Friday, January 31, 2014

Milk of Amnesia

It covered up my recollections, some
Oobleckian, obliterating ooze
Memories couldn't penetrate. It took
Her name, their numbers, all the horses' men,
The time and dates and instruments of debt;
And where it came from, plumbers wouldn't say
And politicians promised not to learn.
Unkempt, unkept, I cried, ringing my bell,
Making my way down North & South, well past
The point where anyone I knew had lived.

Monday, January 27, 2014

What Do the Old Men Say?

What do they mean, who say
The world has gone awry?
The trees leave every day.
I saw them in July,
As green as the heart of man.
I see men stiffly clad,
Colored in gray and tan,
Calling our summer bad
For insufficient shade,
Damning our leaves as small,
Making their wrath a blade,
Hurrying us to fall.
If only our lives were sad,
If we saw that we had
Outlasted our summer stay,
They'd happily love us all
And tidy us away.

Friday, January 17, 2014

To Robert, at the Vernal Equinox

Here is a tale. Despite what we were told,
There are a number. This is one. It’s not
The one about the holy fool who saved
Others, if they had golden hair and spoke
Like cello music in a sitting-room.
Nor is it How the Great King Came to Grief
By Trusting to His Strength, though I have heard
That is a tale for little men to tell.
This is the one about true love, made hard
By hands of flint and counselors of pain,
By those who preached renunciation, those
Who’d nothing to renounce, the tallymen.
He loved from here. She heard from there. They sent
Their messages by email or by dove
Or friendly friar: messages mistook,
And blood ensued, and loneliness, and smug
Denunciations from fat senators.
This is that tale. We all know it by heart,
Which tells you why we tell it every day.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Lullaby in Slumberland City

While birdies slept and earthworms snored
And owlets stooped to swoopy flights,
You the Teen Queen Max restored,
With endless make-up, endless nights.

Our tygers pad the jasmined path
And cherries fall from green green trees
And all our dead lay down their wrath
As I awake through slow degrees

In shadowed rooms to unfilled beds.
The clock, the clock. Across the lawn,
In fact, the sparrows shield their heads
Till, chime by chime, they rouse to dawn.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Odysseus Leaves the 7-11

Odysseus stopped, turned to the monitor
The clerk was watching. “Odysseus,” she cried,
The black Calypso, as she wrapped her legs
Around the Italian claiming he was he.
“Damn all these pronouns!” said the wily hero.
“Say what?” the clerk enquired, with what passed
For courtesy amongst a swordless breed.

His shipmates looked to have been coifed by nymphs,
Or Ganymede, maybe. A talking pig appeared.
“Some pig,” said Circe. “All you guys are swine,”
The wired clerk said. Odysseus believed
The gods who sent him here did not make change,
Except for sport. He thought Penelope
Entitled to a break from his attentions.
“Some pig,” she told him, just the other day.

Some rosy-fingered Dawn was fingering
The donuts filled with wine-dark jelly, hoping
He’d speak to her. She was prepared to boil
His clothes and give him shelter. No man looked
Past her like that; crafty Odysseus,
Accustomed to being No-man, took his change,
His Lotto ticket, and his Diet Fresca,
And thrust into the night, seeking a storm.