical tongues, Revelation's old virgin A year before he died Saint Thomas Aquinas gave up speaking and writing: 'I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings straw, all straw.' other than bliss of barter - mine was and is yet not a life well lived but most certainly paid great attention to - too painted, sketched, searched, reached, stretched, dropped, slung headlong downstairs out windows into Polaris center splinter off chasing one Bear or Her other, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor 'no matter, ' urges Mind and Matter *** I would rewrite the whole thing withdraw every word without ado with undue pressure release even these mountains upon which within which I turn sleepless in the dark beneath laurel the rhododendron pungent in cold spring air wondering just where this all goes how it all ends this life where thunder rolls between this valley where I am heat lightening teasing presences I will not name though the old masters have forever tried and try yet again on each thinning page in this worn book the collected songs which have finally crossed an ocean have made it over the Eastern hills to some of us here far far on other shore ** Winter Rite for a Spider - A Quarantine Dirge [excerpt] for Jane Mead Spider first days here I spoke to every morning from the john wondering at its slow movements for 3 days till 4th its legs curl tuck tightly beneath its carapace I blow at it from the cold seat - bunched draws round my colder ankles it budges not at all realize it is deceased legs uniformly creased a beauty to see first time ever've felt remorse for a bug .... so perform brief bone chill rites then slide down the path patch to my ground floor entrance to hot shower then to Hopkins' poem - The Windhover the more meaningful than ever for its 'dappled-dawn-drawn' things or rather substituted or addendum-ed pray ponder 'threaded-sewn-moaned' things strangely mourned actual tears born no doubt of projections upon small cringes majestically formed objectively perceived from secret and sightless spaces suspended cocooned in darkness or once in close woods strung pearled between limbs and trunks ferns freakt my face when August-last stumbled in marsh's humid stagger thickets face first into a massive web the sudden grand mal like seizure like slaps scrape-face-eyelids forehead-pate monstrous poison fears from not so small a miracle - webber's tales spun of/from its self from within to without such rhymed tattle rattle faint click no ears human to hear little feet tight-walking filament filigrees faint but so very there spun in thin air *** Something About A Rumi Poem - With Jackhammers, Doves, Bach Cantata Number 85, Hungry Ghosts, A Wasted Life - Or Not Yet another for Low (who turned me on to James Wright in Asheville Vales) Suddenly I realize That if I stepped out of my body I would break Into blossom. - James Wright And yet this aria on this bright sunny day NYC clear while jackhammers and their jackhammerers pound directly beneath my 8 am window. Patient doves, their blessings dulcet on usual late winter fire escape just other side of window, have fled, bed's no refuge, 'm mad daunted, unwanted din in the city of men juxtapose dust hammered up from bookshelves, compliant window ledge's graying clouds of god knows what, with Bach's praises, with sharp sneezes in B minor, my whining complaints just so much braying 'Hair On A Me String', impotent, curses abjure to roaring city that never let's me sleep, Polis's absolute rule-unchangeable being neither blizzard, gale, hail, pandemic nor Jehovah's Witnesses shall prevent absolute Imperatives of Unrelenting Progress from hammering meek citizens escaped to tarred overpriced roofs, city of Hungry Ghosts calculating taxes wondering just why there is no more ink in the Voracious Printer. Reading James Wright poems, collected, cathected, despite the din, comes then radio's magnificent transcendence, Johann Sebastian Bach, complementarity of apparent-opposites impinged contrasts of radio's morning news: 'sameness bright, dinged, yellow-suited predictable helmeted men at war with pavement 5 floors below mad to get to gas, rusted pipes a'leak, perhaps, mock episode' my dream's no longer detail-remembered, s'blotted, only scraps to poke at - something to do with a Rumi poem, a turbaned Sufi at the wheel, a beat VW cab, bright yellow, banged up, drives me (denser body jam crammed back seat behind of the Driver my window blacked out - no seeing the Path clearly) to my long overdue Reunion/Return with/to the Friend. Did I make it? Nonetheless ARRIVED (relinquished?) STOPS Curbed - Ask, 'How much? ' One eye tics, Beard, dyed orange, distracts, 'S'just skin in the game. Get out! ' in full Bronx accent. Ejected duly. Street corner rumbles sub rosa. Just the thing, jerks an altared grate, dyslexia nervosa out of body anhedonia -2 a'sudden, sullen bracing, then blurs into frames powder-blue. Beard drives straight up into endless sky which, image, is a lie, it does end, thin to thinner then no matter, more's the ether. Elevating bumper sticker reads, almost out of site, into unannounced dystances dim with tail pipes, with ashes, miles of them, endless traffic: I BRAKE FOR BLOSSOMS Still, I have lost the drift. -1 ** -1 A riff on a famous last line of a James Wright poem, it being: 'I have wasted my life.' -2 anhedonia - the inability to feel pleasure ** 'And what shall I cry out? My impotency? My useless rage? Then why be forgiven when Heaven's Will stays? Undaunted, there are no cracks in Its ceiling, only Light from a million suns to harm, and a rustling of wings in corridors, and a thousand voice chorus crying out, No arms! No arms! I've been to hell and flaunt it like a gypsy's skirt. I've been to hell with a thosand tongues of metal.'' - a journal note poem 1978 - was reading Federico Garcia Lorca in Barnardsville, NC living in a house over 100 years old, no electricity, no running water, not even an outhouse but o there was a front porch with mountain views, a rusted tin roof still able to keep rain rhythm even to buckle melodically in high winds sister cedar old brushed roof nights shush when dark horizon all 'round blushed w/moonshine fires a half moon's full hand flush chest-close demurely rising from now closer hills' counsel to 'beware, even god loves likker stills' at the foot of Mount Mitchell highest mountain east of the Rockies. This just before I not quite zombie flew to South America for 6 months...then back to dropt-out-last-semester (withdrew a few weeks in but then post-South America) returned to college to graduate, a theology degree but no longer so inclined to theology, but to mystery yes, the theo, that which reveals in the very small object, its center. Size doesn't matter when en-theo matters matter. Thus finally concluded 'to Harlem then I came'. tell me now glass-handled knives I'm not clear where we started - from same journal same year - cryptic cypher poems inspired by minimalist artist Agnes Martin whose canvases some of them one is substantial enough long gazing/sitting with I finally got to meditate upon upon moving to Manhattan...to lend a sense of where my psyche was just before the 'El Dorado' trek in hopes dire to be reckoned with and perhaps reconciled, re-fired enough, here's two more cypher entries from afore mentioned journal: between the rain whose throat is blue like a wild fern is clear I am sad when I see you your letters arrive fat swollen with human form they fly out from my palms look around you 'I finally broke into the prison I found my place in the chain Even damnation is poisoned with rainbows' - Leonard Cohen earth: I'll remember you you were the mother you made pain I'll grind my thorax against you for the last time - C. K. Williams VOICE NOT MINE: You know you''re a dead man already...so what's to lose IF.... VOICE MINE: Dunno dunno I blear veer headlong heavy- footed too the mantra's, What to do? Out of my league as creature alone, I demur to Fire. Am awaiting further instructions. Marinating in petrol. Negotiating with Combustion Union even as I speak or spark, whichever come first which will inexorably of course come last then ashes to ashes and the mourning a thousand or more books unread, not understood. Entonces, toujours and yours, mon ami, mon frere, je finis off to rhyme with fire, and sirelings *ipseity - 'personal identity, individuality, selfhood, ' 1650s, from Latin ipse 'self' + -ity ** '...Because we are partial beings who yearn for total states.' - Michael Eigen otherness / interiority loneliness / self-ignorance recitation / quietism salve / balm * the blank stare the cancelled look does it go does fire it know so goes the banter so goes the way of what is the going away or the returning or the first-arrived * when is the done actually over? [shrugs] another turned page * a toad does not say what it knows * still the valid address 'shall and will' and 'spill my beans' the very few that are left bereft? sure I am cleft? yes twained? drained mostly - acedia [ah-che-dia = dryness] 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 - latencies of disintegration ancient slopes of containment gnomic marginalia apophatic aphasias inclement hallelujahs trace the grace-note of reprieve *** Here I go once more working over old attempts at poetry, many laments dedicated to or about, or accusative of, the two Indian lovers after whom I no longer pine but, perhaps, oak, or holly but good memories of what, for me at least, would be their gleaned love after a lifetime of nought; but reach, inward-turned, burns to a bindu point as yet to be seen but it is felt as familiar bad weather Call it spurn or better This adhered old ache breaks open familiar sorrows neither lent nor borrowed for what they are worth or were, hurt-worth, a new category of value though such with booze or nostrums varied are still hard to swallow So now they chorus call, no, they bellow See? The wallow is ready Just took three doses in three different forms Who knew self pity had as many or more forms when just one would do Now cued Cruel City's proud jackhammers break out just for me, they're in my innermosts too they stammer so so shake both wall and floor yet not without some fitful rejoicing such are their ever inclement hallelujahs ** 'I...watch the dark fields for a rebirth of faith and wonder.' - Dame Edith Sitwell Where have they gotten to these graces clumsy on their feet? They've fled, easy wings balletic toward ocean or other. Black, they bob low over white waves, confuse themselves for sails or Van Goghs or Cezannes, even Twomblys so, steady, they go away or depending on time of day and slant of sun they wobble or appear to do so when things even birds are bent mirage-podge-and-puddle-trajectories of intent, instincts prevailing, so woven, they have went, their patience with the city spent. They're fled. Gone. *** '...Shut the sea to His sad complaints...' - Ruth Valadares Correa This, of a sudden - woke up w/ teeth hurting, too much salt in last night's flung together meal, my careless Sodom hand, a.m. face swollen from two things, looking back, and molars that quit years ago but forced them to endure promi- sing only softness pliant upon slow bites and easy slices. Sufficed for awhile. Now Oxycontin dawn droops lids, dunks face and what can of my head in cold water's trickle spigot the super's yet to fix so wet's nixed months now but drips'er shock enough, baptism enough, and coffee, then see what day might bring sprung from whatever wills this cyber thing, its anti-viruses auto- immune can't tell me from bugs and I pay out extra bucks big but both bugs and defenses work against me such are cyber graces' incautious in flagrante worms. Dear Low....to continue, all is not lost despite dys-mordant molars, narcissus\narkosis meanders late of dawn but oriented again by Villa-Lobos song...so, to recover the narrative of dawns: Awakened to this this morning, Bachianas Brasileiras No.1. I remember the first time I heard it - in college, thanks to Elaine, a library copy and a suspended moment at the dorm window watching fog pour up from a deep Tennessee valley, socked in again, which often happened on Lookout Mountain, weeks of thick late Autumn fog, gray white-out cloud-light leaning into the un-lit quarter, philosophy books stacked, Pre-Socratics, Church History, Clement, Polycarp, a Gnostic wind bitter, portending our destined bondage, howling just beyond the pane, the un-modulated whistle of said insistent storm playing the Castle In The Clouds in fierce Sinai song, Bachianas Brasileiras conducted by Villa Lobos himself, nothing short of revelation that my too young to be so weary self had no idea existed but upon hearing within pinnacled gale nothing could prevail against my landing oriented-at-last by mostly cellos and fog spinning in Brazilian rhythms I would spend my entire life descending toward, stumbling forward, misstepping, striving after 'my kingdom for a macaw' become a slack-jawed shamanatrix entranced by dirt, green overhang in forest din daily feathered by birds all kinds in twining limbs above. No romance involved with all that now, I am an almost old man more rapidly untangling string by string, out-cello-ed in the end, and yet again, by an innate longing to land, go under, dwell within, peaking out, over strung, finally done with Polycarp and company, at one with my Hopkins book still, sufficed from Terrible Sonnets to Accidental Grace: Rendered, I yield. I am peeled layer by layer to pomes-penny-each glottal stops of 'soul, self, come, poor Jackself, ' be advised once more, 'jaded, let be' - while not forgetting to go with Lobos rhythms, leave 'comfort root room' finally escaping John Calvin's dire and doom - 'let joy size At God knows when to God knows what; whose smile's not wrung, see you' and raise you One. *** The Drying Assuages 'And all is vanity amongst these my ruins, ' says Sweeney, whoever he may be, tidies up neurotically, gin on the breath for he is bored unto death but awaits daily the post for possible liberty which he took once on the mooch with a wealthy dowager who mistook him for someone else. The scar forever reminds of dumb lusts and dumber luck never dreaming she was a black belt, his teeth, now cracked, remind him to 'be mindful of the good against all wants' so sitz he the wiser, chaste, a slack-jawed wastrel, piles cooling upon cool stones, in ruins reading Sam Beckett but that is another story written in stars Centauric, to wit qua qua qua sisk boom ba twixt Fucquaad & Apothecary near the corner time forgot but o not I not I when the clot broke the expectorating hoi polloi screaming **1 no help at all as I stood pale pale, paler still, bleeding out from an undignified place leaning upon a tailor's wall, he too no help at all threatening to call the cops It closes me in again to recall qua qua qua Fucquaad amongst the forgotten roses where one is hungover in the supposes with which one perpetually begins, that one can never finish like this, pissed, which goes on, which goes on and still on, 'I can't go on but must (adjusting the truss) because I am losing my hair and so on and ever on' dot dot dot into eternity should one believe in such, but one may use the idea of such, eternity - go forward or behind, wince at the word - living in the blue rind of sky crumbling onto nether shore where relentless waves tease relentless wind disturbing a lone relentless tern tracing uremic rims of foam 'tanti tanti non avessi conosciuto la morte tanta n'avesse disfatta quando solo uno sarebbe sufficiente' ['so many so many I had not known death had undone so many' when only this one would do'] shall I call then eternity a home for shells, a curve in space? disgrace myself yet again with belief, any one, believe that such shores are a where after all, a place to shelter, each wave somewhere by someone or something counted as is every hair numbered counted still? they fall as do waves into crescendos rainbows should the sun so shine for what is left to comb of shore and hair is a disturbance of fractions, refractions the forlorn redactions of what is perceived, felt, spilt upon the depilitating pate and so I must wear a hat but let us not go then you and I patiently, into all that but when come time proper, a hair fall caught in a shaft of sun light, the endless comb over undone, wind blown upon the shore, then we shall speak of it sure, and more now then here then remembering too the chaffing bloody garters fulminante E.P. defunto perennemente denunciando: With usura hath no man a shithouse of good stone each block cut smooth and well fitting that delight might cover their face, with usura hath no man a painted paradise on his outhouse wall harpes et luthes sans benfit d'un laxatif **3 The toilet seat cold, cruel, the air bitter as Aetna's vapors, deceptive Empedocles stumbles into the centuries' murmuring shadows, a liar who would be an immortal now immortally a scandal minus one golden sandal fulminant E.P. deceased perpetually decrying: 'With usura hath no man a house of good stone each block cut smooth and well fitting that delight might cover their face, with usura hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall harps and Luther without benefit of a laxative' - from Canto LXV by Ezra Pound, slight alteration of 2 words, 'house' and 'church' & adding the 4 final words in French] spumoni spumoni spumoni chianti chianti chanti *** Oasis and cloaca, love birds parched, now moves caravansary toward heart's always winking horizons. There are many before the sun rises. Perhaps my name goes before me, my press, Empress of Contrails, peacocks in tow, trailing tallies, scores, arrivals, departures, ejaculations, rejections, all faces hands have held, and yearning beyond possibility hesitant dawn's mourning doves. Recall how hot winds blow loudly as do I, billowing the tent. Men cry mad for my return yet burns no desert impervious to heat of all kinds, even human, excepting the heart its capacities to startle, its dunes in vast stretches beat, beat for what moonlight can only suggest to scorpions in silver shadows, pitying serpents coiled smug in their ability to shed skin, unlike the veiled men long in tooth just gazing gazing at miracle mounds' fresh muscles smooth shy grin desire's child come to wildness with and within me. * * * Autobiography from April 5,2020, lest than a month into the coronavirus19 plague - journal note/prose-esque poem or a proem: '... he would think he was seeing double or imagine himself come upon a scene of weird witchcraft.' - James Conrad, The Secret Sharer The only face mask I need here in Keene mountains. Supplied by late afternoon sun while I trudge snow melt mud steeps up the drive beauty blinded. Going to explore the barn newly purchased. Not dressed for barn storming but I had not anticipated more than a week up here when we arrived on March 13th so packed light and left my barn-butch clothes forlorn in a pile of MUST WASH UPON RETURN laundry. Hopefully the spiders and barn spirits will allow me entrance dressed as is. POST barn storming: upon opening the door I am confronted with a mirror and by mine own visage masked by smudge by smear by crud by dead bugs layered by how many years of going unwashed by not much to reflect but by barn stillness by planked sun dialing internals by insect flight by perhaps rodent and by invading birds by bones of which are strewn in tight corrals for perhaps a horse or two. I have been reading zen much up here, not doing enough sitting but for these walking meditations of sorts, cheating of course, my course of meditation is 'cheating zen' which I believe, and can argue, that there is good scholarly evidence for and such in history of zen, there being no real rules and orthodoxy but the most import zen 'doxy' is orthoproxy, or, practice, but/and there is much recenty read and repeated in text enough about 'polishing mirrors', that and the bright sun obscuring face, not even MY face but just 'face' or parts with one left eye tracing the left hand path I've much in life taken (cuz force and temperament) . There's teaching everywhere. Some of it a ponderance and other such as shake clothes and sheets and towels and such before use since winter spiders love to idlely spider there (idling spiders, fiddling legs, when do they sleep?) . And having suffered a severe spider bite some years ago, the craterous skin rot rotting in perfect concentricities, spectrum of colored putrifactions, fascinating to watch slowly devour perfectly good skin, pock full of the stench of beauty and enlightenment or opposite but as they say all doors lead or in this case all (or many) pores cede, that's one zen lesson I do not want nor again need. Some weeks later, spring snow and freeze, old knees resisting zen, prayer too. So, Rekiah's nephew is here renovating old house so the place shakes and vibrates with hammer and saw scrapes of heavy old stuff to be replaced with heavy new stuff so's psoas's sore me below ground floor down in here inhering pine knot plank plotch catch all or most dusts the mouse/rat/chipmunk dung the plaster the fiberglass o let this cup pass Lord of Ghosted critters-occupants-seven snake skins entwine water pipes cool wet I guess for snakes need so evidence speaks dark hiding nooks with food rodents close by old bones and fur fall into shower stall - three days before the pipes broke from - frozen a'toilet I sit and read the castings now an old constipated sage scrieing the fallen oracle bones and fur and spiders too butoh walk leg by leg by leg by leg by leg by leg by leg by leg to what purpose there on the plasticine stall floor/wall not sure but am sure that the dead flies of winter go uneaten/unsucked of inner juices and one spider first days here I spoke to every morning from the john me wondering at its slow slow movements for 3 days till 4th its legs are curled/tucked tightly beneath its carapace I blow at it from the cold seat draws round my colder ankles and it budged not at all I realized it was dead and first time ever'vfelt remorse for a bug a spider and once cleaned/flushed pajamas up I gently scoop Spider up with toilet paper so soft double ply-ed solomnly march spider on bier so soft softly into still harder winter snow and darker woods Middle-March flip flops slow going find a rock up near the shed so place paper and spider there with oddest prayer ever in my life but Lord Buddha helps re: 'all sentient beings' etcetera etcetera sera OK - and so perform brief bone chill rites then slide down the path patch to my ground floor entrance to hot shower to Hopkins poem - The Windhover - more meaningful than ever for ' dappled dawn drawn' things or rather substituted or addendum-ed ' threaded sewn moaned' things strangely mourned actual tears born no doubt of projections 'pon small cringes majestically formed objectively perceived from secret and sightless spaces suspended/ cocooned in darkness or in woods strung pearled between limbs and trunks which freak my face when once I stumble August last humid stagger in thickets face first into massive webs the sudden grand mal-like seizure-like slaps scrape face eyelids forehead pate of monstrous poison from not so small miracle makers webbers or as native americans have it are weavers of stories spun from themselves and thus spider medicine is storytelling weaving spinning from within to without 'A first unfallen church it might have been.' - Nathaniel Mackey * * * Till then will strain to hear the radio soprano*4 from the bathroom as I ablute, ablate/scrape, arrange face-enough around the swollen jaw, saline eyelids puffed and sacks, push the few hairs in place - scratches on a surface now - and still plead grace from those strays, the love for words, the envy of their sounds, see if can find a way to continue after-pursuits of what was born mid-field of a mid- summer night beneath Carolina stars new groin-sparks, some phrases suddenly come from other-where not sure but there so blindly sat writing in the dark in squint demiurge wrote my first 'serious' poem. To recall this fresh feels good, radio's good too while Bidu Sayao*4 sings Villa Lobos*6 aria Bachianas No.5*4, a dove at window inching me into the day now more than a toothache and hypertension for which I medicate waiting for trembling hands to still enough to hold a pen. I am fond of hands, these, for pleasure, measure and reach tho aging. That's at least the quotidian wager. So, Low, no need to respond. Go be in your cocoon or 'whatever' time. So let us now praise infamous weather, high heat, plead that pleasing inclement graces bestow merciful cold and dark blessings. Let's meet up post-doldrums. Meanwhile 'light a cigar and smoke away the bad world'. (Charles Bukowski) INTERLUDE 'The simplest kind of proposition, an elementary proposition, asserts a state of affairs.' - Ludwig Wittgenstein For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry. For he is the servant of the Living God... For by stroking of him I have found out electricity. - from 'Jubilate Agno' by Christopher Smart Forget Jeoffry. Consider the Cat Oliver asleep upon the journal's leather, old ink and think enclosed, weighted as only Cat-weight weighs in upon all things, pink-eared. A Poem of Itself possessed, not half but entire Cat-self, He's but a winking Dream only Paws may seize. He speaks: Please the dust in corners, rather I nod. Let others consider God. I shall consider Me, the Better of the two, Furred Things being Best. I shall not raise a Tail to human deity, that brute untamed, clumsy, no sense of balance. Rather, the human is My mastery. I have trained some few of them well which pleases Me and greatly them though I shall appear indifferent as I ever am. Clever me. I will the sun up and down, the daily annunciation of tin cans, bid humming humans whose voices are the softer for My Presence, O bringest thou me now the tuna. NOW. And their laughter I patiently endure. They think Me silly but I am Trickster, too, an Arse on purpose. I take their picture with Mine. Eternally. But not now. I repose. Every moment is a pose, each still gesture appears insignificant, a supposition. Consider. *** I live at the bottom of a hill near a broken fence beside tracks of steel. On the other side a stream moves upon itself not confusing itself as ice for rocks alone. A memory in the sound of water, a dazzle of sky, takes a silly surface tone from what runs beneath, outrunning rocks because it can; desire that force which drives the sand. The movement of water too is undeniable, solid in its course though sand, as does water, knows nothing of remorse. At the fence I wait. No train yet which will be a movement too beside the wet, and these thoughts here. That you are tissue essential and fabric to my own particularity. I send you a sound wonder, a welcome again to that place you dwell here within, Time the only disparity. Snow on Telford gravestones, tall houses on cupped hills in squared parcels back lit with sunset's