Warren Falcon

Silver Star - 4,418 Points (04/23/52 - xxxx / Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA)

Biography of Warren Falcon

Warren Falcon poet

From the Encampment of HeartStrife - A Sampler Of Poems As An Inner Autobiography

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

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.

I'm up on the roof all hours of night just to take deeper breaths against the blight this world is afflicted with and by. A view of bridges and what passes for sky - though orange, which is not a great color for me right now, nor for the human family -

eases somewhat.

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.

Just because.

Where have they gotten too
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,
Cezannes, even Twombys, 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-and-intent, instincts
prevailing, so woven they have


their patience with the city spent.

They're fled. Gone.

Can't be good. Large city needs its crows.

A man speck needs a vision of nature with wings especially
when surrounded by bricks, the air thick with harder humanity,
his own and the unwinged masses.

Delight. Just noted a half moon high in twilight sky.

That's good,

a companion for the roof tonight though it will be low over the West.

Tar will wear a silver sheen.

I'll pour a bit of wine, a libation, add a bit more sparkle to what will barely be moonshine pastel, a veiled schmear in good Lower East Side fashion to fasten the image,

flavor it too.

Perhaps a salt-salmon colored sunrise will seal the deal as the moon
wheels out of sight, and I can then sleep

belly filled with night.


Something to do with love.

Something to do with light.

Warren Falcon
New York City

America 2018 -

a vision even seabirds refuse to scavenge.

Why? Why do you hang from the balcony of God?
Why the black bull in a wedding dress standing
in your moonlight window singing songs of love

when Justice is calling,
when Justice is calling?

Precious little timbres of silver,
precious tiny bells of bronze,
ring from each massive horn.

Eternal Wheel.
Wheel eternal.
Why? Why spin at all
when behind eyelids
of a dying sun is
the Finality,

Here, awake now, feathers,
hope, burn to ashes.

Dear ones. Dear ones, pray.

Pray that feather ash is more preservative than the feather outright.

In the only EXIT stands a viejo, a seashell
patch over an eye, at the frontera he spins
his 19th century barrel organ mournfully
singing the end of Empire.

the self-administered cattle prod to the temples
called postmodernism

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

there is something here of the child
upon waking thinks he can fly
even though he failed badly the day before

urge to keep everything secret
sin of pride, also greed
the " stumbling block"
impede 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


attend by stars
by blackness above clouds

blessed night cushions us
enters northwest

eyes owned
don't travel light -

great deer see

and past







once of spinning galaxies

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

some months

then settles half

Waldrop's Creek beyond
Roper but near

before I-85 was

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.

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

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 -


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?

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.

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

In arms
we carried It
as one does
a child

yet it was
He who carried us,
both bird and man,

who cried
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

In the towers are the reproducers

Within the clean bronze
Their walls were stood
Ready to receive her
And later became all
the intricate trills

She pushed her way through
The pivot points

A deep lactation
In the most ravishing shades

Simulate the Pleiades
The rich magenta

Running water is much the best
Whether she wept as she then drew out
Watering the date gardens

She stepped over warm spurting blood

You should have heard her cry
'Ya Ali' and her loud hell-hella

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.

O lead us all to right ruin.

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 bothered 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?

Is that flesh
floating on the
surface me who
swims or sinks

I know a strange me

with soap for eyes
and suds to see

Eternally yours,


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


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


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



(there is
only one

a dove flies
into some
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

tunes the organ
grinder smiling

'te amo, amor

from the boardwalk
cotton candy
Coney Island dis-
posed its gales
from breaking
waves tumbles,
smears speared
on the weathered

" 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

I, Minimus, a boy,
withstood the spelling bee.
Lost the word, its spelling,


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.

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

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

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 curtains sway standing behind them the curtained
dancer entranced/entered into upon a mystery the organ
grinder smiles/sings 'amor fati' mellifluously on...

LORCA - Through the empty archway a wind of the spirit enters, blowing insistently over the heads of the dead, in search of new landscapes and unknown accents: a wind with the odour of a child’s saliva, crushed grass, and medusa’s veil, announcing the endless baptism of freshly created things…

‘All that has dark sounds has duende.’ And there’s no deeper truth than that.

