The gesture of teaching beyond a gesture of learning the spaces in your attention and all my gaps, all that I forgot As Roethke said, we mostly learn by going where we have to go and this we see without the mirror in the whiteout and desert sands Crazy streets still grow wild city weed it's the contemplative mind, so best to be alert while polishing off the antipasto and judge well the angles at deadly corners So strange now the dirty deals we made (not you of course but I know it's me) the twinge and the fidget and the snore the life-span, the sweet rose and the sea Teach the cups how to draw the tide how to learn the perfect cup of tea teach me to dance the broken arrow and I will show you the broken step II. Varada A kitten was run over by a car tonight it lay on the road crying intestines strewn like sausages Before I could crush her skull she got up and licked her gore then walked back over to the curb Nighttime, a parade of people crossing the perilous borders begin their journeys of freedom Probably died in the bushes from her first true crossing a kid, a plan, a nalpadika No word for this in any language nothing toys with compassion
we learn too late that life is deadly
I wrap the story up and let it go later seal it inside a diamond heart and send this poem to the ones I love
When the corpse revived at the funeral, The outraged mourners killed it; and the soul Of the revenant passed into the body Of the poet because it had more to say. He sat down at the piano no one could play Called Messiah, or The Regulator of the World, Which had stood for fifty years, to my knowledge, Beneath a painting of a red-haired woman In a loose gown with one bared breast, and played A posthumous work of the composer S— About the impotence of God (I believe) Who has no power not to create everything. It was the Autumn of the year and wet, When the music started. The musician was Skilful but the Messiah was out of tune And bent the time and the tone. For a long hour The poet played The Regulator of the World As the spirit prompted, and entered upon The pathways of His power - while the mourners Stood with slow blood on their hands Astonished by the weird processional And the undertaker figured his bill.
We have in mind an unplayed instrument Which stands apart in a memorial air Where the room darkens toward its inmost wall And a lady hangs in her autumnal hair At evening of the November rains; and winds Sublime out of the North, and North by West, Are sowing from the death-sack of the seed The burden of her cloudy hip. Behold, I send the demon I know to relieve your need, An imperfect player at the perfect instrument Who takes in hand The Regulator of the World To keep the splendor from destroying us. Lady! The last virtuoso of the composer S— Darkens your parlor with the music of the Law. When I was green and blossomed in the Spring I was mute wood. Now I am dead I sing.
First find the ducks, and get them in a row Then walk the line, look each one in the eye Dismiss the distended and mildewed ones Locate a good supply of water, and herd them Towards their birthdays and listen to their joy Give them some pork crackling as they emerge Shaking feathers and preening (they are proud) And by now they're following you everywhere Little souls, their shit and feathers on the carpet Into your library, the kitchen, even to the bedroom Where of course you find them tonight, in autumn In half a dream of water and half a dream of flight How you toss and turn in how to spend a birthday But it's good to have ducks, they are simple creatures And nothing bothers them as long as you stay happy And who studies mortality today sighs in pleasure.
Recently a fellow poet wrote Highjacked by a book of poems, I want To know more about my captor. What Has given rise to such intentions? Diesel smack and smeared mirages A searing mark under a damning sun Off the track from an untargeted village Safe enough for the story and the pics Now I don't want to know more about them (I overstepped my bounds, they're very twitchy) I want to know about my options to get free And except for my camera there, I'm unrifled And except for my papers in the hotel, I’m fucked.
And the machinery we depend on Lasts till we get where we’re going Five minutes or five inches in reserve Our heart pounds guessing we made it (Five pounds more and we wouldn't have) Hardly feeling five of the something less Could crash this plane, could send us Out of control, desperate, terrified; Strange craft, the inefficiency by Which the world runs fractured As if the doors that barely close Contained enough for long enough That it all worked fine before the system We almost had worked out, gave up.
By Charlotte At The Riverside There I was again in the evening air As though my rivers keep flowing past Maybe I never left my little boat at all One half then, a bit now, one half future At times there will be a person missing To lend a heavy hand to warm our chills Even if the old wind carries familiar smells Later in the autumn breeze, after tying up My river skiff, after I get out to walk home The ghosts I speak with have such cold breath They say it over and over again, half-counsel Starting over will mean giving up so much.