down-light, juxtapose a Wyeth isolation and beauty which is the dutiful image of you, heart breaking through remembering our first meeting. The distant gazebo of that small town wears white lights garlanded round, and snow. A boy without gloves reads alone. He is no fool who takes his time and place to know. I rediscover you a gift here still as I have in good counsel curtsied and coughed often enough, my own hand to my own groin to discover a fissure again, again to repeat, that you are tissue essential still and fabric to my own particularity upon a hill, a house, one fence above a stream and rails, a blinking boy turning wet pages knowing that you or someone similar, only a few years ahead, already familiar, dwells inside compels his reading just before sunset squinting at words beyond and past the fence and the stream, the train late, footprints dark blue in the patient drift. * * * '...Pierrot moon steals slyly in, His face more white than sin...' - Dame Edith Sitwell Seeing the moon whole could mean madness now or overdue for the supreme vanity of daring to eye-gulp the whole swiss cheese. Please gods and moondogs the effort pays in insubstantial ways, makes a life, lends focus for life times of spilt milk, one milk tooth at the throat, a charm against seeing but not the saying. It troubles me that I can't get it right. Not the moon but the poem. ** from a letter to an old friend who knew me when, a country lad young in tooth and great in hunger to know: Karen, you remember me then....I was earnest indeed in the flush and must of youthful vigor to transcend the body which was doing me no spiritual good at all or so i was taught to believe and so I naively bought to my torment and contusions. I did not think that owning as many Bibles or other sacred tomes in the world as i could would much amount me to blusterous spirituality (well, perhaps I secretly hoped but knew too much better 'because I was flesh' utterly mutterly) . I now own more Carl Jung books than any approach to sacred and profane or wholly other (well, I also own scores of books of poetry gathered and still gathering those so it's Jung and poets mostly on the shelves and in the stacks) ....and there are tomes of comparative religion, must confess to wishing i'd fled to japan as i'd planned post self-exile from holy hill Calvin's morose Lookout Mount to find across the merciful Pacific a bamboo fountain beside a zen temple or master or perpetually flowing sake cup (forget the green tea) and at least sit for awhile beneath cherry or willow and quaff (even if only sniff one vapor of) a bit of inner surcease whilst cultivating boredom which Paul Tillich accurately describes as 'rage spread thin' and of that i was muchly spread ('like a patient upon the table') . As was and still is ol' yellow bones and bitter toothed John Z. Calvin, the stillborn. For all the books, head bonks, balder- and other- dash gathered between dust jackets - and i revere them all, no resentment of them as they have been constant companions, quiet, present, ready to be opened or at least keep a door ajar or a tenement window in Harlem over 40 years ago open enough to smell the rich grease of Doña Floridita (Our Lady of Perpetual Pork) ever frying cracklin' and cuchi fritos 2 floors down, love my West 142nd Street perch before the ever encroaching white folks moved in and took over, their rage never spread thin but thickly thickly OY - for all the books and studies to increase me in gnosis (I remain ever halitose, bilious, and verily splenetic) , I have found the entirety of mine efforts of so-called verticality-is-best spirituality brief astutely summed by Matuo Basho from 17th century Edo, Japan: I would be a monk but the the dust of the world upon my shoulders. * And perhaps this sum by David Bowie: Ashes to ashes Funk to funky * A lifetime of heave and hoe tugging at Heaven's door 'to break through the seductive constellations of human ordering...' - Michael Heller Now i'm hanging out in old age, confessing my worn pockets, one holding an inclement hallelujah, and the other tracing, or trying, the grace-note of reprieve. The only honest prayer I can offer to Existenz Itself is 'Here's breath for you.' SELAH ** Monet might have seen, giving darkness in Giverny, defiant to the last optics fired out inevitably, nerve light made the more dipped, smeared on clutched pallet bent to a gaping will struggling to open eyes, the wider see. Was failing him the light. Closing-in world reduced to all horizon. Tints, brushes, memory frame these final pieces canvased, inwardly conformed, recalled light more light than all raw day. *** 'Soft moonlight awakens now The cruel longing that laughs and cries! '*2 - Ruth Valadares Correa Post Script next day.... Noting the themes, Low, as I read over what's writ ayer, words extending after meaning, or before, aging on all fronts, meaning and hands - hands extend too (should let them speak, explain themselves the conditions of arrivals for the last Punto) , they recall (a revelation - seems hands think on their own independent of an 'I' or 'me') , they reach but years of such surrender hard grasping literally, fade, while the metaphorical hands, the subtle DO grasp though these now crabs what once were hands crawl, fall short to lap or nap nod toward tides moon wash, a heap of scraps up to the swollen ankles. But all's a prayer in the layers... ...meanwhile Lorca and I quarrel much about doldrums and the 'duende'*7, he wins of course by singing or, better, plays a few bars on the dusty upright*8 about your girl the Moon, ones about bull fights, the usual gore but always a surprise for beauties and children flinging hearts and unstrung rosaries into the clotting ring... .....while trumpets salut the Matador plots Severed Ears' Chosen One, the Bull Bride dreamed of once in a wedding dress white, prim in a window luminous in full moonlight, intricate veil with horns protruding, conspicuous, curving calcium shyly up-turning a rainbow silvering above a young man on his knees in the dust serenading 'su corazón en la manga' 'his heart on his sleeve', dapper hat bereaved in hand labored months to buy for now's pledge to begged Bride, unmoved, committed only to portend a blue moment below the sill, suspended suitor, pale, dirges scarlet in eucalyptus, nearby olive grove shadows after mournful ellipses scattered songless without their stanzas 'por el fin de crianzas'*9, sad, sad, the lamentable time of lactation has come to an end so begins los llantos, the cries - 'agony, always agony' (Lorca) *** everything is descending, even the scholarship of the ancient adverbs - Richard Tagett Both we are contortionists thus take our place with clowns who know tomatoes thrown and juggler's bare necked necessary concentration. You are the maestro here whom I trail behind at respectful distance murdered by the too ordinary controllers So long So long to image to suffer on dear bruised M the void of course o bring me beauty no matter how terrible created by His own opening which makes Him forever Lorca's girl 'a pomegranate biggish and green I can't take her in my arms.. Won't she come back? Why won't she? ' You, dear, will read of my heterosexual shadow a great lover who serenades Her in the terrible contradiction of the moon caught in bare tree limns strophes just outside Her window the fool below in rouge head hung, singing O hurt heart's tin can tied to belt loop behind of his ragged pants pants waits to be filled with whatever flows in the dirty lane he leans his love against * * * 'When we shift the dream-words around, letting them play other parts of speech, transformation takes place right in our ears. A dream is itself transformational because it transforms its own statements through polyvalence of its images. A dream is always deepening and differentiating itself.... We return to Freud's view that dream is not a message, but is a self-satisfying narcissistic event. Because dream's words are not concepts that refer, no dream can be interpretively translated to other referents. A dream can only be interpretively re-imagined, as one does with a piece of any other poesis.' - James Hillman *** 'And how can I teach him his hands' - Tyana, the city of Apollonius speaking St. Thomas Aquinas a year before he died gave up speaking and writing: 'I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw.' Old Friend, from one desert to another, let other scholars of absence break their burden-heads against these mute stones. The cactus here, perhaps knowing of your advent by post, has waited all these years to come into its radiance with you. Just tonight it blooms once only in its life, a miracle itself, a startle, one blossom of rarified hope. Distant cousin, you unveil too in Roman darkness there as we once shared silent prayer in the churchyard, our knees on hard stones - our God then - our thin books not yet written. One simple stone veils you where you rest, your books, long in the making, shoulder the burden so faithfully carried without complaint. A landscape scarred - life's hard impress has etched you - is now placed, framed, beside the new flower, sheer and here. I wonder how you are now that you are prayer itself on that hill of bones wet with penitent pilgrims tears. Your photograph travels all these years to reach me so long without news of you, my letters unanswered though rumors stray in from the same old rivals fed on envy inquiring about you. I never bother to answer them. The postman, angel at the gate, has firmly placed in my hands your parcel of plain brown paper - FROM ROMA - it proclaims in bold print framed beside the other framed dear Unexpected Face. To see you at last, your resigned smile finally, gladly, admitting surrender - such repose is an altar where incomprehension finally breaks into blossom - Emptiness is Presence Divined in any landscape or ocean. Or mind. On the back of your photo you ask simply, briefly, a note scribbled by a weak hand, How fare's you, God's mason friend? * * * Epitaphs Beyond the Urn - An Ongoing Series Till It's (He's) Not 'But if it ends / the start is begun' - William Carlos Williams 1 Here scattered is Warren at last soundless. As when alive, though everywhere now, he's still yet groundless. Lived more by his tongue than 'is feet, he'd now confess, He just lived it best as could but what for's still an ancient ongoing guess. 2 Newly dead I swore you to a would-be cloud bore you on the lowest shoulder me too too soon to be shroud you lived silent enough to be ignored so passing, yours, calls attention well deserved pity or verse? both in one? the Worst 3 bidden, it bore not a grave but a door where is no need to knock its life grokked it is no longer there's no mock in it tho as it was and now is all that is not never was its business but its was only to obey That which bade spider poet maker it made all praise to the Bidder ** Dear Incomprehension, Not much going on here. Rash continues as does moon's waxing-waning in stages but lunar condition's returns and departures upon my ravaged surface impinges my days and nights. I guage. I manage, skin tides, write on, hoping for one more freeze which may crack more limbs than rot. Rime ice is desolation in the plot. Flower mouth, stamen tongue, frozen drift, large crow over last year's flower bed, bemused, favorite color's maize without nuance, from back of throat it sounds, disturbs. Root reach, clot cling. Old Scratch, Black wing. *** a view of distant bridges busy with light, motion, the spanned river, dark, spins toward the deeper East; a Star there was once a great matter, one of the better nights of the world it is believed. It is closing hour. I have broken my back lifting all these my loves to heaven. *** Further news/spews July 5,2020 in reign Nazi Potus/Covidity 'I ain't your Clyde and I ain't your Ezra, I'm Bliss...' - Ralph Ellison Dear face of The Face, Emad dear, from collective ethers I'm trying to come back to life here, I've been out of it a long while....now lowered or low laid with sciatica pain down right leg stops below knee and buttock small of back nerves shock or ache or both depending on each move which is now and always feels eternal like a dare to the arbitrary force that so seeks to crush us into some gravity and submission no matter pleads or prayers.... Tracking the wary coyote hovering always just below the ledge or at yard meets woods edge, Mumps I call him, some sag or other at his left maw a limp on forward left paw leg twisted suspect car got him survives now forever on edges nothing bold like a regular road crossing or crow flight over meadow or even straight up Marcy's ice scars mountain dares still trying to pass but imperceptible aeons Mumps eyes plead " no mountain" when we make rare eye contact I try to send some friendly thoughts trying what my friend Valeria does, a wounded animal too and now because of wound is a healer she softly chants come come come come come come come come showing both hands flat palms up for frightened animal to see come come come come I've seen her charm racoon-chewed dogs mauled cats sick horse motherless runted out kittens into won trust and life-enough Mumps ain't having any come come come come linger eats what's left whats offered in the meadow past dark where ravens get to work moon or not peck for the better portions they like bones just like the furred do - you know Mumps is near watching content enough to eat what might be left of leftovers or excavated fare from back of fridge long forgotten all mold blue or green some slimed things even the cats turn their discerning noses to * 'Maybe I'm trapped. Although I may be in a melodrama, not a tragedy, from yet another dying empire....National identity is like armor. On permanent loan from a museum. It's dull armor that I clink around in. Could I get an operation that would make me oblivious to symbols? Could I be like human Switzerland, always neutral to the partisan demands of birthplce? Get a transnational operation, get placed in a different body politic? ' - Lynne Tillman Comet Sciatica struck sudden as well as the protracted viral sequester and my solitude pierced by necessary company of women and cats....necessary not cuz chosen but forced and too long with.....you know the deal - monk/hermit r me or us - the pestilence the potus putz the protracted posturing and pontificating social media without remedy facebook twit twitch bitch bitch bitch to no good end or so it seems but evidence to the contrary are needed riots and protests and new fences layered for yon orange yeti bitch in yellow house called the White what was slave built and now the shoe is fit and tilted in favor of those who forced built it and to them shall be the victory Mugged like Mumps by past accidents fated old memories pitch forked in dreams and waking olding man woulda coulda shoulda unwilling but shouldered which has a should in't and so much grief so much pity too sung marvelously by Ralph Ellison my reading passages from Three Days Before the Shooting and me not black but perhaps inwardly so meaning soul-blackened which - black being equal opportunity archetype no matter civic turn or culture or hue - Ellison sings my woe too but daren't confess that at all or only to a few who may tolerate such now ad judged appropriation but by gods and little fishes o o o " o star spangled shock of mercy" Ginsberg mercy be or be found in the very place of madness and incarceration at times chosen or too often forced to circumstanced retreat Mumps and me woe-bo-daddys smirched and be-schmirtched behind the birch white strophes vertical so vertical negative spaces between them all dark relief catastrophic tree fall of a vicious winter surely tornadic torn tops and upper halves cracked midriff trunks tossed or hanging perilous to pass under in other trees thicker limbs or geometry and gravity performing circus suspensions waiting for high wind until then we pretend the miracle of never falling such as acrobats which are all humans ever were/are to repeat We ever were/are * 'ghost[s] of an alternative life... They were we before we were, ancestral, we who'd never not be ill at ease. A vocation for lack he'd have said, she'd have said longing, a world, were they to speak, be- tween... What wasn't, they'd have said, went away, would come back, first fanatic church, what would be' - Nathaniel Mackey * Rekiah's nephew is here renovating old house so the place shakes and vibrates with hammer and saw scrapes of heavy old stuff to be replaced with heavy new stuff so's psoas's sore me below down in here inhering pine knot plank plotch catch all or most dusts the mouse/rat/chipmunk dung the plaster the fiberglass o let this cup pass Lord of Ghosted critters occupants seven snake skins entwine water pipes cool wet I guess for snakes need so evidence speaks dark hiding nooks with food rodents close by old bones and fur fall into shower stall - three days before the pipes broke from - frozen a'toilet I sit and read the castings now an old constipated sage scrieing the fallen oracle bones and fur and spiders too butoh walk leg by leg by leg by leg by leg by leg to what purpose there on the plasticine stall floor/wall not sure but am sure that the dead flies of winter go uneaten/unsucked of inner juices and one spider first days here I spoke to every morning from the john me wondering at its slow slow movements for 3 days till 4th its legs are curled/tucked tightly beneath its carapace I blow at it from the cold seat draws round my colder ankles and it budged not at all I realized it was dead and first time evervfelt remorse for a bug a spider and once cleaned/flushed pajamas up I gently scoop Spider up with toilet paper so soft double ply-ed solomnly march spider on bier so soft softly into still harder winter snow and darker woods Middle-March flip flops slow going find a rock up near the house so place paper and spider there with oddest prayer ever in my life but Lord Buddha helps re: " all sentient beings" etcetera etcetera sera OK and so perform brief bone chill rites then slide down the path patch to my ground floor entrance to hot shower to Hopkins poem - The Windhover - more meaningful than ever for " dappled dawn drawn" things or rather substituted or addendum-ed " threaded sewn moaned" things strangely mourned actual tears born no doubt of projections 'pon small cringes majestically formed objectively perceived from secret and sightless spaces suspended/cocooned in darkness or in woods strung pearled between limbs and trunks which freak my face when once I stumble August last humid stagger in thickets face first into massive webs the sudden grand mal-like seizure-like slaps scrape face eyelids forehead pate of monstrous poison from not so small miracle makers webbers or as native americans have it are weavers of stories spun from themselves and thus spider medicine is storytelling weaving spinning from within to without 'A first unfallen church it might have been. Let run its course it would have gone otherwise, time's ulterior bequest... This they had a way of imagining, this they so wished it to be. Abstract he at the back of her mind' - Nathaniel Mackey * Won't say when I will return to City. If/When so I will gather up stuff, purchase needed things difficult to find in remote north country then head back up here for first snows! ! ! ! ! ! ! those harsh howling evergreen wind blows and moans and whistles that shake the house entire woodstove aflame, wood cords stacked ready....stews and moidles on woodstove in cast iron dutch ovens,2 cats sleeping beneath fleece, Rekiah snoring on the couch very very unlady like and Fulani braiding her long woolen hair weaves and timeclocks tea cups her bow to the Western way of cup and saucer tosses her comb down to fluff the fire, stir the cats unbudgable they are counting matchsticks used on the delicate ceramic handmade in oaxaca stove topped for such and dirty spoons she's continually crooning bending to dropped things checking the humane traps for mice discovering a pill Rekiah's dropped from fistfuls she takes to wake up to sleep to breathe to digest to hold falling inner things - womb used well - innards natural sag advanced old age which -resigned discovery - never ever stops at the the dead edge end but for now warmed from her, Fulani daughter's groom and pick up pill to forstay doom Fulani of milk in the cups to clabber for the anjera to thicken in the heavy skillet blacher than she Ehiope's child she remains up to her usual countless tasks that must must be done and me me I'm the opposite be-booked, coffee-ed, warm enough below on the ground floor by the window side view of icy woods close and straight on view of the rimed path up the hill view plate glass doors and chipmunks about their work jaw-fulls of finds full-shiver and down the snow hole they go to escape thinner red squirrels three da bitches mean as hornets even to each other competing over frozen territory for a seed single dropped from sesame toast a frigid snack had on the deck now and always chase after each other to do battle over said seed republicans all them they are them that the red furred bestids In spite of squirrels this Sunday find from 'Greater Lord of Long Life' in the Chutzu - meaning Great Master near the Great Mountain: 'first a yin then a yang no one knows what to do for the one who lives apart' Read this relieved yet a grimaced redundant question returns never having left, heard Old Son, Charles Olson: 'I pose you you're question: shall you uncover honey / where maggots are? ' Queries' distant cousins, very, one from East and 2 millenia old, the other from West arguing on behalf of an unmoored continent of displaced people from un- moored continent bones of which could and can no longer live and let be To Be Continued *** 'An ‘inner process' stands in need of outward criteria'. In the absence of agreed-upon rules, private language is a game that does not hold the possibility of making a 'transaction, ' 'making sense, ' 'making oneself understood, ' or 'being able to explain.' - Ludwig Wittgenstein Altar pieces a bit will nill pell mell much like Olympus I gather even Sanai once if the smoke ever clears, the scrambled competition picks up renewed-and-vicious-pace apace still kicks post haste even into post po-mo postmodern mantlepiece here, mine, shards of once was/still is deity, fingers pointing to the moon, never to what's behind it which is where deity true probably lives-at-least-as-Idea-or-Id, or better leading to 'don't know' but makes a funny feeling, even sick, fearful in the gut for Something we know not what is doing we know not what 1 and one knows something wholly other than self, even what is known so familiarly, such as daily/nightly totems staring one down, insisting, what? something beyond eye or thigh the weight that Forever really is or we feel it is, the bone feel, that ever so slow curve calcium makes down, down, years of it sinking and then we wonder our own being rumors of thunder on Distant Mountain, fire there, we are stutterers pegged massive revelations, special effects parting waters walking sticks into serpents bread rain and on and on and somewhere we remember we ought to altar so we relent even if it's the first and last and only one of the heart but not only that but the aged body parts once so primary, the sagging breast, the sinking balls, withered skin still the longing there and everywhere mere parchment now and how we may then finally wonder about religions of the Word, what gets written where, once and often, on stone then eventually vellum/skin, and bark too in treed lands So lands a Shining Stranger perhaps one of many bends low forever writes with his finger in the dust, but the word in the end may us an altar make as hearing fades and the tongue thinks 'it's only water'' and 'can a man control 'is tongue? ' - it's Biblical the question answers itself a riddle: ''never, or rarely'' like my mother dying, ''What's this all about? Whatever. I'm ready to go'' as if she or any of us can really decide that but will's a holy thing, asserts even in the face of obstinate Absolute that Other-Than is also truth and down to a woman and man we get to argue, ''I decide'' What Is Between Arcturus And Aldebaran? a distinct lump of sorrow forms we are returned to the fragility of birds - when the dead sister reappears in dreams she is always a bird without this succession or at least modest lineage - dead, dead as a doornail intemperate habits - there is something here of the child who upon waking thinks he can fly even though he failed badly the day before the urge to keep everything secret - sin of pride, also greed a stumbling block impedes the neophyte disregarding an afterlife he who would be first will be last this is peculiar but not remarkable - night now snow is falling - warm slippers track for a few seconds a break in the clouds attended to by stars by blackness above clouds blessed night cushions us enters northwest eyes owned don't travel light - great Deer sees and past be practice companionship child waters *** The Idea of Pear Tree a pear tree forgets only itself as an audacity limbs recall themselves appear to reach one cannot see them reaching they may be silent but we cannot know that toward later sweetness they yearn then seed a still dirt around content to lie down the idea of 'pear tree' reduces to all sparks yet no illusion of darkness hastens the pear but O it tastes *** As Henry Miller has it, " Always merry and bright" - though blight upon the apple, the skin, the within, makes the fallen fruit sweeter. The wise bees know and tell us so beneath leaves and limbs, thrumming away, legs laden with pollen. So may our legs wear such as may our hearts and minds as our faces line and our limbs, as does the fruit, will eventually fail and fall but with years of sweetness absorbed below to cushion and bear that falling away. *** The crocus does not compare itself to cow or crow. Today is the day I go with the aid of my staff into shy spring snow. All things being equal in Tao, one foot asks, who is high, the other, who is low? Listen. The peacock's call from the bare willow. I trudge quietly on. The emperor's bird signals diamond glory to the suggested world, its breath visible to no one but me, my old eyes strain hard to see the Way of Ways. It sounds but does not say. Are we lost yet? the young boy asks. Because I is another, said Rimbaud. - Jacques Maritain, from " Poetry's Dark Night the sky is never an occasion for doubt but for change to a night filled with uncountable occasions of light, companions of light, never alone as is the day's Sun. What is known in the crowded vision, in the visionary crowd of witness, is variable and dependent upon available light. ...see what a thing it is now already become since childhood and the backyard forest sparkling, every surface of everything covered with ice clear, a sheer skin which seems/seams to move as I am moved returned in response to impertinent snow to let