Those dark sounds are the mystery, the roots that cling to the mire that we all know, that we all ignore, but from which comes the very substance of art....The duende I mean, secret and shuddering, is descended from that blithe daemon, all marble and salt, of Socrates, whom it scratched at indignantly on the day when he drank the hemlock, and that other melancholy demon of Descartes, diminutive as a green almond, that, tired of lines and circles, fled along the canals to listen to the singing of drunken sailors.

- Federico Garcia Lorca, from " Theory and Play Of The Duende"

...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.

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


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



the hog loves


loves slowly

but it loves

thing by




is a beginning

I am for something

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.


sings bones


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,
'one who deserves'

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, to bone; no,
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"

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


and man-falling

a falling-man willful

imolation leap
luscient eventual
inevitable pale


[]_______________ ____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 loverpins 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


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

There is still always the laundry

still, there, ironically,

innocent they are,

the blossoms are

close, not far


they smell like semen

" and the world wags on"

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.


PART ONE - It means so much that we can be broken...
...How all hurts here mean something after al.

[NOTE: Unless attributed to other poets all other writing is my own. Poem titles with dates indicate earliest poems, my youthful attempts at finding a voice.]


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
dawn shoe


the Orange

the old
animal heat
turns in on

beneath skin

the bone bruise
fuses out
against what
yearning once
meant in





The one eyed
painter too
flicks and claps

repeats silently

as he will and is

his lips moving

does a spider make

quieter order

a darker corner

no sight needed
only sense and silk


But in my yashiro upon the hill I should have greatest honor: there betimes I should gather the multitude of my selves together...From the dusk of my ghost-house I should look for the coming of sandaled feet, and watch brown supple fingers weaving to my bars the knotted papers...

- Lafcadio Hearn, from Gleanings from Buddha-Fields.1897


" Violent light of the wheat, we were growing old and dying young.

We drank.

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

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

In a poem I unabashedly sing, I play/delight (as if in flight or free fall) in
the say of words as an array of voices. Such may confuse or overwhelm
but I must say that I don't care (or at least not enough) since the muses
overtake a man and turn him songward " ever which a'way" as Carolina
mountain folks where I once lived do say.

Now I hear you in the plane cockpit shout CLEAR! then turns the prop.
You and I, a roaring boy beside you, veer toward runway's end, turn and
burn throttle full bore into eventual lift and air.

I realize now as an adult that you could breathe better there, no doubt.

A spiritual asthmatic for 66 years now, for me, air's a stuggle in land and sky.

A poem, writing one, is where I breathe best.

Here's breath for you.

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.



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


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. -


...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

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


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


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


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


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


one eye looking this way that the other
bent over a fixed in


But only one,
just, finger,
dark, traces
a lace

to nose
wet lips
with happy
use cries
surge in
to new

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
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 -




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.

Freezing in a park behind the
glass construction at Astor Place.
Weatherman lied re: warmer temps
today. I'm under dressed, rife with
cabin fever so here sit weeping
from cold wind, nose running, trying
to write with frozen rash swollen
fingers, can't read clearly through
tears though I should know how to
do that easy peasy now, a lifetime
of briney lenses. Let verb tenses
confuse themselves for seasons

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
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

This, just to
reintroduce some

for we (loves)
were many day-ed

x merry

we merrily played
harming no one,
not even the
mouse unmoved

perhaps, watching
perhaps, still,
still, from beneath
the god you insisted
be excluded from
all our nakedness

x 1 too many breaths

exchanged, groped

x many ropes all our


now you, love
are new memory
hands emptier
sensitive finger-
tips filligreed
prints your
body hairs
sifted imprinted
touching softly
x all the x's
here accounted
for, listed,
besos as kisses
scribbles, notes,
no matter
the black or
blue tide

of thee
O lover

slips out
ebbs black
back into lapis

lapses into what
self is

scored trans-
parent upon

faces which are
eyes which now
glaze with love

beside the flue

glaze upon the

the black
mouse remains

is many,
a multitude
of petals

x 3

the jasmine
at last

at last/least
O return
soft Junes
the lips of
which are
pink, of
as if
to kiss

x 3 the antinomies

a string

of pearls


& thee O lover

bring all them

back, so many,

to me now

'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 -

turn themselves on

hum in low tones

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

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
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



