Warren Falcon

Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA
Warren Falcon
Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA


From The Dusk Of My Ghost House - Variant Excursions Into Autobiography Of An Inner Life

" A dog named Ego, the snowflakes as kisses" - Delmore Schwartz


The form of spirit as it awakens is adoration. - Ludwig Wittgenstein


from omnipotence to madness - within this spectrum locate the ambivalent community. - Lee, Sue-Im

Fusion or union.
Fission or frisson.
Fissure or seizure.
Lesion or leisure.
Message or measure.


...'s all a confession when
all's said and done. Confession
to what, to whom, to wit?

O bring me a rhinoceros horn
fan, a unicorn, a spittoon.
's jus' me n You, the Alone.

Punished flesh leans into ground.

Our roots there ungrieved are ungrieved still.

I remain stuck in King James,
entangled in lyrical tongues,
Revelation's old virgin

other than bliss of barter - mine was
and is yet not a life well lived but most
certainly paid great attention to - too
painted, sketched, searched, reached,
stretched, dropped, slung headlong
downstairs out windows into Polaris
center splinter off chasing one Bear
or Her other, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor

'no matter, '
urges Mind
and Matter


'...to break through the seductive constellations of human ordering...' - michael heller


otherness / interiority
loneliness / self-ignorance
recitation / quietism
salve / balm


the blank stare
the cancelled look

does it go
does fire it know

so goes the banter
so goes the way
of what is the going
away or the returning
or the first-arrived


when is the done
actually over?


another turned page


a toad does not say what it knows


still the valid address

'shall and will' and 'spill my beans'
the very few that are left

bereft? sure I am
cleft? yes

twained? drained mostly - acedia [ah-che-dia = dryness]


inclement hallelujahs

latencies of disintegration

ancient slopes of containment

gnomic marginalia

trace the grace-note of reprieve


'I...watch the dark fields for a rebirth of faith and wonder.' - Dame Edith Sitwell

Where have they gotten to
these graces clumsy on their feet?

They've fled, easy wings balletic toward ocean or other.
Black, they bob low over white waves, confuse themselves
for sails or Van Goghs or Cezannes, even Twomblys so,
steady, they go away or depending on time of day and
slant of sun they wobble or appear to do so when things
even birds are bent mirage-podge-and-puddle-trajectories
of intent, instincts prevailing, so

woven, they have went,

their patience with the city spent.

They're fled. Gone.


for Franz Wright

Let us put on the blue
whose voice is this -

the bird, slight, brown
down on the planks

pecking between them
hoping darkness yields

Whose is it, the dark
thing beneath or be-

tween the mean streak
of the conquering beam

the sudden sun not
blundering but purpose

full, not dull as the day
is or was until the bird

blinks up and darts
unconfused by wings

knowing, fly, fly now

light is here

and terrible


Oasis and cloaca,

love birds parched,

now moves caravansary

toward heart's always

winking horizons.

There are many before

the sun rises.

Perhaps my name goes

before me, my press,

Empress of Contrails,

peacocks in tow,

trailing tallies, scores,

arrivals, departures,

ejaculations, rejections,

all faces hands have held,

and yearning beyond possibility

hesitant dawn's mourning doves.

Recall how hot winds blow loudly

as do I, billowing the tent. Men

cry mad for my return yet burns

no desert impervious to heat of

all kinds, even human, excepting

the heart its capacities to startle,

its dunes in vast stretches beat,

beat for what moonlight can only

suggest to scorpions in silver

shadows, pitying serpents coiled

smug in their ability to shed skin,

unlike the veiled men long in tooth

just gazing gazing at miracle mounds'

fresh muscles smooth shy grin

desire's child come to

wildness with and within me.

* * *

Autobiography from April 5,2020, lest than a month into the coronavirus19 plague - journal note/prose-esque poem or a proem:

The only face mask I need here in Keene mountains. Supplied by late afternoon sun while I trudge snow melt mud steeps up the drive beauty blinded. Going to explore the barn newly purchased. Not dressed for barn storming but I had not anticipated more than a week up here when we arrived on March 13th so packed light and left my barn-butch clothes forlorn in a pile of MUST WASH UPON RETURN laundry. Hopefully the spiders and barn spirits will allow me entrance dressed as is.

POST barn storming: upon opening the door I am confronted with a mirror and by mine own visage masked by smudge by smear by crud by dead bugs layered by how many years of going unwashed by not much to reflect but by barn stillness by planked sun dialing internals by insect flight by perhaps rodent and by invading birds by bones of which are strewn in tight corrals for perhaps a horse or two.

I have been reading zen much up here, not doing enough sitting but for these walking meditations of sorts, cheating of course, my course of meditation is 'cheating zen' which I believe, and can argue, that there is good scholarly evidence for and such in history of zen, there being no real rules and orthodoxy but the most import zen 'doxy' is orthoproxy, or, practice, but/and there is much recenty read and repeated in text enough about 'polishing mirrors', that and the bright sun obscuring face, not even MY face but just 'face' or parts with one left eye tracing the left hand path I've much in life taken (cuz force and temperament) .

There's teaching everywhere. Some of it a ponderance and other such as shake clothes and sheets and towels and such before use since winter spiders love to idlely spider there (idling spiders, fiddling legs, when do they sleep?) . And having suffered a severe spider bite some years ago, the craterous skin rot rotting in perfect concentricities, spectrum of colored putrifactions, fascinating to watch slowly devour perfectly good skin, pock full of the stench of beauty and enlightenment or opposite but as they say all doors lead or in this case all (or many) pores cede, that's one zen lesson I do not want nor again need.

Some weeks later, spring snow and freeze, old knees resisting zen, prayer too. So, Rekiah's nephew is here renovating old house so the place shakes and vibrates with hammer and saw scrapes of heavy old stuff to be replaced with heavy new stuff so's psoas's sore me below ground floor down in here inhering pine knot plank plotch catch all or most dusts the mouse/rat/chipmunk dung the plaster the fiberglass o let this cup pass Lord of Ghosted critters-occupants-seven snake skins entwine water pipes cool wet I guess for snakes need so evidence speaks dark hiding nooks with food rodents close by old bones and fur fall into shower stall - three days before the pipes broke from - frozen a'toilet I sit and read the castings now an old constipated sage scrieing the fallen oracle bones and fur and spiders too butoh walk leg
by leg
by leg
by leg
by leg
by leg
to what purpose there on the plasticine stall floor/wall not sure but am sure that the dead flies of winter go uneaten/unsucked of inner juices and one spider first days here I spoke to every morning from the john me wondering at its slow slow movements for 3 days till 4th its legs are curled/tucked tightly beneath its carapace I blow at it from the cold seat draws round my colder ankles and it budged not at all I realized it was dead and first time ever'vfelt remorse for a bug a spider and once cleaned/flushed pajamas up I gently scoop Spider up with toilet paper so soft double ply-ed solomnly march spider on bier so soft softly into still harder winter snow and darker woods Middle-March flip flops slow going find a rock up near the shed so place paper and spider there with oddest prayer ever in my life but Lord Buddha helps re: 'all sentient beings' etcetera etcetera sera OK - and so perform brief bone chill rites then slide down the path patch to my ground floor entrance

to hot shower to Hopkins poem - The Windhover - more meaningful
than ever for ' dappled dawn drawn' things or rather substituted or
addendum-ed ' threaded sewn moaned' things strangely mourned
actual tears born no doubt of projections 'pon small cringes majestically
formed objectively perceived from secret and sightless spaces suspended/
cocooned in darkness or in woods strung pearled between limbs and
trunks which freak my face when once I stumble August last humid
stagger in thickets face first into massive webs the sudden grand
mal-like seizure-like slaps scrape face eyelids forehead pate of monstrous
poison from not so small miracle makers webbers or as native americans
have it are weavers of stories spun from themselves and thus spider
medicine is storytelling weaving spinning from within to without

'A first unfallen
church it might have been.'
- Nathaniel Mackey

* * *

'The simplest kind of proposition, an elementary proposition, asserts a state of affairs.' - Ludwig Wittgenstein

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God...
For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.
- from 'Jubilate Agno' by Christopher Smart

Forget Jeoffry.

Consider the Cat Oliver
asleep upon the journal's
leather, old ink and think
enclosed, weighted as
only Cat-weight weighs in
upon all things, pink-eared.
A Poem of Itself possessed,
Cat-self, He's but a winking
Dream only Paws may seize.

He speaks:

Please the dust in
corners, rather I nod.
Let others consider God.
I shall consider Me,
the Better of the two,
Furred Things being Best.

I shall not raise a Tail to human
deity, that brute untamed,
clumsy, no sense of balance.

Rather, the human is My mastery.
I have trained some few of them
well which pleases Me and greatly
them though I shall appear indifferent
as I ever am.

Clever me.

I will the sun up and down,
the daily annunciation of tin
cans, bid humming humans
whose voices are the softer
for My Presence,

O bringest thou me now the tuna.


And their laughter I patiently
endure. They think Me silly
but I am Trickster, too, an Arse
on purpose.

I take their picture with Mine.


But not now.

I repose.

Every moment is a pose,
each still gesture appears
insignificant, a supposition.



I live at the bottom of a hill near a
broken fence beside tracks of steel.

On the other side a stream moves upon itself
not confusing itself as ice for rocks alone.

A memory in the sound of water, a dazzle of
sky, takes a silly surface tone from what runs

beneath, outrunning rocks because it can;
desire that force which drives the sand.

The movement of water too is undeniable,
solid in its course though sand, as does water,

knows nothing of remorse.

At the fence I wait. No train yet
which will be a movement too beside
the wet, and these thoughts here.

That you are tissue essential and fabric
to my own particularity.

I send you a sound wonder, a welcome again
to that place you dwell here within,

Time the only disparity.

Snow on Telford gravestones, tall
houses on cupped hills in squared

parcels back lit with sunset's down-light,
juxtapose a Wyeth isolation and beauty

which is the dutiful image of you, heart
breaking through remembering our first meeting.

The distant gazebo of that small
town wears white lights garlanded

round, and snow. A boy without
gloves reads alone.

He is no fool who takes his time and
place to know.

I rediscover you a gift here still as
I have in good counsel curtsied and coughed

often enough, my own hand to my own groin
to discover a fissure again, again to repeat,

that you are tissue essential still and
fabric to my own particularity upon a hill,

a house, one fence above a stream and rails,
a blinking boy turning wet pages knowing that

you or someone similar, only a few years
ahead, already familiar, dwells inside

compels his reading just before sunset
squinting at words beyond and past the

fence and the stream, the train late,
footprints dark blue in the patient drift.

* * *

'...Pierrot moon steals slyly in,
His face more white than sin...' - Dame Edith Sitwell

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

Please gods and moondogs
the effort pays in insubstantial ways,

makes a life, lends focus for life times of
spilt milk, one milk tooth at the throat,
a charm against seeing but not the

It troubles me that I can't get it right.

