Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Where has all the prose gone?

 I used to post the occasional prose commentary here.  I don't seem to be doing that any more, perhaps because FB and Twitter have usurped that function.  After all, though I am chockful of poesie, I am only occasionally prosaic.  If you miss it, I can refer you to the appropriate venues.  Or you could read Macaulay's History of England instead.

Riding the Interstate

At night, half in a daze, I drive this plain,
And here the highway lunges through the town
Where you lie sleeping in your husband's bed.
Love and anathema rest on your head.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Word Problems


Let's say you had 2 monkeys and a fox,
7 bananas, and an ATV,
Or maybe a rowboat, and a ski chalet.
How many trips before you fall asleep,
Dreaming of Mr Dinkum’s science test
And the atomic weight of Super String?
Give up? One monkey’s grey, the other locked
In Booneville, where he learned the iron rule.
The fox clears out the tikihut and leaves
Scat on the rec room floor in thorns and thetas.
Then you remembered Mr D was dead,
Shot by his wife in 1983
For messing around in Chem Club Lab. The fox
Is wily, and you never stood a chance.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Lonesome Dove

The Lord of Hosts, less likely than he was,
Has trouble transubstantiating. Age
Diminishes the organs, ties a knot
Where ichor should run freely. There is smoke,
As much as censers will allow, but lungs
Plead less than full capacity. He wants
To walk with Abraham through burnished fields
And play at 4-square in a grove of figs.

When he told Zeus, Get out of town by dark,
This cosmos isn’t big enough for both
Us top dogs, when the 3:10 came on time
And brought the new girls in from Port Royal,
He wore his star with flair, the streets kept clean,
The inns full up, the livery swept free
Of dead wood, and the drinks were on the house
Each holiday. What if Apollo now

Came back with Clantons, Saracens, and Popes?
Boot Hill is full enough. Each rock has served
The faithful for a pillow. Though he knows
The sleep number of every broken back,
He must draw faster if he is to keep
Trying the souls as numberless as stars.
His feet hurt, and his beard is patchier.
He’ll make more girls tonight, perhaps at Belle’s.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Googling Myself


I am perhaps the 27th most
Famous Richard Epstein and only the 3rd
Best-known poet with that salubrious
Nom de poesie.  How disheartening, I
Clear on their cantos, they born with a goose
As close at hand as pablum, porpentines
And crows prêt-à-porter.  And some splice genes,
Those better RHEs, the clones with Sir
And MBE and Friend of Man, the rich
And many-Googled.  Some are just mistakes:
Confounded with RHEtoric syllables,
They pass for Baudelaire and silver swans
And anadiplosis—anadiplosis for
The bogus Epsteins, hidden in the stacks
Of South Dakota junior colleges.

Somebody found me yesterday who meant
Me and no other me: he wanted my
Personal appearance at his most grave
Conclusion.  I was one of 49
CCd, but I was all the RHE.
This John Smith will be carried to his last
By 6 John Smiths, strong men on either side,
And none a pasta critic for The Mail
But he: he gets a plot all to himself.
The squirrels will celebrate: see, they will say,
We never needed any special name.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Moon We've Got

We have none.  What you want, what you are seeking

In books and from that cave inside the pit,
We don’t have that.  What you have not pursued
Over the river and through the woods, we stock,
And we can locate what you’d rather not.
We do not stock elixirs, though.  Heart’s-ease
Is unavailable this time of year.
The talking mirror set, with comic brush,
We just ran out, whenever you came in.
Riches that do not callous the heart, those beans
That everybody wants?  Nobody has.
A second chance?  A second second chance?
You could ask for the moon.  The moon we’ve got.
It comes in sizes—young and growing old.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lid & Latch

Inside the damp, torn box a bit of fluff--

Bright hair by Donne. Might be a web. Or lint.
We won't find out today. All lost, grave stuff
Waits for last things. This box, though, packs a hint
Of all the rest: we lie against the grain.
We take up too much time and too much rain

For bone to carry breath. His new, clean shape
Will grieve the man who lived for gasp and catch,
Who free of taint, not bent to bare his nape,
Will climb back in, pull down both lid and latch,
And while his thoughts last, think of sweat. In pain
He saw the light and left it. Bring the rain.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

In Adam's Autumn

Where we first sinned was probably upstairs
And not for long; but now the color changes,
The detriment of summer. I shall miss
All of the sounds that naturally make
Our natures sweet. And bitter were the days
Succeeding, red and orange, perhaps, but not
How we had planned our progeny. We went
Our solitary way, best by ourselves.

We’d hoped for Nod or Canaan, but we found
Naked trees and a furred rapacity
Of gathering and storing, and a scent
Like Nuits d’Hiver was everywhere at once.
What did we have? What did we have to lose?
Those were our final steppes. We took them all.