Saturday, August 27, 2016

Congress is Happier Than Your Hand


It isn’t death, whatever princes say,
Not when I dreamed of sandwiches, and kites
Fell on us all, like panicked meteors,
Leaving us naked at the first alarm.
These sheets don’t wind. These covers aren’t for keeps.

Conceive of dirt as history, says Prince.
If you don’t dust, you’re worth a Ph.D.
In Native Studies: who you were Way Back,
Who was the Who before you were, and who
Taught grease stains how to kiss my lady’s hand.
It isn’t Alexander in a bung,
Not necessarily, but someone’s some
Distance away now, never regretful, made
A building block, like calcium or beets.
Don’t sweep: it might be love. It might be sense
Of history in Bag Type H, sucked up.

We are not quite immune. This ham was once
A pig among his peers, a Gadarene,
Alliteration challenged, equaller;
And now a sandwich of most perfect gist,
Chap-fallen, cheesy. We shall all be toast.
If better not to be done, then pourquoi
Are pillows only broad enough for heads
Solus and undistinguished in the dark,
Though full of these dramatic congresses
With faces blurred? You know it isn’t death.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Foundation Myth

Leastwise, they said, they had a proper book,

With “thou” and “withal.” Under a fruity tree
They read and didn’t understand a thing.
She had her hair--her tresses, she was told;
He had the muscles God might give a goose,
Were He so minded. They thought they looked swell.
It rained, but not so they knew wet from warm.

One day the sun went elsewhere, and the leaves
Showed them no comfort. One day she was sick,
Of nothing, really, and then she was gone.
He blamed the varmints, critters in the dark
Who laughed at her and told repulsive jokes.
He said he would remember who she was
And what they did, but what they did was made

A part of where he left, and who she was
He told so many times that he forgot.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Doing Cambridge

Cambridge is just a town. The B & Q,

The Spar--they sell the things we buy at home:
Bacon crisps, bird nuts, those vacuum-paks of screws.
Doesn't seem much like wisdom habits here,
The flagman said, and pointed at the sign.
To Let or Toilet, one of those. The sound
Of mobile phones or angel choristers,
One of those, unsettled the browsing ducks.
Considered taking wing, they did, but stayed,
And after practiced evensong for crumbs,
Birds of paradise in their bright green hoods,
The porter said. You can't go in there. Them
Is proof of the existences of Jutes,
Angelic doctors, the actutest choice,
And girls so daft they make your head explode.
I pressed my face against the leaded glass.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Edible Arrangements

Our friends are celery and thyme.

They’re acorn squash and coriander.
They used to pass the oddbox rhyme;
They used to copulate, philander,
Sweat out of every pore, and curse.
Now they grow grass, and we grow worse.

Our friends are honey locust; mud
Becomes them. No more shop and dance
With anyone who warms their blood
And shtups the lot in true romance.
Eggplant, maybe, and Queen Anne’s lace.
No one grows with a greater grace.

Yam and bo, they were once a pair,
Love in an atmospheric venue.
R ♥ J on a bark is their
Gnarled and edible hostel, menu,
And home at last, the beetles say,
Leaves in the fall and flags in May.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Born Under Our Bed Sign

Under my sign are born the hard of hearing,

The hard of heart, the hard-up double-clutched
Investigative annalists. We act
Out conversations with ourselves, until
We’ve polished every line to silken splendor,
And who cares if they never happen? Lust
Is academic, omnipresent, pent,
But not exactly personal. A tale,
Worth more than actuality, is told
In Roman periods, by steel dip pen,
To pages not intended to be read.
That is my sign, not her sign. Where she walks,
Firelilies blossom and bombs explode
In anthills underneath the path. The toll
Is glorious among the hoplites. Drones
Behead themselves in homage; cynics rise
Buck-naked from their tubs and bow. She lies
Like rivers flow, by nature. She observes
The holidays of vegetable dyes,
The saint-days of the unredeemed, the last
Rites of Pompeii. The birds all wish they were
Self basting in her wake. They know the signs.