Friday, October 30, 2015

The Levellers

They clobbered the delphiniums and turned

Them underground. They made the sedum pay
For blooming late and changeably--One Plant,
One Hue, they chanted as they beat them up
And down. We named the battered garden Mud,
The sit in by the sundial, whilst the birds
Enjoyed the spoils of spoliation, Worms
For Everyone. And everyone a worm.

They came back in the spring with bitter breath
And threw their rotten carrots at the gnomes,
The real ones, elder statesmen, not ceramic
Cutiepies. They pissed on the fallen leaves.
And they looked hungry, empty hearted, spent,
As if their gods just really hadn't cared.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Desk-Waller

When I awoke, you weren’t so great,

Not hell on toast, not fixed as fate,
Less than high sentence, more than fair,
Too cute to cry, too young to care.
You weren’t all that. I saw that some,
Of little fame, were twice as dumb,
Stuck out as far, and rode as fast,
And had no skills, and had no past,
And were both free and kind. They came
Before I called; they knew my name
And were available right now.
I didn’t want them anyhow.
The heart is hard, concealed and stark,
And whores in alleys after dark.

Monday, October 19, 2015

People, Get Ready

This morning I can taste the air.

It tastes like fall and resin. Spring
Is gooier. No need to share
This news with birds, who already sing
Insistently. The seed is swell,
They say. Bring more. And make it fast.
They sample the air. A guy can tell.
Black Bird is coming home at last.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

In for a Penny

In for a pound, the centaur died.

His rusted cage began to curl
Away from its anchors. Ants fried
On the concrete floor. That's a pearl

That was his eye, whose setting failed.
The better men and calmer bards
Have winkled out, have not been jailed,
Kings of their graven calling cards.

The mistress primps her painted bones.
The Greek is wrong and the Chinese
Opaque as Pocatello. Loans
Sustain the fingers as they freeze.

Off the wet page the hand-set words
Scarper. The night men clank and shift,
Marley in chains. From ill-kept birds
Onto the Thames the adverbs sift.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

This Red Rose

from These Denver Odes


This red rose is perfect today,
Celinda. You, too. Its dewy
petals spread symmetrically
like--anyway, the rose unfolds;
and, at this moment, nothing could be
more like a rose than this rose. You, too.

Twilight soon. The chilly garden
will house a lesser rose, hunching
now, color leaching at its day's end.
You, Celinda, too. Forget-me-nots
last longer, stay neat. Prissy bores.

The Bear and the Goat will gather
over our houses after we
vacate them; and the rose knows no
second summer. You, too. Nor I.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Hamlet -- Monarch Notes

Your arras, that's a dicey thing.
It keeps the damp away, the chill
old ghosts convey.  A curtain ring
moves by no wind and then hangs still,
though spirits pass on either hand.
A toast, a toast.  A rheumy dude
is run through unannounced, unplanned,
helped on into his desuetude.

Outside the sky in winkled shades
promises much, delivers few
from evil.  Here be younger blades
who row, who row, the sort of crew
no castle keeper does without.
The Prince himself prefers to doubt.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

The Pastorale

This appeared in Angle. It has been slightly altered since then.


Down by the river the trout are laying bets
Per croquet hoop. They swear like Fielding fish--
Damme this and Bloody that. They're old ones
With cheeks that frogs would eat. Here unafraid,
They list to port and pass it to the left
And praise the neighbors' sheep and curse the day
Electric lights infested county skies.
Crooks, not hooks, still in the adverse flow,
They praise monogamy, but that's a joke
Told when women go the separate way
Appropriate. They do not fear the fly,
A thumb upon their scales, or lemon sauce.
These are the myths told small fry. They are men.