Sunday, January 31, 2010

Caesar: not having lived

Caesar: not having lived

Caesar: not having lived what was
written, has he not begun to learn
longings in tumbling tongues groping
cumulonimbus suns. a luster unknowing
stagnant algal depths past pitch & yowl

the past’s blackened tarns, the dark track
archaic days lumber east shaking slumber.
whole homes composed of stone lived here
& died among vatic tribes
who dwell where the lions have gone.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Of what we had been and were no more

"Of what we had been and were no more" D. Schwartz

Is this my child, the child none bear, staggering
Godless, foreboding a solemn, unconsecrated past?
He’ll dream of knives, of kings without eyes,
Servitude & crime, legions of angels unable to fly,
Wounded on wing & trampled underfoot
With no stars left to climb yet so hungry to shine.
His right of birth hammered panels of discarded bronze
Scraps raised in odd public squares praising

Nameless fathers & daughters, artists, their lovers,
Butchers with faces, mothers, the craven:
A select few assassins taken with life. The season
Turned quickly. Unnoticed. Cornice grotesques
Grinning through ice, geese huddling close.
In these woods great trees fall. In these woods
We lumber slow while slowly wilting, like cut flowers
Drying, flowers which stemmed from your asking.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

is there distance in his head

"is there distance in his head?" S. Heaney

feel insect hunger
naked, peeling, feeding
as if meadows sprung

impressed, caressed.
a traveler’s daughter,
unsent letter addressed,

travels with daughter.
‘No one once faces,’ she said
unraveling yarn

the year at end,
again. ‘What did I not say,’
I should have said.

erratic granite
folds of billowed ulster
no common refrain.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

These Fictions Called Gods

These Fictions Called Gods

In horror those close stood numb.
Alone at rest among the diggings
Dug men chest to chest to exhaustion
Lifting hands as angels gravely
Venerate sculpted native stone.

Angry, I, now desperately past cure,
Past care, did expect
Vainly truthful frantic mad unrest
As madmen are bright random reason sworn.
These fictions called gods, temples

Of demons the body politic, licentious
Casts donned of republic tongues
Invoking a spirit, a divine mount
A commemorative cant for the dead.
Dead, their conquerors under crosses of rough basalt.

When I lie down, like a rock, weathered
Immutable, dreamless, unshackled
From this earthen bed spread indiscriminate,
I have no force or power.

Jackals trot before my palace, howl
Thorn-crowned echoes to pain weary heads
Bent in pious slumber. Each sleep
A rock with a great fear of falling.

When I lie down, like a rock,
Weathered, unshackled,
Each sleep a falling,
I have no force or power.

My angels sit eager to dine
Ravenously, devouring all that I would have to be
Leaving only gristle, marrow,
Bone in my wake. No one

Who’s watched this battle be fought
Can walk across its battlefield. A war
Like me remains unappeased
Boasting that I for nothing died.

Monday, January 25, 2010

after Kaji Aso ‘89

after Kaji Aso ‘89

spewing caustic frost,
verglas sprung candescent,
blazing yawing maw
binds arched back, tempered soil
brown rice paper, left hind claw

Sunday, January 24, 2010



torrential rains heir
apparent bending pliant
current undaunted
face migrating horizons
buoyant, gimbals at angle

Saturday, January 23, 2010

time & grief & self so-called

"time & grief & self so-called" S. Beckett

& time & grief & self/stale blood

twined nails/twisted trees leathery

leaves wide/this blind vacuity/

oblique entwined copses shoulder

to shoulder lie/wake back to back

breath heavy caustic together/

ponderous chain in callused palms

musing linen windings cradling

poppies & oblivion/

open mouths wrestle with words only

so much/crutches skulking to dusk/

alone the half hour struck/

Friday, January 22, 2010

unless you got lost on purpose

"Unless you got lost on purpose

You would never get this far." Ryokan

orchids heavy, hung

with dew, edge heaven’s sorrow

closed, the low gate mute

from sung mountain rain once fell

as soft as silken petals

beneath the wine star

storms the twilit hermit's songs:

muscle, marrow soar

swallows willowing heavens

as close as Japanese skies