more new world come flashing in, and the one-more-bird, a startle, a cardinal red against all the white, white, there were many, coveys of them inordinate in all the snow blind, too much for a boy to bear, broken eye-nerves, brittle sticks, he kicks on his back crying to make an angel his own to be relieved of the too ordered world, would be the unwanted, unexpected child of things shattered, his need for constancy and same, beauty a necessary addiction dependent upon diction's canary eye and ear, just to introduce another color between mouse and meaning, a chorus stunned into sound. *** 'The time is out of joint. O cursed spite That ever I was born to set it right.' - Shakespeare, Hamlet upon my chaste return sunburned churned by the Atlantic I will have discovered a haunting sound again an animal music of the air the lungs screams really gulls falling by arrows of blue which blue saturate sky and sea to learn the heart again to learn the heart again avoid the narrows at the island's end where feet are easily mistaken for doves there large currents beckon/compel them to descend *** the subject matter is not new & not the sorrow old as the first cave bearing first fire in human hand the expiring artist torn from blank sky to an expectant wall a herd there a declaration one day we too will fill the earth as hooves have done capture sun & be doneover/overdone & so come to such an edge of ruin *** Let us rejoice what is in scarlet shed. Let us praise iron. Let oxidation within us reign. O lead us all to right ruin. *** I, Twitter, stutteringly remember in cyber chases, late night, sitting at computer scrabbling after old grievances such are lovers, cheaters, jilts, and those rare 'got-lucky' graces, unexpected shudders and shoulders where I broke open, finally laid, laid waste for future flatterers and failures of heart. Sniffing my fingers for remnant tents, I recall, sickened, the candy at every fair, handfuls gorged, glutted, belly sore and wanting more, drowned in the push-shove of fevered bodies intent on the fast rides where one loses stomach for the ordinary. Dizzy, I grab my ankles, confess instead, I've puked my guts from excess, spun sugar and cartwheels, mechanical distractions ghosting up Stillborn nights holding their breath well past bedtime. At a window counting railroad cars a boy thief is stealing circus hours. take lean brown or brawn a love for all the above, even if once a week, sneak, steal away to primed nerves, drives, swell up thrust thrive then share a meal, wine, again to lie abed all Buddha smiles while resting one's head upon suspiring chest breath sour/sweet aftertaste afterglow bodies' glorious pure dumbshow honoring the primacy animal living with and between the teeth the swallow to follow the heart in where/what forces the bite Uruboros tail-in-mouth, recreating Herself in hard passages, throat to anus to birth canal and cave, galactic center point waiting perhaps at the other no end, carbon jesters, angels teeming on Quetzal quill tips, twinkling fires in the pitch, sometimes called stars, or ravens, black heralds of colors yet to brilliantly come. Still, such timidity ends in engorged blood, meat requirements, rendering vaporous sublimity too thin for fingers, why forks were invented. If modernity, it's forks and faxes, returns anything of value to us stretching into denial which is all our futurity, it is the return of images, official and unofficial, which return us in turn to our official and unofficial selves, limping shod or un-, ens-not-Ens being-not-Being as we are chafed to particular part-selves multiple-imaged as they want or dream to be... Who are we? *** I am taken with such at which I stare which holds my gaze with shades of It & of Itself, that is, is a death or like unto it - Stillness unbreathed or in need of It Breath now having been only once Rilke who it seems becomes relents known form though It is returned or re-rested to Itself beyond Christmas and yet and yet the kneeling boy in the evergreen the shattered orn- aments ever gleam the needles' net a permanence enough gold-leafed & trumpeting *** Tryptic Surmises - Ekphrastics for William Hawkins & Caravaggio, Both Painting Horses 1 HORSE - Hawkins How would he now depict it, even a corner of it, paint it, busy with the making of it? belly's too much, needs thinning, haunches trimmed too to size, or not, concise seizure of eye and paint dependent upon hands, monumental concerns aright or at least perspectives private suffering amidst, against, or in the teeth of, daily concerns taken on as ultimate-form, it is visual commentary, response imaged, is backyard ruin put to good uses, kindness extended in hammer's claw on cast off wood, it is Crow near the barred door, and with heart, with heart meds, provide limit to dulling descents, may then find again's Desire, may plunge further/deeper, deeper still, into muck magic of shorter days given in winter, in the longer nights generously dumped, portion/proportion control upon the human, such occupies, with familiars, allusive smears, serving now and ahead who will partake of the offering, who will be held healed in their beholding nuanced in cloud swatch, in land swath tumbled. 2 HORSE - Caravaggio from one's back see the vision - a massive horse distorts God back into image necessary to the dark to see what can be spread upon dirt to see what resurrection there is in the smell of paint to find again the desire immense deeper, still deeper mud magic of shorter days in winter, in long nights generously pouring out stains-allusive serving now and before to ancestrally partake of this offering-place, this altar steeped, cured in contemplation - sample of nuanced cloud strip of land collapsed 3 HORSE - Both Hawkins & Caravaggio then see how the belly is too much, must be diluted, a new leg cut to size a brief seizure of eyes on the swollen hock paint depends utterly upon hands, a'rights a monumental problem or at least the prospect of suffering dislocation oneself in the middle against or teething daily concerns paint assume ultimate form *** Love, let us live without rhyme the sun go up the sun go down, the Sky-Amor-Wheel- Fati turn and return with feeling Let the painter lonely be alone pinned to shore with his paints, his brushes, his thumb-gauged vision in relation to ourselves, and Void, without intended rhyme trued, true to ourselves. Nature, too, is true. May he use the color blue. Carelessly. Tubes of it. We once were that, too - careless without. Now wrecks. Vaulted. Now become weather without foreheads without cloudnecks Vastness in the making if such is made at all but is aporetic** euphoric a condition, a given hard thumb against a sky of tubes made and of squints made we are then a 'striving after' beyond cream-colored foam/form churned by storm Here come the wild birds again **the adjective " aporetic" , which it defines as " to be at a loss" , " impassable" , and " inclined to doubt, or to raise objections" ; and the noun form " aporia" , which it defines as the " state of the aporetic" and " a perplexity or difficulty" . *** C. G. Jung, from the Prologue to his autobiography - Memories, Dreams, Reflections: Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away- an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains. In the end the only events in my life worth telling are those when the imperishable world irrupted into this transitory one. That is why I speak chiefly of inner experiences, amongst which I include my dreams and visions. These form the prima materia of my scientific work. They were the fiery magma out of which the stone that had to be worked was crystallized. All other memories of travels, people and my surroundings have paled beside these interior happenings. ** What is concealed beneath matters most, then the ongoing translation for what continues to measure paces, what may even be spoils of the living, either way either or each indicates there is life after all. Gather, shall we, by a pacing river, beauteous, shining in its endurance singing of endurance, its, which may arrive strangely ding-dong, brutal, utterly satisfied *** Desire. The fire in our house of living rages and we cannot come out of our own accord. The event of her going is a beckoning to see the flame leaping so let's creep toward the Green and be silent but if we cannot be then let us be as she, frail and tender, lifting voices up in the greening shadow * [the poem begins with a line by John Berryman ending with the word 'honey'] Childness let's have us honey, flame intended, names smeared on the glass, an accidental pane times hands touching it delicate as trespass, what is allowed lace of vision times want equals at last a sum equals at last a remorse felt, a memory - sunk into soft teas - steeping, turns steaming said window said prints/views obscured of nothing in particular or special, troubles only, only of passing birds enamored of their lighter bones or are they cloud and shadow? merely the steep sun declining ashen into the Jersey side? * O come lover back the floor where we lay a'times upon boards the cluttered clothes the depositions times at least three and take me once again one times infinity into your arms times two leave me when you/we are done doing times zero a mere cypher flown sheer up the flue into the blue ash which now the sky is where there is only one sky a dove flies into possibility of memory or not times countless thousands times plus the time it takes for you to exit shedding skins, shells am a shell, water you? you decide times infinity into the one drain in- * to ocean reflecting blue sky of ash blew into what remains of you on the beach bathing soft Junes, boardwalk organ grinder smiling/sings 'amor fati' mellifluously on as hairs their bodies follicles delicate when under the glass espied over-spills into o endlessly it's seams, it seems, into memory which is already over-said overheard redundantly a river and time, this one recalled, the cloud drift and the river the tides beside the city both sides is as ancient as it always was and is - in the beginning was darkness over deep water and a word, any word * really would do form something out of deep, of dark, of water which shapes only by outer circumstance itself in this case a word leading up to this contraction of bellies against each times two, and legs times four, and lips times myriad ones gone before - of murmurs O lover of thee I adore - I am unkindly left remembering once was laughter spent seeking out between bodies' valleys eternally shifting eluding capture, this, just to reintroduce some levity for we were many day-ed times merry-merrily played harming no one not even the mouse unmoved per- haps, watching perhaps, still, still, from beneath the * god you insisted be excluded from all our nakedness times one too many breaths exchanged, groped times many ropes all our wanting the curtained dancer en- tranced entered into upon a mystery how one could be so, well, so marvelous and so cruel too as one wills memory - an edge tears open: Fact: that there was love, there was love after all I could see it smell it feel it there dancing round the living room one holds on to, and upon goodness worn out pulled from below down and dark and deep such is this so it is the riddle it is all now become since you departed, love, since you * departed I shall count backward by threes then fours the door which once embraced you now never lets you go no matter the black or blue tide of thee O lover, what slips out ebbs black back into lapis, lapses in- to what self is uttered/poured scored transparent upon surfeit surface/faces which are even eyes which now glaze with love lost beside the flue marked upon the pane blue the mouse black upon the floor remains is many, a multitude of petals times three the jasmine unspurned at last at last/least return soft Junes the lips of which are sometimes pink of lavender swollen * as if to kiss times three the antinomies a string of pearls and thee O lover to me back 'splaying shyly where the curtains sway/stand behind them the curtained dancer entranced/entered into upon a mystery the organ grinder smiling/singing 'amor fati' mellifluously on *** Terrible tender deity Breath of mud & fire ambivalent Word cooled only by bare Shulamit of figs & dates in darkness wooed what may come of parted lips hers torn in two splices the I & the thou & how one alembic conjoins or can exiles How two makes One the myriad to the Alone The view from here - 10/01/2018: I was always a guest - of family, of religion, and especially of language - nothing more, nothing less. - Robin Blaser What you have as heritage, Take now as task; For thus you will make it your own! Alternate translation: What from your fathers you received as heir [or air], Acquire if you would possess it! - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, tr. Walter Kaufmann [NY: Anchor,1990], pp.114-5] The traveler at a loss: to go or stay...... - Liu Tsung-yuan [773 - 819] Fearing to become a laughing-stock to the world I choose a place that is unfrequented by men. - Po Chui [772 -846] Here we are opening into the 'the religion of psychology' by suggesting that psychology is a variety of religious experience. Psychology as religion implies imagining all psychological events as effects of Gods in the soul, and all activities to do with soul, such as therapy, to be operations of ritual in relation to these Gods.... It is not a question of religion turning to psychology, no, psychology is simply going home. - James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology The same can be said of poetry for as Hllman says of psychology, at least true for me in that poetry, in a very real sense - a Jungian/archetypal sense, is not at all far from or separate from depth psychology. When in my late teens I found myself-as-an absence in my family, culture, and religion, I relied upon poetry to secure a way of language image inherent as foundation in words which could at least presence me in my absence. I had yet to articulate in the Christ-haunted landscape of the South and the rest of the country...but 'which Christ? ' could be asked depending upon just where in the country 'He' showed up that it was/is the culture which absented me, abjected me to remote margins of 'fundamentalist/Calvinist theological grace, or else, ' that 'else' being the fire which is the only recourse when one jumps or is thrown out of the Fundy Hetero-normative 'frying pan.' This is also true of New Age-oriented 'bamboo steamers'. I had thankfully discovered Jung early on. Not that I comprehended what he had revealed to the culture which could help it discover a new orientation, a new meaning as the old gods die or absent themselves via their worshipers and practitioners, a violent lot these Abrahamic relgionistas so adhered to the Middle Ages and an irreconcilable split of good and evil which still goes unrecognized in the Western god-image. Two paragraphs in my high school psychology book light weight for sure but the deed that needed to be done was done and that was to read two paragraphs on Jung summed impossibly! Jung's psychological approach, mentioned archetypes as primal patterns, universal motifs which showed up in all of humanity throughout all of history and that each person had recourse to conscious recognition of and relationship with said archetypes. I was immediately sold, mostly just intuition that Jung was my way through the death of God, of my culture, of the South, the rest of the US and the Western world...the monstrosity of the American century overwhelmed me and even a fundamentalist Jesus could not solidly provide me a place, in fact, condemned me to the margins, the ledges, a gargoyle-boy frozen in place forever OUTSIDE the secure grace of those concretions of theology and god image which disallowed all but " the Chosen." Years later, enough years' distance from high school and Calvinist college and the much needed nervous break-down/spiritual emergency, I came to New York City in search of Jung, a Jungian analyst, poetry and other books, my earlier gleaning with me in boxes, found the analyst and so began the slow, arduous, always fascinating/excoriating journey/free fall into Jungian depth psychology as it pertained to my own absentia from self and culture. My dreams indeed did convey meaning bit by bit rather, bite by bite providing inner guidance and broader views of not only myself but what was being wrought in the collective psyche in the American century and the World at large. Poetry was even more meaningful and so I continued to read and savor...then one night I dreamed that I had killed a young poet, myself, and threw his body into the middle of the deep and large lake I had grown up beside. I could see the longhair of the young man splayed out medusa-like as he floated slowly, arms and legs splayed out, into the black depths. I awakened greatly disturbed but also knew that the wounded young poet did indeed need to " go" . Without much thought about this inner conscious murder of the masochistic innocent/orphan young man my own writing dried up. I was sad but felt that it had to be. I had begun to trust-enough the dreams and the source from whence they arrive and so got to the daily task of work, Jung study, and eventually, all flavors of psychology on my way to a vocation as a Jungian counselor/therapist. Poets, their poetry, remained and remain my basic texts for of psyche there is much therein them...and Jung consolidated and grounded my imagination in the mythopoeic realms of conscious and unconscious and so the dead young poet remained dead, the puer aeternus I had been identified with how could I not be as I was indeed a puer, a young man, and could not land enough in the samsara of the world as it is in order to humanly dwell receded into the depth of psyche but, dressed in other drag, fed energy to my studies of psychology and, with great relief, Eastern religion but even in the magnificent psychologies of East I could not dig a hole, pour in concrete and plant an absolute truth flag shouting like an Easternized Martin Luther, " Here I stand or sit lotus in Eastern fields, I can do no other, though glean from them I did and continue to do. Jung gave me greater understanding from a depth psychological perspective of 'religion' and the 'religious function of the psyche' and so ALL religions collective and private are manifestations of psyche and, major point and revolutionay at that, psyche does not shut out any part of itself unlike religions which do indeed shut out, scourge, repress, consign to the unconscious, the netherworld, limbo, purgatory, while projecting that which is shut out upon the shadow, meaning, the 'other' - people, places, activities and things. Years passed. I finished my first analysis and for awhile tried my new wings, Jungian, mythopoeic, a veritable spiritual antique shop, my psyche comfortably crowded with images, notions, rituals homogenized as only a capitalist consumer of, now, religious offerings could...Jung was my pretext, or so I thought. Good news is that I had found my way back to religion or, at least, a religious attitude which allowed me to excitedly be 'at play in the fields of the Lord.' But even then some part of me could not completely bow as Rimbaud wrote, 'to worship at any shrine, impulses toward perfection.' And I was still seeking to bypass the shadow, the underworld beings/energies which pursued me in dream by which I used my newfound spirituality to bypass and avoid, often enough dragging or trying to said shadow beings and energies into one spiritual camp or other in order to wipe their asses, put spiritual white robes on them, hang wings and haloes upon and over them then send them off to spiritual charm schools to teach them how to convey when they say namaste and other bliss-ninnyized slogans meant to convey being in the spiritual know. Arrogant, what. Sincere, yes. But arrogant. But, shudder of shudders, Jung counsels 'facing your own soul.' Soul means psyche. Work with the psyche for which one, with rare exceptions, needs a guide inwardly and externally. Pray to be guided to a sin-eater who does not ignore human imperfection nor pretend to piety and god-almightiness. Look for a bullet-hole drumming in intense attention, salivation and uncommon sense. Find someone who, like you perhaps are experiencing now, is' 'beyond the fence', having lost her/his senses in order to gain them anew along with 'uncommon sense.' Abjure commercial promises and platitudes and be wary of trance-mongers selling quick abbreviated journeys to enlightenment with guaranteed prosperity to follow. 'Somewhere over the rainbow' is just that, 'somewhere over the rainbow', for in the end, once again, one returns, or can, with courage and consent to lose one's 'bauble-babbling deities' to Kansas, ordinary and mundane, praising in creaturely astonishment the majesty accessible in ground, in hands, genitals, eyes and skin. Revelations in the spore and more abound. Land here in the physical universe assenting to suffer and bear witness to the spectrum of joys and horrors which create exquisite and ordinary responses for we are indeed creatures of response in a universe which appeals to us as creatures of response to authentically respond. We may curse we WILL! . We may praise we WILL! . We may question we always SHOULD! and more but conscious humanity, all-too-humanness, is enough. More than enough. We really don't need yogis and saints and fainting spiritual Blavatskys afraid of toothy, meaty existence. The spine of an edible leaf screams, too, when we chew. And we leave it fuming behind us in testament to life and death just as odiferously as the once-was-flesh injestions of living energy called food. Contrariness is who we are. We gaze at the star of our personal sky, cry Why? and We Wee Oui amidst the scry and scree of our being here just one being amongst numberless beings in an expanding universe. Thus I would amend Robin Blaser's opening statement above, true for me as it is, but having arrived at this current response to Existenz and being in and of it, I venture what is alway a venture when logic and chaos are peeled back from appearance: I was always a GUESS - of family, of religion, and especially of language - nothing more, nothing less. - Robin Blaser Still guessing. And so creation/creating continues: Missive As Preface - Pertaining To His Gargoyle Nature " It seemed like the gargoyles of Notre Dame Started yelping." - Vladimir Mayakovsky, from " A Cloud In Trousers" Seeker comes to Confucius's door seeking entrance and enlightenment: SEEKER: KNOCK KNOCK CONFUCIUS: WHO'S THERE? SEEKER: SHOES CONFUCIUS: SHOES WHO? SEEKER: WHO'S ASKING? CONFUCIUS: THE WAY OUT IS THROUGH THE DOOR But still: The problem is that many of us [most of us] are metaphorically impaired. - Gay Hendricks But further still: That place among the rocks - Is it a cave, Or a winding path? The edge is what I have. - Theodore Roethke " I have occasionally described my standpoint to my friends as the " narrow ridge, " writes Marin Buber. " I wanted by this to express that I did not rest on the broad upland of a system that includes a series of sure statements about the absolute, but on a narrow rocky ridge between the gulfs where there is no sureness of expressible knowledge but the certainty of meeting what remains undisclosed.' " The narrow ridge is the place where I and Thou meet, " he [Buber] added. When I asked him to clarify this symbolism to me, he replied...'If you like, you can think of the narrow ridge as a region within yourself where you cannot be touched. Because there you have found yourself: and so you are not vulnerable." Martin Buber, Between Man and Man, trans. by Ronald Gregor Smith [London: Kegan Paul,1947] p.184. Meanwhile, bothering my own poems, le oevre, to death or breath or something glotally beautiful, strange fruit born of dirth and craven beleaguerdness 20,000 leagues beneath the Creeley, Eliot, Crane, Hopkins and blended Beats which I am told are good for kidneys, blood and the sum of crows on the powerline extended between the upper edge of my window screen and the Manhattan Bridge's pale blue shyly hiding its red light in river fog just for me. " A dog named Ego, the snowflakes as kisses..." - Delmore Schwartz The formal addresses: For you, Delmore, perhaps the untouchable region of self remains still undisclosed or perhaps you have like most of us only glimpses of that enclosure, the self-cloister, the oasis which is the centerpoint of self and Self and Universe always/already present, or at least that is the massive presumption of mystics, but it, Universe, self/Self remains most often elusive due to the stormy intervention of the senses and the vicissitudes of life presentations, and YOU have had more than your share of such...thus your need, your insistent enclosure into instuments, objects, images, to sound and pound and lu lu lu lull yourself into that enclosed space which is all space without dimension upon and within which you receive in your open-at-last-ness, in perhaps the rare place and ocassion when your arms uncross from your chest, and you can finally receive what for many or enough are blessings...your being in that vulnerable yet trusting place allows what is there in the narrow ridge place to meet what will be undisclosed where you too may undisclose yourself within that place and are then met by That That Is, Suchness, Thusness, Is-ness, Tathata which is variously translated as " thusness" or " suchness" ... representing the base reality and can be used to terminate the use of words...but amplifies image, vision, which can lead to no image, no vision, but immense yet really real Silence and Extended Field and yet also the Stillpoint of the spinning world: Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire. My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly, Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I? A fallen man, I climb out of my fear. The mind enters itself, and God the mind, And one is One, free in the tearing wind. - Theodore Roethke You dwell on the narrow ridge as does everyone only most folks are able to ignore and repress that liminal space because dwelling on that ridge is to be nowhere...what Thomas Merton, quoting Chuang Tzu, calls " the Palace of Nowhere" ... Call it what you will, I think Hell is a better designation and resignation for who has given up the battle and waits in the in between " the heron and the wren, Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den" - " the edge is what I have" ....self as edge, edge as self...Merton called himself and his fellow monks/mystics " marginal men" ....I have called myself that too but now it is " gargoyle" that is the most descriptive name or designation....ledge/edge dweller, not IN the church or Cathedral, forever outside such, but close, on the edge where " once was mystery revealed" in earlier times...always a watcher, an edge/ledge sitter