Sunday, May 1, 2016

POEM: "An Ape's Raincoat"

An Ape's Raincoat

I.   Stella Fugio

There are stairs to take
and steps to consider, after all
the slender things we are
stars can wait a little longer
distance must be reached
love is met on the landing
(a demon black cat flashes
past, between our future legs)
we recognize each other
one going up the other down
we hardly have time to speak
platitudes of stairs and star
a bad day ahead of us or behind 

a meeting later, always later.

II.   An Ape's Raincoat

No more going back
it's a playful galaxy
(all majestic dress)
stars are mine and thine and we
their celestial seawrack

Still more vintage wine

upon the leaning trellis
(takes a year to press)
a star gently climbs the stairs
as he waits to hear her sigh

Still more petrichor

on the breasts of a woman
(a star to caress)
who so loves each sleepy rain
her lover listens to her snore

Still more empty shells
that listen on the seashore
(still the seagulls' mess)
to time in its giggling core
pumping stars from distant wells.   

III.   Bashō Was The Snowball

I just wrote a poem
about reaching space
at the speed of light

Three bags full of
cock & steam. I guess
that’s all. Empty shovel

We try remembering
every memory to forget
which ones are special

Enlightened thought
the chance that physics
has always waited for

The possibility exists
somewhere. The translation
looks into a cold mirror

Bashō was the snowball
sharp-shooter of hats. But
that was then. It’s still winter

I’m still writing. So
are you. The next one
comes at the speed of light.

IV.   The Extra Weight

I don’t believe the
writing on the wall

Mixed bird offerings
or that insects wake

Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin

Even if the meal is
found wanting is

Counting gematria really
the dessert of wisdom?

My mind's made up
the spring is cleansed

My life is the sum
of all my choices

at least the choices
that waited for me

But         the       weight
       extra      but

When birds come closer
when mountaintops are sand

When the scales
are finally settled

How do you return
the angel’s stare?

© 2015 Rob Schackne

Joan Miró, "Une Étoile Caresse Le Sein d'Une Négresse" (1938)

1 comment:

  1. The reader will know the title from Basho's great haiku:

    Winter downpour--
    Even a monkey
    Needs a raincoat.

    That was then. It's still raining.