Not the moon but the poem.


from a letter to an old friend who knew me when,
a country lad young in tooth and great in hunger to know:

Karen, you remember me then....I was earnest indeed in the flush and must of youthful vigor to transcend the body which was doing me no spiritual good at all or so i was taught to believe and so I naively bought to my torment and contusions. I did not think that owning as many Bibles or other sacred tomes in the world as i could would much amount me to blusterous spirituality (well, perhaps I secretly hoped but knew too much better 'because I was flesh' utterly mutterly) .

I now own more Carl Jung books than any approach to sacred and profane or wholly other (well, I also own scores of books of poetry gathered and still gathering those so it's Jung and poets mostly on the shelves and in the stacks) ....and there are tomes of comparative religion, must confess to wishing i'd fled to japan as i'd planned post self-exile from holy hill Calvin's morose Lookout Mount to find across the merciful Pacific a bamboo fountain beside a zen temple or master or perpetually flowing sake cup (forget the green tea) and at least sit for awhile beneath cherry or willow and quaff (even if only sniff one vapor of) a bit of inner surcease whilst cultivating boredom which Paul Tillich accurately describes as 'rage spread thin' and of that i was muchly spread ('like a patient upon the table') . As was and still is ol' yellow bones and bitter toothed John Z. Calvin, the stillborn.

For all the books, head bonks, balder- and other- dash gathered between dust jackets - and i revere them all, no resentment of them as they have been constant companions, quiet, present, ready to be opened or at least keep a door ajar or a tenement window in Harlem over 40 years ago open enough to smell the rich grease of Doña Floridita (Our Lady of Perpetual Pork) ever frying cracklin' and cuchi fritos 2 floors down, love my West 142nd Street perch before the ever encroaching white folks moved in and took over, their rage never spread thin but thickly thickly OY -

for all the books and studies to increase me in gnosis (I remain ever halitose, bilious, and verily splenetic) , I have found the entirety of mine efforts of so-called verticality-is-best spirituality brief astutely summed by Matuo Basho from 17th century Edo, Japan:

I would be a monk
but the the dust of the world
upon my shoulders.


And perhaps this sum by David Bowie:

Ashes to ashes
Funk to funky


A lifetime of heave and hoe tugging at Heaven's door 'to break through the seductive constellations of human ordering...' - Michael Heller

Now i'm hanging out in old age, confessing my worn pockets, one holding an inclement hallelujah, and the other tracing, or trying, the grace-note of reprieve.

The only honest prayer I can offer to Existenz Itself is

'Here's breath for you.'



Monet might have seen,

giving darkness in Giverny,
defiant to the last optics fired out inevitably,

nerve light made the more dipped,
smeared on clutched pallet bent to a gaping will

struggling to 'ope' eyes,
the wider see.

Was failing him the light.

Closing-in world reduced to all horizon.

Tints, brushes, memory
frame these final pieces
canvased, inwardly conformed,
recalled light more light than all raw day.


" everything is descending,
even the scholarship of the
ancient adverbs" - Richard Tagett

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

" a pomegranate
biggish and green

I can't take
her in my arms..

Won't she come back?

Why won't she? "

You, dear, will read
of my heterosexual shadow

a great lover who serenades
Her in the terrible contradiction

of the moon caught
in bare tree limns strophes

just outside Her window
the fool below in rouge

head hung, singing

O hurt

heart's tin can
tied to belt loop behind
of his ragged pants


to be filled with
whatever flows

in the dirty lane
he leans his
love against

* * *

On the way to Canterbury.

Fields. Dairy.

What was late August doing with light

from Agnes Martin to this Cathedral bound

walled city?

Just who let the dogs in?

Bad theology.

Many questions,

medieval and otherwise.

Agnes thinks in squares. Or not.

Layered resolutions vague the plot.

* * *

" When we shift the dream-words around, letting them play other parts of speech, transformation takes place right in our ears. A dream is itself transformational because it transforms its own statements through polyvalence of its images. A dream is always deepening and differentiating itself.... We return to Freud's view that dream is not a message, but is a self-satisfying narcissistic event. Because dream's words are not concepts that refer, no dream can be interpretively translated to other referents. A dream can only be interpretively re-imagined, as one does with a piece of any other poesis." - James Hillman


St. Thomas Aquinas a year before he died gave up speaking and writing:
" I can write no more. I have seen things that make my writings like straw."


" And how can I teach him his hands" - Tyana, the city of Apollonius speaking

Old Friend, from one desert to another,

let other scholars of absence break
their burden-heads against these mute
stones. The cactus here, perhaps knowing
of your advent by post, has waited all
these years to come into its radiance
with you. Just tonight it blooms once
only in its life, a miracle itself, a startle,
one blossom of rarified hope.

Distant cousin,

you unveil too in Roman darkness there as
we once shared silent prayer in the churchyard,
our knees on hard stones - our God then - our
thin books not yet written.

One simple stone veils you where you rest,
your books, long in the making, shoulder the
burden so faithfully carried without complaint.
A landscape scarred - life's hard impress has
etched you - is now placed, framed, beside
the new flower, sheer and here.

I wonder how you are now that you are prayer itself
on that hill of bones wet with penitent pilgrims tears.

Your photograph travels all these years to
reach me so long without news of you, my
letters unanswered though rumors stray in
from the same old rivals fed on envy inquiring
about you. I never bother to answer them.
The postman, angel at the gate, has firmly
placed in my hands your parcel of plain brown
paper - FROM ROMA - it proclaims in bold
print framed beside the other framed.

Dear Unexpected Face,

to see you at last, your resigned smile finally,
gladly, admitting surrender - such repose is
an altar where incomprehension finally breaks
into blossom - Emptiness is Presence Divined
in any landscape or ocean. Or mind.

On the back of your photo you ask simply,
briefly, a note scribbled by a weak hand,

How fare's you,
God's mason friend?

* * *

Epitaphs Beyond the Urn - An Ongoing Series Till It's (He's) Not

'But if it ends / the start is begun' - William Carlos Williams

Here scattered is Warren at last soundless.
As when alive, though everywhere now,
he's still yet groundless.

Lived more by his tongue than 'is feet,
he'd now confess,
He just lived it best as could but what for's
still an ancient ongoing guess.

Newly dead
I swore you
to a would-be

bore you on the lowest shoulder

me too too soon to be shroud

you lived silent enough to be
so passing, yours, calls attention
well deserved

pity or verse?
both in one?

the Worst

bidden, it bore

not a grave
but a door

where is no need to knock

its life grokked
it is no longer

there's no mock in
it tho
as it was and now is

all that is not
was its business

but its was only to
That which bade


it made

all praise to the Bidder


Dear Incomprehension,

Not much going on here.

Rash continues as does moon's
waxing-waning in stages but
lunar condition's returns and
departures upon my ravaged
surface impinges my days and nights.

I guage.

I manage,

skin tides,

write on,

hoping for one more
freeze which may crack more
limbs than rot.

Rime ice is desolation in the plot.

Flower mouth,
stamen tongue,
frozen drift,

large crow over
last year's flower
bed, bemused,

favorite color's
maize without

from back
of throat it

Root reach,

clot cling.

Old Scratch,

Black wing.


a view of distant
bridges busy with light,

the spanned river,
dark, spins toward
the deeper East;
a Star there was
once a great matter,
one of the better
nights of the world
it is believed.

It is closing hour.

I have broken my back lifting
all these my loves to heaven.


Further news/spews July 5,2020 in reign Nazi Potus/Covidity

" I ain't your Clyde and I ain't your Ezra, I'm Bliss..." - Ralph Ellison

Dear face of The Face, Emad dear, from collective ethers I'm trying to come back to life here,

I've been out of it a long while....now lowered or low laid with sciatica pain down right leg stops below knee and buttock small of back nerves shock or ache or both depending on each move which is now and always feels eternal like a dare to the arbitrary force that so seeks to crush us into some gravity and submission no matter pleads or prayers....

Tracking the wary coyote hovering always just below the ledge or at yard meets woods edge, Mumps I call him, some sag or other at his left maw a limp on forward left paw leg twisted suspect car got him survives now forever on edges nothing bold like a regular road crossing or crow flight over meadow or even straight up Marcy's ice scars mountain dares still trying to pass but imperceptible aeons Mumps eyes plead " no mountain" when we make rare eye contact I try to send some friendly thoughts trying what my friend Valeria does, a wounded animal too and now because of wound is a healer she softly chants

come come come come

come come come come

showing both hands flat palms up for frightened animal to see

come come come come

I've seen her charm racoon-chewed dogs mauled cats sick horse motherless runted out kittens into won trust and life-enough

Mumps ain't having any come come come come

linger eats what's left whats offered in the meadow past dark where ravens get to work moon or not peck for the better portions they like bones just like the furred do - you know Mumps is near watching content enough to eat what might be left of leftovers or excavated fare from back of fridge long forgotten all mold blue or green some slimed things even the cats turn their discerning noses to


" Maybe I'm trapped. Although I may be in a melodrama, not a tragedy, from yet another dying empire....National identity is like armor. On permanent loan from a museum. It's dull armor that I clink around in. Could I get an operation that would make me oblivious to symbols? Could I be like human Switzerland, always neutral to the partisan demands of birthplce? Get a transnational operation, get placed in a different body politic? " - Lynne Tillman

Comet Sciatica struck sudden as well as the protracted viral sequester and my solitude pierced by necessary company of women and cats....necessary not cuz chosen but forced and too long with.....you know the deal - monk/hermit r me or us - the pestilence the potus putz the protracted posturing and pontificating social media without remedy facebook twit twitch bitch bitch bitch to no good end or so it seems but evidence to the contrary are needed riots and protests and new fences layered for yon orange yeti bitch in yellow house called the White what was slave built and now the shoe is fit and tilted in favor of those who forced built it and to them shall be the victory

Mugged like Mumps by past accidents fated old memories pitch forked in dreams and waking olding man woulda coulda shoulda unwilling but shouldered which has a should in't and so much grief so much pity too sung marvelously by Ralph Ellison my reading passages from Three Days Before the Shooting and me not black but perhaps inwardly so meaning soul-blackened which - black being equal opportunity archetype no matter civic turn or culture or hue - Ellison sings my woe too but daren't confess that at all or only to a few who may tolerate such now ad judged appropriation but by gods and little fishes o o o " o star spangled shock of mercy" Ginsberg mercy be or be found in the very place of madness and incarceration at times chosen or too often forced to circumstanced retreat

Mumps and me woe-bo-daddys smirched and be-schmirtched behind the birch white strophes vertical so vertical negative spaces between them all dark relief catastrophic tree fall of a vicious winter surely tornadic torn tops and upper halves cracked midriff trunks tossed or hanging perilous to pass under in other trees thicker limbs or geometry and gravity performing circus suspensions waiting for high wind until then we pretend the miracle of never falling such as acrobats
which are all humans ever were/are

to repeat


ever were/are


" ghost[s] of an alternative

They were we before we were, ancestral,

who'd never not be ill at ease. A vocation
for lack he'd have said, she'd have said
longing, a world, were they to speak, be-
tween... What wasn't, they'd have said,
away, would come back, first fanatic
what would
be" - Nathaniel Mackey


