Tuesday, September 18, 2018

L'Envoi


This is what I made.
I made it all myself.
And now that it is done,
It’s no good, I’m afraid,
To stick it in a drawer
Or stack it on a shelf.
And there are plenty more,
Dark and all alone.

Why, sure I can attest
And swear by Mars and Jove
That art and bronze are best,
That nothing lives but love:
And make myself a home,
Safe in my metronome.

And worms will not protest.
And grass will not complain.
And some protagonist
Will do it all again,
Good, better, and best,
All washed out by the rain.
So read this if you would.
It may do me some good.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Aere Perennius

If they commingle when we die

The dust you make, the dust that I
produce, maybe the dog’s, and that
clump of leafmeal, perhaps a scat
and clippings, in a year or two,
who’s going to know which dust was you?
Most glorious of all who share
the stage tonight, of every stare
the subject and the hope, to claim
more of your birthright than a name,
it cannot be. You are a weed,
a metatarsal, or a seed
on fallow ground. Not more. Unless
they shroud you in the golden dress
that sheathes you now, there is no place
which will preserve your present grace
to an agnostic, future age.
They might, of course, peruse this page.
How cheap is that, and how unfair,
if you are no-, this everywhere?
Patience does not reward the dead.
It pays them off in print instead.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Lente, Lente

As old as Moses, balm from Gilead

Can’t touch this, more like stale Rice-Krispie Treats
For knees, when I remember they’re my knees;
And still the angels whisper numbers, like
Da-dum da-dum dum-da da-da dum-dum.
I can make English of it, only barely.
Slowly, slowly, the horses of night arrive,
Tacked for a king in black, with golden reins,
The stirrups folded up across the saddle.
Believing that the fairy tales are true,
I bow and wait for one to speak, but can’t
Quite straighten up. Dum-dum dum-dum dum-dum.

Monday, September 03, 2018

The Vulgar from the Streets

for HC


Such hieroglyphs are easy. This one says,
CATES IN THE MORNING and that swirly one,
NO PAIN, NO PAIN, today the practical
Feast-day of St Bartokomous, who wrote
God is most perfect, this His indigence,
And gaped in satisfaction, doubtlessly.
Over the air conditioner man hath sprayed,
HARM TO A WISE MAN IN HIS BROTHER’S FIELD.
Prefects prefer straight-shooters, schooled in plain
Annunciation, all lean and clean in tone.
The pink one pricked above the mansard reads,
DRAGONS FORGET THEIR EGGS. Who claims they don’t?
They disbelieve in swords, even in dark
And ribald festivals of patriots.
St Evelyn said, This ghetto is my stage
And squashed his inner pupa. He was mad,
This wight who wrote beside the padlocked door,
THE WORLD IS COMING TO THIS STAGE. STAY TUNED.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

My Unravished Bride

Medusa’s head above the door

Has stoned the crows and salesmen, too;
But no one ever rocked me more
Than igneous, impassive you,
Though permanent now as headstones cut
With mottoes, there beside my walk,
So poets can imagine what
Art would sound like if it could talk.
Medusa once was fair herself
And drove the bright boys wild with lust.
Like you now, from her warden shelf,
She flakes in petrifying dust.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Evening Soap

She wasn't even pregnant when she bore

Her brother's child (step-only, thus genteel).
What she had concealed, though, never was made clear.
She named him Topsy, he the ickle heir
To Gallantyme, the biggest ranch around.
(They hired their own weatherman and sent
Over to Ft. Lupino for their boots.)
Paterfamilias, he pitched a fit
And sent her out into a thunderstorm,
Where Little Escobar saved her and hers
And made them warm in simple peasant ways.
It took three days to track them to his hut.
Never was quite the same, some people said,
What with his herky-jerky gait. Not once
Did she look at PF. He took to drink
And fisticuffs. And that was the premiere.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Rex Anglorum, P.I.


1.
First the canary died, and then the light.
There was no heat, but it was June, okay?
He didn;t need hot water any day,
but Mrs Hornet fetched the severed head
UPS had delivered overnight:
Then Rex believe coincidence was dead;
and he thought deeply and went back to bed.
When he was roused, he put that scum away,

In theory. Still, he knew just who had done it.
He took some DNA and made them run it.
The lights resumed. The boiler flamed. (The bird,
Too bad.) He thought that he might buy a hound
To save the villeins who had gone to ground,
Who’d share his common cause without a word.

2.
The type was set in Baskerville, the hair
A blonde’s – Cinnamon Smoke. He knew his stuff.
The ash a Turkish pre-war brand of snuff,
Now unobtainable, from God knows where.
His trenchcoat buckled, Rex went out to share
Info with the outwitted perp. Enough.

Dim Sum, the sign. So many are undone,
So few for whom a sleuth will do the trick.
Some muscle, maybe, or some patter, slick
As Wildroot Cream Oil. Never, though, the one,
The permanent moll, the sempiternal pick.
Rex pats his pocket; there the trusty gun
Mollifies the most strident of the senses--
A picayune per diem. Plus expenses.