'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
& 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
blankly staring
past his truck I
notice the side
then of it says


I think: the history
of religions is this
just, only the sign
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
now having been only
who (it seems)

becomes (relents)
known form
though (It is)
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


PART THREE - " 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

their Queen of
the Hill (Duncan)
and the Apple

named “Bittersweet”

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

comes Robert
permitted at last

to the meadow

with Spicer (here too)

enjoined me to leave
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
in the House
That Metrics


'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

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


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



he will cross

say out loud

in dark House

in thicket to the

Master of Thirsts

all kinds,

I drink.

No real taste

for blasphemy, me.

But can swallow

bears whole, me,

Ursa Major,

Ursa Minor.

Stars. Clouds.

Even skins, the creeps

and willies, me.

What presents?

Venal sins

and mortal, me,



the water spring,

pure day

forget thinking,


don't try so hard,

hear nearby cedars

scrape, entwine,

they sigh, they


with last this



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

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

I remember the first time I heard Villa Lobos -
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 unlit quarter, philosophy books stacked, Pre-Socratics, Church History, Clement, Polycarp, Gnostics (I realize now that I am one) wind howling just beyond the pane, the un-modulated whistle of said insistent storm playing the Castle In The Clouds in fierce Sinai song, Bachianas Brasileieras, No.1, 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, then, nothing could prevail against my landing oriented-at-last by mostly cellos and fog spinning in the Brazilian folk rhythms I would spend my entire life descending toward, stumbling forward, misstepping after, 'my kingdom for a macaw, ' become a slack-jawed shamanista 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 - Terrible Sonnets to accidental Grace - rendered, I yield, I am peeled layer by layer to pomes penny (p) each glottal stops and '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.

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,
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


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?


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.

This! thrusts his cigar at me. I refuse.

Give those things up, I say. Yer inhaling death.
I milk it. Don't lecture me. F*ck you.

I will when you give up this lag addiction.
And literary frickin tourettes.

We both laugh.

Fair enough.

Jet contrail far and high in the sky beyond the World Trade

feathers and fans out pastel in the blue.

I point for a change, hand gesturing outward and upward,

See? Like milk. White as milk that.

**James Wright, American poet


The photo's of the Shrine in my old apartment,20 years on East 10t. I hear drunken

Trungpa grunt about a 'spiritual antique shop" . I ignore him as he crawls into a jug of

Gallo Tawny Port and grows his liver big as a Kali Yuga,

'May I call you, once-guru, Sir Roses (cirrhosis) ? '

The one Black Mouse what refused to leave the place made it's bed behind Ganesha's head

for years, nosed around in the dried flowers, lavender on its little breath. 'If you are death

wag my finger! ! ' I loudly announce on the verge of an insight the night of the massive

earthquake in Iran many years back, the room at 2 am suddenly gone very cold, all those

newly dead souls piling in, but I could not say it, what it was I was on the edge of as Sir

Roses suddenly kicked the Kwan Yin statue over and scoffed, told me with disgust to 'grow

a set of dorjes, fer Chrissakes.'

'You are cut off, ' was all I managed to get out when Black Mouse leapt out from behind

Ganesha's head and blew lavender dust all over the dead.


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
The opposing train

Old graves by a lake
Old woman passing in aisle
Fleeting sign outside explains -


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:


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,


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


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
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.