Because you used to leaf through the dictionary, Casually, as someone might in a barber shop, and Devotedly, as someone might in a sanctuary, Each letter would still have your attention if not For the responsibilities life has tightly fit, like Gears around the cog of you, like so many petals Hinged on a daisy. That's why I'll just use your Initial. Do you know that in one treasured story, a Jewish ancestor, horseback in the woods at Yom Kippur, and stranded without a prayer book, Looked into the darkness and realized he had Merely to name the alphabet to ask forgiveness— No congregation of figures needed, he could speak One letter at a time because all of creation Proceeded from those. He fed his horse, and then Quietly, because it was from his heart, he Recited them slowly, from aleph to tav. Within those Sounds, all others were born, all manner of Trials, actions, emotions, everything needed to Understand who he was, had been, how flaws Venerate the human being, how aspirations return Without spite. Now for you, may your wife's X-ray return with good news, may we raise our Zarfs to both your names in the Great Book of Life.
Just when I think I'm winning When I've broken every door The ghosts of my life Blow wilder than before Just when I thought I could not be stopped When my chance came to be king The ghosts of my life Blew wilder than the wind
Love predates nationalities Wind originates beyond the sky Earth has water older than the sun Still things will travel faster than light (I could go on but you're grateful I won’t)
No one lives in caves though we might as well
A poem of white is no more the absence of colours Than a poem of black includes them all forever And though a red umbrella is small protection Against the ravages of teargas in Hong Kong A bottle of water applied to the eyes will help.
On any National Day, made Unhappy by unfulfilled promises Standing out upon a sea-platform Clouds rolling in, smell the spray The giant sculpture’s great unreal It stumbles on its waves, it says No flowers here, no biscuits there The half-moon helps light the derrick Its tower stacked with rotting fruit What the fuck are you on about anyway? I want fine food, a normal family A job that doesn’t make me too crazy A sane head, ten fingers, ten toes will do Some good poems from time to time Stop promising me nonsense.
You might light out for the Territory someday, you know it's coming, you
toy with perspective, test the distance
and watch how the horizon moves...
Dismal science isn’t economics or accounting, it's mostly dreams that skip fast under the setting sun while birds wait for quiet enough to breach the low horizon, to pass beneath, sinking down to get off free
Definite article of serious wishes a very serious accounting that excites the dismal and hopeless, the depressed kept low, holding up, their mouths set just right they get it hopping crazy in the farmyard three-legged dogs and deformed lambs
Broken halters of horses run amok the sky gets higher, the moon is swelling these old roads will only stand so much before this precious, probable, sundrian will stop the lessening (if you ever could) take the nothings and turn it into light.
It’s a small thing like the fold Of a dress that suddenly speaks Like a light switch from another world Even after all the harbor lights I play I’m powerless to stop the sorrow
Reaching inside the common faces Way down to where the memory sits Words long since become nonsense Cosmetics too stupid for a smart woman I wonder what the next beauty will wear
Alas there’s no limit to my blockhead And no limit either to her foolish greed We’ll slap hands together and conjure glee Until the sun rises roughly over our secrets Till the bed we’re in hears the music wrong.
