Tuesday, May 05, 2015

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, May 01, 2015

A Little Learning

Only a woman's hair, he kept repeating,
Proving that erudition didn't work.
Precedent wasn't a cure; it wasn't then,
And repetition didn't make it so.
And anyway, the dresses weren't.  The shoes,
The winter coats.  Or little socks.  A hair,
Now that was synecdoche, which, it was known,
Couldn't be traded on the heart's exchange
For love or money, blood or Latin verse.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Village

In that kingdom, it is written,

birds do not sing: they hum, show tunes
mostly, though records and radios
are unknown. Overseas travel
is a bird’s hobby. They have seen
mermen; they’ve been to the far side.

In that kingdom, whose king does not
touch the ground, birth to death, for soil
that knew him would have to be burnt
(and who, of that thin stratum, spares
any centimeter gladly?),

the yaks dance in their fields at night,
shaking their horns, and the stars faint.
The marmots whistle in the aisles
between rows of quaking blue pines.
In the skin dormitories sleep comes

when light fails. Mountain Edison
won’t string lines here. The yaks strike sparks
when hooves tap stone, on cloudy nights
looking like mountain glow worms.
Dreamless, love is an act of sleep.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

On the Border

The river flowed with blood and sparkling water,
side by side and travelling fast, unmixed.
On the far bank, lilies and pink petunias;

on mine, roses the size and hue of mothballs.
Hot here, cool showed off there.  Grasses waist high
bobbed and rebounded under a light breeze.

There, a sign the Unforgiven could read:
I read; like my compatriots, I laughed.

The dust administered a shock.  I bled
and laughed no more.  Heaven constructs its own
retaliatory tools.  Nobody asked

me to repent, too late, too late.  I tried
to break my fast, but could not prise apart
the breadfruit package issued me.  When Might

combines with Milk, the bad, the weak, the blamed
had better fast.  Unhoped.  All Hell is still.
Nowhere, we are not going Anywhere.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Greek Tragedy

Chorus announces: See how all is made

Proper and tidy-like. The gods abhor
Disorder. It's at tit-for-tat they stand
Up, and the stars are symbols on a vest
Of justice. Be amazed and be content.

The Elderly Man protests: It isn't so.
The baby rabbits die before they blink,
And fatty deposits in the blood of queens,
Glamorous, doomed, gone to the mattresses,
Knock them as dead as crones. Don't talk to me.

Chorus replies: All righty, then. We won't.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Why me? Why here?

Every day at least a couple readers arrive here via something called claritywritingexperts.com, the exceptionally dull website of a UK-based service, which, for a fee, will teach you how to be a ghostwriter, copywriter, etc.  (Picture mock frisson of horror.)  Although I can find on it no hint as to how people are referred from there to here, I guess I ought to say thanks.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Raising Expectations

Given some rope, they've torn the statues down

To piss on legendary heads, the groins
Bedecked in amaryllis and ablaze.
(Who would have guessed that amaryllis burns,
And colorfully?) The shoppers fill their carts
With freebies. (Who'd have guessed they wanted phones
Far more than sandwiches?) The songs they sing
Are short on lyric wordplay, long on scat.
We made no plans to emigrate, but have
Our havens in the hinterlands, where treats
Are plastic shoes on Sundays, where delight
Is puddings made of pigs and doughty men
Pray to the forest just because it's there.
(Who knew that gods had green cards or that wolves
Wanted our wives for bon-bons in the smoke?)