peering out and down into/onto/upon the pedestrian world, the rolling pastoral scene beyond, never able to see the Duomo, the crown of Mystery's edifice, but it is very close behind, that Rotunda which images the Cosmos....gargoyle with Cosmos at his/her back tracks life, the temporal, from above with Mystery's weight distorting his/her visage forever forcing vision forward out and down...a dark most often ugly jewel but a jewel nonetheless in the Cosmic Crown...Gargoyle twists and blurrs and stirs new perception, surgically accurate visions of what most folks sense or feel but never really see or express but for flails, wails, gasps and clasping at promised baubles of church and culture/country. Bumpkins boobing head or cock-long into each other and what is near for fear of missing what they always/already are missing, the Tathata offered but without advertisement despite Enlightenment by Ticketron and Bestseller/Talk TV trivialized versions of the once was sacred but now sanitized, adulterated, microwaved in seconds " spirituality" ...sorry, Gargoyle in me needed a parenthesis to rant. Suffice it to say, to neigh, even bray: We serve. Awful vocation. Odious purpose. Mournful ministry. But we serve. I reserve the right to complain as a human because it hurts, is hell, is no place anyone or being should dwell but dwell there we all do only most refuse the journey, are pleased enough or would rather just live the animal out and into the grave or dust having thrust and shoved and, yes, loved best-as-could-can and then dies into the liminal-being-animal at the end, schluffing the body and all that, for me endlessly schluffing skin cell by skin cell, behind, blind beneath the ridge at last, repast for worms, scattered by storms. At last unseen. We serve. YOU serve. And perhaps can emerge, one toe in life waters, again. But the legal pad is a cosmos too. A relation. A gesture of placement, and a just right to complain as a solitary finite creature. We should convene a convention for gargoyles who, it is not even imagined by those below, know of Mystery, Cosmos close at our back, oh silly vocation, a vent and spleen and rave and lean into our undisclosed humanity at last or at least with fellow Otherwise bounders. Are gargoyles free to abandon, to forsake their vocations, to somehow, perhaps lightning struck on the temple tower, to transform, morph into human shape though still distorted and ugly, or perhaps, if grace be grace, be indeed fare of face and voice then descend to the human world, step upon the concourse, and track the human pace of embodied, ensouled, emotional subjectively shared human life? Now there's a book I'd like to read, a play, a musical, a movie I'd like to witness - when the gargoyle lays his edge burden down and has to discover the smell of the human and other herd below, grief and grovel, love and betrothal, the brothel, the bother of beauty, the awful hell of it within but out of reach for most, but ghosting in human form but this time only with motion and emotion and transcending notions gathered at oceans edge of grief and longing, the need to belong after all but it is all so appalling but one learns to appreciate the edge had, the ledge-upon-dwelled, the dormition of steeples receding into urban distances, said steeples the hairline of god, holds where fellow gargoyles perch, lurk, search 180 degrees chattering each to each, one at every direction north, south, east, west, reporting what is seen from their watch in the lurch below....the bell towers bong and so gargoyles know sound and distance from the din just behind or beneath, context is everything, everything is everywhere, all is the narrow ridge even the alleys, the byways below, the worn path of the woods, on the hill, in the valley, trailing disclosures avoided or come at last and so come to know ourselves at last for a moment as we are, beasts upon the purchased hill, serpents of the human din, Which I is I? A fallen man.... displaced, one is One, free in the tearing wind... Will call to see if dinner for two, gargoyle fare but no more pigeons! Your fellow upon the stone ledge, ancient piles throbbing, thus I know, despite concretion, I am a living being, Grokus Disclosus King Unflung But Sung and Singing I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless love. - Frank O'Hara Dear Meaningnest Haven't heard of, from you. Are you OK or mighty fine? Or is it me? No matter the matter. Wondering how, where. And how fare you, farther flung. Or me, the further sending these unasked, unsought. Few to send to who might care or at least be bothered yet not required just a basket to catch my froth enough at this stage. Sired upon rock and thus know stones for suck, I am more that one, not to inflate, in parable, who sows seed upon rock. Some roots may come but come high wind or burning heat, well, one gathers what can, what's left, sees if something be woven from strands perhaps become the better farmer more patient the more resigned by far for attempts and fated reaping life's own rock. But, not complaining. Gonna, rather, go hog wild, burst open, try make sense of messes, one slop pinky raised effetely to offend. One can arrive at such a place where one's no longer 'scaped all this - those who consent - who becomes arrives, willing participant in inexorable awake which as yet does not totality ken; always the flames upend, rush, such vortices are assumed progress an assumption only a wish but sweetness, but tenderness for some few beloved things may steer, may guide some, stir us, even me, oink oink forward, ahead. One cannot be sweet toward all except in mind alone Alone the hog loves lowly loves slowly but it loves thing by thing which something is a beginning I am for something Distant cousin, we're made more close by sorrow. Time's a borrowed longing, reaches us each to each - or yours to mine, for nowhere now we are but within, perhaps, merely a conceit but, I in you and you in vague, yes, me, a guess, a venality, vanity being a human trait common, quite. It is still a trace to be, to convene congenially. I now confess: I preach too much, from high horse be- sotted try to sing a'stammer with all of England's Pilgrim-more behind beneath me us who would be poets. It is tone that can home or disperse us, skin or spooks thinner than thin, reflections on walls or con- fused for traffic or meteors periferal. Didactic, pro- lific, heiractic much. Ig- noring transparency's bend, let excursus end. Pretend or pray such extends us into more than infirm materiality but let it rest or give, if rest can be given, riven from wrested Pleiades retread Maidens. For now, let's, craven. Encompassed much verily, God damn the West, its deity. Come cauterize come correct, impress of self, homo erect us bears on what's for other fools now to court, stalk, woo. To palmer instead Word- ward, on tinted oars bend or pleining sails snail pace skies turn away day from sun toward Polaris or Ursas Major/Minor two, close each to each, almost would reach but for each a leg in stellar traps so endless beeward they wheel they limp simple enough bearing in mind to suffer redundant motion, helps to know as all natural things do no matter where placed in curved Space that night skies every- where indeed are a sad sad zoo. They're dead now too, the Bears, & most seen stars, a chorus of ill sorts, to keep time out of habit and rhyme as a kind of home to dwell, in no where do I but liminal bring them with, bearing in mind, to say with or without impunity, Goddamn the West, its deity. *** Accomodate: A Brief Account Of Friedrich Nietzsche's Final Months My illness has been my greatest boon: it unblocked me, it gave me the courage to be myself. - Friedrich Nietzsche When fame had found him long gone to madness the idea of the nation itself a blue-lensed delicate eye mimicked the mapmaker's method of triangulation using time not place as the fixed point — to see something as a whole one must have two eyes one of love and one of hate the sublime and the ridiculous accommodate Accomodate — his body softening of the brain left to lie in darkness a week at a time leeches attached to ears to draw blood down from his head silver nitrate, opium and tannic acid enemas to draw blood furthest down Yet he reasons that the constant taste of blood in his mouth turns affliction into an advantage has particular appeal to the shipwrecked — still he furies at tendencies toward submission toward self-enslavement Still at work even in madness some final surmises strongly felt— Style is concern vulnerable to distortion Being a philosopher of perhaps he once ended a book with 'Or? ' —; Being a philosopher of endings of final reckonings of certain shipwreck totally blind he surmises weakly upon propped pillows his eyebrows his mustache outgrowing their ledgers his fatal sister declaritively writes — 'in being found he lived well who hid well' *** 'the ellipse of a cry travels from mountain to mountain.' (Lorca) One thumb dithers over thinned carpet here unstringing another verse, 'vineyard of the curse'* kind of thing, a secret rebuttal perhaps, or is it rewinding Lorca's last song's hands tied be- hind of his back, without blindfold, that one might hear when a Los Angeles* vent blows east or similar wind (el viento es viento) (the wind is wind) West to my near Atlantic pontin appointed City a few miles from shore where heavy cables begin, descend, extend where the dead Poet's music rests content in his poems continual inebriant supplication - 'strings of the wind' (Lorca) Dark my window flaunts orange street light by neon night, by devotion bound ceding victory to the Spaniard's brow now a swarm of bees at grave's edge mourning every victory because of the way his ended the worst for a Legend's bargain, bones for his songs *** Have I ever mentioned that Michelangelo practically never took a bath in his life, by the way? And even wore his boots to bed? On my honor, it is a well known item in the history of art that Michel- angelo was not somebody one would particularly wish to sit too close to. Which on second thought could very well change one's view as to why all of those Medici kept telling him don't bother to get up, as a matter of fact. Although come to think of it even William Shakespeare himself was terribly tiny, which is something I did once mention. I mean so long as one would appear to be getting into this sort of thing. Well, and for that matter Galileo would never even ever shake another person's hand, once he had discovered germs. - David Markson *** From the Encampment of HeartStrife - Further Patiche Extentions In Biography The bells, I say, the bells break down their tower - Hart Crane take down the walls, invite the trespass... - William Carlos Williams Let him not be another's who can be his own. - Paracelsus The problem is that many of us [most of us] are metaphorically impaired. - Gay Hendricks Refugee from the American South. Now loud-but-reverent-mouthed in New York City. Leave the world to the scoundrels! As I get older, my relationship to ground is problematic. Balance is no longer an assumption that delivers. Is it the room that leans or is it me? My sense of place has never been too pleasantly real or here but for parentheses happy-enough and for these I am indeed thankful, and place has been and still is found more in sound, a very early childhood thing, in what I hear by ear or eye when I read. Totem in this my life is the book and it's associated familiars. And rumors. And now, older than I have ever been, which is a painfully obvious tautology standing long at the urinal waiting, waiting, a poem may arrive more quickly than other flow, poetry has taken on an urgency which orients me, grieves me, and leaves me somewhat in relation to light though I burn the midnight oil to work a poem from the darkness, and my eyes can no longer focus...but, it's ground work. Gives some heft, makes some meaning. Still, can't say I have traveled light. Not really. But heart's the better for the journey forced, pockets full of pyrite. Soon be ground myself though. It's undertow that matters Cooler weather helps. The rosary of a wine glass, sips, tiny cups laid out for asphalt spirits, and garden aromas from wealthy neighbors' rooftops soothe, remind of early easier grooves in Blue Ridge mounts when the nearest neighbor was a stream, a creek, really, named 'Dismal' but " it tweren't that at all" as folks in those mountains do say. It ran night and day beneath my back porch and sighed much, mostly for love. I used to hear crows in this city, large ones, perhaps starlings or grackles, but haven't heard or seen one for at least 6 years now. They use to murder up in long lines on the edge of a university's art department building and slowly walk about, looked as if the water tower was slowly turning round and round. I could watch those 3-D silhouettes in slow motion for hours, the hours turning too on clawed feet secure on ledges and, of course, the friendlier air, call it freedom to fall, to be drafted upward, blackness whirling or feathered hovering, in nature such is allowed. ... On with the boring center line endlessly dividing though broken on purpose suggesting a way to veer. No guide needed here. Fear is the drive shaft, and longing turns the wheel. ... once of spinning galaxies docked the spillway star spins out or tries for its child every night for a week from front seat from back then breaches Nova - sudden bright increase swells inward turns deliberate burns back to original hover some months then settles half past Waldrop's Creek beyond Roper but near before I-85 was ever ... born again into wicked desires, the slings and arrows, happier for the narrows needed to keep such as I out of " blessed sanctioned sanctified" dissociation, thus I careen/lean spleen-and-all into crash and lickably burn. Passion's itch must be scratched, it so insists, open palm or clenched fist or teeth the Fire Lady's left hand reach to live in the breach. I was born again again but this time feet first. ... I'm fated to die with compassions In the crooked streets" - Sergei Yesenin Dearest Pickle, pickle's the question: What is a lake without its lovers parked a spawning bed of red clay frantic love making quick pushed disgarded remnants of such mark conceptions-or-not porn tossed half rolled window to be morning gathered waiting for school bus glad sons resident on the hill compelling tree-top nights for skin glimpses more light to see what who might be front seat or back trying to consumate, glad word, engendering Chevron children, Impala breeds, Mustangs and Palaminos half human, also spawn of/from assorted sea creatures, Stingrays, Baracudas, insect hatch of Spiders, Beetles, some big cats too of Tigers, Cougars, Wild Cats, once even a regal Cobra night stalking varied winged ones, Road Runners, Thunderbirds, Sprites, once even a Snipe, there were many Falcons, favorites for obvious reasons all enthrall, hair palmed near-blind boys straining brittle limbs embracing pines, not lovers, not yet. ... Totem for auto nights in flagrante the Tempest barely understood barely withstood massive pagan quakes where sap does rise born again long of old half dreams' boned aromas pines' adolescents amonia sticky there tar-groin- boys ache impatient limb to limb parked holding their weight squashed complaints brakes locked ... I bow to the bruise exquisite, address the tree newly vernal, full moon just passed passing what is seen not seen between veins of each stillness leaf waved in suchness, what acts or yields, what moment-by-moment brings, awaits revelation of foliage and trunks. I seek what they have never having had it, these graceful young men, masculine, easy, at home in their skin. They live now and ahead at no one but life's behest. As for me, twice aborted laity, God damn the West, it's deity. I bow to the bruise exquisite, address the tree - Meaningnest, this purpled edge of summer new, barrage of storms ex- panding, call it Maple, call it cathected projected me, these young men Africaine on benches easy with each others' heat - maples peek at their blossoms their purple bark, they freely piss, return relieved, shameless. In such easiness, theirs, their grace embodied, I feel the itch, the drive, the hives invisible in damp air where young men and trees thrive. What is it there in them that I cannot have? or seize in some, even minor, measure? Goddamn the West, its deity. As for me awed before purple leaf and loin, I am a pagan old. Few were able to touch demure me, that is, the very few, confused as I was for a feminine tongue. Dark's magpie, me. What say you now if say you could? ... the handsome welder, masked, sings into the retina of his dark glass how entwined with bridges a bloated form of tangled arcs/angles shudders how lips chafe gently the many necks curved of alloy million-groined ... In arms we carried It as one does a child yet it was He who carried us, both bird and man, who cried openly on the way for our presence solid in his arms, he who did not care who saw his tears shed, head down, beneath spring blossoms ... He's gone crow said one poet of another ... Let all of me be Agency become music in fingers latency, theirs deserve all waking praise. Let us rejoice what is in scarlet shed. Let us praise iron. Let oxidation within us reign. ... Is that flesh floating on the surface me who swims or sinks fraternally? I know a strange me with soap for eyes and suds to see Eternally yours, He. ... feral segue to further reaches spit indelicately dislodge insistent hairs the brow the lash the body prolific flesh acres cell by fur cell straight ones & curl spit spit unfurl a deluge saliva godiva diving in upon on around a blackness most purple indelicate yet damp tender too to touch unmistakable as a shade a sheathed blade a bruise complication both comedic & deadly where shall then my lover hide as well my lovers how distract that other negritude that greedily feeds & feeds upon Love, yes, backing in the floor where we lay our cluttered clothes deposed x at least 3 take me again once x infinity into your arms x 2 and leave me when you/we are done doing x 0 a mere cypher flown sheer up the flue into the blue ash which now the sky is where there is only one sky a dove flies into some possibility of memory or not x thousands x the time it takes for you to exit shedding skins shells I am a shell x infinity into the one drain in- to ocean reflecting blue sky ash of what remains of you on the beach bathing soft Junes ... " I am sad this morning. Do not reproach me. I write from a café near the post office" - Delmore Schwartz, from " Baudelaire" Delmore, confessional, what? no mother claimed you at the end no friend either whom you perhaps lost, neglect overdue come to exact poetic portion, your itinerant passing, a ward of city and state, you-not-you wait for reclamation overdue, an uncashed check for three weeks you spent yourself on words, noble enough pursuit, no rebuke for your priorities though maternity or fate maternity IS fate perhaps did you end in the end no doubt this massive mother complex could not, would not, be worked through via poetry or booze or rooms chosen in which to scribble and scribe what was, as you said, heard in your head or wherever such are heard ignorant bird on the escape now makes a music at any rate as was the mourning dove an hour ago singing on the other side of pane knows when to tone in tandem to poem same or similar each one little inflections familiar to childhood fields felt not seen, heard not named, as if improvising those few notes available to doves for late afternoon sun blocked by curtains green, green too my room 10 years now forced upon me filled with poet scrip - " green how I want you green" [Lorca] " not my hands but green across you now [R. Hugo] " When green was the bed my love and I laid down upon" [John Wieners] these and more pay no rent, if only pages were money then but so many dusty pantheoned singers hand wringers bringers on of harbinger dawns/dusks decry what rusty radiators here might also in their own way suggest as their heated season nears end, and mine, what may be known if ever known, of afterglow surmise when third snows in fever weeks give surprise for never guessed Bestowals ... O stand radiant-starred late afternoon O stained stark shadows black frieze astonished stooped man time's wee piss boy ... The distant gazebo of that small town wears white lights garlanded round, and snow. A boy without gloves reads alone. He is no fool who takes his time and place to know. ... Only the poet sells his soul to separate it from the body that he loves. - Tomaz Salamun LORCA - ‘All that has dark sounds has duende.' And there's no deeper truth than that.' *** Dearest Incomprehension I stammer on scraping skin and song, a geography myself, a landscape severe, gone in the nose and ears, the eyes good for shadows only. And some old beloved words. I'll plead allergies. I am reading some dead Thomists these days, Maritain, your friend, whom I've secretly adored since covenants were broken, my own fault, asking again and again how one can keep covenant with self much less a God. Bless my bones if there are blessings for such. I've taken them for granted much. They are my formation base. I've wasted years chasing the world, the words for things, and why and how, I never really thought of bones but old Thomists did and do, even Calvinist too though they're way too dry for me. Maritain frees me, as does his wife, the gentleness in them both astounds. Jacques's a tough bird, though, an intellect staking claim on thought and what perhaps it ought to do with silly human will once Divinity has entered the room - What knees are for upturned palms can plead. NOW sings bones NOW their old hymns ongoing theme. Seems somewhere I read, or did I dream it, an old heresiarch in the desert retreated to cultivate a life of prayer in nowhere. After all the years of abstention and heat, the bare land inexorable, he could no longer utter much at all, speechless before severity, and beauty, how the eternal question of " why is man" could be summed in his only prayer: Heres breath for you. ... Delmore, far-from though you are, a young very tall lover visits late nights betimes glad son of sikhs no longer sikhs, or so they think, who dwell beside Pulaski's draw, it groans by day and night lifting divided weight heavy to sky what silently floats under and through; their dreams, he reports, are haunted, something pursues them from the old land You are the new, Bapila, he says, his name for me which means vessel, keel, boat, container, Rather, I am slain, apostate, not by Prophet's horse bone jaw but one curved as antler curves, nuzzles a throat entire As I fade he rises a new moon sharply dividing dark from distance, there is no confusion of which I am when Billie sings ....I'm a fool to want you.... of empty space full-parted, staked, says sickle moon, confuse my bone, his, rather, equine angle bright, pressing close to parchment and stubble, rest o rest sigh upon my rubble feel your swallow a sudden other bird each breath a rosary India's Godson thin legs entwine, are swans whose toes are sparrows he teases whose laughter deep is demise black as his eyes what can hollow a man to crepuscular sky, asks sickle moon, no, not sky but to bone; no, rather, what is it makes me more the shallows but all water still, makes me shadow but all the more real, alive in refrain only? how assorted birds and the dove constitute Heart's aviary how Billie's staggers ever wager skin memory at odds with hestition how this 'music, ' even yours Delmore, 'fathoms the sky" ... none of my India-tinted prayers gather as they once did invisibly into the knotted hair of my Japanese once-was-in-my-arms-alla-time lover two large graceful scorpions sume-i*-stitch around his pectorals their carapaces conjoin at the heart so many pulsing mirrors repelling away from each the tails their stingers tremble ready at his sides I grip tightly as he impacts my uttermost then after thought in afterglow he looks kindly at me says into the dark inked blue the stitched cursives of the scorpions gleaming silver with our sweat - something about patterns of flight inked fingers gracefully form an airplane gliding gestures in dim light toward an open window then something about night migration his back turned to me as he walks toward the front door clothes in hand, parts of me trailing after posed for anything but departure ... in bed stunned in sleep beside the question in beatitude in dumbstruck a most beautiful boy Beatitude Itself in Vatican choir rapture's soprano sing crystal sing plaintive virginal to prisoners holy pure such singing the tightrope walker astounds last lover, Algerian, a circus lad stretches/blooms in spotlight merges into rope-into-youth and man-falling a falling-man willful imolation leap luscient eventual inevitable pale impaler []_______________ ____Le Funambule____________________[] [] __________________The Rope Walker__________________[] such are attempts transcend via ropes and swings and rafters upon Palomino's back upon which balances urgent youthhood in tights holding a gay umbrella over his concentrated head, his bluer than blue eyes fixed upon some other-world-anywhere-but-here, not hearing the blurred masses crashing against him-the-projected that they need and so feed upon him torso him balance him stillness-dance on the haunch him unreal unseen as real so him peel down tights to skin moon-white each gallop each bounce portends him rope and him fall at last into him past which refuses memory itself nor need for recall or fall especially when the bereft remainder the lover pins him past to now-agonies tender pinner he remains reminds him splintered one to sing and say of him splendour of him acrobat him ropewalker him child/man of tents and stray grave but gay hints there is more than a year a moment in Mercy arms legs breaths twined till twain and pain doth them part, lips forever parted mute too stunned in loss to sound the repetitive moment of him legs and him white arms flashing down there is no sound then but him thud just one more than enough to end all that ... Still, all this grief, the trees just below me blossom brightly as the sun has burst from clouds dark, such shine on such fragile things, new blossoms flung from branches ripped to street by last night's high howl or was that me, even this urban crawl space is sheer, utter, brilliance, beauty...would be blasphemy not to say it, to give praise as Toni's tumors grow so large she looks nine months pregnant, agonized she scratches her body entire, a new regimen of medicine, toxic sure, now that will send, most probable alas, her to death, clawed skin red, gritted teeth working out her " what did I do? " she asks other day, " what did I do to deserve this? " I cry too, stumped through and through, staggered, mute, holding her, she struggles to breathe, tumors press, evil evil tumors, press her guts into