In a poem, one line may hide another line, As at a crossing, one train may hide another train. That is, if you are waiting to cross The tracks, wait to do it for one moment at Least after the first train is gone. And so when you read Wait until you have read the next line— Then it is safe to go on reading. In a family one sister may conceal another, So, when you are courting, it's best to have them all in view Otherwise in coming to find one you may love another. One father or one brother may hide the man, If you are a woman, whom you have been waiting to love. So always standing in front of something the other As words stand in front of objects, feelings, and ideas. One wish may hide another. And one person's reputation may hide The reputation of another. One dog may conceal another On a lawn, so if you escape the first one you're not necessarily safe; One lilac may hide another and then a lot of lilacs and on the Appia Antica one tomb May hide a number of other tombs. In love, one reproach may hide another, One small complaint may hide a great one. One injustice may hide another—one colonial may hide another, One blaring red uniform another, and another, a whole column. One bath may hide another bath As when, after bathing, one walks out into the rain. One idea may hide another: Life is simple Hide Life is incredibly complex, as in the prose of Gertrude Stein One sentence hides another and is another as well. And in the laboratory One invention may hide another invention, One evening may hide another, one shadow, a nest of shadows. One dark red, or one blue, or one purple—this is a painting By someone after Matisse. One waits at the tracks until they pass, These hidden doubles or, sometimes, likenesses. One identical twin May hide the other. And there may be even more in there! The obstetrician Gazes at the Valley of the Var. We used to live there, my wife and I, but One life hid another life. And now she is gone and I am here. A vivacious mother hides a gawky daughter. The daughter hides Her own vivacious daughter in turn. They are in A railway station and the daughter is holding a bag Bigger than her mother's bag and successfully hides it. In offering to pick up the daughter's bag one finds oneself confronted by the mother's And has to carry that one, too. So one hitchhiker May deliberately hide another and one cup of coffee Another, too, until one is over-excited. One love may hide another love or the same love As when "I love you" suddenly rings false and one discovers The better love fingering behind, as when "I'm full of doubts" Hides "I'm certain about something and it is that" And one dream may hide another as is well known, always, too. In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve may hide the real Adam and Eve. Jerusalem may hide another Jerusalem. When you come to something, stop to let it pass So you can see what else is there. At home, no matter where, Internal tracks pose dangers, too: one memory Certainly hides another, that being what memory is all about, The eternal reverse succession of contemplated entities. Reading A Sentimental Journey look around When you have finished, for Tristram Shandy, to see If it is standing there, it should be, stronger And more profound and theretofore hidden as Santa Maria Maggiore May be hidden by similar churches inside Rome. One sidewalk May hide another, as when you're asleep there, and One song hide another song; a pounding upstairs Hide the beating of drums. One friend may hide another, you sit at the foot of a tree With one and when you get up to leave there is another Whom you'd have preferred to talk to all along. One teacher, One doctor, one ecstasy, one illness, one woman, one man May hide another. Pause to let the first one pass. You think, Now it is safe to cross and you are hit by the next one. It can be important To have waited at least a moment to see what was already there.
The winter evening settles down With smell of steaks in passageways. Six o’clock. The burnt-out ends of smoky days. And now a gusty shower wraps The grimy scraps Of withered leaves about your feet And newspapers from vacant lots; The showers beat On broken blinds and chimney-pots, And at the corner of the street A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.
And then the lighting of the lamps.
The morning comes to consciousness Of faint stale smells of beer From the sawdust-trampled street With all its muddy feet that press To early coffee-stands. With the other masquerades That time resumes, One thinks of all the hands That are raising dingy shades In a thousand furnished rooms.
You tossed a blanket from the bed, You lay upon your back, and waited; You dozed, and watched the night revealing The thousand sordid images Of which your soul was constituted; They flickered against the ceiling. And when all the world came back And the light crept up between the shutters And you heard the sparrows in the gutters, You had such a vision of the street As the street hardly understands; Sitting along the bed’s edge, where You curled the papers from your hair, Or clasped the yellow soles of feet In the palms of both soiled hands.
His soul stretched tight across the skies That fade behind a city block, Or trampled by insistent feet At four and five and six o’clock; And short square fingers stuffing pipes, And evening newspapers, and eyes Assured of certain certainties, The conscience of a blackened street Impatient to assume the world.
I am moved by fancies that are curled Around these images, and cling: The notion of some infinitely gentle Infinitely suffering thing.
Wipe your hand across your mouth, and laugh; The worlds revolve like ancient women Gathering fuel in vacant lots.
