Tuesday, March 30, 2010

songs from psalms:

songs from psalms:
a sequence 1999-899

the west wall begins opposite the open prophecy,
‘behold a virgin,’ our lady, handmaid, who, kneeling
with divine ritual spoken, figure in full length,
is seated, right-hand held in benediction
in an eastern manner for deliverance
while from behind seven swords thrust
into her breast, her body firmament.
about her neck she wears marvelous
salutations, ‘come my chosen one
into the kingdom. the movement begun.’

attending the entrance, the messiah, a lad,
enters. harps weave in, out, about break into
his song of departure. all earthly things dominate,
capture the conflict. cocks of immortality rise
to caw sanctus continuously.
fulfilling the promise of his race, redemption
an unrelated theme, graves by the sound of trumpets
suggests multitudes of lost souls,
the wrath of the lord redoubled against his people.
that they repress falling upon children surprises.

in the niche on the east wall are various
conventional symbols from the west.
beneath the feet of Adam
false gods bow despairingly, their central figure
typifying humanity. nonetheless, their daughters,
idols ensnared, sensuously veiled in blue,
screen their faces in the wings of seraphim.
in counterpoint at the wall’s furthest edge
the Christian concepts of judgment. the heads of burnt offerings,
the eucharistic chalice filled with sacred blood,

the lamb, the child, the lion, the yoke.
above, the staircase leads up.
upon the vault of the ceiling between the long walls
strange gods whom the children adore.
to the left the visitation to draw forth.
on either side they are bound closely.
their most despised enemies rule over them.
on the cross is a dead Christlike figure.
the symbol of the cross fulfills a like function;
the passion: the spear, the nails, the reed.

three groups of singing angels flank
the crucifix while behind each godhead
the dragons, the sun-myths, above whose heads
the sun with rays reaching the oneness which ends,
stand. upon their shoulders his name shall be received
into the arms uplifted to strike with scourges
& sword. purified of soul with turbulent,
terrible fear, the religion of the virgin, the condemned made perfect
by demons while those of soul are thrust down,
heathen, discordant. in contrast, a beautiful,

soulless figure sheds innocent blood,
even blood of one’s son. stretched forth
to stay female oppressors & prostate victims
prophets ignorant of the division
adore the new born infant since all are one flesh,
while in the remaining quarters,
the heads of the trinity are crowned
each of the three raising three fingers.
the law balanced between eternal & agony
weighs mere mortals emerging from the opening

borne on a tempestuous crescent moon.
on the south wall is set forth the dogma.
the spaces outside the panels are numerous.
surrounded by enticing assumptions of virgins
are etched the words below the arch,
‘I am the maker of heaven & redeemer of all that I love.’
dust, dancing silhouettes in western light
dying. they come in already dead
counting blessings that hint at beauty & concord,
gated gardens, colossal ivory towers.

Friday, March 26, 2010

After Xestobium rufovillosum

After Xestobium rufovillosum

Death, at best, rest. Hunters drawing
The nail. Pride of the morning,
Each night’s death’s watch
Tapping, walled. Wounds. Relics.
The nail beastly drunk,
Mangy dogs crouch while bells peel.

Hunch back lanes blackened, rabid. Peel
Bells dawning flitted away drawing
With sleight of hand the morning,
Metal struck dumb. We watch
Love like archers blind, relics
Without rhyme, drunk

Less glazed. Exquisite wine drunk
From lead crystal refracting peels
Unrecognized. Shadows drawing
Grave faced people on anxious moorings:
Forfeiting seconds of dying to spy
A distant, lying history of relics:

Unpublished stories, unspoken texts. Relics
Along brackish standing water. Drunk
By mouthfuls, stolen as laughter peels
Riotous, gathering violence, drawing
Breathe as peonies bloom, mourning
As fragile as we watch

Extravagant young corpses. We watch
Atop large howling stones, relics
Of passing interest, drunk
Where madness as an inner peace peels.
Dawn’s creation hunkered down drawing
Infectious wounds. Morning

Rising from fire born mourning
A clashing of swords. We watch
Wind ground mountains become relic
Where no coherent thought drunk
Leads incoherently to others peeling
Away skin. Drawing

The nail. Drawing a poison drunk
While on watch, while bells peel
Morning once relic and at rest.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I have a pearl lodged in my throat.