Rekiah's nephew is here renovating old house so the place shakes and vibrates with hammer and saw scrapes of heavy old stuff to be replaced with heavy new stuff so's psoas's sore me below down in here inhering pine knot plank plotch catch all or most dusts the mouse/rat/chipmunk dung the plaster the fiberglass o let this cup pass Lord of Ghosted critters occupants seven snake skins entwine water pipes cool wet I guess for snakes need so evidence speaks dark hiding nooks with food rodents close by old bones and fur fall into shower stall - three days before the pipes broke from - frozen a'toilet I sit and read the castings now an old constipated sage scrieing the fallen oracle bones and fur and spiders too butoh walk leg by leg by leg by leg by leg by leg to what purpose there on the plasticine stall floor/wall not sure but am sure that the dead flies of winter go uneaten/unsucked of inner juices and one spider first days here I spoke to every morning from the john me wondering at its slow slow movements for 3 days till 4th its legs are curled/tucked tightly beneath its carapace I blow at it from the cold seat draws round my colder ankles and it budged not at all I realized it was dead and first time evervfelt remorse for a bug a spider and once cleaned/flushed pajamas up I gently scoop Spider up with toilet paper so soft double ply-ed solomnly march spider on bier so soft softly into still harder winter snow and darker woods Middle-March flip flops slow going find a rock up near the house so place paper and spider there with oddest prayer ever in my life but Lord Buddha helps re: " all sentient beings" etcetera etcetera sera OK and so perform brief bone chill rites then slide down the path patch to my ground floor entrance to hot shower to Hopkins poem - The Windhover - more meaningful than ever for " dappled dawn drawn" things or rather substituted or addendum-ed " threaded sewn moaned" things strangely mourned actual tears born no doubt of projections 'pon small cringes majestically formed objectively perceived from secret and sightless spaces suspended/cocooned in darkness or in woods strung pearled between limbs and trunks which freak my face when once I stumble August last humid stagger in thickets face first into massive webs the sudden grand mal-like seizure-like slaps scrape face eyelids forehead pate of monstrous poison from not so small miracle makers webbers or as native americans have it are weavers of stories spun from themselves and thus spider medicine is storytelling weaving spinning from within to without

" A first unfallen
church it might have been. Let
run its course it would have gone
otherwise, time's ulterior bequest...
This they had a way of imagining,
they so wished it to be. Abstract he
at the back of her mind"
- Nathaniel Mackey


Won't say when I will return to City. If/When so I will gather up stuff, purchase needed things difficult to find in remote north country then head back up here for first snows! ! ! ! ! ! ! those harsh howling evergreen

wind blows and moans and whistles that shake the house entire woodstove aflame, wood cords stacked ready....stews and moidles on woodstove in cast iron dutch ovens,2 cats sleeping beneath fleece, Rekiah snoring on the couch very very unlady like and Fulani braiding her long woolen hair weaves and timeclocks tea cups her bow to the Western way of cup and saucer tosses her comb down to fluff the fire, stir the cats unbudgable they are counting matchsticks used on the delicate ceramic handmade in oaxaca stove topped for such and dirty spoons

she's continually crooning bending to dropped things checking the humane traps for mice discovering a pill Rekiah's dropped from fistfuls she takes to wake up to sleep to breathe to digest to hold falling inner things - womb used well - innards natural sag advanced old age which -resigned discovery - never ever stops at the the dead edge end but for now warmed from her, Fulani daughter's groom and pick up pill to forstay doom Fulani of milk in the cups to clabber for the anjera to thicken in the heavy skillet blacher than she Ehiope's child she remains up to her usual countless tasks that must must be done and me me I'm the opposite be-booked, coffee-ed, warm enough below on the ground floor by the window side view of icy woods close and straight on view of the rimed path up the hill view plate glass doors and chipmunks about their work jaw-fulls of finds full-shiver and down the snow hole they go to escape thinner red squirrels three da bitches mean as hornets even to each other competing over frozen territory for a seed single dropped from sesame toast a frigid snack had on the deck now and always chase after each other to do battle over said seed republicans all them they are them that the red furred bestids

In spite of squirrels
this Sunday find from
" Greater Lord of Long Life"
in the Chutzu - meaning
Great Master near the
Great Mountain:

" first a yin then a yang
no one knows what to do

for the one who lives apart"

Read this relieved yet
a grimaced redundant
question returns never
having left, heard Old
Son, Charles Olson:

" I pose you you're question:
shall you uncover honey / where maggots are?

Queries' distant cousins, very,
one from East and 2 millenia
old, the other from West arguing
on behalf of an unmoored continent
of displaced people from un-
moored continent bones of
which could and can no longer
live and let be

To Be Continued


'An ‘inner process' stands in need of outward criteria'. In the absence of agreed-upon rules, private language is a game that does not hold the possibility of making a 'transaction, ' 'making sense, ' 'making oneself understood, ' or 'being able to explain.' - Ludwig Wittgenstein

Altar pieces a bit will nill pell mell much like Olympus
I gather

even Sanai once

if the smoke ever clears, the
scrambled competition picks
up renewed-and-vicious-pace

still kicks post haste even into
post po-mo postmodern mantlepiece
here, mine, shards of once was/still is
deity, fingers pointing to the moon,
never to what's behind it which is where
deity true probably
or better leading to 'don't know' but
makes a funny feeling, even sick,
fearful in the gut for

Something we know not what is doing we know not what 1

and one knows something wholly other
than self, even what is known so familiarly,
such as daily/nightly totems staring one down,

insisting, what?

something beyond eye or thigh
the weight that Forever really is
or we feel it is, the bone feel, that
ever so slow curve calcium makes
down, down, years of it sinking
and then we wonder our own being

rumors of thunder on Distant Mountain,
fire there, we are stutterers pegged for
massive revelations, special effects
parting waters walking sticks into serpents
bread rain and on and on and somewhere

we remember we ought to altar so we
finally relent even if it's the first and last
and only one of the heart but not only
that but the aged body parts once so
primary, the sagging breast, the sinking


withered skin there and everywhere
mere parchment now and how? we
may then finally wonder about religions
of the Word, what gets written where,
once and often, on stone then eventually
vellum/skin, and bark too in treed lands

A Shining Stranger perhaps one of many
bends low forever writes with his finger in
the dust, but the word in the end may us an
altar make as hearing fades and the tongue thinks

" it's only water'' and

" can a man control 'is tongue? "

- it's Biblical

the question answers itself

a riddle:

''never, or rarely''

like my mother dying,

''What's this all about?
Whatever. I'm ready to go''

as if she or any of us can really decide
that but will's a holy thing, asserts even
in the face of obstinate Absolute

that Other-Than is also truth and down
to a woman and man

we get to argue,

''I decide''

What Is Between Arcturus And Aldebran?

a distinct lump of sorrow forms
we are returned to the fragility of birds -

when the dead sister reappears in dreams
she is always a bird

without this succession
or at least modest lineage -

dead, dead as a doornail

intemperate habits -

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

the urge to keep everything secret -

sin of pride, also greed

a " stumbling block"
impedes the neophyte

disregarding an afterlife
he who would be first will be last
this is peculiar but not remarkable -

night now

snow is falling -

warm slippers
track for a few seconds
a break in the clouds
attended to by stars
by blackness above clouds

blessed night cushions us
enters northwest

eyes owned
don't travel light -

great Deer sees

and past







The Idea of " Pear Tree"

a pear tree forgets only itself as
an audacity

limbs recall themselves

appear to reach

one cannot see them

they may be silent but
we cannot know that toward
later sweetness they yearn
then seed a still dirt around

content to lie down
the idea of 'pear tree'

reduces to all sparks


no illusion of darkness
hastens the pear

but O it tastes


As Henry Miller has it, " Always merry and bright" - though blight upon the apple, the skin, the within, makes the fallen fruit sweeter. The wise bees know and tell us so beneath leaves and limbs, thrumming away, legs laden with pollen.

So may our legs wear such as may our hearts and minds as our faces line and our limbs, as does the fruit, will eventually fail and fall but with years of sweetness absorbed below to cushion and bear that falling away.


The crocus does
not compare itself
to cow or crow.

Today is the day I go
with the aid of my staff
into shy spring snow.

All things being equal in Tao,
one foot asks, who is high,
the other, who is low?


The peacock's
call from the bare willow.

I trudge quietly on.

The emperor's bird signals
diamond glory to the suggested
world, its breath visible to no one but me,

my old eyes strain hard to see the Way of Ways.

It sounds but does not say.

Are we lost yet? the young boy asks.

" Because I is another, " said Rimbaud." - Jacques Maritain, from " Poetry's Dark Night"

the sky is never an occasion for doubt but for change to
a night filled with uncountable occasions of light,
companions of light, never alone as is the day's Sun.

What is known in the crowded vision,
in the visionary crowd of witness, is
variable and dependent upon available light.

...see what a thing it
is now already become
since childhood and
the backyard forest
sparkling, every surface
of everything covered
with ice clear, a sheer
skin which seems/seams
to move as I am moved
returned in response to
impertinent snow to let
more new world come
flashing in, and the
one-more-bird, a startle,
a cardinal red against all
the white, white, there
were many, coveys of
them inordinate in all
the snow blind, too much
for a boy to bear, broken
eye-nerves, brittle sticks,
he kicks on his back crying
to make an angel his own
to be relieved of the too
ordered world, would be
the unwanted, unexpected
child of things shattered,
his need for constancy and
same, beauty a necessary
addiction dependent upon
diction's canary eye and ear,
just to introduce another color
between mouse and meaning,
a chorus stunned into sound.


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


sky and
sea to
learn the
heart again

to learn the heart again

avoid the narrows
at the island's end
where feet are easily
mistaken for doves

there large currents
beckon/compel them
to descend


the subject matter
is not new

& not the sorrow

old as the first cave
bearing first fire
in human hand the
expiring artist torn
from blank sky to
an expectant wall

a herd there
a declaration

one day we too will
fill the earth as
hooves have done
capture sun & be
& so come to such
an edge of ruin


Let us rejoice what is in scarlet shed.
Let us praise iron.
Let oxidation within us reign.

O lead us all to right ruin.


I, Twitter, stutteringly remember

in cyber chases, late night,

sitting at computer scrabbling

after old grievances such are

lovers, cheaters, jilts, and those

rare 'got-lucky' graces, unexpected

shudders and shoulders where I broke

open, finally laid, laid waste for future

flatterers and failures of heart.

Sniffing my fingers for remnant tents,

I recall, sickened, the candy at every fair,

handfuls gorged, glutted, belly sore and

wanting more, drowned in the push-shove

of fevered bodies intent on the fast rides

where one loses stomach for the ordinary.

Dizzy, I grab my ankles, confess instead,

I've puked my guts from excess, spun sugar

and cartwheels, mechanical distractions

ghosting up Stillborn nights holding their

breath well past bedtime.

At a window counting railroad cars

a boy thief is stealing circus hours.

take lean brown or brawn a love for all the above,
even if once a week, sneak, steal away to primed
nerves, drives, swell up thrust thrive then share
a meal, wine, again to lie abed all Buddha smiles
while resting one's head upon suspiring chest
breath sour/sweet aftertaste afterglow bodies'
glorious pure dumbshow honoring the primacy
animal living with and between the teeth the
swallow to follow the heart in where/what forces

the bite

Uruboros tail-in-mouth, recreating
Herself in hard passages, throat
to anus to birth canal and cave,
galactic center point waiting perhaps
at the other no end, carbon jesters,
angels teeming on Quetzal quill tips,
twinkling fires in the pitch, sometimes
called stars, or ravens, black heralds
of colors yet to brilliantly come.