her lungs, less space for air, for life, her entire body and the entire f*cking crawl space of the planet entire, nothing but grief, grief, all grief and quandry. Unanswerable quandry 6 There is still always the laundry preponderant use of trivia 7 still, there, ironically, innocent they are, the blossoms are close, not far Look. they smell like semen " and the world wags on" 8 Grace, I can't, or won't, argue but can welcome. Meanwhile, Toni and tumors and the suicide friend, the falling man who chose such intimate relations to gravity and end, gravity's end, such is not a friend of mine but betimes I wonder if going on and on de- spite eternal returns, or so it appears till our sun goes nova, blossoms perform for the eyes, conform trees toward affinities for seasons, rooted, they are and remain in place, are places, without envy of motion, they even fall or parts of them do which does not surprise the sky or dirt, all hurt seems born to every option, seems to some how know every plot ... Fate, then, heavy in a boy's hand, hoists dead weight to a nail on a tree. His knife scores firm flesh yielding beneath freshly limp gills - there is an instrument made just for this, pincher-pliers for catfish skin - he grips and tears, uses his weight down-stripping smoothly bare to such luscence little ribs of roseate flesh. Only the overly large head, the ugly face whiskered within gilded monstrance, remain pure to form, thin-lipped and mocking, restrained by depth pressures, sustained on surface trash, dead things that sink down, it's treasures. *** 'Soft moonlight awakens now The cruel longing that laughs and cries! ' - Ruth Valadares Correa ...upon Lorca's death in Grenada I'll still root for that fine Bull by lead quieted, that only one with carnations green where once were ears, shots unheard but felt, pivoting backwards, hooves sudden beseeching ground splaying to sky, scars, clouds, green green the cries beneath cedars Ay! Ay! With such... a new day hums near high noon where I am remaindered to silence, still an easy sucker for a song so sing with my fingers or try but not to worry. While kids bounce basketballs in the street below I'll beat my pensioner's drum remembering red clock hands on the local spire tilting God - shirts and skins* - between Fathom Street and St. Marks. Hasta, until the Vision comes, Nightingale *** Mark the first page of the book with a red marker. For, in the beginning, the wound is invisible. - Reb Alcé There is another world, but it is inside this one. - Paul Éluard This is withholding art, evading disclosure, declining to give itself away. - Tiffany Bell I think poetry must I think it must stay open all night In beautiful cellars - Thomas Merton Do not move let the wind speak that is paradise - Ezra Pound, from his last Canto 120 I don't believe in the other world ...But I don't believe in this one either unless it's pierced by light.' - A. Kamienska * from Midnight In Dostoyevsky Is it feathers' dawn shoe through which blood casings mourn the Orange Moon? Alyosha the old animal heat turns in on itself burns beneath skin the bone bruise fuses out against what yearning once meant in wetlands between navel moon corona pubis The one eyed painter too flicks and claps repeats silently as he will and is want his lips moving as does a spider make a quieter order in a darker corner no sight needed only sense and silk * When it rains, you don't ask how many raindrops fell. You say it rained. Lots of rain, many semi-colons- the cell will teach you all. This blue world. Unattainable- stranger than dying, by what unmerited grace we were allowed to come see it. - from Franz Wright's Entries of the Cell * ...'Do not spurn any chance to mourn. Mourning is a kind of Return...; I just want to say to you, Franz, 'Because the soul is a stranger in this world', such blackness I have traveled through all night, and because of you I have made my peace with the Atlantic. And returned, I sleep, one hip wounded, a new name to be announced at a future date bearing a significance of which I can only wonder derived of a bruise that I have often sung, of swift and terrible deity grasped. It grabs back, refuses to relent but is bargained with and for, leaving one bent, limping, a worshiper forever. I can wait for the meaning if it ever arrives. My legs hurt too, treading air the ocean long, tired from such distances traveled with strangers all around, so many, so many, I had not known that desire had undone so many, I am still cool upon the pallet on the floor in a darkened room, curtains closed ... upon the ceiling [a shard of light] scores mandalas of earth tones another Atlantic, its hidden floor, perhaps its ghost man made above me asking for my blessing, meaning my honoring, it moves to the top shelf, the volumes in ancient Greek, Biblical, textbooks for learning that tongue college days - brief spark then nothing, the voltage gone, dead as Aramaic and Koine, remembered light only. - W. Falcon ... And now come poets each century heavier than before, heavier than the other few, this new one too, only bards, a real few, to bar, board up the big gaps O great light gaping, torn off, oft thee sung, slung over shoulder, hauled, the burden, o the load it is now become. ** Poem For Caravaggio, For Pasolini - Remains found in Tuscany are likely to be the artist Caravaggio's, proving that lead poisoning was one cause of his death 400 years ago. - Pasolini was murdered on 2 November 1975 on the beach at Ostia. He had been run over several times by his own car. In the shorter light, in the extended night of cold and star-bright questions, may you cast clumsy net forward into what it all might mean to fretted you, to me, stretched canvas, though I will not thrust these words upon your paint or palette but make offering for your own work to feed us through the eyes; perhaps time to remount the horse and soldier on, or to fall again, gain Damascus perspective, from one's back watch vision distort massive horse into a God receding into necessary darkness foregoing image, see what may form in the spreading dirt, what resurrection there is in the smell of paint. PART TWO - DEJA FOO/L Here, on one fountain of a mourning mind, I have been taken up into grief, the strange relief of clouds. Soon departed I shall be once again returned to disquieted prayer, the proud monk to his rites rejoined such are covers for disjointedness. There, almost within reach, the blossoming tree brightens between darker bricks to truly dwell. It is for me a shy son of mists to see in spite of big chunks missing, lost, wasted, torn out, that the Celestial World is not as it appears to most, It yearns for much needed hardness for spirits without shoes still long to be bread that they may dwell in our finitude. Dear uncommon friends, Old Strand, and my zen quill and pen-ners of the East, imbibers of tea and samsara, cackling cocks and hens in the locked and guarded shunyata pens of the world - you all have become wholeness-itself by now. I am reading reading crowded pushed your many years behind me hoping I may gather what you all have found in the dusk where the trail ends at the highest peak. Ruffling all your bright feathers your KATZ chorus clucks/crows up from the black frozen stream below: No becoming. What is there to be found? Black Rooster, blind, scratches all dawns. ** still in this night I am turning and turning on the hard pallet these old pages that I have turned now over 40 years in starry exile as if my tongue could matter less by day than my thoughts could mean more by night these constant companions the good few who lend voice to all that goes on inked between and upon ledges high and in canyoned depths what continues seen or not such are strayed ponies bending their heads to finer blades tender shoots green or in winter without complaint chew brown tufts brittle shadowing snow and a pair of boot tracks veering off and up or down alone trail into other fields or upon remote peaks only song's a traveler's companion ***** ...the great sins and fires break out of me like the terrible leaves from the boughs in the violent spring. I am a walking fire, I am all leaves... - Edith Sitwell ** Childness let's have us honey flame intended, names smeared upon the glass, an accidental pane, hands touching delicate as trespass what is allowed lace of vision. ... One touches the other which touches me I am become a massive bird bent backwards a wobbling kite of tallow and tin a bruised three-blade fan petroleum kisses over massive cables between coiled legs, those others, of mortar, of hot metal glow the handsome welder, masked, sings into the retina of his dark glass how entwined with bridges a bloated form of tangled arcs/angles shudders how lips chafe gently the many necks curved of alloy million-groined ... I am uncovered, thin, bared upon thinner sheets the man-ripped to many images, torn into, landscaped to former curves. No longer do I grieve enclosure, touching only myself, delivered from layers. What begins to be, earth swell, breaks root-room open to blood means. All hurt now stings twilight quaked into being. Your breath falls upon me now, taut, sinew, bruising hands, purple insides flare warrior nerves to unknotting surprise. Magpie dances. Lines, veins, strung between Pole Star and First River Mouth, an embedded ruin uncovers in milk floods. Touch gently first what has been too long concealed. Hard touch congeals once was telling mud remolded into " Not again. Not yet the bleeding Centurion." Wield roughly then through gates too long shut. When I cry out, do not mind. Blindly ram. Do not stop. Magpie, my keeper, is flying. ... I suffer the happy travails of indigent withers, a later paramour whose eyes do what thighs no longer can. Young men stray in the redder door and, thank god, are easily distracted, thank god, the erotic slights of hand, thank god, the scented smoke, the velvet-covered mirrors drooping unnoticed; they depart the happier minds touched more than diminishing crescents of flesh. *** I have broken my back lifting all these my loves up to heaven. ... I was reaching for god then - not your fault - a lavender boy early befriended by crows, already resigned to what was given and what was to come, a softball between the eyes, your attempt to guide me toward those diamond thighs which, you often repeated, were everywhere waiting. I blink still before you, head down, focused on 'Lion's Teeth.' ** I am your hard mystery, and soft, not so fast for I am fat and cannot round the bases quick. I am your inherited meek, a burden to shake into a sliding man furious for home. At four I pluck a wild strawberry you point to. All authority and accidental grace, revealing much, still dew wet, sticky to the touch, opening sourness deserves my frown. You laugh at my dawning smile for its sweetness slowly yielding, a surprise gift for what will always unite us, your fear that I will suffer, too, your fate, untended desire gone to wildness brought low beneath branches, slow embrace of cradle-gentle boughs entangling legs and light between the greater shadows, and shadows shall win the day. ... upon my chaste return, sunburned, churned by the Atlantic, I will have discovered a haunting sound again, an animal music of the air, the lungs, screams really, gulls falling by arrows of blue which, blue, saturate sky and sea to learn the heart again to learn the heart again avoid the narrows at the island's end where feet are easily mistaken for doves and large currents beckon compel them to descend ... ravenous I clumsily preen eyebrows mistake an eye for a mouth a tongue for a*s-lips an armpit for ear or neck a navel some other pit of consequence feral segue to further reaches spit indelicately dislodge insistent hairs the brow the lash the body prolific flesh acres cell by fur cell straight ones & curl spit spit unfurl a deluge saliva godiva diving in upon on around a blackness most indelicate yet damp tender too to touch unmistakable as a shade a sheathed blade a complication both comedic & deadly where shall then my lover hide as well my lovers how distract that other negritude that greedily feeds & feeds upon If there is a back if I had one would I lie back with yellowed claws pale scratch a hole the sky crack hide desire's body there love's poor inevitable choices decry the fetish of normality when all anything anywhere wants to do is go undercover preen-preen undergo indigo scream-scream as lovers, swollen do as body wanderers do are want wantonly at play all feathers one eye looking this way that the other bent over a fixed in skyhole ... But only one, just, finger, dark, traces delicate a lace conforms forehead tip to nose then wet lips rose-swollen with happy use cries and barriers break, surge in to new terrain. Knotted muscle, nerved cord, by heart and heat implore/defy no sky nor pliant dirt deny but cloy, hand in hand require only dissolution of the Old Masters' tyranny by Numbers insistent upon reduction, odd waters trail calcinations/ calculations-bodies born of even water into mists, continuously reft from Given, riven from Dream, such freed from virtual into literal placenta and spleen, striven history reshaped redeems a value once consigned to Hell-realms confining dark thoughts to matter. ... With heart will I to Guatemala go, there a Mayan lover do some good, to active volcanoes, deepest lake with creatures strange - axelotls, pink, delicate, and one fountain send where I need to go ... On our broken boat the harsh light will not break. We see our day clearly as we can. Tell the night, now it's here to stay, that once I glanced the sleeping youth, legs against the wall, felt a pall descend upon us here, this boat lancing the bay waters darkly. Some to books then, the priest to his sad, effeminate stare. I can no longer envy those of the black cloth so bend and tie the shoe. We shod our feet against what long loss of motion, eyes downcast or boldly returning the stare? Beneath each eye there's some familiar look we refuse. We map our way to sleep in the palms of shy or frightened hands. ... that salt adheres to the palm proclaiming only this that purchase requires both sweat and the one hidden pearl of scraped touch much there is in the hand bequeathed; beneath the thigh the grit burns smooth the groove where you lay ... I, on the other hand, have lain down with countless thousands. My tent is worn out. Stains mark love-cries, some blood where tongues were ground down to root words, utterance hard pounded, soft tissue torn letter by letter, tender verbs opened to pain, that which is paid for more than alabaster embraces and this strangling of waists My tent has drained more of love's body than a mortuary. ... Life, dear Barcelona, is sweet.. One endures long enough to break through thunder, a taut belly, a smooth place for lips to land. One may reach a Pure Land which has no logic, the tedious seasons of a long life endured. Still, one gathers names of each joven prince passed beneath loving, yes, arduous hands. Again, upon Kingfisher's wings I blow these kisses, this music, your patient ear awaiting the purist pearl, for you were once the bequeathed, escaped girl without fear of oceans, this one between us which now must be overflown to reach you. - N. Nightingale, Empress of Contrails orphanspeak from orphanmouth tries That one day the book shall be written, Odysseus come smiling through the door. That I shall live forevermore free of provision, be delivered presently into good, rich life and unto the richer world, my Lover so long turning turning turning in distance away from, yet to manage a caress, a smooch which neither dismisses nor fully embraces. It is I that am and shall be erased into this Love which shall then in time be erased as well in the greater Sun, and that Shining too shall be erased. Then we shall all be scattered, or I shall be only, embrace by embrace, toward erasure no longer effortful. I sift draft by draft rough toward world now slowing in spite of parentheses these provisional postulations of 'the good life' to come. Eventually. There is only this that I am living now. And my hands feel, even perhaps are, strapped to this wheel that turns me as turns Beloved Earth, the Sun, too, each dreaming near to but apart from each. My reach is here on my tongue, in my fingers here grasping words from mind. I am ever behind in this chase, now am further from Love, Space, than ever though my heart is swollen from wanting It. Still, World, accept my blessing. I send this message aloft on kingfisher wings ** ... 'like unto like' but do not say it my forbidden simile one is not immune to jealous couriers who would come between lovers Rice paper is thin tender words never tear through ink Wild tears fade sure words to guesses Distance reconciles murmurers with desire Duress strengthens supple resolve supple resolve thickens skin thickened skin feels the better when simple loves caress ... Whatever became of Majestic, his harlequin shoes, his suicidal crocuses? When did I marry Lonely? can't recall but fell kid-hard backyard empty clothesline silk slip one pin down Dip shyly in brick shadows pornographic breezes I sing to knees now Beyond Manhattan Bridge sudden heat lightening a good night with cool rain old vinyl Nyro needle scratches done with song ** Interlude - Refueling Mid-Air " Descend and of the curveship lend a myth to God." - Hart Crane " Take air away and even fire falls" - Richard Hugo A lone crane squints, its good eye busy, a study in stillness. Or is it avian will gone to muck all feathers and no faith that matters, stuck, it poses, puts on a zennish show all butoh in the shallows. Its bad eye skims the narrows, its curved neck smooth, feminine, as is the distant bridge curved, feminine too, don't call it grace but acknowledge the tempation. Pace yourself. To South Wind throw sand, make demands though men in bombers forever take flight bereaving wind sheer stiil. Hard evidence is there. What's to believe in? Fear's the only thing real, the only god one can depend upon, Lift, some few others assist, Dare, Weight, and Soft Landing. Let us mention again fresh girls on the rides but let us return also to the presenting scene, stare birdblind, and lend no myth at all for there as here death is a generic dump with glutted gulls, soft waves lapping all about lull and Stop Time or so says the yellowed script in sand, the hint is there or spin or drift, some thing suggested where breath as darkness is by design - streetlights turn themselves on hum in low tones metric, the boardwalk's hat trick, sudden electric brush strokes each plank to silver sheen voiding solidity. Benched blonds free now from restraining rides keen on in staggered rhyme forgetting they once were German swans Grimm and pale. Posing as cranes, they still forget a dead poet's name. ** " Poetry, alas, grows more and more distant. What commonly goes by the name of 'culture' forgets the poem [or distorts it into 'popular' dissemblances]. This is because poetry does not easily suffer the demand for clarity, the passive audience, the simple message. The poem is an intransigent exercise. It is devoid of mediation and hostile to media." - Alain Badiou, " Language, Thought, Poetry" orphanspeak from orphanmouth tries Rodriguez 13 sandwich done kneels again & so seeking the thick tome of half century America opens blood & steel misshapen god misshapen citizens miscreant tongues snort into green hope in spite of all that has gone before in spite of Christmas even once a year other holy days gone too, wild for gelt " all melt & maya" I too spill into the covers the heavy book open it up always now opens to its all our broken back the poem there at the breech HOWLs as do I/we all just to remind when the blue water breaks again to nuclear flame over an elegant place as the faceless ornaments do also break into armaments & my/our own burden for blades drop fall still hard upon me/us as does the mid mad century drop fall into this new one I hear Blaser sing-song-ing from the room of the living the in-breathing forced the out breathing stretched extending into air & irony The clown of dignity sits in his tree. The clown of games hangs there, too. Which is which or where they go - the point is to make others see - that two men in a tree is clearly the same as poetry - Robin Blaser ... DESIGN - FABRICATE - INSTALL STRIKE 'Zuke' counsels Workers everywhere, bricks, straw, verse, the breast naturally of Woman is bread before there was bread, the child the loaf swelling in Her arms to farm & from such frame a world. Thus Labor. Bread is History. Child's toil, unspoiled, forms a culture beast, he crawls forth, makes bread of soil native & other, a Mother culture all & still, everywhere. Immigrants Exile - Labor, Drive Or Will, And The Lady Mother, A Malafiction the subject matter is not new & not the sorrow old as the first cave bearing first fire in human hand, the expiring artist torn from blank sky to an expectant wall a herd there a declaration one day we too will fill the earth as hooves have done capture sun & be done-over/overdone & so come to such an edge of ruin ... Heavy let me pass lets me pass I limp up 4 steel steps push in to the Way of Peace take my usual place settle rattled by icon image & pewter vision of what is not any longer there the wear of a half century not to compare that of 20 centuries past what can last or come from all that so sit me hard down upon the wood get to the book at hand the known & the new mystery which emerges from the white plastic sheath carefully packed in bubble wrap which is a double Christmas any day orphanspeak from orphanmouth tries sorting shattered ornaments each Christmas season before the tree is trimmed the grim task to sort each broken globe, glinting shards from the survivors I AM ONE so sad a mystery still remains how they do break in darkness stored in attic high untouched by light, my hand, the supple hold of green limbs everly. I cannot toss them away pretty all the more because pitiful I AM any-old-way so take/return them to the woods where the tree is yearly cut/trimmed & so scatter them upon the needles' brown changelings into sparks resembling those the welder makes just out the door now kneeling as I have knelled once & do still a fat boy betaken by mysteries' brokenness & safe return to pines though hard on supposes & orphan spheres I adhere to a bard or two the good few of words & what of them of absence be made though presenting slight-of-palms even Rodriquez 13 kneeling before fire/light Erotic stance w/ pewter hands the welder removes his mask, stands, a handsome face w/ gold teeth unbroken as ornaments were once & forever broken - eats his sand-the-world-wich blankly staring past his truck I notice the side then of it says DESIGN - FABRICATE - INSTALL I think: the history of religions is this just, only the sign reads MODERN STEEL not Postmodern as it now should to be precise true to an age bereft on Stagg Street thrust once again into Christmas - deer & such - though Celtic too - Cernunnos snorts from forests rough deeply onto a green where sits beside a silver stream an orphaned god abandoned carved upon stone with bronze before steel but still the god is stone fearing it is no longer real yet sentinel to " an archaic authority" Julia Kristeva Let me then work my poem all of them around in furtherance of what can be said without such drama of centuries past & to come lines ending in Stillness a suggested Vastness from which each comes/returns: Cave - Image - Sky - Expanse - Singular Branch & Many Plenty Are Stillnesses Advances Even In The Rot The Dissolve From Clot Toward What It Is Or Was & Always Proper-Name-Enough-For-Me - STILLNESS I am taken with such at which I stare which holds my gaze with shades of It & of Itself, that is, is a death or like unto it - Stillness unbreathed or in need of It Breath now having been only once Rilke who it seems becomes relents known form though It is returned or re-rested to Itself beyond Christmas and yet and yet the kneeling boy in the evergreen the shattered orn- aments ever gleam the needles' net a permanence enough gold-leafed & trumpeting ** quiet there where mud may me dry...do not, O, pass us by or over Each time the human mind puts itself to a difficult task, it begins its conquest of new fields and especially of its proper spiritual universe by bringing with all this a certain amount of dis- turbance, of disaster. The human being seems to become disorganized; and sometimes in fact it happens that crises of growth end unhappily. But they are, in any case, crises of growth. At the time of Gerard de Nerval and of Delacroix, this is what happens: so much had people examined the consciousness of art within themselves, that they ended by touching at last the one consuming thing crouched at the depths; a thing which art does not enclose any more than the world encloses God and which takes us beyond all sense of where we are going. The moment arrives, in the course of the 19th Century, when poetry begins to take consciousness of itself insofar as it is poetry. Then, in a few decades, there is a series of discoveries, setbacks, catastrophes, and revelations, the importance of which, it seems to me, cannot be exaggerated. And that is only the beginning. This contact with self-awareness, this reflexive spirituality was needed in order finally to deliver poetry among us. I think that what has happened for poetry since Baudelaire has an historical importance equal in the domain of art to that of the greatest epochs of revolution and renewal in physics and astronomy in the domain of science. I suppose that Baudelaire's situation would be described with sufficient accuracy if we should say that he appears to be in continuity with the best in romanticism by the deepening of the consciousness of the art, but that in reality he marks a discontinuity, an enormous transformation, because at the same time it is of the poetry, it is of itself as poetry that poetry achieves awareness in him. from Poetry's Dark Night by Jacques Maritain ** 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 well o're the real 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 Robert permitted at last to the meadow returned with Spicer 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. ** 'How Much Longer Shall I Be Able To Inhabit The Divine' - via Ted Berrigan via John Ashberry ... qua qua qua sisk boom ba twixt Fucquaad & Apothecary near the corner time forgot but o not I not I when the clot broke the expectorating hoi polloi screaming no help at all as I stood pale pale, paler still, bleeding out from an undignified place leaning upon a tailor's wall, he too no help at all threatening to call the cops It closes me in again to recall qua qua qua Fucquaad amongst the forgotten roses where one is hungover in the supposes with which one perpetually begins, that one can never finish like this, pissed, which goes on, which goes on and still on, " I can't go on but must adjusting the truss because I am losing my hair and so on and ever on" dot dot dot into eternity should one believe in such, but one may use the idea of such, eternity -go forward or behind, wince at the word - living in the blue rind of sky crumbling onto nether shore where relentless waves tease relentless wind disturbing a lone relentless tern tracing uremic rims of foam. Shall I call then eternity a home for shells, a curve in space? disgrace myself yet again with belief, any one, believe that such shores are a where after all, a place to shelter, each wave somewhere by someone or something counted as is every hair numbered counted still? they fall as do waves into crescendos rainbows should the sun so shine for what is left to comb of shore and hair is a disturbance of fractions, refractions the forlorn redactions of what is perceived, felt, spilt upon the depilitating pate and so I must wear a hat but let us not go then you and I patiently into all that but when come time proper, a hair fall caught in a shaft of sun light, the endless comb over undone, wind blown upon the shore, then we shall speak of it sure, and more now then here then remembering too the chaffing bloody garters ** ... 