PART FIVE - [THEOTIC-EROTIC] Cryptics for Cantors & Cripples


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:


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.

for the dead,
wildly grow
pinching lovers
who kiss




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





belly laugh

the gut punch
and rabbit

that moment
of consent
with bridges
orange sky

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





“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”





the sign
the halt
the lame
the blind



much the
Monk who
falls for
(One) love
every night
from the
belfry smells
of pitch 1st
avenue smells
of singed

Is it
dawn shoes


the Orange

the humming
boy hums
pokes bits
of scalp on
the walk
his small
white thumbs
alone touch

the white
lattice kiosk
sells the
face again

Monk Midnight Leaps
While City Sleeps

A Frightful Mess
This Foregoing
Bliss For Want
Of Affection This

Of Spinning Night





“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

and of the curveship
lend a myth to God.'
- Hart Crane

You hear


as 'constellation'

when I explain

a poem is a


work that I

am compelled


as a lover

is to traces


beyond sighs

and windows






in night's



his arrow



ready to

swiftly fly

as am I

along the

spatial curve

of your



This, too,



breath held




lips of

praise -

If you

could only

see what

I see in

your eyes

when the





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

between the fork
and spoon obscenely
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

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-

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?


Robert Creeley's description of his childhood in the '40's in temperament matches mine only I was born in the south in South Carolina in the early '50's, woke up out of the mist into the thrown world in the early 60's, also " complicated in many bitter ways" ...loathing the south and drawing my conclusions about life and placement from the withered dug of that Christhaunted kudzu tangle of fuddlement and consternation, I found my " very real place" to be in books. And, perforce, stars. And star maps.

I needed escape but also found in books my effective way to get into (toe in the water to ambivalently 'tetch') dubious life in the human world. No problem with the external world, nature, pond scum, snakes, poison ivy, honey suckle, bee sting, tire swing, green moss on red banks, wild irises, azaleas grown from rotted 1800's houses overgrown by woods, skies on said pond scum on their way, me beating a drum in deep Cherokee woods by arrowhead filled creek, secret places my meek could gladly inherit, more fully occupy

Being introverted intuitive meant orientation via inner life and inner world. Already dwelling in eternity, my personality number 2 **, the work, the crucible and the ecstasy, has been entry/exit/lick/lick wounds/recover into ex-ternity having found that personality number 1 (the child of parents, social world) fraternity is a sometimes thing, at least for me. I clot along with difficulty somewhat hemophiliac. Confession. Not a plea. Polaris my orientation. And it's counter, the molten core contained/restrained. Coagulatio, says my expensive shrink, is the goal. And I always add, and stain. Carrion comfort for me,8 piece bucket with mashed and gelatinous gravy. It serves. But books, the hard ones carried in hand, pages (do NOT bend the edges to mark) turned with a licked thumb or forefinger is more than desolation in the plot.

**Carl Jung wrote of his personality number 1 and number 2. Like Jung I valued " anything that wanted to come from within" :

" In short, his childhood was disturbed, and he developed a schizoid personality, becoming withdrawn and aloof. In fact, he came to think that he had two personalities, which he named No 1 and No 2.
No 1 was the child of his parents and times. No 2, though, was a timeless individual, " having no definable character at all – born, living, dead, everything in one, a total vision of life" . (At school, his peers seem to have picked this up, as his nickname was " Father Abraham" .) "


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
distorts (in your glass
twists takes
traps light to
the mad world
from shadow

we are

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


murdered by the too ordinary

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


to be filled with
whatever flows

in the dirty lane
he leans his
love against

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.


Which is the dutiful image of you?
Heart broken remembering the first meeting,

then the departing?

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 knows 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.

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


and there

and yet

there again

after hammers



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 pre-
sence chalked
now upon crumbling

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
to speak of it


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 -

began the rite
first night

gathering now
the last

o when
the towel easily un-
folded, drank

little mouths many

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

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
as you pack
fumbling upon
the unmade

“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

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.


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


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

but you do not read it much less see that
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


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



of air

In spaces

without known

design the

tree, close,

wanders too

ponders a

coughing bird

its musical

fourths disclose


with traffic down

the hill and out


the bay

where gulls



on the

hill yet

seen yet

dip in time

with the



all is parsed




among apparent

but unprovable

perhaps disproven

- if reason is the thing -



but the old
painter missing
an eye
flicks in

tapping toe

as they go

of fire and smoke

the scratch

the strike

a match begins

it is all
all over again



on the chipped stoop

the flaking paint not

to be
for moss
or manna
or for
an eye's


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

flatly (mono)
yet hear the
cleared throat's
black washed

the traffic's

the sounds
(implied only)
in bay's waves

on the winking caps

in the sinking troughs

spin of
hunger flashed






but for

the sparks

gulls daubed
upon the

their tips
mute each



and again

in rhyme



they are


upon which
so much

forgetting the

the color

the states of dryness

which may or
may not

any notion
archaic of
time or

nor wetness





'no matter'