Still, such timidity ends in engorged blood, meat requirements, rendering vaporous sublimity too thin for fingers, why forks were invented. If modernity, it's forks and faxes, returns anything of value to us stretching into denial which is all our futurity, it is the return of images, official and unofficial, which return us in turn to our official and unofficial selves, limping shod or un-, ens-not-Ens being-not-Being as we are chafed to particular part-selves multiple-imaged as they want or dream to be...

Who are we?


I am taken with such
at which I stare
which holds my gaze
with shades of It
& of Itself, that is,
is a death
or like unto it -

Stillness unbreathed

or in need of It
now having been only
once Rilke
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


Love, let us live without


the sun go up the sun go


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.


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

**the adjective " aporetic" , which it defines as " to be at a loss" , " impassable" , and " inclined to doubt, or to raise objections" ; and the noun form " aporia" , which it defines as the " state of the aporetic" and " a perplexity or difficulty" .


C. G. Jung, from the Prologue to his autobiography - Memories, Dreams, Reflections:

Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome.
Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears
above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away- an
ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and
decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of
absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives
and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the
blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.

In the end the only events in my life worth telling are those when the
imperishable world irrupted into this transitory one. That is why I
speak chiefly of inner experiences, amongst which I include my
dreams and visions. These form the prima materia of my scientific
work. They were the fiery magma out of which the stone that had to
be worked was crystallized.

All other memories of travels, people and my surroundings have
paled beside these interior happenings.


What is concealed beneath matters most,
then the ongoing translation for what
continues to measure paces, what may
even be spoils of the living, either way
either or each indicates there is life after all.

Gather, shall we, by a
pacing river, beauteous,
shining in its endurance
singing of endurance, its,
which may arrive strangely
ding-dong, brutal,
utterly satisfied



The fire in our house of living rages
and we cannot come out of our own accord.
The event of her going is a beckoning
to see the flame leaping so let's creep
toward the Green and be silent
but if we cannot be then let us be as she,
frail and tender, lifting voices up
in the greening shadow


[the poem begins with a line by John Berryman ending with the word 'honey']

Childness let's have us honey, flame intended,
names smeared on the glass, an accidental pane
times hands touching it delicate as trespass,
what is allowed lace of vision times want equals
at last a sum equals at last a remorse felt,
a memory - sunk into soft teas - steeping, turns
steaming said window said prints/views obscured
of nothing in particular or special, troubles only,
only of passing birds enamored of their lighter
bones or are they cloud and shadow? merely the
steep sun declining ashen into the Jersey side?


O come lover back the floor where we lay a'times
upon boards the cluttered clothes the depositions
times at least three and take me once again one
times infinity into your arms times two leave me
when you/we are done doing times zero a mere cypher
flown sheer up the flue into the blue ash which now
the sky is where there is only one sky a dove flies
into possibility of memory or not times countless
thousands times plus the time it takes for you to
exit shedding skins, shells am a shell, water you?
you decide times infinity into the one drain in-


to ocean reflecting blue sky of ash blew into what
remains of you on the beach bathing soft Junes,
boardwalk organ grinder smiling/sings 'amor fati'
mellifluously on as hairs their bodies follicles
delicate when under the glass espied over-spills
into o endlessly it's seams, it seems, into memory
which is already over-said overheard redundantly a
river and time, this one recalled, the cloud drift
and the river the tides beside the city both sides
is as ancient as it always was and is - in the beginning
was darkness over deep water and a word, any word


really would do form something out of deep, of dark,
of water which shapes only by outer circumstance itself
in this case a word leading up to this contraction of
bellies against each times two, and legs times four,
and lips times myriad ones gone before - of murmurs
O lover of thee I adore - I am unkindly left remembering
once was laughter spent seeking out between bodies' valleys
eternally shifting eluding capture, this, just to reintroduce
some levity for we were many day-ed times merry-merrily
played harming no one not even the mouse unmoved per-
haps, watching perhaps, still, still, from beneath the


god you insisted be excluded from all our nakedness
times one too many breaths exchanged, groped times
many ropes all our wanting the curtained dancer en-
tranced entered into upon a mystery how one could be
so, well, so marvelous and so cruel too as one wills
memory - an edge tears open: Fact: that there was love,
there was love after all I could see it smell it feel
it there dancing round the living room one holds on
to, and upon goodness worn out pulled from below down
and dark and deep such is this so it is the riddle it
is all now become since you departed, love, since you


departed I shall count backward by threes then fours
the door which once embraced you now never lets you
go no matter the black or blue tide of thee O lover,
what slips out ebbs black back into lapis, lapses in-
to what self is uttered/poured scored transparent upon
surfeit surface/faces which are even eyes which now
glaze with love lost beside the flue marked upon the
pane blue the mouse black upon the floor remains is
many, a multitude of petals times three the jasmine
unspurned at last at last/least return soft Junes the
lips of which are sometimes pink of lavender swollen


as if to kiss times three the antinomies a string of
pearls and thee O lover to me back 'splaying shyly
where the curtains sway/stand behind them the curtained
dancer entranced/entered into upon a mystery the organ
grinder smiling/singing 'amor fati' mellifluously on


Terrible tender deity
Breath of mud & fire

ambivalent Word
cooled only by bare

Shulamit of figs &
dates in darkness wooed

what may come
of parted lips

hers torn in two splices

the I & the thou & how
one alembic

conjoins or can exiles

How two makes One
the myriad to the Alone

The view from here - 10/01/2018:

I was always a guest - of family, of religion, and especially of language
- nothing more, nothing less. - Robin Blaser

What you have as heritage,
Take now as task;
For thus you will make it your own!

Alternate translation:

What from your fathers you received as heir [or air],
Acquire if you would possess it! - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, tr. Walter Kaufmann [NY: Anchor,1990], pp.114-5]

The traveler at a loss: to go or stay...... - Liu Tsung-yuan [773 - 819]

Fearing to become a laughing-stock to the world
I choose a place that is unfrequented by men. - Po Chui [772 -846]

Here we are opening into the 'the religion of psychology' by suggesting that psychology is a variety of religious experience.

Psychology as religion implies imagining all psychological events as effects of Gods in the soul, and all activities to do with soul, such as therapy, to be operations of ritual in relation to these Gods.... It is not a question of religion turning to psychology, no, psychology is simply going home. - James Hillman, Re-Visioning Psychology

The same can be said of poetry for as Hllman says of psychology, at least true for me in that poetry, in a very real sense - a Jungian/archetypal sense, is not at all far from or separate from depth psychology. When in my late teens I found myself-as-an absence in my family, culture, and religion, I relied upon poetry to secure a way of language image inherent as foundation in words which could at least presence me in my absence. I had yet to articulate in the Christ-haunted landscape of the South and the rest of the country...but 'which Christ? ' could be asked depending upon just where in the country 'He' showed up that it was/is the culture which absented me, abjected me to remote margins of 'fundamentalist/Calvinist theological grace, or else, ' that 'else' being the fire which is the only recourse when one jumps or is thrown out of the Fundy Hetero-normative 'frying pan.' This is also true of New Age-oriented 'bamboo steamers'.

I had thankfully discovered Jung early on. Not that I comprehended what he had revealed to the culture which could help it discover a new orientation, a new meaning as the old gods die or absent themselves via their worshipers and practitioners, a violent lot these Abrahamic relgionistas so adhered to the Middle Ages and an irreconcilable split of good and evil which still goes unrecognized in the Western god-image. Two paragraphs in my high school psychology book light weight for sure but the deed that needed to be done was done and that was to read two paragraphs on Jung summed impossibly! Jung's psychological approach, mentioned archetypes as primal patterns, universal motifs which showed up in all of humanity throughout all of history and that each person had recourse to conscious recognition of and relationship with said archetypes. I was immediately sold, mostly just intuition that Jung was my way through the death of God, of my culture, of the South, the rest of the US and the Western world...the monstrosity of the American century overwhelmed me and even a fundamentalist Jesus could not solidly provide me a place, in fact, condemned me to the margins, the ledges, a gargoyle-boy frozen in place forever OUTSIDE the secure grace of those concretions of theology and god image which disallowed all but " the Chosen."

Years later, enough years' distance from high school and Calvinist college and the much needed nervous break-down/spiritual emergency, I came to New York City in search of Jung, a Jungian analyst, poetry and other books, my earlier gleaning with me in boxes, found the analyst and so began the slow, arduous, always fascinating/excoriating journey/free fall into Jungian depth psychology as it pertained to my own absentia from self and culture.

My dreams indeed did convey meaning bit by bit rather, bite by bite providing inner guidance and broader views of not only myself but what was being wrought in the collective psyche in the American century and the World at large. Poetry was even more meaningful and so I continued to read and savor...then one night I dreamed that I had killed a young poet, myself, and threw his body into the middle of the deep and large lake I had grown up beside. I could see the longhair of the young man splayed out medusa-like as he floated slowly, arms and legs splayed out, into the black depths. I awakened greatly disturbed but also knew that the wounded young poet did indeed need to " go" . Without much thought about this inner conscious murder of the masochistic innocent/orphan young man my own writing dried up. I was sad but felt that it had to be. I had begun to trust-enough the dreams and the source from whence they arrive and so got to the daily task of work, Jung study, and eventually, all flavors of psychology on my way to a vocation as a Jungian counselor/therapist.

Poets, their poetry, remained and remain my basic texts for of psyche there is much therein them...and Jung consolidated and grounded my imagination in the mythopoeic realms of conscious and unconscious and so the dead young poet remained dead, the puer aeternus I had been identified with how could I not be as I was indeed a puer, a young man, and could not land enough in the samsara of the world as it is in order to humanly dwell receded into the depth of psyche but, dressed in other drag, fed energy to my studies of psychology and, with great relief, Eastern religion but even in the magnificent psychologies of East I could not dig a hole, pour in concrete and plant an absolute truth flag shouting like an Easternized Martin Luther, " Here I stand or sit lotus in Eastern fields, I can do no other, though glean from them I did and continue to do. Jung gave me greater understanding from a depth psychological perspective of 'religion' and the 'religious function of the psyche' and so ALL religions collective and private are manifestations of psyche and, major point and revolutionay at that, psyche does not shut out any part of itself unlike religions which do indeed shut out, scourge, repress, consign to the unconscious, the netherworld, limbo, purgatory, while projecting that which is shut out upon the shadow, meaning, the 'other' - people, places, activities and things.