'Folded and reserved, the modern poem harbors a central silence. This pure silence interrupts the ambient cacophony [that masks our banalities]. The poem injects silence into the texture of language. And, from there, it moves toward an unprecedented affirmation. This silence is an operation. In this sense, the poem says the opposite of what Wittgenstein says about silence. It says: this thing that cannot be spoken of in the language of consensus; I create silence in order to say it. I isolate this speech from the world. And when it is spoken again, it will always be for the first time...This is always why the poem, in its very words, requires an operation of silence.' - Alain Badiou: Language, Thought, Poetry; ... ...quiet blue interior, Our Lady stands firm too, graceful, veiled, lightning strike all around, roars outside nothing against palpable blue softness, the Host - firm suchness upon Old World table, flowers fresh poised in ecstatic trance, golden mouth Chalice open full of shadow, hungry mouths to feed ...enter a child a school boy soaked bare feet uniform darker blue stain run rain-wind-storm sheltered now the Virgin place cool upon feet, where is this school unseen on only road the way to las grutas ...bow before the Host, genuflect small delicate hands palms white kneel on creaking wood kneeler kiss fingers holy traces his prayer ...I have come from afar from godless City enveloped in my own importance trapped my own motions no purpose knees or hands now come to monstrance find this muddy miracle with marigolds ...sun breaks through, child walks tio's house I follow tongueless, a burro 2 miles mud, flood, to caves, springs, boy Anselmo out front, little heels press little pony grey, one eye brown the other blue, Golondrina, his name, The Swallow, do not ask why beneath the bluing sky flush with bird song in waters red we tread on me a distance behind ...arrive tearing springs caves erupt full dark overhang a place for prayer not for my knees but Anselmo's on black root kneel holds hard to a limb " don't fall in" I shout suddenly shaken nothing within to hold to All are barefoot there: beasts, boy, self ...returned little chapel blue an offering for Our Lady - muddy shoes - receives all things arms outward extend blessing blue cool shadows quiet there where mud may me dry In chipped vases altar flowers bright Done with City with self Which goes first? No matter The All Blue chooses ** What presents? Venal sins and mortal, me, vowing remember the water spring, pure day forget thinking, say, don't try so hard, hear nearby cedars scrape, entwine, they sigh, they agree with last this thought wishing as I did, do still, pray, they'd always deciduous be and not overly evergreen. ** ...that mysticism of the abjection articulation in underworld the excoriation alienation unimagined but experienced primitive infantile agonies such must be inexorably conjured emerging unsought but fated seizure caesura upon gut soul eye roll him me inside out why/how appease impersonal deity hiding behind cold bars doors demanding merger love to flesh metal iron red? In answer perhaps in bed stunned into sleep by the question in beatitude, in dumbstruck, a most beautiful boy, Beatitude Itself, in Vatican choir rapture, soprano, sing crystal sing plaintive, virginal to prisoners, pure and holy, such singing replunges each criminal kneeling into further exile into further Glory and me the weeping abyss returned to skin and nerve endings sheering cell by cell raw my raw hands long nails bloody, matted hair on belly, is that smell the smell of animal me captured, not the Unicorn but the winter lion lying on sheetless mattress gray yellow, gutted self opened who would be once again caught in those rafters whose only crime is to live anxiously for church bells ringing the here to hereafter. ** two Hassids young bring candles for Shabbas only a few hours till inflamed prayer begins as sun sinks to night prayer is oil the dead come home to perhaps even in this cafe they watch the books gather on the familiar corner where shopkeepers' decades pass hurry home before dark with candles and cares, the wares of religion, the Book & dream, a distant land made close by old songs kindled, 'finest ones' still kindred made the stronger by fire and voices-one mingled with Mendelssohn and the later oranges Ramparts lift by Chambers above African graves, the slaves of South Ferry sentinel terminal near ferries toil as lower Manhattan lights a menorah towering despite what is now worshiped there knowing that home, the one sought even now more resides in words aflame reciting the Name, One alone, then of patriarchs/saints the bearded whole lot of them who murmur still for all our want and next year next year shall be different for we will no longer be here but in Holy City finally gathered cabs blur yellow/gypsy in angular winter light now dazzle before Spring when raises dead bulbs to jonquils potted pretty in windows, on stoops and, wild, strayed in parks do not, O, pass us by or over for all our patient harping come morrows under willows yet we shall hang up our loves again get back to work honest scrub and clean beside the avenue stand recalling willows never seen and grieve still an old yet present eviction in the cities of men ... PART FOUR - " operations of silence" Alain Badiou ... Leave Taking, After Matsuo Basho, Circa 1978 " There is a blessed fidelity in things. Graceless things grow lovely with good uses." - John Tarrant Expecting more rain. Not yet light though 6 a.m., night still over the barn. From the porch, high wind. The moon, a corner of it, rides comfortably in clouds. Clouds moving over mountains, their night work - some rain in the buckets. Bestowing order, things feel their boundaries, robes of autumn rain. Back to bed, just-dawning. Noises in these old walls - mice search for food or string, bird stretching its wings. Soon these things I must leave - wood smoke, frayed rope coil, finger prints on faded walls' wrong color. Last flights - on the sill scattered wings, musky corners' gently waving webs. A fertile shelter. Many nights I have wrestled here. Some mornings have broken into me like thunder. I have shed skin after skin. These I leave behind. Some warmth they may provide for the mice, rags for the moths to eat. ** I note now from yesterday the grace of animals that have held me in their long gaze. Llama looks up from her evening feed of field greens. Sees me. I wave silly enchanted human making loud smooch sounds, a call for her to come to me which she does, walking slowly, blinks through a mist by long eyelashes purled rising silently while I read my book, foolishly head down, in the midst of all this gratuitous beauty springing slow surprise - veiled field, wet, soft, an unexpected llama looking long at me, taking me in, raiment mist at the hem of the darkening woods. Requisite red barn, old, leans against the ribbon of ground fog hovering, a wire fence almost invisible, gray wire in white cloud between me and that cloud and that great llama attracted I like to think by my kissing sounds, her ope't eyes wide and bestowing near me now suddenly look down, the small head always tilting one side to the other, little mouth a posed curiosity chewing like a child, the long graceful neck, shagged soft fur thickly flowing, disappears into tall grass. I am victim of my own infatuation for all my lip smacks and cooing and waving of hands, one more fool for love fooled yet again. I note here for the record that I have actually lost the desire to chase, at least outwardly; rather, my chase is inner as always. I think that stars are cold in their enviable far light, unattainable bottles lined up, glinting totems on altar shelves, pretty behind a dark and mysterious Bar that is open all night. I need their remote stellar indifference, their inhuman capacity to be undisturbed by anything other than gravity, and something-somewhere light years close-enough going nova. Then are they affected. For now I remain, rather, a simile then a metaphor then, really, a black star - energy trapped, still I must be smart and good-looking enough in yesterday's Autumn field, and this memory all aroma and chirp, to attract such unexpected and unreasoned animal grace. I read now a yellowed manuscript, an old chase, an itch returned red, inflamed, my own words writ 30 years ago sitting on a cold stone wall by the frozen river, West 142nd Street, hearing cars and human shouting up the street behind me, Setcho poems***in my pocket, this my earnest response to him from icy fingers, my shaking pen What's will when the window slams shut? Just old cake thrown on the street Why try be happy/sad? don't affect it disinfect your mind play possum Who's somebody's darlin'? Setcho, zen master & poet, writes: After so very many years, it's pointless to look back on it. Give this looking back a rest! A clear breeze the world over - what limit could it have? ** what butoh walks leg by leg by leg by leg by leg by leg to what purpose there on the plasticine stall floor/wall not sure but am sure that the dead flies of winter go uneaten/unsucked Spider first days here I spoke to every morning from the john me wondering at its slow slow movements for 3 days till 4th its legs all curled tucked tightly beneath its carapace I blow at it from the cold seat - bunched draws round my colder ankles it budges not at all I realize it is deceased legs uniformly creased a beauty to see first time ever've felt remorse for a bug a spider and once cleaned flushed my pajamas up I gently lift Spider up with toilet paper so soft double ply-ed solomnly march spider on bier so soft softly into still harder winter snow and darker woods Middle-March flip flops no socks slow going find a rock up near the woodshed so place Spider there with oddest prayer ever in my life but Lord Buddha helps - his " all sentient beings" et-sweet-cetera etcetera que sera sera OK so perform brief bone chill rites then slide down the path patch to my ground floor entrance to hot shower then to Hopkins' poem - The Windhover the more meaningful than ever for its 'dappled-dawn-drawn' things or rather substituted or addendum-ed pray ponder 'threaded-sewn-moaned' things strangely mourned actual tears born no doubt of projections upon small cringes majestically formed objectively perceived from secret and sightless spaces suspended cocooned in darkness or once in close woods strung pearled between limbs and trunks ferns which freakt my face when August-last stumbled in marsh's humid stagger thickets face-first into a massive web the sudden grand mal-like seizure-like slaps scrape-face-eyelids forehead-pate monstrous poison fears from not so small a miracle maker webber's tales spun of/from its self from within to without such sacred spun tattle-rattle faint click no ears human to hear little feet tight walking filament filligrees faint thin but so very there in air ** Snail Poesis - Conceit One to variants and … emendations, … Let me hear good night. - Lorine Niedecker Pace, if pace one can, your paces, your spaces, hasten slowly as the snail traces her path if path she is (she leaves a palimpsest) , or has time enough, and slime enough, tons of it, to sense or not where she is going going-not, (no apparent plot to) got to get to with or without (sluggishly) a shell or, fancier, c a r a p a c e or, better, above-whirled parasol apace visualize - she is a question mark, or wears one if she wears where she is without doubt or question, and does not question her trail though questions gradually do naturally arrive - how does she, snail, breathe? if shelled, is she sleeved or -un to be less encum- bered when being is weight enough? She appears to wait. But doesn't. Does not think 'hesitation' though she (appears to) be comprised greatly of pauses. ** Loose Train Haiku Or Similar - New York To Philly - A Train Journal Nearing Princeton Station What a wonderful world this New Jersey is! Blue train engines! Withering cornfields Just turning Autumn leaves WHOOSH! The opposing train Old graves by a lake Old woman passing in aisle Fleeting sign outside explains - FAIR Loose Train Hokku-no-renga For the blind woman on the train every journey is inner She touches my shoulder, moves just one seat ahead feels the winter collar metal ring pinned to its shoulder smiles when she touches it dark rings of her eyes light up momentarily What universes are in the heads all around me While reading zen master Ummon, famous for his one word responses to pupils questions about the nature of mind, I happen to look up, see young, clean-cut preppie reading Wall Street Journal large bold print: YES-BUT-TERS DON'T JUST KILL IDEAS. Congruence of Ummon and General Motors ad strikes me. I see in mind's eye, so real: Ummon enters train car, walks up to preppie, taps shoulder, thunders in ear, YES BUT! I chuckle, smugly 'stinking of enlightenment, ' pleased, translating, 'kill ideas to get to the 'thing itself 'or the 'no thing.' Suddenly Ummon turns, smacks me hard with his KATZ stick, BAM! And he is correct, of course, to slam me. Arrogance along the way, no matter how 'apparently' fitting my zenny smartness, deserves a hard KATZ! I humbly return to my book just write what is seen from the train window: Hokku-no-renga Close To Philly: State Prison off the square in the darkest cells those forms bursting forth In Prison Window a jelly jar, water pours man hands arranging a little green vine View upon entering Philly Receding steeples the hairline of God City garden by tracks A scarecrow even there Plastic milk jug for a head! Passing glimpse over bridge - railing beside a stream a thin student reading Nietzsche - " He who can grasp me, let him grasp me. However, I am not your crutch." - Friedrich Nietzsche from Thus Spake Zarathustra ** On the other hand I have only tried to survive, swollen small, myself, find ways to be in it at all, appalled hero shrunk to size, compensation for grandness, a player 'pon an acre of God on yon Calvin's hill - ol' John yawning counts his sins a school boy his sums, insistent dirt because it's there persistent cleaning his nails; but tilled I Bible, King James, preferred work that, sounds therein instilled instead a-poem-ing then off at last from roller holy hill, a love affair oracular, called, the Word out-wrung, wrenched, I always the winch and never the Bride. Again poetic little feet tracing circles, little breaths that may make a one entire once expired. ** I, Minimus, tongue in cheek, creak oar, row out too into the Homeric sea, not old Greek singer, long of breath, but as Winslow, local seer, his paints, straw hat consigned to mistook heroics, pure accident, not to check radio maritime, ask captain if row boat worthy of even an American sea, projected too, can go a-row row rowing, claw oar into wave tips' whitecaps safe perimeters, smell of earth nasal-yet to keep oriented to dirt. Have, instead, reaped I redundant whirlwind play America the Fool again, naively trusting my and country's, destiny are one, always good in spite of Melville's long eloquent 'discantus supra librum' - above the book - more truing than any, to spoil it, the projected 'pluribus unum' thing, for Mayflower folks tripping lightly between the hawthorns, their imported gardens and God, irritant tomahawks 'can only turn out swell, ' thought they like waves gathering in sea swell full of themselves individually, Destined, they then and do think, to break just for, O America, thee. ** [THEOTIC-EROTIC] Cryptics for Cantors & Cripples VISUAL BIO. Spare: Little blur of a photo,1979, apt image- The 'striving-after' poet, much younger days, Some months recovering from food poisoning, Once again exiled to roses, reading Lorca & Rilke in a park, Medellin, Colombia, South America. January 1979. ** Arriving late to love the broken tower mourns its ringing ruin. Long drought of air once stilled the clapper. But one breath, Trembler, cracks metal. Muteness falls away. Frightened doves scatter. Annunciation of rafters: Come. Remember gaiety, how to sway. Who pulls the rope are many. Silver coin, fly up from empty fountain, renew into wishful hand a saint's pocket prayer returning. Poor in heart, scatter. Bread, swell upon leaning monuments. Flowers for the dead, wildly grow pinching lovers who kiss over open graves. Black Rooster, searching, scratch all dawns. ** Long in exile, dizzy with The Path, human beauty broken there beside, in every field shy flowers want all our windows and stoops to proudly present themselves upon. This only now but happy do I discover. And I am old, my scent upon the wind down human lanes where even dogs take pleasure from the air, where children play and narrow water flows and petal by petal night and day the joyous moon swoons in the liquor of splash upon stones happy to be worn. There, almost within reach, the blossoming tree brightens between darker bricks to truly dwell. It is for me a shy son of mists to see in spite of big chunks missing, lost, wasted, torn out, that the Celestial World is not as it appears to most, It yearns for much needed hardness for spirits without shoes still long to be bread that they may dwell in our finitude. To them then I am a daffodil dandy at a rusty gate where heaven and hell conjoin. There where the thinned road ends vague statues sway out of focus lamenting their redaction to stone, no river to move them petal by petal, unable to move at all, for movement is not nothing. Even pretty Buddhas pretending eternity cannot move by themselves alone in need of human feet and arms. In this way then they become like me for I too will be borne by men or wind to the grave no longer able to move on my own. Nothing to lose, this rag of selves. With what glory remains of hungry pockets, I skip forward singing, La La La, a willful don, a lord of nothing-much, poems a'pocket, knowing it's all a shell game but I'm clever having learned something from all the dice rolled knowing that here and there Heaven weight matters and that there is more to here than there. Wised up now I always pack a change of draws, a piece of broken mirror in my pocket to gaze within practicing my smiles to fool the gullible gods who think they are smiling at themselves. If stopped and questioned at the Gate to Yellow Spring, I'll blame you, old Ghost of too many former selves, a meandering rumor still muttering the old hymns, who grants me permission the entrance to boldly storm. ** more from Midnight In Dostoevsky " Alyosha, I shall set off from here...loving with one's inside, with one's stomach..." - Fyodor Dostoyevsky navel moon corona pubis ... ... belly laugh the gut punch and rabbit that moment of consent entwined with bridges rooftops orange sky concrete asphalt and assholes a cigarette each hand a bottle of gin a back pocket search for quinine the brine of men the run-on trousers limp the cobbled street where a spring silvers beneath navel moon corona pubis ... ... " If, after your kiss, he goes away untouched, mocking at you, do not let that be a stumbling-block to you. It shows his time has not yet come" ... much the Monk who falls for One love every night from the belfry smells of pitch 1st avenue smells of singed hair a humming boy hums pokes bits of scalp on the walk his small white thumbs alone touch the white lattice kiosk sells the Stranger's face again Monk Midnight Leaps While City Sleeps A Frightful Mess This Foregoing Bliss For Want Of Affection This Of Spinning Night navel moon corona pubis ... " The centripetal force on our planet is still fearfully strong...I know I shall fall on the ground and kiss those stones" Quotation marked passages are from The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky ** " Art resembles life, purpose is cousin to need, so bleeds all things together" says the butcher. I remove from my knotted hair a finely carved pin formed from the bone of a large bird, radiant hair, black falls enfolds overcoming everything around me, covering a small looking glass on the butcher's wall. I will mourn a little while longer, longing for the dear Sharpener, his amazing patience, his brilliant smile flashing teeth of metal made, mirrors, little mirrors, smooth, polished, clear. I will see myself in that smile no longer. " Will he return? Ever? " I ask. " Do not spurn any chance to mourn. Mourning is a kind of Return, " says the butcher reaching for his silver cleaver, its handle made of bone. ** Poetry As Constellation for Krishna '...descend, and of the curveship lend a myth to God.' - Hart Crane You hear 'consolation' as 'constellation' when I explain a poem is a consolation work that I am compelled to as a lover is to traces pointing beyond sighs and windows where Arcturus stands poised wheeling in night's patient round, his arrow strung forever ready to swiftly fly as am I along the spatial curve of your arching thighs. This, too, taut, restrained, breath held between Perpetua's swollen lips of praise - If you could only see what I see in your eyes when the arrow finally flies ** Response To Bernadette Mayer's 'First Turn To Me...' " you appear without notice and with flowers I fall for it and we become missionaries we lie together one night, exhausted couplets and don't make love. does this mean we've had enough? " - Bernadette Mayer Failing the Grand Coniunctio this is the only one we know the one where we eat dirt and swallow, are filled and swell belly up a meal to be eaten when the Messiah comes Leviathan is our heavenly bridegroom presses the banquet table with elbows manners forsaken in the end yanks at sallow meat forsaking the wine which has turned no First Wedding miracle can be repeated - no do-overs here Candles burn on as always, false promises All the doors are marked EXIT Still we must try at the Feast make small talk look interested all the while thinking This is it? Angels without knees aprons spotless starched as beards of saints complain of humans the stains they leave Overheard between the fork and spoon obscenely crossed one angel to another: They call it love what we are supposed sublimely to sing of but frankly all that pushing and shoving faces in agony the cries and curses all that pulling at flesh bruised as the moon this can't be love We stand without legs the better for it but for these we must attend bent over their plates greedy to have at each other again to marriage beds one last time And then the singing begins an eternity songs about dirt about longing to return how all hurts there mean something after all ** You must leave now, black mouse of sorrow, now formally named, take up in another residence. Do not borrow my things, do not move them with your tail or tongue or teeth on the table top or underneath, nor in the corner play hide and seek where I have once again dropped the blue accident of love, he who has left how he arrived, brown, beautiful, smelling of Indian spice, of rose oil with herbs, his long black hair, his silken pockets full of childhood prayer carefully wrapped for safe- keeping against the day of his glad- marry.. Upon the altar then do not, I plead, sleep cradled in the god's arms nor push my thinning patience where the votive candle burns for him whom you seek to replace with your delicate whiskers and all your black fur with webs upon of the one spider who dwells behind the jewel box, his gift for me, his leaving, here cling/brush against all things in this dark place now but do not let me see it here where it is I-not-he who is erased. Is it your wish, then, to bless me, black mouse? to keep me company? *** from " And The Daylight Separated The Mad Boy From His Shadow - Cancion for Garcia Lorca" The mad boy writes feeble colors for love the halt the lame the mute which within around which intends bends distorts in your glass case twists takes traps light to separate the mad world from shadow Both we are contortionists thus take our place with clowns who know tomatoes thrown and juggler's bare necked necessary concentration. You are the maestro here whom I trail behind at respectful distance murdered by the too ordinary controllers So long So long to image to suffer on dear bruised M the void of course o bring me beauty no matter how terrible created by His own opening which makes Him forever Lorca's girl You, dear, will read of my heterosexual shadow a great lover who serenades Her in the terrible contradiction of the moon caught in bare tree limns strophes just outside Her window the fool below in rouge head hung, singing O hurt heart's tin can tied to belt loop behind of his ragged pants pants waits to be filled with whatever flows in the dirty lane he leans his love against ... Does not it all bear the familiar arc say of just-dawn color mauve-play at the liminal curve where sky beseeches bounded space to give its shapeless-nest a Cause, a nape conformed convex from Orbis what has been scored by breath pressed upon it? Who then falsely may decree any matted clot, spark-charged, blood engorged, who may not body-charge ahead and into 'other' merge so must be flung expunged behind neglected Moon or plunged through the bruised ring of abjected Space? Hear me now Thrice trace an outline Give form to now dust me I am awakening surprise Here me how there and there and yet there again after hammers caressed aureoles and hosannas outward turn ** " Are you hungry? " - Poems for Departure for Krishna " Who has twisted us like this, so that - no matter what we do - we have the bearing of a man going away...so we live, forever saying farewell." - Rainer Maria Rilke Out of hearing the last sense to go sing to me now before ears take leave and I shall have no more need for words, sounds, even these my sighs heard as I hear you drop the soap in the bath I imagine you bending vague in the steam to find the bar by scent as you wash away your own