Wednesday, December 31, 2008

from opera to apropos

more C-flat than gluttonous lungs,
these violins are autonomous now:
after breakfast Ceylon with broken scones,
the dunes languor monotonously.

total suffocation is to blame,
a quandary of the hirsute son.
Jesus, this soup du jour is ancient,
its slurping has no measures.

we took a mentally half-strung vase
and vented its misshapen flutings,
preparing it for export:
decay, deluge, parasols for monkeys.

have you seen the pretty blossoms?

pitiful wide-eyed tulips elbow and swivel
in a twisting cross-hair scan for landscapes
that can satisfy an earthen thirst for focus.

it is the soil itself that spies on spring,
viewing a garden unrepaired that loosens slates
and drops bleached petals on untrimmed walks:
huddled tubers conspire in safe black plots.

but why remember?

balk is deep that cuts across the grainy edge,
that hammers shrill into the stillborn night:
make a powder from the gravel that remains,
mix it well across the steamy sighs of morning.

when the dry times comes you might remember
the small mortared memory, the globules of desire
that were portioned into rations of sense
and warehoused for the yearnings of the dawn.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Bad Translation of Auden

We regret the mirror where shots have landed,
Woe is a sleeve that is filled with mucous:
A man readily hears from counselors and weirdos
But jests in the house of nocturne creatures.

They come inside, voracious in diesel clothing,
Their seething only widens the habitat of ruin.
Dew hastens kindred snow from nightly machinations,
Simmering like a Bessemer but not brand new.

Morning bonding with candles and trifling condemnation,
All Sunday thrusts sugar the ready stains
Of wallpaper against the will, a cuckoo clock
Is something that either tocks or ticks or neither.

When the hat has grown as threadbare as the head,
We must re-kindle our need for sleep.

To S------

I searched for you,

Sappho; on a windswept
stony beach I sensed
the whisper of your presence.

I could not forget

when last we parted,
the smooth white pebble
pressed softly to hand.

Monday, December 29, 2008

below the clouds, above the sky

a herd of minor elephants
trumpets through the downstairs den-
no mist here, but echoes, faintly,
of a student learning scales.

the teacher arches backwards
in a forest green bolero vest,
adagio and graying:
the blurry mezzotint
of a lesson never mastered.

permutations on the solstice

the reflection of green sun
on a ginger jar of breakfast tea
pokes the frozen eye
but does not raise the blind.

a clawless newt
with clownish spots
struggles forty feet
to the bleak summit
of a leafless tree.

the tools of recreation
are safely shelved
where the wood has not blistered
in a winter lacking laughter.

in the spring,
death will be reborn.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

when Thelma peaks in Haiti

eyes of her I cannot shake
still vacated in rhythmic shadows
rolling into spasms of bulging white
limbs frozen at angles of spastic economy
layer on layer of episodic trance dancing:
a small shudder is paradise for zombies.

a fit of combustion and chaos

Nero plucking his savagely wire slaves
could do no blaze apart from Rome-
hidden by the curtain but lit by the flicker
poor Livinia walks the floor alone again:
she drops dark velvet on the tiled floor
and rubs her breasts with shadowed hands.

bumper-to-bumper conundrum (with semi-Elizabethan editorial postscript)

an obese dwarf in tiger-striped stretch pants
beanbags her butt and thighs on concrete steps,
conversing with the half-seen sienna Asian
who, bearding behind the pebbled aluminum door,
(his lips shielded from the reader of dooms)
begs to question the unseemly lack of laughter:
methinks no seduction will here transpire or intend,
no hard dark prick in the mounds of woe is seen:
prithee how worse would be the otherwise?

a disease becoming the hero

and they opened him up
and he was full of flowers

and he was our only long
suffering son federico

and he was marched into infinity
by a clap echoed in dawn fog,
etched into a fragment of flesh
that dropped to earth still beating

and he was our dark wizened son
that waltzed staccato in stone

Friday, December 26, 2008

getting to penelope

I am a scaly godzilla come to part your waters.

I do not sense the cleanliness of my absence.

I do not notice the gone piles of dropped clothing,
the missing stacks of papers that might have
inked the tiled floor, the hardened preserves
and butter scoured from the kitchen counter.

I return boisterous and frothing into your shower
stall daydream thighs, incensed by scalding
jets of spray, lips made moist by fantasies
of monsters.

Forget the dusting, the scrubby fucking bubbles,
the violin lessons that are ended but not mastered,
the monkfish that blackens as we clash.

I am a man. I return for one thing and one thing only.

Let me slide across your soapy beaded pantheon, gore
your vaulted belly with my horny claws and worship.

Let me bleed a little with your tidy blood, scraping
your heaving cheeks with a day old beard.