Years passed. I finished my first analysis and for awhile tried my new wings, Jungian, mythopoeic, a veritable spiritual antique shop, my psyche comfortably crowded with images, notions, rituals homogenized as only a capitalist consumer of, now, religious offerings could...Jung was my pretext, or so I thought. Good news is that I had found my way back to religion or, at least, a religious attitude which allowed me to excitedly be 'at play in the fields of the Lord.' But even then some part of me could not completely bow as Rimbaud wrote, 'to worship at any shrine, impulses toward perfection.' And I was still seeking to bypass the shadow, the underworld beings/energies which pursued me in dream by which I used my newfound spirituality to bypass and avoid, often enough dragging or trying to said shadow beings and energies into one spiritual camp or other in order to wipe their asses, put spiritual white robes on them, hang wings and haloes upon and over them then send them off to spiritual charm schools to teach them how to convey when they say namaste and other bliss-ninnyized slogans meant to convey being in the spiritual know. Arrogant, what. Sincere, yes. But arrogant.

But, shudder of shudders, Jung counsels 'facing your own soul.' Soul means psyche. Work with the psyche for which one, with rare exceptions, needs a guide inwardly and externally. Pray to be guided to a sin-eater who does not ignore human imperfection nor pretend to piety and god-almightiness. Look for a bullet-hole drumming in intense attention, salivation and uncommon sense. Find someone who, like you perhaps are experiencing now, is' 'beyond the fence', having lost her/his senses in order to gain them anew along with 'uncommon sense.' Abjure commercial promises and platitudes and be wary of trance-mongers selling quick abbreviated journeys to enlightenment with guaranteed prosperity to follow. 'Somewhere over the rainbow' is just that, 'somewhere over the rainbow', for in the end, once again, one returns, or can, with courage and consent to lose one's 'bauble-babbling deities' to Kansas, ordinary and mundane, praising in creaturely astonishment the majesty accessible in ground, in hands, genitals, eyes and skin. Revelations in the spore and more abound. Land here in the physical universe assenting to suffer and bear witness to the spectrum of joys and horrors which create exquisite and ordinary responses for we are indeed creatures of response in a universe which appeals to us as creatures of response to authentically respond. We may curse we WILL! . We may praise we WILL! . We may question we always SHOULD! and more but conscious humanity, all-too-humanness, is enough. More than enough. We really don't need yogis and saints and fainting spiritual Blavatskys afraid of toothy, meaty existence. The spine of an edible leaf screams, too, when we chew. And we leave it fuming behind us in testament to life and death just as odiferously as the once-was-flesh injestions of living energy called food. Contrariness is who we are. We gaze at the star of our personal sky, cry Why? and We Wee Oui amidst the scry and scree of our being here just one being amongst numberless beings in an expanding universe.

Thus I would amend Robin Blaser's opening statement above, true for me as it is, but having arrived at this current response to Existenz and being in and of it, I venture what is alway a venture when logic and chaos are peeled back from appearance:

I was always a GUESS - of family, of religion, and especially of language
- nothing more, nothing less. - Robin Blaser

Still guessing. And so creation/creating continues:

Missive As Preface - Pertaining To His Gargoyle Nature

" It seemed like the gargoyles of Notre Dame Started yelping." - Vladimir Mayakovsky, from " A Cloud In Trousers"

Seeker comes to Confucius's door seeking entrance and enlightenment:







But still:

The problem is that many of us [most of us] are metaphorically impaired. - Gay Hendricks

But further still:

That place among the rocks - Is it a cave,
Or a winding path? The edge is what I have. - Theodore Roethke

" I have occasionally described my standpoint to my friends as the " narrow ridge, " writes Marin Buber. " I wanted by this to express that I did not rest on the broad upland of a system that includes a series of sure statements about the absolute, but on a narrow rocky ridge between the gulfs where there is no sureness of expressible knowledge but the certainty of meeting what remains undisclosed.'

" The narrow ridge is the place where I and Thou meet, " he [Buber] added. When I asked him to clarify this symbolism to me, he replied...'If you like, you can think of the narrow ridge as a region within yourself where you cannot be touched. Because there you have found yourself: and so you are not vulnerable." Martin Buber, Between Man and Man, trans. by Ronald Gregor Smith [London: Kegan Paul,1947] p.184.

Meanwhile, bothering my own poems,
le oevre, to death or breath or something
glotally beautiful, strange fruit born of
dirth and craven beleaguerdness

20,000 leagues beneath the Creeley,
Eliot, Crane, Hopkins and blended Beats
which I am told are good for kidneys,
blood and the sum of crows on the
powerline extended between the upper
edge of my window screen and the
Manhattan Bridge's pale blue shyly
hiding its red light in river fog just for me.

" A dog named Ego, the snowflakes as kisses..." - Delmore Schwartz

The formal addresses:

For you, Delmore, perhaps the untouchable region of self remains still undisclosed or perhaps you have like most of us only glimpses of that enclosure, the self-cloister, the oasis which is the centerpoint of self and Self and Universe always/already present, or at least that is the massive presumption of mystics, but it, Universe, self/Self remains most often elusive due to the stormy intervention of the senses and the vicissitudes of life presentations, and YOU have had more than your share of such...thus your need, your insistent enclosure into instuments, objects, images, to sound and pound and lu lu lu lull yourself into that enclosed space which is all space without dimension upon and within which you receive in your open-at-last-ness, in perhaps the rare place and ocassion when your arms uncross from your chest, and you can finally receive what for many or enough are blessings...your being in that vulnerable yet trusting place allows what is there in the narrow ridge place to meet what will be undisclosed where you too may undisclose yourself within that place and are then met by That That Is, Suchness, Thusness, Is-ness, Tathata which is variously translated as " thusness" or " suchness" ... representing the base reality and can be used to terminate the use of words...but amplifies image, vision, which can lead to no image, no vision, but immense yet really real Silence and Extended Field and yet also the Stillpoint of the spinning world:

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.
My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,
Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?
A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.
The mind enters itself, and God the mind,
And one is One, free in the tearing wind. - Theodore Roethke

You dwell on the narrow ridge as does everyone only most folks are able to ignore and repress that liminal space because dwelling on that ridge is to be nowhere...what Thomas Merton, quoting Chuang Tzu, calls " the Palace of Nowhere" ...

Call it what you will, I think Hell is a better designation and resignation for who has given up the battle and waits in the in between " the heron and the wren, Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den" - " the edge is what I have" ....self as edge, edge as self...Merton called himself and his fellow monks/mystics " marginal men" ....I have called myself that too but now it is " gargoyle" that is the most descriptive name or designation....ledge/edge dweller, not IN the church or Cathedral, forever outside such, but close, on the edge where " once was mystery revealed" in earlier times...always a watcher, an edge/ledge sitter peering out and down into/onto/upon the pedestrian world, the rolling pastoral scene beyond, never able to see the Duomo, the crown of Mystery's edifice, but it is very close behind, that Rotunda which images the Cosmos....gargoyle with Cosmos at his/her back tracks life, the temporal, from above with Mystery's weight distorting his/her visage forever forcing vision forward out and down...a dark most often ugly jewel but a jewel nonetheless in the Cosmic Crown...Gargoyle twists and blurrs and stirs new perception, surgically accurate visions of what most folks sense or feel but never really see or express but for flails, wails, gasps and clasping at promised baubles of church and culture/country. Bumpkins boobing head or cock-long into each other and what is near for fear of missing what they always/already are missing, the Tathata offered but without advertisement despite Enlightenment by Ticketron and Bestseller/Talk TV trivialized versions of the once was sacred but now sanitized, adulterated, microwaved in seconds " spirituality" ...sorry, Gargoyle in me needed a parenthesis to rant. Suffice it to say, to neigh, even bray:

We serve.

Awful vocation. Odious purpose. Mournful ministry. But we serve.

I reserve the right to complain as a human because it hurts, is hell, is no place anyone or being should dwell but dwell there we all do only most refuse the journey, are pleased enough or would rather just live the animal out and into the grave or dust having thrust and shoved and, yes, loved best-as-could-can and then dies into the liminal-being-animal at the end, schluffing the body and all that, for me endlessly schluffing skin cell by skin cell, behind, blind beneath the ridge at last, repast for worms, scattered by storms. At last unseen.

We serve. YOU serve. And perhaps can emerge, one toe in life waters, again. But the legal pad is a cosmos too. A relation. A gesture of placement, and a just right to complain as a solitary finite creature.

We should convene a convention for gargoyles who, it is not even imagined by those below, know of Mystery, Cosmos close at our back, oh silly vocation, a vent and spleen and rave and lean into our undisclosed humanity at last or at least with fellow Otherwise bounders.

Are gargoyles free to abandon, to forsake their vocations, to somehow, perhaps lightning struck on the temple tower, to transform, morph into human shape though still distorted and ugly, or perhaps, if grace be grace, be indeed fare of face and voice then descend to the human world, step upon the concourse, and track the human pace of embodied, ensouled, emotional subjectively shared human life? Now there's a book I'd like to read, a play, a musical, a movie I'd like to witness - when the gargoyle lays his edge burden down and has to discover the smell of the human and other herd below, grief and grovel, love and betrothal, the brothel, the bother of beauty, the awful hell of it within but out of reach for most, but ghosting in human form but this time only with motion and emotion and transcending notions gathered at oceans edge of grief and longing, the need to belong after all but it is all so appalling but one learns to appreciate the edge had, the ledge-upon-dwelled, the dormition of steeples receding into urban distances, said steeples the hairline of god, holds where fellow gargoyles perch, lurk, search 180 degrees chattering each to each, one at every direction north, south, east, west, reporting what is seen from their watch in the lurch below....the bell towers bong and so gargoyles know sound and distance from the din just behind or beneath, context is everything, everything is everywhere, all is the narrow ridge even the alleys, the byways below, the worn path of the woods, on the hill, in the valley, trailing disclosures avoided or come at last and so come to know ourselves at last for a moment as we are,

beasts upon the purchased hill,
serpents of the human din,
Which I is I? A fallen man....
displaced, one is One,

free in the tearing wind...

Will call to see if dinner for two, gargoyle fare but no more pigeons!

Your fellow upon the stone ledge, ancient piles throbbing,
thus I know, despite concretion, I am a living being,

Grokus Disclosus King Unflung But Sung and Singing

I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless love. - Frank O'Hara

Dear Meaningnest

Haven't heard of, from you.

Are you OK or mighty fine?

Or is it me?

No matter the matter.

Wondering how, where.

And how fare you, farther flung.

Or me, the further sending these

unasked, unsought.

Few to send

to who might care or

at least be bothered

yet not required

just a basket to catch

my froth enough

at this stage.

Sired upon rock and thus

know stones for suck, I am

more that one, not to inflate,

in parable, who sows seed

upon rock. Some roots may

come but come high wind

or burning heat, well, one

gathers what can, what's

left, sees if something be

woven from strands

perhaps become the

better farmer more

patient the more resigned

by far for attempts and

fated reaping life's own rock.

But, not complaining.

Gonna, rather,

go hog wild,

burst open,

try make sense

of messes, one

slop pinky raised

effetely to offend.

One can arrive at such a place

where one's no longer 'scaped

all this - those who consent -

who becomes arrives, willing

participant in inexorable

awake which as yet

does not totality ken;

always the flames upend,

rush, such vortices are

assumed progress

an assumption

only a wish but


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

Distant cousin,

we're made more close by
sorrow. Time's a borrowed
longing, reaches us each to
each - or yours to mine, for
nowhere now we are but
within, perhaps, merely a
conceit but, I in you and
you in vague, yes, me, a
guess, a venality, vanity
being a human trait common,
quite. It is still a trace to
be, to convene congenially.