of air
for that


seeking a nest
or home

even an eave
within which

one may (shall we)


in the water's


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



not to be dismissed

not to be forgot



in forgetfulness
let him not
dissolve the
within the
the indivisible

yet known by sight
and in the seeing
divided parsed
for rehearsals

a revelation

or perhaps
a summation


the gulls



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

his lips moving

does a spider make

quieter order

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


of field

again 'no matter'

the one hand over
the one good eye

and the missing

the shapening words
in exaggeration do


do borrow

to woo
a semblance
that lasts -


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,


and we are returned to some notion

Platonic beyond higher math

of over-said,


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


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 Twomby'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


the sun go up the

sun go down,

the-Sky-(Amor) -Wheel-Fati

turn and return

with feeling

Let the painter lonely be


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.


Tubes of it.

We once were that, too -

careless without.

Now wrecks.

Vaulted. Now become

weather without





in the making

(if such
is made at all)

but is aporetic


a condition,

a given

hard thumb


a sky of

tubes made

and of

squints made

we are then a

“striving after”

beyond cream-colored


churned by storm

Here come the wild birds again

Come Sunday mornings that bar
beneath the bridge ushers rusted
ships in and out the harbor.

Bodies of birds fall from girders pale blue.

Watching them fall's a kind of sport,

free shot per bird, bad whiskey's piss
hue dilute, bottom shelf's cruel, both
winners and losers choose from what's
offered or what's left in the one chipped
bottle, glass in the throat is aftertaste,
what burns the day blind though dawn's
reputedly new.

Look for signs of the living.

one takes what's given

Nothing for dead swallows,

Some simple lessons are learned though:

grant clumsy purity one free pass,

go unjudged or go unnoticed,

hunger's there in those young faces,

shirt tail's out, sailors stark stand

stiff and votive scrying horizons,

compos dementis inebriant but native.

They salute distant fins Atlantic,

low haze over supplicant water.

Young, they obey orders,

no rank higher than father.

For some confession comes.

Later knees give them no choice.

Com the rejoicing later if at all.

Dead awake, the chase is on.


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.


PART SIX - " 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.


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, 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.


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.



Dear Milnieves or Thousand Snows,

Scratch as scratch can, you are quite welcome regarding my taking old Straw to task in his criticisms of Paul Dunbar. I am rare to pen such things to writers/poets but Mr. Straw pissed me off...I do have a VERY mean streak, suffer arrogance, hubris, and assorted puffed-up top gallo tendencies but have battled enough in coop, front stoop and arena (the word used in the both English and the Spanish meaning, sand, 'place of combat, ' from L. harena 'place of combat, 'originally 'sand, sandy place, ' The central stages of Roman amphitheaters were strewn with sand to soak up the blood) bloody enough to know that there are times when one must play the gallena to the cock...but Mr. Straw pricks, and straw's a prominent feature of hen houses, prick Straw laid an smelly egg and, well, my ire came out of retirement for a stuffy Brit to go after one of our own, honorable Dunbar...'e brung out the warrior spurs hid in my claws which would rather write poems or caress a bony bonny love.

Such a stupid 'review' he gave, Straw, so uninformed, as if Dunbar was still alive and penning mere froth which, having read at Straw's 'fodder poems' they are indeed pompously foam and form words poorly so. I mightily spit at his muffin self. And mimic his own style henceforth and here froth polyglotally.

So much for my humility as I counseled to Mr. Straw, about an old saint calling his life work of writing, 'Straw. All Straw.' That goodly Saint Aquinas sits on my stooped shoulder whispering away night and day. Fortunately my good ear is on the other side. I've no pretensions to sainthood. Just plain 'hood' 'scribes me. Every sinner knows the good is in the steerage and not what is pushed out front ahead. But I've found the best listeners are the bad guys. I can't shake the good from my head as much as I try. Good sticks. Bad pricks. Or is it the other way round? Still, either or both, each to each depends.

