Friday, March 19, 2010

Here It Is

Here is a list of what I can't remember--
I'm kidding, of course. No, wait. Here is a list.
What time it was. How old I was. Who came
And what she brought. The capital of Chi.
The publication dates of What's-His-Name
And when I hit him. All the horses' men.
Pringles & Funyuns. All the rabbi's girls.
The Queen of Hearts and Blackjack Mulligan.

To few of these have I been reconciled.
I shall not steal your money, and your wife
Is safe if I'm awake. A coral reef,
Teeming with spirits, angelfish and clowns--
Did I see that, or was it someone's book,
Lost in the fires of '71, the last
Post just before the world grew up and left,
The bitter end of something bittersweet?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

And Then They Died

Ordered to make a narrative,
First you must say “First” and then
“And then.” It is by “then” and “when”
And “at the last” that stories live.

No princess unless “once there was,”
No prince unless “There came a day,”
No end until “They rode away,”
Whatever the red dragon does

Or sorcerer yellowed by spite.
Time takes them in and calls their dance.
Chronology bestirs romance,
Prompts it, promotes it, calls it a night.

Lovers insist the stream stands still,
Leaves never fall, the lion smiles.
Their collars droop, their Golden Isles
Occlude. They lie unchanged until

They can’t. And then. There is no next.
Overleaf, nothing, no pretend.
First there was then. And then, The End,
And then the tale is trapped in text.