I now confess:

I preach too much,

from high horse be-
sotted try to sing
a'stammer with all of
England's Pilgrim-more
behind beneath me us
who would be poets.

It is tone that can home
or disperse us, skin or
spooks thinner than thin,
reflections on walls or con-
fused for traffic or meteors
periferal. Didactic, pro-
lific, heiractic much. Ig-
noring transparency's bend,

let excursus end.

Pretend or pray such
extends us into more
than infirm materiality

but let it rest or give,
if rest can be given,
riven from wrested
Pleiades retread Maidens.

For now, let's, craven.
Encompassed much verily,

God damn the West, its deity.

Come cauterize come
correct, impress of self,

homo erect us bears
on what's for other fools

now to court, stalk, woo.

To palmer instead Word-
ward, on tinted oars

bend or pleining sails
snail pace skies turn

away day from sun
toward Polaris or

Ursas Major/Minor
two, close each
to each, almost
would reach but
for each a leg in
stellar traps so
endless beeward
they wheel they
limp simple enough
bearing in mind
to suffer redundant
motion, helps to
know as all natural
things do no matter
where placed in
curved Space that
night skies every-
where indeed are

a sad

sad zoo.

They're dead now too,
the Bears,

& most seen stars,
a chorus of ill sorts,

to keep time out of
habit and rhyme as

a kind of home to dwell,

in no where do I

but liminal bring
them with, bearing

in mind, to say with
or without impunity,

Goddamn the West, its deity.


Accomodate: A Brief Account Of Friedrich Nietzsche's Final Months

My illness has been my greatest boon: it unblocked me,
it gave me the courage to be myself. - Friedrich Nietzsche

When fame had found him
long gone to madness the
idea of the nation itself

a blue-lensed delicate eye

mimicked the mapmaker's
method of triangulation
using time not place as the
fixed point —

to see something as a whole
one must have two eyes
one of love and one of hate
the sublime and the ridiculous

Accomodate —

his body

of the brain

left to lie in darkness
a week at a time
leeches attached
to ears to draw blood
down from his head

silver nitrate, opium
and tannic acid enemas
to draw blood
furthest down

Yet he reasons that the
constant taste of blood
in his mouth turns affliction
into an advantage

has particular appeal
to the shipwrecked —

still he furies at tendencies

toward submission

toward self-enslavement

Still at work even in
madness some final
strongly felt—

Style is concern
vulnerable to distortion

Being a philosopher of perhaps
he once ended a book with " Or? —"

Being a philosopher of endings
of final reckonings
of certain shipwreck

totally blind
he surmises
weakly upon
propped pillows

his eyebrows
his mustache
their ledgers

his fatal sister declaritively
writes —

" in being found

he lived well who hid well"


Have I ever mentioned that Michelangelo practically never took a bath in his life, by the way?
And even wore his boots to bed?
On my honor, it is a well known item in the history of art that Michel- angelo was not somebody one would particularly wish to sit too close to. Which on second thought could very well change one's view as to why
all of those Medici kept telling him don't bother to get up, as a matter of fact.
Although come to think of it even William Shakespeare himself was terribly tiny, which is something I did once mention.
I mean so long as one would appear to be getting into this sort of thing.
Well, and for that matter Galileo would never even ever shake another person's hand, once he had discovered germs. - David Markson


From the Encampment of HeartStrife - Further Patiche Extentions In Biography

The bells, I say, the bells break down their tower - Hart Crane

take down the walls, invite
the trespass... - William Carlos Williams

Let him not be another's who can be his own.
- Paracelsus

The problem is that many of us [most of us] are metaphorically impaired. - Gay Hendricks

Refugee from the American South.
Now loud-but-reverent-mouthed in
New York City.

Leave the world to the scoundrels!

As I get older, my relationship to ground is problematic. Balance is no longer an assumption that delivers. Is it the room that leans or is it me? My sense of place has never been too pleasantly real or here but for parentheses happy-enough and for these I am indeed thankful, and place has been and still is found more in sound, a very early childhood thing, in what I hear by ear or eye when I read. Totem in this my life is the book and it's associated familiars. And rumors.

And now, older than I have ever been, which is a painfully obvious tautology standing long at the urinal waiting, waiting, a poem may arrive more quickly than other flow, poetry has taken on an urgency which orients me, grieves me, and leaves me somewhat in relation to light though I burn the midnight oil to work a poem from the darkness, and my eyes can no longer focus...but, it's ground work. Gives some heft, makes some meaning.

Still, can't say I have traveled light. Not really. But heart's the better for the journey forced, pockets full of pyrite.

Soon be ground myself though.

It's undertow that matters

Cooler weather helps.

The rosary of a wine glass, sips, tiny cups laid out for asphalt spirits, and garden aromas from wealthy neighbors' rooftops soothe,

remind of early easier grooves in Blue Ridge mounts when the nearest neighbor was a stream, a creek, really, named 'Dismal' but " it tweren't that at all" as folks in those mountains do say. It ran night and day beneath my back porch and sighed much,

mostly for love.

I used to hear crows in this city, large ones, perhaps starlings or grackles, but haven't heard or seen one for at least 6 years now. They use to murder up in long lines on the edge of a university's art department building and slowly walk about, looked as if the water tower was slowly turning round and round. I could watch those 3-D silhouettes in slow motion for hours,

the hours turning too on clawed feet secure on ledges and,
of course, the friendlier air, call it freedom to fall, to be drafted
upward, blackness whirling or feathered hovering, in nature such is allowed.


On with the boring center line
endlessly dividing though broken
on purpose suggesting a way to veer.

No guide needed here.
Fear is the drive shaft,
and longing turns the wheel.


once of spinning galaxies

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.

I'm fated to die with compassions
In the crooked streets" - Sergei Yesenin

Dearest Pickle, pickle's the question:

What is a lake without its lovers parked a spawning bed
of red clay frantic love making quick pushed disgarded
remnants of such mark conceptions-or-not porn tossed
half rolled window to be morning gathered waiting for
school bus glad sons resident on the hill compelling
tree-top nights for skin glimpses more light to see what
who might be front seat or back trying to consumate,
glad word, engendering Chevron children, Impala breeds,
Mustangs and Palaminos half human, also spawn of/from
assorted sea creatures, Stingrays, Baracudas, insect
hatch of Spiders, Beetles, some big cats too of Tigers,
Cougars, Wild Cats, once even a regal Cobra night stalking
varied winged ones, Road Runners, Thunderbirds, Sprites,
once even a Snipe, there were many Falcons, favorites
for obvious reasons all enthrall, hair palmed near-blind
boys straining brittle limbs embracing pines, not lovers,

not yet.

Totem for auto nights

in flagrante the Tempest

barely understood

barely withstood

massive pagan

quakes where sap

does rise born again

long of old half dreams'

boned aromas pines'

adolescents amonia

sticky there tar-groin-

boys ache impatient

limb to limb parked

holding their weight

squashed complaints

brakes locked

I bow to the bruise exquisite,
address the tree newly vernal,
full moon just passed

passing what is seen not
seen between veins of each stillness
leaf waved in suchness,

what acts or yields, what
moment-by-moment brings,
awaits revelation of foliage and

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?

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

He's gone crow said one poet of another

Let all of me be
Agency become music
in fingers latency,

theirs deserve all waking praise.

Let us rejoice what is in scarlet shed.
Let us praise iron.
Let oxidation within us reign.

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

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

" I am sad this morning. Do not reproach me.
I write from a café near the post office"
- Delmore Schwartz, from " Baudelaire"

Delmore, confessional, what?

no mother claimed you at the end

no friend either whom you perhaps

lost, neglect overdue come to exact

poetic portion, your itinerant passing,

a ward of city and state, you-not-you

wait for reclamation overdue, an

uncashed check for three weeks

you spent yourself on words,

noble enough pursuit, no rebuke

for your priorities though maternity

or fate maternity IS fate perhaps

did you end in the end no doubt

this massive mother complex could

not, would not, be worked through

via poetry or booze or rooms chosen

in which to scribble and scribe what

was, as you said, heard in your head

or wherever such are heard

ignorant bird on the escape now makes a music at any rate

as was the mourning dove an hour ago

singing on the other side of pane

knows when to tone in tandem to

poem same or similar each one little

inflections familiar to childhood fields

felt not seen, heard not named, as

if improvising those few notes available

to doves for late afternoon sun blocked

by curtains green, green too my room

10 years now forced upon me filled

with poet scrip -

" green how I want you green" [Lorca]

" not my hands but green across you now [R. Hugo]

" When green was the bed
my love and I laid down upon" [John Wieners]

these and more pay no rent, if only

pages were money then but so many

dusty pantheoned singers hand

wringers bringers on of harbinger

dawns/dusks decry what rusty

radiators here might also in their

own way suggest as their heated

season nears end, and mine, what

may be known if ever known, of

afterglow surmise when third snows

in fever weeks give surprise for never

guessed Bestowals

O stand radiant-starred late afternoon

O stained stark shadows black frieze

astonished stooped man

time's wee piss boy

The distant gazebo of that small
town wears white lights garlanded

round, and snow. A boy without
gloves reads alone.

He is no fool who takes his time and
place to know.

" Only the poet sells his soul to separate it
from the body that he loves." - Tomaz Salamun

LORCA - ‘All that has dark sounds has duende.' And there's no deeper truth than that.'


Dearest Incomprehension

I stammer on scraping skin and song,
a geography myself, a landscape severe,
gone in the nose and ears, the eyes
good for shadows only. And some old
beloved words. I'll plead allergies.

I am reading some dead Thomists
these days, Maritain, your friend,
whom I've secretly adored since
covenants were broken, my own
fault, asking again and again how
one can keep covenant with self
much less a God.

Bless my bones if there are blessings
for such. I've taken them for granted
much. They are my formation base.
I've wasted years chasing the world,
the words for things, and why and
how, I never really thought of bones
but old Thomists did and do, even
Calvinist too though they're way too
dry for me.

Maritain frees me, as does his wife,
the gentleness in them both astounds.
Jacques's a tough bird, though, an
intellect staking claim on thought and
what perhaps it ought to do with silly
human will once Divinity has entered
the room -

What knees are for upturned palms can plead.


