Saturday, January 30, 2010

A City

as this body
of quarrels between
frenetic intimacy and molten
aversion; between high rise hugging
and green space separation. A city walks
forever on the cusp of copulation; a bipolar
blindness driving all effort down the autobahn
of unrestrained creation. Concrete is its only aphrodisiac.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Blue Heron Over August Stream

Focus is imperative; there exists
a depth of reality
equivalent to wingspan,
to the neck's curvature,
to what dark pupils can cradle,
then comprehend.

The primaries, dipped to gravity,
caress hydrogen molecules,
straddle colour frequencies,
imprint a perfect trail
of avian desire upon
compressed atmosphere.

Flight demands this unconscious ideal,
this faith in the unseen,
unlike the constructions
of sentences, which are
malleable clay –
prone to cataclysmic events,
to immolation by misadventure,
to sending forth the pilgrim
on a fool's gold pilgrimage.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Mystery of Shopping Carts

Who knows why shopping carts
gravitate into alleyways,
hump curbs, luxuriate
in rain, and rust to
burnished sandstone shades.

I’ve seen them dance
to inner-city gridlock madrigals —
frantic partners of vagabonds,
suburban leaves evicted
from row-house boulevard trees.

I’ve observed their bent bars,
sensual in sunlit waltzes
with chickadees, playmate
to summer-stained children,
last confidant of the dying homeless.

After Listening to Creeley Read

When I listen to

poets read, I hear

words severed from

the alternate universe

of white paper and think —

Oh God, who are

these beggars, what

is this road between

a voice and a pen —

how have they managed

to articulate so much

of the lives

of the social elementals,

yet sound so scared,

as though they’re caught

halfway, trapped in a door

that can’t decide

if it’s opening or closing,

a universe of unresolved

lunches with gin, loves

forever cast adrift — carrion

for vultures to savage —

these poor polemics for

the cause of angst

and redemption, Charon

and salvation, manicured lawns

for the moon and nights

in day when the only light

comes from that moody fire,

burning at the speed of doubt.

no point of departure is alien

There are always open doorways,
road signs leading in Aqua Velva progression,
photographs being snapped by tourists
stunned that even this exists —
the ‘lost and found’ fantasy.

There are stray cats
and wandering sheep deferring
to cows switch-backed
on a lonely country road,
red brick taverns courting
white tables just where
the alley ends — and in summer,
wedding parties, because
the limestone walls,
which fall into the eddies
of a slow river — those walls
are weathered into
the expected style of permanence
every marriage seeks to possess;

an eagle high in November wind,
playing dodge-ball with irascible
clouds which slowly transform
into the hand of man.

Security Shift

For an arbitrary set

of circumstances, respond

and ponder why the door

is held open much too long,

a sneeze can attain

the same frequency

as shattering glass,

the motion sensor senses

no motion when a body

passes near and why doors

are unsecured by

more phantoms than employees

hard at scurrying

late reports between

the walls of rising floors.

The aging truck driver

in receiving, with a compress

against his scarred forehead

is real, as are

his complaints to EMS

concerning a sore neck

and waves of dizziness.

Real as well,

as I go to my car

at four this afternoon,

is his truck in the lane,

where I parked it —

waiting, like a faithful dog,

for its master to return.

Winter Heart

Dear Jane,

The house is quiet

at eleven this evening.

I’m writing you

a letter on the piano.

The key is A minor,

the perfect pitch

for sunsets, red wine

and fog slowly dancing

across hollow waves.

My eyesight is hollow

these days. The house

is ill-kept. It tends

to ramble as though

it’s an old man,

or old woman and life

is divided between

the universes of porch

and bedroom window.

There’s always division.

It creeps slowly

in the fibres of subtraction

and addition. It haunts

every equation.

Perhaps I should pray

for sums. I dream

of summations and

conclusions. I long

to see a pier,

a dead end sign,

the terminus of a valley,

where dolomite is

a hundred-foot step.

I need a reason to

come to a complete stop.

With B flat, icicles

form in my memory.

Long talons hang

from the eaves of events.

Yesterday is

a Royal Dolton scene

on red velvet.

Last month lumbers into view

and I’m stopped

at a red light.

Diane laughs beside me.

The world crumbles

into snowstorm.

The key of C is summer.

It doesn’t exist

on this piano. I can

play a song in A minor.

Love, Carol.

Cat’s Cradle

Bound around fingers, a twisted ligature emerges
under March light. You bring your palms ashore —
prow cleaving a settling tide —

accept the cradle, commence
weaving alterations. I detect metamorphosis,
as though orange-flaked caterpillar

has scaled the milkweed leaf,
or sun crept determinedly to naturalize
the dusk in leaf-clogged eaves.

An ennui entraps me then
and stretched white yarn becomes
a snow-stopped plain, an enervating slap

of leaden waves, seagulls screeched over carrion,
dust on the sofa’s dark arms.
Clock drags the sun along,

shadows are a deceptive place, with stuffed corners
and secured doors, hidden chairs and alley cats —
smiles tooled to razor blades.

I slowly furrow my lands — uncertain terrain —
acknowledge your incorporated cities against mine —
carefully resift structure, lest the cradle should fall.