Don't get around much any more (I might not get around at all) silenced with a middle finger waiting to do nothing more live a life, write, fight, then fuck off (the Silenus kicks over a few chairs and then quickly gallops away) "...reality scarier than science fiction he says pushing against the storm crashing rain, the deck is non-negotiable the din of wind is furious, others below with their smokes and bottles play cards betting both ends against the middle" My first day in the Afterlife I have an horrible hangover, also an idea almost on the verge of memory there was a victory, yes, a plan that worked very few casualties, the flag, the wind etc. but I'm an eagle now and when I fly over all is silent, beautiful, and covered in trees
One streaks past, then another one fast I wonder what they are, what they do so many of them now zipping from yes to no the speed means I need to slow down it's the Afterlife after all, they shout at me pause it, restart, look closely, look again and watch it happening for the first time.
Next to the screen door work boots dry in the sun. Salt lines map the leather and laces droop like the arms of a new-hire waiting to punch out. The shoe hangs open like the sigh of someone too tired to speak a mouth that can almost breathe. A tear in the leather reveals a shiny steel toe a glimpse of the promise of safety the promise of steel and the years to come.
The Great Barrier Reef is the size of Italy or Japan our nearest star closer than the nearest human heart stretched from you to me from the cosmos to the sea
I once tied a life around my neck with the tensile strength of spider silk after meditation upon the aggregates and form was returning to nothingness I rested my case, I drew the curtains the world was bad I said, let me sleep
Dreams rattle the door before the fall when the nothing spins a web of matter for the bangles of the ten-thousand arms when your cell dreams become your alarm back to the greed and jealousy and envy so tough shit, the world is bad, let me sleep
Reading Levine’s poem about the kids of factory fodder in a hell of a town somewhere the people we could love, we must imagine hope but a good poem it is, that draws the curtains against knowing more than a bit about the future the world was bad, it's starting to rain, let me sleep.
I walk among the rows of bowed heads-- the children are sleeping through fourth grade so as to be ready for what is ahead, the monumental boredom of junior high and the rush forward tearing their wings loose and turning their eyes forever inward. These are the children of Flint, their fathers work at the spark plug factory or truck bottled water in 5 gallon sea-blue jugs to the widows of the suburbs. You can see already how their backs have thickened, how their small hands, soiled by pig iron, leap and stutter even in dreams. I would like to sit down among them and read slowly from The Book of Job until the windows pale and the teacher rises out of a milky sea of industrial scum, her gowns streaming with light, her foolish words transformed into song, I would like to arm each one with a quiver of arrows so that they might rush like wind there where no battle rages shouting among the trumpets, Hal Ha! How dear the gift of laughter in the face of the 8 hour day, the cold winter mornings without coffee and oranges, the long lines of mothers in old coats waiting silently where the gates have closed. Ten years ago I went among these same children, just born, in the bright ward of the Sacred Heart and leaned down to hear their breaths delivered that day, burning with joy. There was such wonder in their sleep, such purpose in their eyes dosed against autumn, in their damp heads blurred with the hair of ponds, and not one turned against me or the light, not one said, I am sick, I am tired, I will go home, not one complained or drifted alone, unloved, on the hardest day of their lives. Eleven years from now they will become the men and women of Flint or Paradise, the majors of a minor town, and I will be gone into smoke or memory, so I bow to them here and whisper all I know, all I will never know.