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,

Rather, I am slain, apostate,
not by Prophet's horse bone
jaw but one curved as antler
curves, nuzzles a throat entire

As I fade he rises a new
moon sharply dividing dark
from distance, there is no
confusion of which I am
when Billie sings

....I'm a fool to want you....

of empty space full-parted,
staked, says sickle moon,
confuse my bone, his, rather,
equine angle bright, pressing

close to

parchment and stubble,

rest o rest sigh

upon my rubble

feel your swallow

a sudden other bird

each breath a rosary

India's Godson thin
legs entwine, are swans
whose toes are sparrows
he teases whose laughter
deep is demise black as

his eyes

what can hollow a man
to crepuscular sky, asks
sickle moon,

no, not sky but to bone;
no, rather, what is it makes
me more the shallows

but all water still,
makes me shadow
but all the more real,

alive in refrain only?

how assorted birds and the dove constitute Heart's aviary

how Billie's staggers ever wager skin memory at odds with hestition

how this 'music, ' even yours Delmore, 'fathoms the sky"


none of my India-tinted prayers
gather as they once did invisibly
into the knotted hair of my Japanese

two large graceful scorpions
sume-i*-stitch around his pectorals
their carapaces conjoin at the
heart so many pulsing mirrors
repelling away from each

the tails their stingers tremble
ready at his sides I grip tightly
as he impacts my uttermost

then after thought in afterglow
he looks kindly at me

says into the dark inked blue
the stitched cursives of the
scorpions gleaming silver with our sweat -

something about patterns of flight

fingers gracefully form
an airplane gliding gestures
in dim light toward an open
window then

something about night migration

his back turned to me as he
walks toward the front door
clothes in hand, parts of me
trailing after

posed for anything but departure

in bed stunned

in sleep beside
the question

in beatitude
in dumbstruck

a most beautiful boy
Beatitude Itself

in Vatican choir
rapture's soprano

sing crystal sing plaintive

virginal to prisoners
holy pure such singing

the tightrope walker astounds
last lover, Algerian, a circus lad
stretches/blooms in spotlight

merges into


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 lover pins him
past to now-agonies

tender pinner he
remains reminds
him splintered
one to sing and say

of him splendour
of him acrobat
him ropewalker
him child/man
of tents
and stray
grave but
gay hints
there is more than a year
a moment in Mercy arms
legs breaths twined till twain
and pain doth them part,
lips forever parted mute

too stunned in loss to sound
the repetitive moment of
him legs and him white
arms flashing down

there is no sound then but

him thud

just one

more than


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
preponderant use of trivia

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.


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


" 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

And now come poets each century heavier than
before, heavier than the other few, this new one too,
only bards, a real few, to bar, board up the big gaps

O great light gaping, torn off, oft thee sung,
slung over shoulder, hauled, the burden,
o the load
it is now become.


Poem For Caravaggio, For Pasolini

- Remains found in Tuscany are likely to be the artist Caravaggio's,
proving that lead poisoning was one cause of his death 400 years ago.

- Pasolini was murdered on 2 November 1975 on the beach at Ostia.
He had been run over several times by his own car.

In the shorter light,

in the extended night of
cold and star-bright questions,
may you cast

clumsy net forward
into what it all might mean
to fretted you,

to me, stretched
canvas, though I will
not thrust these

words upon your
paint or palette but
make offering for

your own work
to feed us through
the eyes;

perhaps time
to remount the horse
and soldier on,

or to fall again,
gain Damascus perspective,
from one's

back watch vision
distort massive

into a God



see what may form in the spreading dirt,

what resurrection there is in the smell of paint.


Here, on one fountain of a mourning mind,
I have been taken up into grief, the strange
relief of clouds. Soon departed I shall be
once again returned to disquieted prayer,
the proud monk to his rites rejoined
such are covers for disjointedness.

There, almost within reach, the blossoming
tree brightens between darker bricks to truly
dwell. It is for me a shy son of mists to see
in spite of big chunks missing, lost, wasted,
torn out, that the Celestial World is not as
it appears to most, It yearns for much needed
hardness for spirits without shoes still long
to be bread that they may dwell in our finitude.

Dear uncommon friends, Old Strand, and my zen
quill and pen-ners of the East, imbibers of tea
and samsara, cackling cocks and hens in the locked
and guarded shunyata pens of the world -

you all have become wholeness-itself by now.
I am reading reading crowded pushed your many
years behind me hoping I may gather what you
all have found in the dusk where the trail ends
at the highest peak.

Ruffling all your bright feathers your KATZ
chorus clucks/crows up from the black frozen
stream below:

No becoming.

What is there to be found?

Black Rooster, blind,
scratches all dawns.


still in this night I am turning
and turning on the hard pallet

these old pages that I have turned
now over 40 years in starry exile

as if my tongue could matter less by day
than my thoughts could mean more by night

these constant companions the good few
who lend voice to all that goes on

inked between and upon ledges high and in
canyoned depths what continues seen or not

such are strayed
ponies bending their heads to

finer blades tender shoots green or in winter
without complaint chew brown tufts brittle

shadowing snow and a pair of boot tracks
veering off and up or down

alone trail into other fields or
upon remote peaks

only song's
a traveler's companion


...the great sins and fires break out of me like the
terrible leaves from the boughs in the violent spring.
I am a walking fire, I am all leaves... - Edith Sitwell


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

One touches the other which touches me

I am become a massive bird
bent backwards

a wobbling kite of tallow and tin
a bruised three-blade fan

petroleum kisses over
massive cables between coiled

legs, those others, of mortar,
of hot metal glow

the handsome welder, masked, sings
into the retina of his dark glass

how entwined with bridges
a bloated form of tangled
arcs/angles shudders

how lips chafe
gently the many
necks curved
of alloy

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.

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

'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
once Rilke
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


" 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



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


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?


what butoh walks leg by leg by leg by leg by leg
by leg to what purpose there on the plasticine
stall floor/wall not sure but am sure that the
dead flies of winter go uneaten/unsucked

Spider first days here I spoke to every morning
from the john me wondering at its slow slow
movements for 3 days till 4th its legs all curled
tucked tightly beneath its carapace I blow at it
from the cold seat - bunched draws round my
colder ankles it budges not at all I realize it is
deceased legs uniformly creased a beauty to
see first time ever've felt remorse for a bug a
spider and once cleaned flushed

my pajamas
up I gently

lift Spider up with toilet paper so soft
double ply-ed solomnly march spider on
bier so soft softly into still harder winter
snow and darker woods Middle-March flip
flops no socks slow going find a rock up
near the woodshed so place Spider there
with oddest prayer ever in my life but Lord
Buddha helps - his " all sentient beings"
et-sweet-cetera etcetera que sera sera OK

so perform brief bone chill rites then slide down
the path patch to my ground floor entrance to hot
shower then to Hopkins' poem - The Windhover
the more meaningful than ever for its

" dappled-dawn-drawn" things or rather
substituted or addendum-ed pray ponder

" threaded-sewn-moaned' things strangely
mourned actual tears born no doubt of projections
upon small cringes majestically formed objectively
perceived from secret and sightless spaces suspended
cocooned in darkness or once in close woods strung
pearled between limbs and trunks ferns which freakt
my face when August-last stumbled in marsh's humid
stagger thickets face-first into a massive web the sudden

grand mal-like seizure-like slaps scrape-face-eyelids
forehead-pate monstrous poison fears from not so
small a miracle maker webber's tales spun of/from its
self from within to without such sacred spun tattle-rattle
faint click no ears human to hear little feet tight walking
filament filligrees faint thin but so very there in air


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.


[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"

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

a 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?


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

distance 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


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 presence
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 unfolded,

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
there are its messages all around.

And still I am with you trying
to wake you. I peck. I scratch.
I even dance again, a frenzy brightly
ruffled, boasting to impress:
I can lay an egg! You?

Words only? Brittle sticks
but none to land on, or perch,
standing on one leg,
head beneath a wing.

I am so tired.

I can't close my eyes, what wings also are for.


In a field I am the absence of field' - Mark Strand

'I love the way a crow walks...
to wit-to woo-to wound-and last' - Robin Blaser

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

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

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,

" Infinity"
I wish you, Love,
beyond/within all Voids

- is the Void one or plurality? -

a painter on a near shore to
paint what we have become.
One he must be
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 Twombly's paintings

Waves/wayward clocks become
adrift migrant birds, scores,
always cry at the unending feast.

We are not the least of these
but know ourselves too beyond
bondage to time which is to say
hunger" in spite of rhythm

Love, let us live without


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


But what I want to
report to you-not-here,
for the record, to be
read out into the snow
that has begun to fall
silently in the gutter,
is that I opened the
morning curtain and there
on the metal escape sat,
and still sits, a dove,
brown, beautiful, which
does not move at all,
when the curtains made
to move, and the day
rushes in without consent.
It, not the daylight
but the dove, just to
be very clear, cocks
only its head toward
movement and calmly

I have successfully
resisted writing 'moves
and calamity'

sits shaped
like one pure tear.
Or pear. Both of which
share an 'ear'.

Suddenly, joy in me
flashes and I know the
dove for me has come.

And the mouse.


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

The boys, seven falling: Jamey Rodemayer, Tyler Clementi,
Raymond Chase, Asher Brown, Billy Lucas, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg

Even the pigeons on my stoop are silent now.
One mourning dove coos tenderly for these who
have taken their own lives publicly on our behalf,
for those many gone before them, broken hearts
enraged, no more to engage the unpersuaded
world which, one of them, one of the public ones,
in spite of murmuring wharves, in spite of amorous
dark alleys bitter in the pitch of the last hateful
American Century, Hart Crane, wrote before his leap
from the ship beside the phallic curve where Cuba
meets the lisping sea, took his tongue away which
sang of chill dawns breaking upon bridges whose
spans still freely splinter light returning hungover
from the night wharves, grottoes, and denim World
Wars, industrial embraces crushing every man and
now another one abandons his fingers and fiddling
to scattering light, takes flight from ledges to
edge close to an embrace no longer forbidden -
'And so it was I entered the broken world
to trace the visionary company of love...'

I am the itinerant priest who sits at meager feasts.
Suffering congregants, forlorn over their starfish and soup,
ask about dreams, confess to anguish, ask what should be done.
Here at my confessional I can only plead mercy upon the boys
who have jumped from bridges, hung themselves, cut, sliced their
compulsive hands, exploded hearts, leaping dears eyes ablaze in
thrall of antlers, trembling flanks strong to fly decrying the
violent hunt which always ends in a death bequeathing these
chopped bits to me and to others like me who remain at table,
plates before, to stare at what is to be later scattered, sown,
these pieces in and for Love-without-name still a stain upon
confused local deities and their wild-eyed supplicants.

But there is no stain upon the promiscuous sea.


Dear Low' - Upon His Leaving Mountains For Manhattan, circa 1981

You did it. You left the trout behind.

Sunday the corn was cut down. Apple trees
in the nearby orchard were felled which explains
the screams I heard a week ago, and the droning'
of wasps. That hill was exposed this evening at
sunset, reflected pink in the sky. Reminds me of
the women I always saw through your eyes,
their large lips and eyes, the dark thighs particularly,
fields without their corn now shedding a purple
light like Stevens' Hartford, and you there tonight
forsaking the school yard we'd walk beside
stopping to comment on that view of hills
at our favorite wall where 'Juke Joint's Pandemonium'
stalled on hot nights to break beer bottles for your
poems broken glass, curtains you'd pass in the
dark where your wheels would splay the stars stuck
to tar bubbles on the street when Hart Crane beat
his words against your rhythm running down
to Montford Park.