Having said all this and that, I try to keep silent but for my pen, try to be humble enough, not be too 'god a'mighty' who, in spite of press otherwise, does indeed suffers fools, and a goodly or badly amount at that, of which I am one, perhaps chief though to say so is a conceit bared deserving of an eye roll. But being chief one is most certainly chaffed which is a form of chastening, yes? Raw in the crotch one's gait is wide though 'narrow is the Way unto the Pearly Gate' where hopefully talcum waits for soothing. Hallelujahs then shall be all the louder for the relief, belief rewarded at last not discounting the scratching.

I have read some of your work and find much therein to like. And I am a happy sucker for a limerick, one of the greatest art forms ever. As a bored waiter in my wayward 'yoot' (as they still say here in New York City, in some parts of it...I am of South Carolina born but none too proud of that) always waiting for deliverance (usually meaning, a good lay) , I and my fellow waiters would compose dirty limericks the shift entire much to the anger of managers who did have to laugh when I raised a filthy ditty loudly over their 'be good' din, 'Are we not all horny men? ' I'd scream, 'And god's very own? ' A pink slip to me was given. But pink was the horny point, I thought. The limericks pinkly did not stop.

I am particularly fond of your poem tribute to beloved parents intent on warming a child, body and soul. Seems you've made good from what I read in your biography, and in your poetry. In the boxcar car poem I found a little haiku (there are more) and please forgive if I o're step my poetic bounds. (Sic) the hounds on me if need be:

Little Birds

Just inside on the rafter studs
Hundreds of them coming in
From the cold.

And Old Uncle Walt (Whitman) would give thee embrace for rhyming is no disgrace and spring does winter thaw, season after season follows in time, thus does rhyme imitate. Old Graybeard would sit at your campfire, or crawl through your window and take inspiration. But I'd tell him to wash his beard, his playing too much the Bard with his obscene 'yawp'. Things can stink hard so I'd send him to a sink with soap in hand, tell him to scrub fiercely as if his very poem depended on it. What might fall out of that beard the more? True the air would be all the better for the foaming soap.

As I told Straw, old stagger-puss of the halt rhyme, said rhyme is a difficult thing to pull off artfully, and free verse can oft amount to what Truman Capote accused poet Charles Bukowski of, 'He just types.' Art, or ars poetica, to get fancy, is that Drive (one must produce drivel on the way to better, not purer, forms) and the comely shaping of that impelling thrust which hopefully does not call too too much attention to itself but, rather, to its saying/song. Any fool can push and pull but there's more to poetry, writing, than that. But much bull is gained as byproduct. Good poets like good farmers know what to do and make use of such and become, one hopes, the better, more skillful 'shaper' from the barnyard and pastoral nutrient.

Dr. Seuss, one of my favorite rhymers, actually teaches, perhaps unknowingly, happy surrealism to children which is often enough where they live, and why not? green eggs and ham a feast do make. Along with some of your abuela's solidly pressed empanadas, sweet pumpkin made the more savory by her constancy...

Here's to your continued feasting. And fie on Straw.

Case in point, poorly made, I'm sure, I include below something of mine on on rhyme and such, such as it is.


Brainard P. Pshaw

Because They Rhyme They Live, Not I

'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,
Smoothed for intoxication by the breath
Of flowering bays, that I may die a death...'

- John Keats, 'Sleep and Poetry

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.

Meanwhile, bright petaled mouths flaunt, gape,
gulp in early spring, whereas, I flop here, leaden,
landed, banked, a carp brought to heel from bluer
lake pulling gills swallowing nothing that can sustain,
or not much. I sympathize, yes, then down another
pill for more air to clutch, breath an almost perennial
memory of last spring when it first edged me in,
clipped my singing short, when seasonal flowers so
easily rhymed but in a minor wheeze for a minor voice.

Fine then. Some one, some other poet write a
line for when I've gone under forfeiting all final drafts.
Those yard yellows spoon dirt to a useless
feeding sun, useless because I'm soon done in.