Today the date palms were pruned, the branches taken before the fruit ripened, before sweetness littered the sidewalks. The man who sawed them worked alone, a crane lifting him to the yellowed fronds. Beside his truck, he stood tall, American, a pensive pioneer. The top of each palm looked like the back of a man's head after a close-crop haircut, the neck cooled to a stubbly remembrance of hair, or was like a cat after being spayed, startled by a strange newness, pacing familiar rooms, darting, confused, and you (had you wished to console) are greeted with a barren gaze. The rubble of bark and fronds reminded me of Iraq, not the ruined bridges, or the surrendering soldiers' hands begging food, but the 16 million date palms, one per capita, lining the seams of the Tigris and Euphrates, a reminder of my own Libya and its 10 million date palms and the years of easy wealth that brought them neglect except in Huun, a magical city where they stuffed dates with almonds and sent them as far as Tanta and Oum Dourman. From Huun this story: a boy stands by a palm imploring his uncle to toss him a fistful of dates. Flustered by the boy's monotonous cries the uncle loses his feet, and as he falls to his death, cries down "Here nephew, I'm coming down with the dates!" So that's what we got from Huun, almond stuffed wonders and proverbial last words. There was another reminder, a tale of the prophet Muhammad living for months on water and coarse wheat bread, his wives protesting the austere measures of his faith. Muhammad, who praised honey and had a professed love for cantaloupes, and who once declared "the best meat is that which lines the bones," found in dates the solution he required. To his Arab followers, and to his wives, the fruit was "three skies above luxury," and as indispensable as water and air. I once had this dream of Whitman:
I found him under one of the palms on Sherman Way gazing admiring. Though he had seen palms by the Gulf of Mexico, he had never tasted a date. So we drove to a supermarket, and he who had been thoughtful, even dignified, until then, began to sign and moan at the taste of "Araby's sugared dust clouds." When we walked the aisles he insisted on pushing the cart. The frozen foods did not surprise him since his Granny buried potatoes in the cold dirt of her homestead. Still I had to explain tofu, plastic, tacos, and the foods labeled free. He ran his hands caressing the waxed floor; "Smooth as a girl's wrist," he exclaimed. The bright fluorescent lights reminded him of the opera, and Walt sang a gravelly tune. The children sitting in carts reached for him, their hands were Lorca's butterflies on his beard. At the cashier he filled pockets with candy, and was shocked by the headlines of our news. Honda, Toyota, Saturn, Oldsmobile— in the parking lot the names waltzed on his tongue. At the fast food stand he ate heartily, the burger's slipperiness amused him, and at his clumsiness we both had a laugh. Then the talk grew quiet, the table stretching like the expanse of time dividing us; I felt he no longer wanted company, having begun to understand our world. Despite his old resentment of Blacks, and now my neighbors, the foreign-born Hispanics and their engines roaring through Balboa and Saticoy, and the Koreans' karoake— the baseline's muffled thuds, voices doused in Canadian Mist, and the off-key pleadings to the lover who never comes—, America remained to him luminous-industrial-fuming- sublime, and as he wished, beyond others' adjectives, beyond what anyone could have conceived. Mumbling a farewell, Whitman stood to leave. And with this my dream ended, Whitman wishing to depart and I holding on to his wrists. All day I wanted to hold his wide wrists. If you drive west of Alexandria
your path will run through Alamain, Barani, and Matrouh. Then Egypt will end with a town on a steep hill called Sallum. If you go through the two checkpoints, Libya will unfold its dry pastures for you. On the Sallum hill there is a hotel where people stay to await relatives crossing the border or to hear word if it is safe to return. Across the road a tired bluegreen tea house sits like a bruise permanently on the verge of fading from the prairies' skin. You will also see the money changers— all teenage boys. With their right hands they will wave thick wads of money at your windshield, and with their left they will jostle to give you the best rate. The last time I stayed in Sallum few cars came from either direction, and among the boys fights flared with curses and stones hurled at brows. When the boys' rabble grew loud a man lazily stepped out of the tea house to call them bastards and sons of whores. This went on for hours until the sun settled in the middle of the sky, the boys taking shelter under a torn canvas shed, and the man to the tea house's dusty cool. Then just when all movement and noise seemed to surrender to the September wind and heat, four of the boys broke for a run racing—money still clutched in their hands— to a young date palm in the distance. Pressing shoulders and backs against it, they shook the palm until the season's first fruit began to rain. The other boys joined them, and soon the tea house emptied of the men slouching inside. Those were my brothers who cowered beneath the date palm to gather handfuls of fruit, rubbing each date clean on their sleeves, chewing softly to savor the taste as though it were a good omen, and rising to resume their lives, on their faces the smiles of those who once were blessed.
I wonder whether every sip takes and gives away something that’s never coming back. The illusionist so expert at indirecting the familiar from other matters nods wisely then pours another one. Hardly knowing why. We barely know enough to quit. Though it’s true that visions will read the first chapters of the mind. But wear and tear affects the world. Snake laughs and gives my skin to a pretty Muse who sits with her long legs spread apart on the barstool sipping a wet martini. Her blouse is open. She gazes. She grins. Pokes out her tongue. Wants me to sit down. She buys the drinks. Keeps smiling. Not sure about this summation or whether it’s much of a guide to being normal.