Be quick about it then, your departure:

I walked through your house.
You left behind that crooked frying pan.
Your steaks will never taste the same again,
and that espresso pot there, too, black stains
stuck inside like little Lamont's words,
'Are we lost yet? ' Just thrown out like that
plaster of paris bone from the kitchen.
No dog would chew on that, some kind of
sentinel to Arborvale Street signaling something
fragile has passed on like Mr. McKnight's
roses given over to winter, Indian summer
an old squaw, packed up her warm skins
and vanished like a wife or lovers.
It's like that, you know. No magic but our
own so often like that old white bone's intention
to be art, our poems strung on the page like
slip over chicken wire, words expiring from
our clutching at them -

'You will be beautiful, make meaningful our days.'

What are our names anymore, Low?

The corn is all cut down.
An old scare crow remains.
Apropos. Poetry's worn out image
stretched out on the hill forlorn in the ice,
forgiving no one, especially ourselves,
alien corn of a foundering century.


It's got to do with America,
my love of music, my grotesque loneliness... - Henry Miller

Are not all summer nights

born late in America, fading

only when morning glories,

fog draped at dawn, breech

fairgrounds entire

continents long?

Pine perimeters encircle

veiled hermetic tents.

Suspended rides now frighten.

Momentarily the carnies are

relieved of their ugliness.

Cotton candy gins spin dry

confections to cold crystal.

Sugared metals stick/stop,

their precocious tongues

tuned too early for erasure.


Let be the finale of seem - Wallace Stevens

Here's Breath For You - Upon Purchase & Buyer's Remorse - circa 2012

Dear Low,

Not to worry.

I am the man most pursued in last night's dream.
That emaciated thing at my back keeps tracking me.
I remain just out of reach. Classic. Even there,
as here, I am escaping something, a life time of
practice in this 'Kingdom of the Canker'.
It was no banker who followed me last night
but a starved lacklove rejected by 'Canker' and, well,
by me. Who'd want that part, all start and no finish?

Replenishment has often enough meant hiding out
and a demand that it keep at least 5 arm lengths away.
I will try, I tell it, to look at it but I find its presence
most disturbing, its handful of leaves continually
proffered leaves me in a quandary. What do they
mean, this offering, though my father was a lumberjack?
Perhaps this is a track of sorts to follow for an end
to the mystery. I am stumped.

Again, not to worry.

After a life time now almost 60 years
of identity crises, which is a low grade
fever in the personality, such is poetry.

I am very weary of it as I now move into yet another identity,
OLD MAN. And who gives a damn in that new
'Kingdom of the Cracked & Crank'?

Invisibility awaits, or worse,
pee pants.

Do I become that thing which follows me in my sleep,
leprously white, pale wanderer of the empty pockets,
eyes dark and full of something deeply known?

I am not yet ready to know such things though the
dream indicates that I am for it is very near.

How can I expect the culture to pretend to be interested,
it having pushed the thing even farther away than I ever
could? And since this has turned too goddamned
confessional I do confess that I am beginning to lose
heart for it, all this pushing, this running away, which is
perhaps good news to the very few who know me truly.


I sit on the cultural dunce stool in my corner of the room
reading, reading, tracing, tracing the chase of 'logos'
through time. No rhyme or reason can I make with my
earnest forefinger. Still malingering shadows of what is
in those dark eyes just over there dim my creased page.
I pull at curtains to close out tighter whatever daylight those
eyes may bring to my knowing.

I am such a monk.
I live hard unto myself.

I daily sacrifice goats on an alabster altar to
the blood thirsty deity both in me and who dwells
just outside my door.

Grace, yet, daily unfolds, usually in the coffee cup, first sip,
and morning prayer without too much buyer's remorse which,
I am convinced, is what that first squall of the just born infant
is about...'So much for corporeality...desiring only the womb.
I could not read the fine print of the contract writ small in
capillaries, that upon me there will be a vice, a clutch of
alien air, a fall into too much light and clouds of Mercurochrome.

I regret me I regret me I regret me...'

One adjusts. Continually. The persona is adaptation
appearing to be solid but sleep reveals the neutrality
of the animal. Dreams tell us otherwise when we remember
them as it takes an ego to witness, to remember.

They reveal that we are caught up into something
so much greater than flush and stir. It's a wonder we make
do as much as we do and still call ourselves by name,
our family a species of animal, 'homo sapiens'.

I regret self pity. I'd reject it if I could
but it adheres, last resort of old coots born
honestly into it no matter the copious Mercurochrome baths,
the smelling salts obviating the needed nipple.

What is all this singing bathed in tears born of tremendous desire
and fear? Whose arms would hold fast and safe, embracement
against the brace of all us we fallen stars who do burn out brightly
or, more like me, privately in quarters counting days as if each is
the last until that dread thing finally comes in, after a life time of
daily threats and close escapes, after a life time of
daily threats and close escapes, with hopeful relief?

Hopefully there will be no buyer's remorse for purchase of Death.

'Here, '' I'll try to say 'ponst that day',
one must become Shakespearean in such company,
last payment on the installment plan,
'Here's breath for you. I tried to use it well.''

Today the Market reports a run on Mercurochrome.
Birth goes on. I am for rebirth, a dirth of days
makes me suddenly Hindu, foregoing gurus and
bindu point. I've made my own here.


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.



" A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once."

Complexes, like mules, are stubborn. They have a job to do. They form us, shape us, give us character the word etymologically means " scratches upon a surface" thus we are all born to be scratched, scarred, and from such character is born. My tee shirt reads " BORN TO BE SCRATCHED" " BORN TO BE SCARRED" . We describe landscapes and faces/bodies as " having character" ...and so complexes are landscapes, we are landscapes shaped by the shaping land, dirt, clay, mud, sand from which ancestral complexes were born and borne generation to generation, person to person.

But mourning's that thing, not hope, with wings to argue with Miss Dickinson, at least this heavy winged thing is part and parcel, tissue and fabric to my very being psychologically from earliest childhood, not playing the victim here but telling mule-ish facts, born into violence, into sorrow of mother and father at war with each other in the redneck theologically regressive/retarded primitive white south, my mythology unfolded and unfolds still though I am hard surrounded by concrete asphault and steel where the wheel infernally drives literally everything in metropolis.

So, there. Etiology of my persistent skin rash begins in history, ancient history. The body, a body that I am, that I as Warren Ego inhabit, has its inexorable history and mythology genetically attributed and distrubuted cell by cell, dermis extremis, meat sack slackening but inevitable principled processes chemical and alchemical dry me dry me out into blown aboutness.

But I can sing. I will sing of such till I can sing no more.
Scratch as scratch can and down to a man, or sand, whichever
comes first or last or both, I will give voice and image to
the hard scrap and the mule-kick mother, bearing two
mule names, who in a dream that preceeded her death
purposefully willfully seperates from me, leaves me to
the aridity of incarnate human existence for this massive
hedge green green wildly riot of green which she is, she
did, die into and was reborn into such...


Because They Rhyme They Live, Not I

'O Poesy! for thee I grasp my pen

I suppose it is the late, or soon to be, poet's lot to jot one
for daffodils. At least one. This is mine, a last will to verse.

But first, I take a pill before dying, I mean,
its meager meal, yellow sun on a jaundiced plate.
'Consumption' is the word I want. I've got that,
and few breaths left and a flat voice to tell it in.

'The daffodils were yellow as the sun.'

So lay down thy pen. Ungrasp! I say.
An olden voice pulls at bruised skin.
I grow thin. And gasp. I grow thin as winter air.
I'll not see them rise again from bulbs perennially.
Not me, annulled in this season of the lung
though each breath mimics leaven, assumes
Eternity's aspirations, but... where was I? ...
not me, not long for my tongue to sing.


I would rewrite the whole thing
withdraw every word without ado
with undue pressure release even
these mountains upon which within
which I turn sleepless in the dark
beneath laurel the rhododendron
pungent in cold spring air wondering
just where this all goes how it
all ends this life where thunder
rolls between this valley where
I lay with heat lightening teasing
presences I will not name though
the old masters have forever
tried and try yet again on each
thinning page in this worn book
the collected songs which have
finally crossed an ocean have made
it over the Eastern hills to some
of us here far far on other shore

No longer do I madly sing
though an earned madness clings
a shroud a fog a suggestion of
the sublime that I shall not
can no longer call Ineffable,
Beauty, Power or Surcease

my young brow long gone old
and creased matches the map
my finger traces on yellowed
pages brown edges these smeared
mountains ages ago drawn by a
forced or palsied hand indentured
that remains uncredited diluted
ink smudged dried into elegant
interlaced stains that sing to
the eye no choice but to try
dear painter I should live in
such hills where perhaps the
bones of your trembled hand
point beyond kingdoms beyond
fences your painted image has
long outlived

I see that my face at least retains
some semblance of former glory if a
face is a map of mountains once sung
now written only now suggesting rhythm
now melody only now a shine lonely on
tips each peak this my brow now theirs
too sings of silver a dew a scent up from
worn paths beside valleys rivers streams
their banked ferns wet do cloy and bend

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


Making Things Right In Exile - After the Chinese Poet, Po Chui

He rests awhile in the wide orchard
where bright plum flowers rain. He
unrolls his pallet to sleep inside
the humming glade.

" Raiment, " he writes in his sleepy
head, " of leaves and bees. An old man
puts the best plum in his sleeve to
bring home to his bitter wife."

" Why strive when nature is bounteous
and all ills can be made right with
wet sweetness? "

- - - - Warren Falcon - - -

For my mother's last birthday, September 2016, I gave her a
beautiful shawl. Pleased much, she wore it often up to the
final days of her sojourn into the Shawl of the Great Mother.

She passed two days before Christmas at 1: 25 pm.

A gentle suspiration
barely noticed then no more.

She breathes in me though,

dispatches from Limbo, destination Green,

viz Lorca's: " Green how I want you green."

Evenso, graying as I go.

So, returning to the beginning at the end, a hard gathered
variation ties the breathing knot for good thus nuancing
Ludwig Wittgenstein's words as opening orientation at the
top of this word-pocked page:

The form of spirit as it returns to Spirit is adoration.

Final offering in final word-prayer repeated above at least twice,

" Here's breath for You."

All these my poems, my efforts, are
lovingly dedicated to my mother and father,
Geneva & Warren:

From childhood our song:

Hurry awake sleepy bee
Softly sings the breeze

To sweetness we are called
when the sun high shall be
freshened with tears our departing

behind the barred door wait

a lock of wound hair
silk pouch of my gated heart
it will be a hard arrow to pierce it


Coda: Epimetheus looks back

" So, friend, you die also. Why all this clamour about it? " - from The Iliad XXI by Homer

...but it's late and I've been under-slept, much distressed, stretched through veil and moan, though I dreamed last night a sweet yet-dog/not-dog sleeping upon a burning log most inviting, I see now it is a sacrifice that has consented to such and thus is resolved, at peace, surrendered to gentle flame, to rules of the human consciousness game, and/but I want to secure its comfort and safety though Fire winks at me and says, " Got this covered."


What to do?

Out of my league as creature alone,
I demur to Fire.

Am awaiting further instructions.

Marinating in petrol.

with Combustion Union

even as I
speak or spark,

whichever come
first which will

inexorably of course

come last then

ashes to ashes
and the mourning

a thousand
or more books unread,

not understood.

Tou jours mon ami,
mon frere to rhyme

with fire, and sireling.

* * *

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