Thursday, December 18, 2014

Apollo in a Bowler

Maybe he rolls 297. Maybe
He knows perfection is for men. He breaks
A branch off Daphne, drops it in a pond,
Dammed if he does. He leaves his tie askew
And burns Morocco on the morning drive.
Champagne explodes because he smiles, but she
Is rotting from the inside, laurel leaves
Losing their lustre, borne on Boreas,
One landing on his hat, as though it were
A ribbon for a boulevardier, a trophy
Won at a county fair from mortal rubes.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Little Elijah Dance

This appeared in Chimaera.

Little Elijah cannot find his pants.
Do you suppose this will forestall the dance
Great joy requires? Not the slightest chance.

He drags his feet through mud. He shakes his head.
He beats his little fists until they’ve bled
Upon the yard he slowly colors red.

The sparrows flee. The boxer pup retreats.
The crows applaud, guffawing from their seats,
As though instructed by his infant feats.

His mother is embarrassed and his pa
Humiliated by the breach of law.
Such misplaced gametes might occlude his craw,

Were he not drunk and god-fearing. This child,
The funk of bees and puddles make a wild
Embouchure: and he blows as though defiled

By thoughts of nap or spinach. But he’s not.
Little Elijah does not feel so hot,
And soon the crows pick up what he forgot.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Manifest Destiny

So difficult, the stones keep changing sides,
And the path gets lost, ambitious, but confused.
Like immigrants in flannel shirts. In Texas.
Once knowing where it was, it was The Way
To Grandma’s House or Candyland or Memphis,
A Middle Kingdom where the blues were born.
It took them to the library; it led
A dick to be a mayor, sometimes birds
In talking trees; and it was Far from Home.
Now, it declares for tessellated mud.

Around each other, kids in pjs, dark
Where light should be, all damp instead of cocoa.
They miss their path. They were supposed to be
Mapquested to a city on the hill,
Where brioche stands and wiener carts and sweet
Ravioli salesmen advertised life.
This is more like the Chiller Double Thriller,
Without the ads for English, She Is Simple.
This is a nightlight, cold, with extra teeth.
Not every little boy can be a prince.
Not every waitress wants to marry up.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Exterminator 20:2

The rodents in the wainscoting
Are singing: Praise to God on high,
By which they mean--I've no idea.
The cat, perhaps, the Man of Pie

And Edam. Or a giant mouse
Who takes no shit and never begs,
His tail contorted by a trap
And dying from his broken legs.

A little song, a little dance,
A little seltzer in the pants:
Not for the pious mice who keep
An eye on life and death. The chance

To be a better mouse is not
High on To-Do. They settle for
An Oysterette, some sour rye.
Their god and appetite are more

Than any mouse can bear. They go
Gently, and they do not return.
Some life, some death, some little guys
For owls to eat. They never learn.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Petronius Arbiter

A blackboard in his living room, a black
Thesaurus on a little, dirty rug,
And he asleep, a Laz-Y-Boy reclined,
Declined, perhaps, as so so many more--
Busts and the battered stragglers of the 10th
Battalion in the wood above Saint-Just,
Horns and the heads who used to wear them out,
Nuns and rabbinic doctors with a plague
Of middlesex intelligence: declined.
Baseball season upon him, though, he stirs,
Changes the channel, sits up straight, and prays
That umpires will be pure, dispassionate,
And equal to the call, the sons of men
Watched by their daughters, much less than they were.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Tales from Sycorax's Wood

Once split, twice shy, the tree
Will not disclose the plight
Of those condemned to be
Embedded out of sight.

They never speak of her.
Whatever once occurred
To make a prisoner,
No one will say a word.

Only the bark is warm,
In places bark is not,
And when lush Carpo’s storm
Shakes the wood, the lot

Of trees exempts such places,
No motion and no sound,
No sense of human faces,
Except the wetted ground.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mystical Truths of Astronomical Illumination

Who can believe the luminous moon
Is lit by the sun? Here? In the dark?
Science is not some kids’ cartoon,
Where falling anvils leave no mark
On trees who are singing in the park;
And the dish runs away with the spoon.

It glows because it’s happy, bright
With sweat and pleasure from within.
It romances the earth at night,
Wolf-whistles at the frabjous sight
Of you in bed, and shines with sin
At second hand. You light the sky;
The moon absorbs. What science knows
Ends at the treetops. Wonder why
At night, between the breast and thigh,
Your silver duvet glows and glows?