which has so compelled me again and again into much life So gladly the little deaths cleave to this I say aloud though you may not hear my plea in there from where I sit bent doubly-over multiplied with grief for leaving all this assumed presence chalked now upon crumbling slate I wait with this sense of what is unfolding just out of reach, once familiar now fogged with herbal scent clouding the bath, my heart embarrassed to speak of it remains cocked to one side tilted to hear all news of you that is left in there touching the lucky water You emerge from the bath reaching for the towel, soft, obeying daily habit, wipes you dry, each cleft, the pit of my longing rubbed without caution I am caught up in this vision without glasses squinting for what is real or not though you are faced to mine as I obediently move my shaking hand to your belly, the scar there, edges still hot to the touch Much there is I will make of this moment, drying your back as I have daily done - once began the rite first night gathering now the last o when the towel easily unfolded, drank woven little mouths many deeply into what has become natural in me with the wiping. In this I am become free now of thinking intent to this my task to last this minute or two, to linger, each is become a touch this one and this I am right now to speak of this, retrieving the soap which clings one strand your hair tangled there, a cypher I read with joy grown long into cleaner disorder a leaf upon the bathroom floor blown in through the night window random now for discovery a gift I bring it to you calling to me from the bedroom as you pack fumbling upon the unmade bed, " Are you hungry? " ** ... With this anniversary I accept my avian better half, though the human half be allergic to feathers, wedded to an inhaler, plumage still embraced in spite of divided self. The hard beak gently preens eyelashes one by one each hair. The odd eye-stare, the bobbing, the jerky head especially when walking less so when hopping, do you even notice? To hear the head tips to one side then the other. It is all sound that is out of balance. I sing to windows from forests, to rooftops from street puddles. I bathe in mirrors of sky. Trite to say it, grand to do it. Rumor has it that I once was a reptile. Maybe. And so too are you, disguised, two legs thickly-meated of the ubiquitous hairs everywhere inflated eyes up front, not much perspective or balance, like a weak pine you fall more than I and when I do it's on purpose unless it's for love without complaint of the air which never fails - air, that is. Just to be clear. Just to be clear, I am at home wherever I land scanning available horizons which are also always home. High, low. Vertical is the thing. And spin. Speed goes without saying. Greatly fond of drift, I am easy in the updraft. I will not speak of dawn's greatness, how you quickly forget. You say that I repeat myself often, am limited in expression to only a few notes, clipped patterns in the song, the cryptic call always an ellipsis. Boring, you say. Interpretations, really, it's all in the inflection after all the years now - Now. There's always the dancing too in powder blue without shoes or need of them claws nicely do the deed is done the changeling comes note that I am singing to you how the way it's done. I tell you the weather but do you listen? For love, shall I say it again? I shall say it again. For love I leave calligraphy in guano everywhere but you do not read it much less see that there are its messages all around. And still I am with you trying to wake you. I peck. I scratch. I even dance again, a frenzy brightly ruffled, boasting to impress: I can lay an egg! You? Words only? Brittle sticks but none to land on, or perch, standing on one leg, head beneath a wing. I am so tired. I can't close my eyes, what wings also are for. ** In a field I am the absence of field' - Mark Strand 'I love the way a crow walks... to wit-to woo-to wound-and last' - Robin Blaser Who? someone to send to, these the impertinent tocks the unmannered ticks that tickle spur the near grackle's cough, it a statement makes which is the displace ment of air In spaces without known design the tree, close, wanders too ponders a coughing bird its musical fourths disclose concurring with traffic down the hill and out over the bay where gulls wing unheard on the hill yet seen yet dip in time with the grackle's hack all is parsed paired quartered squared among apparent but unprovable perhaps disproven - if reason is the thing - things Who but the old painter missing an eye flicks in measure too tapping toe countless endings as they go of fire and smoke the scratch once twice the strike a match begins it is all all over again Again there atop the hill he sits on the chipped stoop the flaking paint not to be mistaken for moss or manna or for an eye's remorse flakes He can still hear clearly a thing a song or two in thirds and fourths one eye can take in the smatter not dismissing the missing other there always is something gone something undone the image stations juxtapose flatly mono yet hear the cleared throat's black washed out the traffic's turning back the sounds implied only in bay's waves sunlight on the winking caps in the sinking troughs the spin of hunger flashed on wings white sea gray but for the sparks suggesting gulls daubed quickly upon the water's canvas their tips mute each downward movement coughing coughing too and again in rhyme timed ~~~~~~why, they are coughlets ~~~~~~yes upon which so much depends forgetting the transport the color the states of dryness which may or may not feed any notion archaic of time or beauty nor wetness slake dependencies shadows gathered round or spirals deeds 'no matter' of air for that matter unsettled seeking a nest or home even an eave within which one may shall we re-gather in the water's throat the bell tones there, their displacing as does a grackle the near air even the further found change sensed only sometimes heard sometimes not It begins always with a bird black devoid not to be dismissed not to be forgot Which Who in forgetfulness let him not dissolve the plot implicit invisible within the unkennable the indivisible yet known by sight and in the seeing divided parsed for rehearsals alone again a revelation or perhaps a summation of contracting wings that they, the gulls are disassemblers screaming all the while the waves consider all the while slapping time and tide The one eyed painter too flicks and claps repeats silently as he will and is want his lips moving as does a spider make a quieter order in a darker corner no sight needed only sense and silk beneath a trusted wheelbarrow it is turvy in the long grass its wheel bent can no longer complete a turn can no longer signify a circle nor even a whistle of wind its hold's hollow lends a reprise of weight or perhaps only a mind's commotion above matter denoting dimension depth of field again 'no matter' the one hand over the one good eye and the missing vocals the shapening words in exaggeration do mouth do borrow to woo a semblance that lasts - Who Seeing the light thinks he does that it is good and in the seeing divides the light from the darkness which is not the grackle. And he calls the light Day, and the darkness he calls Night the gulls unheard, distant, just go on, calling. And the evening and the morning are the first day. ... We lay together, two wrecks, Love, wooden ships conjoined by forces too great, too objective to blame. We stretch beside a shoreline, eels play in the one rib of our opened selves, our rarer fingers gesture horizon to stars, even Sun/Moon, entwine before and behind centering a presumably expanding circumference curving inwardly toward itself which is an affection, a longing, a bottom upon which even God can lay hidden from secret admirers such are mirrors whose surfaces are rarely breached. But there is reach. Many ways to say the word " love" which, redundant to say, sparks, and we are returned to some notion Platonic beyond higher math of over-said, over-reached " Infinity" ... I wish you, Love, beyond/within all Voids - is the Void one or plurality? - a painter on a near shore to paint what we have become. One he must be beautiful, a man, radiant, who raises a thumb to rearrange ^^^^^^^^^^^^^the horizon^^^^^^^^^^^^ *******************************************the sky***** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~the moving line~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~un~~~~~du~~~~~lant~~~~~~aslant of the sea where we without breadth heave each our separate selves and each other into, squint, a promontory, shear, one eye to gauge, the other allow a thumb's scan, by any other intent, acknowledgement of worth perceived: " Though they are all white with black and grey scoring, the range is far from a whisper, and this new development makes the painting itself the form." " A bird seems to have passed through the impasto with cream-colored screams and bitter claw marks." - O'Hara about Cy Twombly's paintings Waves/wayward clocks become adrift migrant birds, scores, always cry at the unending feast. We are not the least of these but know ourselves too beyond bondage to time which is to say hunger" in spite of rhythm Love, let us live without rhyme the sun go up the sun go down, the-Sky- Amor -Wheel-Fati turn and return with feeling Let the painter lonely be alone pinned to shore with his paints, his brushes, his thumb-gauged vision in relation to ourselves, and Void, without intended rhyme trued, true to ourselves. Nature, too, is true. May he use the color blue. Carelessly. Tubes of it. We once were that, too - careless without. Now wrecks. Vaulted. Now become weather without foreheads without cloudnecks Vastness in the making if such is made at all but is aporetic euphoric a condition, a given hard thumb against a sky of tubes made and of squints made we are then a " striving after" beyond cream-colored foam/form churned by storm Here come the wild birds again ** But what I want to report to you-not-here, for the record, to be read out into the snow that has begun to fall silently in the gutter, is that I opened the morning curtain and there on the metal escape sat, and still sits, a dove, brown, beautiful, which does not move at all, when the curtains made to move, and the day rushes in without consent. It, not the daylight but the dove, just to be very clear, cocks only its head toward movement and calmly I have successfully resisted writing 'moves and calamity' sits shaped like one pure tear. Or pear. Both of which share an 'ear'. Suddenly, joy in me flashes and I know the dove for me has come. And the mouse. ** '...descend and of the curveship lend a myth to God.' - Hart Crane The boys, seven falling: Jamey Rodemayer, Tyler Clementi, Raymond Chase, Asher Brown, Billy Lucas, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg Even the pigeons on my stoop are silent now. One mourning dove coos tenderly for these who have taken their own lives publicly on our behalf, for those many gone before them, broken hearts enraged, no more to engage the unpersuaded world which, one of them, one of the public ones, in spite of murmuring wharves, in spite of amorous dark alleys bitter in the pitch of the last hateful American Century, Hart Crane, wrote before his leap from the ship beside the phallic curve where Cuba meets the lisping sea, took his tongue away which sang of chill dawns breaking upon bridges whose spans still freely splinter light returning hungover from the night wharves, grottoes, and denim World Wars, industrial embraces crushing every man and now another one abandons his fingers and fiddling to scattering light, takes flight from ledges to edge close to an embrace no longer forbidden - 'And so it was I entered the broken world to trace the visionary company of love...' I am the itinerant priest who sits at meager feasts. Suffering congregants, forlorn over their starfish and soup, ask about dreams, confess to anguish, ask what should be done. Here at my confessional I can only plead mercy upon the boys who have jumped from bridges, hung themselves, cut, sliced their compulsive hands, exploded hearts, leaping dears eyes ablaze in thrall of antlers, trembling flanks strong to fly decrying the violent hunt which always ends in a death bequeathing these chopped bits to me and to others like me who remain at table, plates before, to stare at what is to be later scattered, sown, these pieces in and for Love-without-name still a stain upon confused local deities and their wild-eyed supplicants. But there is no stain upon the promiscuous sea. ** Dear Low' - Upon His Leaving Mountains For Manhattan, circa 1981 You did it. You left the trout behind. Sunday the corn was cut down. Apple trees in the nearby orchard were felled which explains the screams I heard a week ago, and the droning' of wasps. That hill was exposed this evening at sunset, reflected pink in the sky. Reminds me of the women I always saw through your eyes, their large lips and eyes, the dark thighs particularly, fields without their corn now shedding a purple light like Stevens' Hartford, and you there tonight forsaking the school yard we'd walk beside stopping to comment on that view of hills at our favorite wall where 'Juke Joint's Pandemonium' stalled on hot nights to break beer bottles for your poems broken glass, curtains you'd pass in the dark where your wheels would splay the stars stuck to tar bubbles on the street when Hart Crane beat his words against your rhythm running down to Montford Park. Be quick about it then, your departure: I walked through your house. You left behind that crooked frying pan. Your steaks will never taste the same again, and that espresso pot there, too, black stains stuck inside like little Lamont's words, 'Are we lost yet? ' Just thrown out like that plaster of paris bone from the kitchen. No dog would chew on that, some kind of sentinel to Arborvale Street signaling something fragile has passed on like Mr. McKnight's roses given over to winter, Indian summer an old squaw, packed up her warm skins and vanished like a wife or lovers. It's like that, you know. No magic but our own so often like that old white bone's intention to be art, our poems strung on the page like slip over chicken wire, words expiring from our clutching at them - 'You will be beautiful, make meaningful our days.' What are our names anymore, Low? The corn is all cut down. An old scare crow remains. Apropos. Poetry's worn out image stretched out on the hill forlorn in the ice, forgiving no one, especially ourselves, alien corn of a foundering century. *** It's got to do with America, my love of music, my grotesque loneliness... - Henry Miller Are not all summer nights born late in America, fading only when morning glories, fog draped at dawn, breech fairgrounds entire continents long? Pine perimeters encircle veiled hermetic tents. Suspended rides now frighten. Momentarily the carnies are relieved of their ugliness. Cotton candy gins spin dry confections to cold crystal. Sugared metals stick/stop, their precocious tongues tuned too early for erasure. *** Let be the finale of seem - Wallace Stevens Here's Breath For You - Upon Purchase & Buyer's Remorse - circa 2012 Dear Low, Not to worry. I am the man most pursued in last night's dream. That emaciated thing at my back keeps tracking me. I remain just out of reach. Classic. Even there, as here, I am escaping something, a life time of practice in this 'Kingdom of the Canker'. It was no banker who followed me last night but a starved lacklove rejected by 'Canker' and, well, by me. Who'd want that part, all start and no finish? Replenishment has often enough meant hiding out and a demand that it keep at least 5 arm lengths away. I will try, I tell it, to look at it but I find its presence most disturbing, its handful of leaves continually proffered leaves me in a quandary. What do they mean, this offering, though my father was a lumberjack? Perhaps this is a track of sorts to follow for an end to the mystery. I am stumped. Again, not to worry. After a life time now almost 60 years of identity crises, which is a low grade fever in the personality, such is poetry. I am very weary of it as I now move into yet another identity, OLD MAN. And who gives a damn in that new 'Kingdom of the Cracked & Crank'? Invisibility awaits, or worse, pee pants. Do I become that thing which follows me in my sleep, leprously white, pale wanderer of the empty pockets, eyes dark and full of something deeply known? I am not yet ready to know such things though the dream indicates that I am for it is very near. How can I expect the culture to pretend to be interested, it having pushed the thing even farther away than I ever could? And since this has turned too goddamned confessional I do confess that I am beginning to lose heart for it, all this pushing, this running away, which is perhaps good news to the very few who know me truly. Rather, I sit on the cultural dunce stool in my corner of the room reading, reading, tracing, tracing the chase of 'logos' through time. No rhyme or reason can I make with my earnest forefinger. Still malingering shadows of what is in those dark eyes just over there dim my creased page. I pull at curtains to close out tighter whatever daylight those eyes may bring to my knowing. I am such a monk. I live hard unto myself. I daily sacrifice goats on an alabster altar to the blood thirsty deity both in me and who dwells just outside my door. Grace, yet, daily unfolds, usually in the coffee cup, first sip, and morning prayer without too much buyer's remorse which, I am convinced, is what that first squall of the just born infant is about...'So much for corporeality...desiring only the womb. I could not read the fine print of the contract writ small in capillaries, that upon me there will be a vice, a clutch of alien air, a fall into too much light and clouds of Mercurochrome. I regret me I regret me I regret me...' One adjusts. Continually. The persona is adaptation appearing to be solid but sleep reveals the neutrality of the animal. Dreams tell us otherwise when we remember them as it takes an ego to witness, to remember. They reveal that we are caught up into something so much greater than flush and stir. It's a wonder we make do as much as we do and still call ourselves by name, our family a species of animal, 'homo sapiens'. I regret self pity. I'd reject it if I could but it adheres, last resort of old coots born honestly into it no matter the copious Mercurochrome baths, the smelling salts obviating the needed nipple. What is all this singing bathed in tears born of tremendous desire and fear? Whose arms would hold fast and safe, embracement against the brace of all us we fallen stars who do burn out brightly or, more like me, privately in quarters counting days as if each is the last until that dread thing finally comes in, after a life time of daily threats and close escapes, after a life time of daily threats and close escapes, with hopeful relief? Hopefully there will be no buyer's remorse for purchase of Death. 'Here, '' I'll try to say 'ponst that day', one must become Shakespearean in such company, last payment on the installment plan, 'Here's breath for you. I tried to use it well.'' Today the Market reports a run on Mercurochrome. Birth goes on. I am for rebirth, a dirth of days makes me suddenly Hindu, foregoing gurus and bindu point. I've made my own here. Selah. Still, methinks I'll have your ear for a little while longer, a handful of leaves only for my thanks, one foot well into 'Cracked and Crank', the drunk tank a memory worn out. Doubt is my companion. Love, too. No remorse there. Buys me time, aftershave and loads of underwear for the trickles ahead. Thank the gods for all that. Oh. And one last good cigar. W. *** " A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once." Complexes, like mules, are stubborn. They have a job to do. They form us, shape us, give us character the word etymologically means " scratches upon a surface" thus we are all born to be scratched, scarred, and from such character is born. My tee shirt reads " BORN TO BE SCRATCHED" " BORN TO BE SCARRED" . We describe landscapes and faces/bodies as " having character" ...and so complexes are landscapes, we are landscapes shaped by the shaping land, dirt, clay, mud, sand from which ancestral complexes were born and borne generation to generation, person to person. But mourning's that thing, not hope, with wings to argue with Miss Dickinson, at least this heavy winged thing is part and parcel, tissue and fabric to my very being psychologically from earliest childhood, not playing the victim here but telling mule-ish facts, born into violence, into sorrow of mother and father at war with each other in the redneck theologically regressive/retarded primitive white south, my mythology unfolded and unfolds still though I am hard surrounded by concrete asphault and steel where the wheel infernally drives literally everything in metropolis. So, there. Etiology of my persistent skin rash begins in history, ancient history. The body, a body that I am, that I as Warren Ego inhabit, has its inexorable history and mythology genetically attributed and distrubuted cell by cell, dermis extremis, meat sack slackening but inevitable principled processes chemical and alchemical dry me dry me out into blown aboutness. But I can sing. I will sing of such till I can sing no more. Scratch as scratch can and down to a man, or sand, whichever comes first or last or both, I will give voice and image to the hard scrap and the mule-kick mother, bearing two mule names, who in a dream that preceeded her death purposefully willfully seperates from me, leaves me to the aridity of incarnate human existence for this massive hedge green green wildly riot of green which she is, she did, die into and was reborn into such... ** Because They Rhyme They Live, Not I 'O Poesy! for thee I grasp my pen I suppose it is the late, or soon to be, poet's lot to jot one for daffodils. At least one. This is mine, a last will to verse. But first, I take a pill before dying, I mean, its meager meal, yellow sun on a jaundiced plate. 'Consumption' is the word I want. I've got that, and few breaths left and a flat voice to tell it in. 'The daffodils were yellow as the sun.' So lay down thy pen. Ungrasp! I say. An olden voice pulls at bruised skin. I grow thin. And gasp. I grow thin as winter air. I'll not see them rise again from bulbs perennially. Not me, annulled in this season of the lung though each breath mimics leaven, assumes Eternity's aspirations, but... where was I? ... not me, not long for my tongue to sing. ** I would rewrite the whole thing withdraw every word without ado with undue pressure release even these mountains upon which within which I turn sleepless in the dark beneath laurel the rhododendron pungent in cold spring air wondering just where this all goes how it all ends this life where thunder rolls between this valley where I lay with heat lightening teasing presences I will not name though the old masters have forever tried and try yet again on each thinning page in this worn book the collected songs which have finally crossed an ocean have made it over the Eastern hills to some of us here far far on other shore No longer do I madly sing though an earned madness clings a shroud a fog a suggestion of the sublime that I shall not can no longer call Ineffable, Beauty, Power or Surcease my young brow long gone old and creased matches the map my finger traces on yellowed pages brown edges these smeared mountains ages ago drawn by a forced or palsied hand indentured that remains uncredited diluted ink smudged dried into elegant interlaced stains that sing to the eye no choice but to try dear painter I should live in such hills where perhaps the bones of your trembled hand point beyond kingdoms beyond fences your painted image has long outlived I see that my face at least retains some semblance of former glory if a face is a map of mountains once sung now written only now suggesting rhythm now melody only now a shine lonely on tips each peak this my brow now theirs too sings of silver a dew a scent up from worn paths beside valleys rivers streams their banked ferns wet do cloy and bend now it pleases me to read of these and so sing by the reading ** Making Things Right In Exile - After the Chinese Poet, Po Chui He rests awhile in the wide orchard where bright plum flowers rain. He unrolls his pallet to sleep inside the humming glade. Raiment, he writes in his sleepy head, of leaves and bees. An old man puts the best plum in his sleeve to bring home to his bitter wife. Why strive when nature is bounteous and all ills can be made right with wet sweetness? - - - - Warren Falcon - - - For my mother's last birthday, September 2016, I gave her a beautiful shawl. Pleased much, she wore it often up to the final days of her sojourn into the Shawl of the Great Mother. She passed two days before Christmas at 1: 25 pm. A gentle suspiration barely noticed then no more. She breathes in me though, dispatches from Limbo, destination Green, viz Lorca': Green how I want you green. Evenso, graying as I go. So, returning to the beginning at the end, a hard gathered variation ties the breathing knot for good thus nuancing Ludwig Wittgenstein's words as opening orientation at the top of this word-pocked page: The form of spirit as it returns to Spirit is adoration. Final offering in final word-prayer repeated above at least twice, " Here's breath for You." All these my poems, my efforts, are lovingly dedicated to my mother and father, Geneva & Warren: From childhood our song: Hurry awake sleepy bee Softly sings the breeze To sweetness we are called when the sun high shall be freshened with tears our departing behind the barred door wait a lock of wound hair silk pouch of my gated heart it will be a hard arrow to pierce it ** Coda: Epimetheus looks back So, friend, you die also. Why all this clamour about it? - from The Iliad XXI by Homer ...but it's late and I've been under-slept, much distressed, stretched through veil and moan, though I dreamed last night a sweet yet-dog/not-dog sleeping upon a burning log most inviting, I see now it is a sacrifice that has consented to such and thus is resolved, at peace, surrendered to gentle flame, to rules of the human consciousness game, and/but I want to secure its comfort and safety though Fire winks at me and says, Got this covered. So. What to do? Out of my league as creature alone, I demur to Fire. Am awaiting further instructions. Marinating in petrol. Negotiating with Combustion Union even as I speak or spark, whichever come first which will inexorably of course come last then ashes to ashes and the mourning a thousand or more books unread, not understood. Tou jours mon ami, mon frere to rhyme with fire, and sireling. * * * To read more prose and poses you may go here: http: //falconwarren.blogspot.com)