I'd do the same for you, Mr. Keats, in a soft, bleating tone of voice.


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 others

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

now it pleases me to read of these
and so sing by the reading


Will call in the horseman
and his short-legged horse,
roll up this scroll, tie
it tight with good cord,
wrap it secure in chamois,
pay the restless postman
his due, his room, his board,
and 'mail' this to you over
the ranges, that ocean, to
that high place 3 days by
foot, Chirisan, mighty dragon,
allowing your weight.

We are all a scandal.

Kow towing toward the West
(though you are in the Far East)
where you are just watching the
sun come up, keep an eye out for
the horseman moving your way.

Dear Incomprehension,

in a marble park behind Astor Place reading a lifetime of my own poetry...some good...but odd to read my " hits" and mostly misses but still I can think of " nother bether" other than lying naked skin to skin with a brown or other more darker beside me now long in the tooth just looking looking looking at the miracle mounds-fresh and muscle smooth shy grin desire's child come to wildness with and within me...other than this bliss of bed and barter of breaths and rhythms, reading of, working on a poem and the rare reading them all in bulk...mine was and is yet not a life well lived but most certainly paid great great attention too and painted, sketched, searched, reached, dropped, slung headlong and out down stairs out windows into Polaris center and splinter off chasing one bear or her other, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor no matter the urges of matter and mind pickin up paw paws put em in a pocket live long sing song give the long day its docket and say, me still praying to G DASH D, Here's breath for you

But I cold now. Bone frozen to marble. Going home to thaw. Got some pork neck bones smoked n they be crying out for black eyed peas or white navy beans. I remain forever postulant. And flatulant. I am gravy cold in the pan. Down to a man, I'll take my stand and stake my claim continuously, oui oui oui-ing all the way tomb, in pork futures.

Smoked withers are desolation in the pot. Cornbread's for soppin.

Born: Year of the Dragon.
Horoscope: 'Today's the lucky day.'

Luck, you say? O.K. Once. In a small town
on a snowy road, the scenery spinning round.
When it stopped you were pointing toward a good
place - Home. The message: Go back.
You can decide again to begin again
or stay warm there: Wombtown, population: 1.
No Lions Club or local Jaycees.
No chocolate bars and brooms for the blind.
Free room and board. It's kick and dream,
kick and dream and cleanliness more efficient
than a space suit. Talk about luck?

You're here aren't you? Don't say good or bad.
It's no accident the year's the Dragon's.
Chinese or no, the year has a tail long as a river.
Peel the scales behind the ears
you'll still roar for pain o roaring boy
spinning in the world, the recurring dream
of vortices whirling pink and red, a large
mouth with teeth spitting you into
an even muddier river. You'd fish it
if you could. More likely you'd dam it
at the source. The occasional catch is
more likely snag in undertow.

It's 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.

This is the day. The glass on the window's
steamed. Outside's a blur. What's that gone by
spinning with rustling wings, roaring like wind,
glint of mirrors hurling down? You'd swear
there was a splash. Something's pointing,

Go back.


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

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


To read more prose and poses you may go here:

http: //falconwarren.blogspot.com/2012/12/what-is-known-is-variable-and-dependent_22.html

Warren Falcon's Works:


Small Favors of Mourning. Chapbook. Bartram's Ear Press. 1977

You're Toothless, I'm Beerless. Let's Fall In Love! And Other Unlikely Love Poems But Sings The Heart True. Chapbook. Published under the nom de plume, Norman Nightingale. Friendless Phrase Press. 1979.

Bucolic Bouncers At The Belly Dancers Ball (published under the nom de plume, Norman Nightingale) . Chapbook. Cortical Canticle Press,1989)

From The Encampment of Heartstrife: The Cathected Poems of Norman Nightingale. Unexpurgated Edition, Norman Nightingale. Chapbook. Cortical Canticle Press,2008.

PoemHunter.com Updates

Ars Poetica Redux

Dying trees easily fall..
Poems, too, as they should.
Dead wood rots from which
One good poem may grow,
The better to hear in the higher
Branches, the creaking lower limbs.

Sequestering lovers late afternoon
Whisper. One is carving the bark,

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