I have a pearl lodged in my throat.
Hand set gemstone mounted, a round
Unspoken wisdom, inchoate,

Suspends in flesh as deep a note
As insight blinded, gone to ground.
I have a pearl lodged in my throat

I’ve seen the ultrasound expose
A weathered knurl or knot hard wound.
Unspoken wisdoms inchoate

Irritate the kernel, each coat
Small prides not swallowed but choked down,
Accreting pearl lodged in my throat

Resound sound echoes; opiate
The pearl, a chimera, expounds
Unspoken wisdoms inchoate.

I have a pearl lodged in my throat
So round it bends light rays around
Secreted pearl lodged in my throat
Unspoken wisdom, inchoate.

Friday, March 12, 2010

tanka with Crane

crane, doffing windbreak,
calmly steps off the stern wake’s
railing taking flight
and with no one to spy him
leaves no kingdom or purchase.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


glaucous creatures/shapes

to nude flesh lashed/golden robes

stained woven silk

howls autumn winding/falling

leaves, regal ginkgo flitting

thick stands would hardly

notice thorns/like slicing knives

wetlands barren balance

warrens worn of glacial pace/

distended iris fluted

Friday, March 5, 2010

in the city of public squares

in the city of public squares

We sleep, lament, content, in the city of public squares,
Where I saw my spirit trapped, snared by torsos
Who whisper of youth as recourse. Of course
I tried to tell them, occasionally stepping
Down from this barren rock where no poems
Grow. The sounds in my ears
Were clouds low overhead.
Emptiness- this is the courage,
A feeling like being choked,
To be locked in this, this scene
Above which I hold no other.
Speak of it and about that
Which they have no knowledge
By the fire, while the train keeps bearing down
On us weighing down what might
Be left to sing in our nightmares.
You knew, and I know, but without caring,
We will walk all night,
Treading water in the red light,
In what is falling through us.
And now, each night, in sleep
The bliss lays heavy- fades,
And thought never comes, the dancing
Lights of gray and white.
That’s why you taught me tears.
After weeks of strain and sickness
I didn’t find what I looked for,
Not knowing what it was, yet
Knowing I will lose it if I learn
What I know. But for now,
Here, in this city of delicate surfaces
Aware, this once, as I will always be,
Among the dead packed immaculately
Away, there’s no despair that could quiet
You. Through innumerable choruses
Soaring higher than we could ever climb,
The thought of pleasure pleasing
Flesh and bone opens with a yawn,
And the world goes on
The way I always felt it would.
Again, waking at dawn,
The sweep of it, taking courage
From silence, your silence
Letting drop my bright eyes, accusing.
Little did I imagine then
These images remain with us every day.
Dawn breaks. It is only the sun
But we carry the weight of middle-aged trees
Diseased along the streets and boulevards.
Here sadness takes on abstract shapes
Light scrabbles at the open door.
I breathe. I am not asleep.
The light screams into tightly held secrets
Of those dark spirits who lie still, still dreaming.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

fragments in passing

I was working with…? Anyway, although I’d been in the conspicuous absence of time constraints known only to the idle rich or chronically underemployed, this was meant to be a quick strike. I only had a couple of hours…
Unfortunately, neither of them was suitable. One was (how can I put this judiciously), an audacious threading running vertically, the other, vintage contemporary...
It hung in my back garden for many occasions. Along with my purple silk Indian elephant bow tie it complimented…

Monday, March 1, 2010

For Helen of Clay

For Helen of Clay

This ground as grains of harvest
Unsown, porcelain as loose stone, rose
Pressed willow gold; across bloodied shoulders
A pale flag unfurls for in your world
Helen lies dead. A life of faith one burial
In Ilion's ruins recounts in faded murals.

History: a thousand ships sailing for home
Buoying shards & fragments tossed
By storms patient to surface; the price
Of this union little more than wares
Of kiln & glaze haphazardly thrown
In some harbor as yet uncomposed.