The Best Poem Of Warren Falcon

Autumn Haiku

Even from my front porch
the rusted sewing machine
yearns for golden thread.

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Dear Low, You did it. You left the trout behind. Sunday the corn was cut down. Apple trees in the nearby orchard were felled which explains the screams I heard a week ago, and the droning of wasps. That hill was exposed this evening at sunset, reflected pink in the sky. Reminds me of the women I always saw through your eyes, their large lips and eyes, the dark thighs particularly, fields without their corn now shedding a purple light like Stevens' Hartford. And you there tonight forsaking the schoolyard we'd walk beside stopping to comment on that view of hills at our favorite wall where 'N*ggers Pandemonium' stalled on hot nights to break beer bottles for your poems' broken glass, curtains you'd pass in the dark where your wheels would splay the stars stuck to tar bubbles on the street when Hart Crane beat his words against your rhythm running down to Montford Park. **'N*ggers Pandemonium was the name of a black bar/club on 'the other side of the tracks' in a racially segregated Southern town. It was black owned and its clientele were mostly black. The bar no longer exists.

Arriving late to love the broken tower mourns its ringing ruin. Long drought of air stills the clapper. But one breath, Trembler, cracks metal. Muteness falls away. Frightened doves scatter. Annunciation of rafters: Come. Remember gaiety, how to sway. Who pulls the rope are many. Silver coin, fly up from empty fountain, renew into wishful hand a saint's pocket prayer returning.

We lay together, two wrecks, Love, wooden ships conjoined by forces too great, too objective to blame. We stretch beside a shoreline, eels play in the one rib of our opened selves, our rarer fingers share at last, gesture horizon to stars, even Sun/Moon entwine before and behind centering a presumably expanding circumference curving inwardly toward itself which is an affection, a longing, a bottom upon which even God can lay hidden from secret admirers such are mirrors whose surfaces are rarely breached. But there is reach. Many ways to say the word 'love'

This ancient tonguing betrays some fault disdaining the human world - which occurred first, the birthing or the wounding? Abjuring flesh of necessity, this, my peace, is false but the music woos, swells me up. It is my sleek, bleak hour remembering Bathsheba's girth. There is some mirth in remembering her, those skirts and veils like a cadence of sweet cakes and guilt...

and O this, this midnight stagger, nothing hurt but trembling hand shaking to dryness, the other leaning into yellow

shall I call then eternity a home for shells, a curve in space? disgrace myself yet again with belief, any one, believe that such shores are a where after all, a place to shelter, each wave somewhere by someone or something counted as is every hair numbered counted still?

Each night there must be one, out there, on the deck, supplicating in boozy tongue, oozing heart-love all over, spurning the way things go down in the world, cheap spindrift the cranes know of dipping their bloated beaks to the waves. And he must dip his head, braying, with his hands motioning to the night - Away! Away!

far where my Mother toiled with me safe upon Her back, my first keel, the bow upon which I first learned to kneel to earth, to sea I rocked in Her motion rowing the faithful Earth the yielding softness of She to me (shipwrecking all my my future hardness eventually) my boy hands not yet bleeding with pens and poems

by Her presence, Her sure toil, lullabies wooing ...the hard soles of Her bare feet, no pesetas, only songs, for shoes The rich cords, veins of the sun and the moon, conjoined in Her labor, hardened into the lead of my first pencil, the lap of my first page And conspiring late within me ran the black ink of Her relentless tenderness

On with the boring center line endlessly dividing though broken on purpose suggesting a way to veer. No guide needed here. Fear is the drive shaft, and longing turns the wheel.

..she repeats overheard conversations at dirty tables, customers politely pretend not to hear the gossip-large confessions of littler lives pasted Hopper-like to diner windows' glaring reflections without error there where the only self-reflecting going on is the scribbler in the pink booth perversely taking it all in, thinking, feeling, penning it down in notebooks looking for himself in those echoes with your stolen shades on, eternally cool in his capacity to tolerate what you call 'the great densities' - immense absurdities de le quotidian... ...The writer's eye observes, swerves to miss the Mexican kid chasing the ball into Same Old Street, notes it with caffeine amphetamine-laced, and black ink traces the visionary company of love in stubbed cigarettes, sputum maps coughed and spat.

Damned good you are inspired then amidst progress's smoking mirror, like Blake, a wake-dreamed jeweler mining away in-breathed while sucking those cigarettes and lovers, the endless hash browns, along Texas highways and byways waiting for another dispatch to Bumf*ck and Divine. The psalmist says it right, no matter the blight: 'Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.'

Childness let's have us honey, flame intended, names smeared on the glass, an accidental pane times hands touching it delicate as trespass, what is allowed lace of vision...

That Golden Calf Incident was a silly mistake, an overreaction, but there were agreements made at the outset, sealed in blood, first born sons threatened or worse, guaranteed real estate for dairy farmers and bee keepers, oodles of milk-and-honey futures, money to be made in hopefully greener pastures. Now it can be said with certainty, a 'promised land' comes with big catches - I've exchanged one for another, same mistake - the barbs are plenty, mostly mistaken people thinner than scripture loudly staking claims to land and deity in long meander.

A penny for a wet tongue. I'm of that hung up crowd forced to flee, a victim of unleavened fate, or is that too Greek a notion? The question begs asking. Unintended impertinence must be forgiven. That's the theme, right? the long march of history, that of redemption in time though each and every has an opinion. Can't be helped. Much to explain. All's a seeming washed in blood.

I regret self pity. I'd reject it if I could but it adheres, last resort of old coots born honestly into it no matter the copious Mercurochrome baths, the smelling salts obviating the needed nipple. The stippled trout I nightly catch, pink insides turned out by blue blade kept beneath the pillow, baits me with the riddle again and again. Something about a stand of trees, a man carving some bark, what breath is for. Today the Market reports a run on Mercurochrome. Birth goes on. I am for rebirth.

Its undertow that matters. The real power's there. Ask the undertow, you'll get answers. Don't say need. The bottom's filled with old cars, tin cans, bad seed. All you'll ever want. Get lucky.

I will listen will recover such air enough around to go on sing my song tio-tangle in tree limbs Van Gogh still somewhere paints to woo in old boots worn leather Weak knees make me to existence/being adore to which I have only just in a dream renewed my wedding vows

Out of lime and song at 7 a.m. I dress, spin down the steps like then In this morning now thin with Spring. There's green over you now. …Now, heart, Don't you start that singing again

Belly belly the hard boiled egg. I map out of a dream. Love a long necked boy. Dance lips! Leaves of legion. Jelly, yard dog! Leap to June.

One cannot be sweet toward all except in mind alone. Alone, the hog loves lowly, loves slowly, but it loves thing by thing which, something, is a beginning. I am for something.

For Workers everywhere, bricks, straw, verse. The breast naturally of Woman is bread before there was bread, the child the loaf swelling in Her arms to farm & from such frame a world. Thus Labor. Bread is History. Child's toil, unspoiled, forms a culture beast, he crawls forth, makes bread of soil native & other, a Mother culture all & still, everywhere.

...while reading 'Z'** evoke old ward Jews, Italians, horse-drawn venders, runners about with carts heaving, vegetable griefs returned to church to synagogue dark-alley dead-ends where what is left out of grief is carved into bricks with knives (O what is the name, lost perhaps, of he who once sharpened all our knives?) : THIS OUR LIFE SOME FEW RETURN TO HEAR/SEE EVIDENCE OF THE NATURE OF A CITY IS TO CONTINUALLY ERASE ITSELF

A gardener dressed in bright red work clothes is planting tulip bulbs nearby. Looks like a tulip himself. Old tulip petals stack up. Stalks. See, his hands moving slow, gentle. Why, he's singing into dirt older than cities. Either he's in love or I am. Roots splay up gray reaching for his eyes. That's love all right. I think but don't say it. I see those withered tulips. See? I'm seeing. What's he mean mask? A young woman rolls up her short sleeves to her shoulders so that the sun may warm them. She's fair. Arms red as her hair. Already. Almost. Her eyes are closed. Face up toward the sun. Ah sunflower weary of time, I say. What? Where's that from? he says. Bastard's curious. Hypocrite. William Blake. The Sunflower. I say. I point to the girl. Motion toward the sunflowers in a patch beyond the fountain. He just stares, Shakes his head. I see, I say, and I hear. I hear in response to seeing. What I do. I hear the rhythmic squeak and grind of a swing behind us, a child's little feet are kicking high as the swing climbs. I know that. Don't have to see it. Glimpse a yellow cab passing on the street disappearing behind the yellow sunflowers. Cricket right on time starts to insist in the shrub to our right. I think but don't say it, Poems to a Brown Cricket. Hello Father Wright**. What's not to praise, I mutter.

I will not speak of dawn's greatness, how you quickly forget. You say that I repeat myself often, am limited in expression to only a few notes, clipped patterns in the song, the cryptic call always an ellipsis. Boring, you say. Interpretations, really, it's all in the inflection after all the years now. Now there's always the dancing too in powder blue without shoes or need of them, claws nicely do the deed is done the changeling comes note that I am singing to you how the way it's done. I tell you the weather but do you listen? For love, shall I say it again? I shall say it again.

...one cannot say too much about rivers—their irreverence of edges scored, spilling themselves, proclaiming natural gods deeper than memory yet dependent upon memory for traced they must be in every human activity no matter the breech, for something there is to teach even deity though it may be wrong to do so, or hearsay to say it or sing, but the song is there for those whose ears are broken onto bottoms from which cry urgencies of Being and Between, dutiful banks barely containing the straining Word.

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.

a wild stallion counts his sins in mares

You emerge from the bath reaching for the towel, soft, obeying daily habit, wipes you dry, each cleft, the pit of my longing rubbed without caution. Much there is I will make of this moment, drying your back as I have daily done - once began the rite first night, gathering now the last one o when the towel easily un- folded, drank woven little mouths many deeply into what has become natural in me with the wiping. In this I am become free now of thinking intent to this my task to last this minute or two, to linger, each is become a touch this one and this

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

so many pages torn out a pear tree forgets only itself as an audacity limbs recall themselves appear to reach one cannot see them reaching they may be silent but we cannot know that toward later sweetness they yearn then seed a still dirt around content to lie down the idea of 'pear tree' reduces to all sparks yet no illusion of darkness hastens the pear But O it tastes

even a snake loves a warm bed, my pillow for its head, found a skin shed on a flower-patterned pillow case where fleecy lambs forever pink silently bleat as the cloth grows thin from head wear dream wear because I was once a sleeping man

Now here must stop in what is remaining light to cook must bend to the purple cabbage at hand, the helpful drive of hunger the courage of the knife marvel yet again it's faceted pattern when halved, same as the onion, the leek Such facets in me too reveal when I dare to be loved in two

...swaying between backyard buildings old clothes lines gray string thin thin Purple flower boxes a woman's hands folding letters sweet soap smells on top steps wet shoes full of wind

in love with small things keep what is seen where hides the wind

...Within the dream of staying, the tendril and the heart, my aging body takes on my father's form. I, too, like him, am a farmer when I note how it moves in its winding reach, rooting, rising, giving horizon.

The distant gazebo of that small town wears white lights garlanded round, and snow. A boy without gloves reads alone. He is no fool who takes his time and place to know.

Spittle on the chin stubble upon the cheek she met her love beside the creek Turned in her sleep the calling heat gathered the steep bank in the wood then fell as water will forgetting the blood's first stain on the long discarded sheet A woman now she fled toward love and fed there but famished still died there...

The pope in Italian dreams again he is a young bomber pilot dropping heavy kisses backed up in the bomb-bay.

Before you, head down, focused on 'Lion's Teeth'**, I am a hard mystery, and soft, not so fast for I am fat and cannot round the bases quick. I, your inherited meek, am a burden to shake, a sliding man furious for home

And on the pillow She drew out For the rhythmic accompaniment And then put it while it was hot Up inside A folded piece of bread What did she vow at the Saint's tomb?

your top knot my hand unknotting your long hair my scented bedding sudden startled wildness of laps in the vase so very still a clutch of stamens

..but knowing your ungirt, perspiring embrace so near to the Lord's tent, makes the sin sweeter for sweet is the intent to only love for now it is the building up, the uplifting, the enfolding, the engulfing in flame, Abednego's dancing unconsumed in a hardness of flesh against the hardness of belief, no relief of vision's ken within himself or fire but in arms and legs thrashing out creeds to live by.

...endurance - a man's hope, a woman's genius.

In darkness sealed as was Jonas .....................................Onesimo beneath the truck Three days crossing to Palomas .....................................Onesimo beneath the truck To himself quietly singing... .....................................the wind is with you A tune with rubber threads .....................................its cause is just The wind never settles .................................….a tear-shaped bruise Ear of blue corn .....................................the cleft of your wounded thigh

We shod our feet against what long loss of motion, eyes downcast or boldly returning the stare? Beneath each eye there's some familiar look we refuse. We map our way to sleep in the palms of shy or frightened hands.

A Balthus mirror breaking drunk on blossoms in my youth I swayed easily seduced by bridges

I retrieve the god from his little sanctuary of hiding - it seems I am always retrieving deities ...rubbing his eyes he stumbles into the garden, sings to himself, You may shout if you wish to wake the Temple for the cow cannot speak - Wake up! Awake! Make haste! Lord Indra comes! Prepare the wicks, the incense sticks for Holy Fire! Hasten! Hurry! Quicken!

Ah! give me all the cabbages in the world in all my poverty! Am I not too a Raj of floors and scented pillows, this heaving god upon me thrusting utterly to reveal Himself, His mystery to me who am not a god? So please the intemperate humanity in face of patient deities burning, I am ill with grief with prayer, into now emptier hands the sea I am when he departs...

I'm drunk again thinking of you, how I cut my baby teeth on Stillborn glass, feet bleeding on always wet roads. One mile out of two I'm thinking of you, how you wouldn't let me love you, just hold your hips in jeans, 'just friends'.

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