Sunday, August 05, 2012

Apostasy Poems

Guiding Narrative

I don't need to tell you, oddsong, that
defense from all perils comes in handy
in whatever forest of the night you find yourself,
so sing on and on, even (or so it goes)
at the grave, even if (as is likely)
there's no one to hear either you or the tree
that will fall on you and crush you, even
before the birds have eaten all the breadcrumbs, even
before you reach the Big Rock Candy Cathedral
where the curate has prepared a supersaturated solution
to all your problems, hope
after hope after hope, my beloved.


In the end, all that remained
was an unused set
of agrarian allusions, mint,
and ashes in the grate.

What did they make
of the few uncharred syllables ?

ove od ominatio oil

as if there were ever perfect sense
in the sparing and the unsparing of things
just a vague shape and then
some local perdition


It was like sitting on phone books
seven times a day
which were all talking back
in unison orison venison
babbling random numbers from beyond the glue-green horizon
no words in edgewise lengthwise ever possible

for all the genealogies, parabolas, billets-doux, tales
from the cryptographers, loose canons, lawn
mowers, telegrams, synopses, harbingeries,
homophonies, communii, ligatures, nomenclatures --
all the motes, motes, motes --

plastered lash-deep on the clockface
cast upon the rolling rolling river
stuck like post-its to the hovering wavecrest
like the lost masterpiece of a Tang
dynasty quantum mechanic

outside 9 am
no one to hear


O, in thy fivefold splendor, W,
grant what ten Us or twenty half-Us can't,
a waiter, hovering, malarious,
a whiff of temps perdu on autumn air,
outlandish wasteland landfills, self-renewed
where winter's always coming on, windows
all painted over, nails quick-bitten; through
the Word, that freight bum which is all we've got,
and he won't spill the beans. No matter. That.

Life Without My Hat

A Roman candle going off
somewhere beneath the dome --

you could mistake it for almost anything,

sun on a gnat's wing, your lost
dime, your regular table

where lace between slabs of brocade
serves as a feasible sandwich

In times of plague, boil the vestments
in their own milk

As to the wine, well, recall
that saying makes it so

and then, incompletely shriven,

unmask the majordomo, and enter
the ordinary, if bleached, day

Sounds Of A Summer Night

Hammer and prey, hammer and prey --
the surround sound
of hearts
the bulk-bought, disposable kind
going out
out like an auto-pilot light

when the hoarfrost grips thy tent

sleepless, composing

sweet pity, and a fox fight


The minute you open your mouth
whether it's in red or black

the minute the iambs ratchet up
the apparatus of rack and rank

the minute you feel your face
stretch taut on its well-oiled struts
and you feel yourself either icon or advertisement
(lingerie, burger, actuarial services)

the minute the music

the minute of the unscripted glance toward the bored
organist or archangel
(frozen like a lost expedition)

that minute

that very, very minute


Claims and a strict grid
or glasses for spying the neighbor
(the proverbial one) at whose genuine
flecked rail I have, of late, eaten,
drunk, always on behalf and under
a fugitive red drop, that time-
traveler, who, exhausted, speechless,
nonetheless --

One more drop
and this skin bag shall burst
as the other
(the proverbial one)
can't. Which is
(according to the Hubble)
the whole problem.

Unglassed, I proceed by ear
along the crumbs the ground dove spills
six by six by six

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