Best Poems From
(04/23/52 - xxxx)
Boots. Spider - 2 Winter Haiku
New boots? neighbor asks
I smile at the worn things -
Snow washed by country fields
Who moves my books! I ask aloud
Quickly looks busy
Brief Prayer After Viewing Grunewald's 'Isenheim Christ'
'Genuine knowing begins when sentimentality no longer bars the way.'
I, too, have hung
on a cross, my own,
but nonetheless everyone's,
too often disowned,
decried as untrue,
there is no Adversary,
that overbearing Rightness
I only know
that deep night,
that way beyond sentimentality,
that way over and beyond 'the Path'
into the thicket, the swamp
where the god of gators waits,
submerged, calling to me to
step less lightly upon the world.
Response To Bernadette Mayer's 'First Turn To Me...'
'you appear without notice and with flowers
I fall for it and we become missionaries
we lie together one night, exhausted couplets
and don't make love. does this mean we've had enough? '
- Bernadette Mayer
Failing the Grand Coniunctio
this is the only one we know
the one where we eat dirt
and swallow, are filled and
swell belly up a meal to be
eaten when the Messiah comes
Leviathan is our heavenly bridegroom
presses the banquet table with elbows
manners forsaken in the end
yanks at sallow meat forsaking
the wine which has turned
no First Wedding miracle can
be repeated - no do-overs here
Candles burn on as always false promises
All the doors are marked EXIT
Still we must try
at the Feast
make small talk
all the while thinking
This is it?
Angels without knees
aprons spotless starched
as beards of saints
complain of humans
the stains they leave
between the fork
and spoon obscenely
one angel to another:
They call it love
what we are supposed
sublimely to sing of
but frankly all that
pushing and shoving
faces in agony the
cries and curses all
that pulling at flesh
bruised as the moon
this can't be love
We stand without legs
the better for it but
for these we must attend
bent over their plates
greedy to have at each
other again to marriage
beds one last time
And then the singing
songs about dirt
about longing to return
how all hurts there
Abandoned Train Station Near Grandmother's Grave
for Lida Harris
Then died there the rose beside the house of tin.
The track bore no train for years.
Weeds travel tendriled and
yellow rooted between trestles.
Broken vessels whistle through
shattered teeth of glass.
Only wind and no rusted train passes.
Though the scene bears dislocation,
though the brain remembers station and motion
of steam engine and iron wheel rotation
the places of old gone passing
bear no malice toward stillness.
All around mute remains remind the
occasional passer of former days;
an old snuff tin crumbled in a reverent hand
longs for the woman grasping then,
holds sweet dust beneath her tongue
as the land must hold her now where is
no whisper but sleep beyond sleep.
Weeds to the eye are sad between rails
but listening to their green and yellow belles
the rightness of their swaying displaces all sorrow.
Their distance is a distance one cannot know
but only borrow in imagination by extension
of miles, their reach is ours then, translated
green and longing, their leaves throng the
evening air, in silent clamor fling down seed
to summer's blundering prayer.