Friday, August 26, 2011

Today's Reading

Said Job, It's tough but someone has to do it.
He boiled. His kids went AWOL. And the grass
Shrank as if cursed, a mumbo-jumbo lawn.
A snapshot of its photosynthesis
Was all he had: he propped it on the mantel.
The mantel broke. The rooftree split. His wife
Yelled and drank and tore up the laundry room
And split for Abu Dhabi. Praise the Lord,
Said Job, who had the faith, a nasty rash,
And more regrets than camels. Said the Lord,
Aha. This was a test. Had it been real,
The seas would have been emptied, deserts spun
Like bubbles in a centrifuge. His kids
Returned for dinner, fired up their bongs,
And lived in expectation. Job believed,
Yet noticed that his lawn was not the same.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Civis Romanus Sum

This appeared in Plainsongs.

The immigration man will let you through
Because you’re white and smell okay, but not
So Customs, who keeps profiles on a lot
Of funny types, including some like you.
You will feel funny, if he wants you to.
You’ll act as though your Henry James were hot.
That biro is suspicious. You forgot
All that old stuff, which looks like something new

When undeclared. So make a speech: I deal
In artifacts of the mind. I’m odd. I write
At painful and eccentric times of night.
I smuggle into books a way to feel.
I bear impediments of no appeal.
I am a citizen. I transport light.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Good Morning, Betws-y-Coed

Here is the world on fire,
Sun or flames at morning,
Roofs ignited dawning,
Cries in bedrooms, smoke
At short-order breakfast windows.
Pity the children, widows,
The crippled aunts with one hand free,
And the anxious dogs barking, Liar! Liar!
And the diving ducks breaking the lake.
All the new men aflame,
Nothing the sun will see
Set them aboil and aburn.
Look, from laburnum and briar
Smoke is getting away,
And the sun clears the jacketed hills,
And the wild aunts concluding their tea
Pray for rain and cull their banished yards.

The railway is escaping.
The broken chapel rooftop, sleeping
Doves enough for level spirits,
Shines as good as gold.
Water is on the move.
The aunts are dressing, according to their merits,
And the roadway coils into the wood,
At least as good as gold and old
Enough for kestrels born to love
A tamed town, a tired, to remove
The sun with drapes and scrub the singing floor.
You hear, the slam of every door,
And the aunts march, visiting the cold.