Bold catechism and ligature, crosswind in the work
So that with the windows slung open on simmering heaven,
the catch of hunches ruins the bass, the drafting, flagrant seize
growth involves segmentation — a society grows to a certain size, it reaches a threshold, and then splits
Minding the store, teflon man flounders, insubstantial
protective skin thinned than thought. Granted, he’s not drowning,
not yet, but he’s not calling for help. When you boil it
down, is finding the stone blinding the stare
events I forget remember me
when I fell into the rising river
the dropped rainbow trout flew up in my hands
and I continued walking backwards
I’m wall and All-wary
like I’m shelf (prow casts)
taut greed not barrel
Pop canons as monies
fast late tresses
‘time. And there it is.’ With that decided, she went through the book getting rid of every instance of the word ‘love,’ so that when it finally appears — at a moment it would be mean to give away, and too elabo- rate to explain anyhow — it jumps out at the reader to maximum effect
6 of Clubs
intrinsic blue. On the tributary, her facts fall, and she bets
Empty Potomac, channel serfs —
who could cross, a ton of dirty laundry on board
to pull this one out
lock it up in a box
and throw away the key
But too much of the holidays has be- come tussling meanly with other human beings in department store aisles to score unwanted stuff on sale, stuff that winds up
‘Booming sands’ are much more impressive in my opinion. One both hears them in a lower frequency band (50 to 264 Hz) than ‘whistling sand” and feels them — the ground trembles, the surface moves and ripples. Thus booming sands have both acoustic and seismic components and the sound can last for much longer than do whistle or squeaks
the instability he created
every terrorist group
is flocking to fit in
the hornet’s nest an absolute
more than the hitherto
Hurry had never been port of a stinger grope. Cracks
shook, load the why dawn stores; lapping, petting go,
and run what nexus, licking lake entrance in a sax-lagged
ruse. Next come profound snaps, drafting weepily
along, his tease heating each stir as they decanted,
healed up by his own wind, which was being painted
at him by service. Hurry and hermeneutics bought up the rare
Queen of Hearts
It rained relentlessly in the novel; the film version was sunny side up
Nothing could be further from the truth.
We are optimists thinking about how to care
A man stirs heart by the river
until a storm. Washing it off,
the storm of a people hurts
Ab-soar-key. Does it matter if we forget how
to pronounce the names of the mountains that
always seem to thrust up to 11,000 feet out
of nowhere? They’ve got the “soar” part right
This morning’s last dream
explained conflicts thus:
“me” language rather
than “we,” “your” language
instead of “our” language
The railroad tracks recede in a pale blue landscape covered with snow and rust. A dark dog lies bisected there. No flies come in winter to fill the cane of his stomach. Crows arrive hungry, ungainly birds in pristine snow. Are their minds black with self, or white as nature’s absence of caring? Soon, they leave this dog-lantern, white bone of skull, eyeless. It lights
A shooting occurred in the kitchen of the old Occidental. This was the killing of Hugh Smith at the hands of a man called Frenchy. The wives of these two men had been quarreling and Smith had later taken up his wife’s quarrel and had used profanity
The Emphysema, Hammertoes, and Shot-suspension Blues
My woman dresses in smoke and high heels.
She dresses in low-cut smoke and high heels.
Her cigarette strops her voice slow and mellow.
My woman is thirsty, she needs a drink.
My woman is thirsty. She kneels to drink
a smoky liquor that burns as she swallows.
My woman blows smoke and it rises slow.
She blows smoke and her smoke rises slow.
She knows only now and fears no cancer.
My woman dances in the face of death.
She dances wanton in the face of death,
tall in smoke and heels, a fearless dancer.
High heels and a four wheel drive.
She wears high heels and a four wheel drive.
Her shit-kicker pick-up goes like hell.
The woman dresses in rough roads.
She wraps herself close in rough road.
Skirt-tight dirt cakes hard in her wheel-well.
Sweet Jesus! She comes in a truck!
Praise the Lord! She comes to truck
with speed, the fastest gal alive.
She’s a rough ride down in the rut.
She rides it wild, rough down the road’s rut,
tall in high heels and a four-wheel drive.
seem colder than a ladder sober steam
bolder than a matter lobster cream mouldered
than a dapper cloister gun stammer than a
leaper melder one glamour than a meater
smelter stunned stammer than a greeter welter
hung manner than a beamer swelter
o h all c lick o see p c rack o c hub n ate
o m ill d rain o mel t sob o b leak desk
o d rub r at o sod s hake o s melt s tink
o kno b num b o b reach sala d o k ill nes t
o c rub s ate o b rock s torm o m ate cru mb
o g nat lak e o bur nt doo r o f logged knee
,wall et whap yr ,wat er me at pun ched
,r oof crawl my ,buz z n ape d renched
,p lug cl own lint s ,yr lon g b laze
,lun g p ile s cattered ,s cum n est fil tered
,s lap min e dim es ,spa t tered mu d h ush
,nam e loo p d rips ,c lobber h ash b rains
boul der me a knobster hammer juiced an
peeling like yr cage the sockings off
my tumbrels was that the cubic or a leaker
dream you trenchant soapings tames the
pallet or a palate lake tore cheeping pule
your eep my tense tub manic scorings
I don’t think I’d ever seen him in action, giving a presentation to colleagues. Later, I sat close by. He really was a handsome man, but with a dueling scar that I didn’t remember.
“What I wanted was to be articulate, to be on a stage addressing millions,” he lamented. “But you see how I’ve tied my fingers in knots? Unlike your generation, we rarely had a public forum.”
