Thursday, April 02, 2020

And This Was Only Monday

What do you say when trees begin to dance –

I see you, though I don’t know what you are?
Look at the starlings fall out of the trees,
Indignant anyway, now mortified.
There in the moonlight, starlings on the grass,
What will they tell their mothers? I was mugged
By Terpsichore
? The world is just as strange
At Adam’s desk, where the blue screen of death
Devoured a fortnight’s work complacently,
And he has organized Consuela’s name
In paperclips. A pigeon on the ledge
Begins to sing a Kindertotenlied.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Balance Sheet

If you are such a big deal, the real thing,
Where are your merit badges, where your stars?
Where are your fancy crockpots and your cars?
I fear you are not such a sichy ding.

Have you appeared at late night, on a stage,
Drunk, vexed, and barefoot, hooting like an owl?
Have you been told by witches, Fair is foul—
And put that robin back into its cage?

I didn’t think so.  When the big black van,
Equipped with no restraint, no jaws of life,
Waves bye-bye to your trouble and your strife,
Try to remember when you were a man.

Before you had a credit history,
You had a rock, a jackdaw, and a tree.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Modus Vivaldi

This may not be the moment you propose
To change the world, to bring it budding on.
I can't remember anyone who chose
A season: this became the house of sun
Without you. It will fall. These are the days
Of rain and roses. There the clover lies,
Bumbling with bees and ready to be mown;
And if now cut, then what? It will come down

Soon enough. Happens, where the lift of birds
Desperate to get it on, is just the place
For acrobats who do not know the words
To set the songs they sing. They interface
And separate and scold. And when the price
Is to be paid, these are their bids, these bards.

Monday, March 16, 2020


My mother died before I was born,
My father before I was conceived,
All recorded on pages torn
From books not meant to be believed.

Raised in a house by an ancient aunt,
Who planted something new each day
And fed and watered me like a plant,
Until the night she went away.

Learned to read from a lexicon.
Learned to write in ink I brewed.
Saw dogs, saw snakes, saw jays at dawn
Who called my name, as though too shrewd

To let me pass. I burned it down
And let it lie. I took a stream
That floated me on past a town.
I found it flame and left it steam.

And then a path. And then a road,
And then another, till today.
This is the route the fire showed.
This is what works, the right of way.

Monday, March 09, 2020

The Exclusionary Rule

"Newton's apocryphal apple"

I swear it wasn't. When the core decayed
on Eden's floor, the seeds took hold. The bole
blossomed and stained the air with pink, a whole
spectrum effect inferred from sin. It made
an atmosphere of perfume. And more trees.
They propagated emigres, and these

pinked England, and the apples fell and fell.
They rolled. They bounced. They made it into verse.
The bobby bowed and handed one to Nurse.
At all times they claimed sweetness led to Hell,
but emblematically. It was a nap
in symbol as he sat there. And his lap

bore stains which he could show you, because all,
at fruited feet per second squared, must fall.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Farmer Brown's Village Play Set

This appeared in No. 1.

The world is not constructed as it might be.
A clever set of brightly colored blocks
could fix a lot; given a Providence--
a child's bad temper, adult salary,
carpet enough and time--the houses would
show smoking chimneys in July, a fence
a cow could lean against, and portable
tulips, which would display themselves where put.

And when the circus tumbled into town,
the teachers would be clowns, down at the Bank,
old Mr. Wheeze be wearing saffron robes,
have shaved his head and changed his name to Harry.
The cutglass parking meters could dispense
one shining nickel per velocipede.
The ringmaster and his lion would walk by,
talking of spangled tights and tenderloins.
A bigtop makes a 3-ring barn. The ewes
can pile pyramidally for the careful.

Our insufficient, firmly rooted world
needs pigs and saxifrage in every closet--
hang the expense. The roofbeam would be fine.
Poppies are just as good as coffee tables,
and better dyed, if tea-time is pretend.
The elephants, like schools, have principles:
give them an office, let them read announcements.
Take them apart to be put away at night.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Pluvial Morphology

Someone has painted letters on the walk.
The rain invents a ouija board. It points
LQK ATT, precatory and sibylline.
And soon effaced in promiscuity.
The walk now stands for everything at once,
Like dreams and abstract artifice. The rain,
It raineth only some days here, a treat
Of dissolution. Carry me away,
Its strain, its burden. We must quite forget
We all go somewhere: somewhere in the sea
O REASON NOT THE NEED is spelled in kelp.
The silt holds every sound that can be said.