I too believe that beetles speak from longing loved by a God that never speaks to them that after looking around for somebody else to do the work finally it's up to them the beetle people the beetle poets to examine the records very closely for the ones that work closest to the outer bark and listen for the scratches near the heart skrilling and carving a message no one hears except you and me and that small child over there also loved by a God that can't clean up his mess this one encouragement is our commonality as we see the souls gathering in their places under the sky by the trees standing in the wind
when the apple sapling was blown almost out of the ground. No telling how, with all the other trees around, it alone was struck. It must have been luck, he thought for years, so close to the house it grew. It must have been night. Change is a thing one sleeps through when young, and he was young. If there was a weakness in the earth, a give he went down on his knees to find and feel the limits of, there is no longer. If there was one random blow from above the way he's come to know from years in this place, the roots were stronger. Whatever the case, he has watched this tree survive wind ripping at his roof for nights on end, heats and blights that left little else alive. No remembering now... A day's changes mean all to him and all days come down to one clear pane through which he sees among all the other trees this leaning, clenched, unyielding one that seems cast in the form of a blast that would have killed it, as if something at the heart of things, and with the heart of things, had willed it.
The great TFF and the great Bad Plus both saying "Welcome to your life/There's no turning back". It might not make Patti Smith very happy, but the song reminds me a little of her Babelogue: "I haven't fucked much with the past/But I've fucked plenty with the future." Let us try to be punctual. Enjoy.
Try to praise the mutilated world. Remember June's long days, and wild strawberries, drops of rosé wine. The nettles that methodically overgrow the abandoned homesteads of exiles. You must praise the mutilated world. You watched the stylish yachts and ships; one of them had a long trip ahead of it, while salty oblivion awaited others. You've seen the refugees going nowhere, you've heard the executioners sing joyfully. You should praise the mutilated world. Remember the moments when we were together in a white room and the curtain fluttered. Return in thought to the concert where music flared. You gathered acorns in the park in autumn and leaves eddied over the earth's scars. Praise the mutilated world and the gray feather a thrush lost, and the gentle light that strays and vanishes and returns.
We grapple with violence we look down we don’t look up beyond the dust beyond the harvest the clothes are just a trickery one smell of invidious wanting or not wanting little night scuffles with big darkness the rats fight under the promenade in the cinema she watches a movie skittish proud curious boys up for murder mid-autumn moon-cakes made of ice cream none of it as real as the dog she keeps as pet ah rattus dreams rattus love me from it cover up my heart and my stomach take away the nearest mouth.
There are few monks left in these remote shrines, And in the wilderness the narrow paths are high. The musk-deer sleep among the stones and bamboo, The cockatoos peck at the golden peaches. Streams trickle down among the paths; Across the overhanging cliff the cells are ranged, Their tiered chambers reaching to the very peak; And for a 100 li one can make out the smallest thing.
I've never been to Maijishan
Purple red sandstone in one cave At the Maijishan Grottoes observes The original male form of Guanyin Not Mother Mary and not Madonna Not Lady Gaga or your grandma either But a fellow much like us who exudes Exudes? The man is dripping with it! Sweetness tempered with no-nonsense Obviously our man's a former dissident At Wheatstack Mountain it’s understood When Buddha turned into Bodhisattvas The lout still packs one hell of a wallop Stand here your head will be changed Changed? Are you a complete idiot! When on the other side you see knives Guns on the floor the stun grenades Soldiers in tanks the frightened students Sharp objects is all the memory has left
You might understand there is nothing soft About kindness or about compassion, there There? Come here, I'll give you compassion!
In no special order, except for when the artists listed above recorded these songs. Listen to four short years a hundred years ago. You're a certain age, it feels good to say that pop music sucked in the 80s. But I still like these songs very much. A guilty pleasure? Hardly. I'll speed up again soon. I promise. Any day now. Really.