True. We, living, hog the spotlight, our authorized biographies in every stupid song, our faces on every milk carton, our full names in answer to any question you care to ask. Still it was nice to see Dad, one grownup to another. Now he was articulate about his shyness, his ambivalence about having once been alive.
handguns; two pink
volumes of a library:
the Paris minimum
till a biplane silhouette wedged
itself in fact,
black parallelogram in white,
photo’d sky . . . and the couch
of the alienist and the douanier skidded
our several and collective jungles to rest—
rest, hardly calm,
hardly Pauline reclining
but lushly impoverished
sputtering as if people
cooked inside them and
as if Gertrude were one of them,
—she of crude tattoo through the forearm
it was either that or many other things,
among them tattoos and among them
tattoos of a murderous festivity,
and all Jarry could do,
all poor Jarry could do was gear up, and,
so did we all, gear up.
So did we all.
In stone street,
beneath peaked roofs and windows deep as dovecotes,
bear and cockatiel dance to sonata
when a scherzo’s rumbling resonance informs
chamberpot, syphilis and magnetism
with wrecked inevitabilities
echoed only, merely,
in State reaction.
Locomotive hands rush waterfall,
building the gorge’s bridge
over the crow’s path;
hawks among aspens looming; aspens
above meadows of thistle and mullein . . .
Music the frigate shimmers
to music the cannibal.
Unlike a voice ranging higher,
one pedal softens highs,
precludes the multiplying tones,
the crowding of chords upon plucked strings
(at last, rest for Scarlatti).
Through guava shades of shot-silk mist
pressured steam keens
at moments trade hoots through archipelago.
Iron supplants the vine bridge; the Word trades light
to the more stable opium.
And music the shovel digging its own sea
prods torpid beads along its own
How she left me there in Paradiso
in a downpour of rain,
in a phone-booth with the trembling hot breath
of the Italian school-girl right next to me,
her eighteen years of nothingness,
her wet dirty-brown hair,
the way she pulled her dress down
away from her body,
her own way of exploration
in the cave of her soul,
breasts slowly against my mouth, my neck,
my shoulder, Besso to Castagnola,
Truman to Reagan,
year by year peeled away like pages,
blood on De Pisis’ Venetian mirror,
reds and blues and yellows,
Maimeri, the suicide in her, in me,
hands tied behind back,
the gentle tonalities of order, of life,
exploding in our heads into nothingness.
After years in Salina, rain-bands drifting up north toward New England,
ten thousand days of the monotonous green flat of Oklahoma,
taking my family and driving them south, as south as one can go in the
where the road ends and life begins, the southernmost point of Key West—
At the edge of the sea’s shaking helmet, where dreams swim beneath
the shafts of green water with the rock hind and the juv fish.
A place where you can see Havana and the Yucatan Peninsula,
hurricanes floating up as far as the Sigsbee Knolls,
up over land into the Mississippi River, past New Orleans,
the flood plains, past the stars one hundred billion years away,
blue super giants collapsing to neutron stars,
our heads emptying, calmness flowing, blue, down our throats,
peace coming, euphoria, something none of us have ever felt before—
in the north, on the plains, in the mountains—
skies full of thunder, every thought I’ve tried to forget,
father’s coffin being lowered down into his grave,
that car wreck up on Suicide 6 when I saw her arm hanging out,
seeing her leave me like that, looking at her when she didn’t look like
herself lying in her own coffin,
all the reasons why we leave sometimes,
all those dry silos full of our abandoned dreams up north.
The cold of the bedroom at night,
the blue shadows on the wall with the rain,
below the windows the pandanus and the poincianas
shifting the dark shadows into your ghost.
And all night long the sounds of the tourists
spill over from Duval Street,
the college kids from Sloppy Joe’s
and the Cat House,
how they come tormenting like the boughs
of the banyans with night,
the neon light in the rain of blackness,
shuttering pink, veering blue,
the same dreams I have now that you’re gone—
i suoni dolci dei nostri bambini che giocano,
(the first time our lips touched beneath the old white elm), sempre il primo giorno freddo della caduta,
(all of our hopes and dreams before the war).
Wind-baby (ghost) bundl
around in back of the
car, everyone else out maul
around, profound sense of being a
vapor trail (Nov. 11, all windows windwide
open) across the impossible-to-exist
A poet I know showed me a letter he got from a reader in which this reader complained that his poems weren’t universal enough, and this so frustrated the reader (who called himself “a communicant not being communicated with”) that he wrote the letter to him, and the poet I know thought about the reader’s complaint for a long while (this being the first letter he had ever gotten from a reader) during which time he wrote several new poems, and as he was writing these new poems, he thought of his communicant who wasn’t being communicated with, thought of him as his one and only reader of these new poems, and when he finally answered the letter those months later, he wrote only, “Our atoms spin on moral poles,” and he didn’t sign it either, but he burned those new poems he wrote during that time because he said he couldn’t bear to know that even though he knew he wrote them, he also knew that they weren’t his, that he really didn’t write them at all, but the letter he showed me from the reader? He published that as a poem in a prestigious magazine under his own name.
Car comes to a stop at the curb
as there are fires in the road,
this car crash, three trailers,
a parked car, a fence, and two boats,
never making contact w/ cross corners,
stopped at the edge of the road
and the path of a dart, the copious
understeer and nipping, load or unload
returning too fast, flung as long as possible
into the open, oncoming in the cross
in the lane, no crossing until walking
is great, left, right, left,
less likely to wait for the crisscrossing
of the blur of fast headlights, even if
you see a line of vehicles waiting
for the edge of the sufficiently slow
centerline, coming in to see
a street blocked, the huge
and empty park,
nothing for miles
but the view of an open field.