(Don't know which side you come down on in the matter of Robert Palmer...me, I come down on the right side.) Recorded in 1974. The Meters, Lowell George. But wait...you still calling this "white boy junk funk"?
Be There In A Minute Love, I see you over there In the writer’s standard pose (I could be there in a minute) Write, pause, think, and erase Gaze off into the inner distance Wonder why it was all born so daft You go back to the pretty good idea That was causing you so much trouble Though of course I'm presuming alot You might not be writing a poem at all.
She said she sang very close to the mike to change the space. And I changed the space by striding down the Boulevard Raspail at dusk in tight jeans until an Algerian engineer plucked the pen from my back pocket. As if you're inside my head and you're hearing the song from in there. He came from the desert, I came from green suburbs. We understood nothing of one another over glasses of metallic red wine. I was playing Girl. He played Man. Several plots were afoot, all misfiring. One had to do with my skimpy black shirt and light hair, his broad shoulders and hunger after months on an oil rig. Another was untranslatable. Apollinaire burned his fingers on June's smoldering lyre but I had lost my pen. The engineer read only construction manuals. His room was dim and narrow and no, the story didn't slide that way though there are many ways to throw oneself away. One singer did it by living by a broken wall until she shredded her voice but still she offered each song, she said, like an Appalachian artifact. Like trash along the riverbank chafing at the quay plastic bottles a torn shirt fractured dolls through which the current chortles an intimate tune.
Dead man naked they shall be one With the man in the wind and the west moon; When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone, They shall have stars at elbow and foot; Though they go mad they shall be sane, Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; Though lovers be lost love shall not; And death shall have no dominion.
And death shall have no dominion. Under the windings of the sea They lying long shall not die windily; Twisting on racks when sinews give way, Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break; Faith in their hands shall snap in two, And the unicorn evils run them through; Split all ends up they shan't crack; And death shall have no dominion.
And death shall have no dominion. No more may gulls cry at their ears Or waves break loud on the seashores; Where blew a flower may a flower no more Lift its head to the blows of the rain; Though they be mad and dead as nails, Heads of the characters hammer through daisies; Break in the sun till the sun breaks down, And death shall have no dominion.
Nothing is real that wasn’t before but sets all a bite of tailspin lies like a horsehead in a drum of fire smoke floats on this and on that I’ll never remember you enough a hundred steps above the grotto a hundred chances to get higher I walk to the edges to be thrilled It wants me killed fifty times till finally my other better eyes spy a piece of green glass honey I take it, then dive into the green Fifty people seated on their shelves those old white walls so shining below love clear deep blue water love says splash doesn’t matter.
Then welcome the ghost who brought the mystery installed in the easiest chair supplied with food & water Put on some Shostakovich show her some recent poems refrain from asking questions let it be for at least an hour I've always felt it is that right? Do you mean we should be awed? Write the answers in invisible ink ask her if she wants a shower watch her from the other room then go about your business.
"The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower" The force that through the green fuse drives the flower Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees Is my destroyer. And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.
The force that drives the water through the rocks Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams Turns mine to wax. And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.
The hand that whirls the water in the pool Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind Hauls my shroud sail. And I am dumb to tell the hanging man How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.
The lips of time leech to the fountain head; Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood Shall calm her sores. And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.
And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.
A sentence with "dappled shadow" in it. Something not sayable spurting from the morning silence, secret as a thrush.
The other man, the officer, who brought onions and wine and sacks of flour, the major with the swollen knee, wanted intelligent conversation afterward. Having no choice, she provided that, too.
Potsdamer Platz, May 1945.
When the first one was through he pried her mouth open. Basho told Rensetsu to avoid sensational materials. If the horror of the world were the truth of the world, he said, there would be no one to say it and no one to say it to. I think he recommended describing the slightly frenzied swarming of insects near a waterfall.
Pried her mouth open and spit in it. We pass these things on, probably, because we are what we can imagine.
Something not sayable in the morning silence. The mind hungering after likenesses. "Tender sky," etc., curves the swallows trace in air.