Up to bands of tin, The rungs laughed, Since dread sung heartful: Ears ‘round the gaudy chill

Flopped into still. A foot pointed shoreward, A cap of red plumes, A hand’s stubble fingers, And purposeless gills: Not vengeful, sticking, Thirsty, patched with curls, But bobbing like motive And bent to a slow world. Foam swells to a sponge of krill, Fizzled and sprained blue sea Strained through baleen, Then dense hoards of shrimp Crumple into a peach human mouth.

The white mug flew Off the table And fell Into the heavenly Flecks of the floor, Sharding the sky With fragmented flowers, Orb-shell splinters, And modern sculptures.

This chigger was coated in hair spray, As a man would be brass-cast, Frozen in life, Unable to eat or drink Accumulating death. Gritty, brown dirt slid down its stiff legs Which vibrated free a fraction of space To clamor its body against The plastic casing of its prison.

Heartbeat: Two railroad workers In a wind tunnel Alternately drubbing A rubber slab With mallets.

Let’s find a field, Let’s find a field As yellow as A ‘YIELD’ sign, And watch stars wink, Watch planets blink As constantly as ‘DONT WALK’ signs; Then harness beetles, Ride on beetles As glossy as Red Mustangs Across the forests To find the river Whose pitch is like A sparrow’s twang. Then after a jaunt, Head back to the city That teems like A silver mead To climb the spires, Scale the spires Pointed like Whittled reeds; Then board a train car And ride in that car Like writhing along In a snake Out of the city And into a garden, To finally stop By a lake.

When I first saw her dancing In the crooked sided streets, She was in the shape of a loaf of bread Twirling in a wide spotted sheet. I strutted up to her and we spun together. A popsicle stick and the freshest of bread; The stone buildings that encased us gyrated With a slight wobble- I was eating the crust of joy. Old tin cars seemed like the slats of a mill, and we the hub While lonely voices rang out from the old wooden pub

Upon the hedge-lined night I hadn’t a sight decreed, Only cat’s yowls, gunshot cracks, The moans of orgies The The The The rumbling wheels of chariots, fluttering fruit bat’s wings, unruffling of maple trees, patter of crawling things.

Silent boats glide out of port, Fairy wings they flitter, Lone violins grind out their song Near candlelights that flicker. The rise and fall of a couple’s song Like passing Indian canoes, The broken cracks of maddened men Who tap-dance on their boots. An abandoned wife wails away, Her husband crinkles night, From dwarfed wobbling drunkard steps And ghastly winces of fright.

The sun leaks onto me All the disconcerting Subtleties of life That go by unnoticed, And I pick up on their properties, But not without magical feesMany I fail to write. They never occur to me twice.

Lasers shot rose fields from a fort That could hit a mile away wart. Even when twenty orgied in Mary’s lea, They would cut by the blue city Unfazed by voices 50X lower in speedCheetahs dashing through a slothful mead.

I am like a wizard stillI have not changed From when I’d utter incantations To force a little change. Now I utter wordsA bent word Sends me across this earth To elf land in a second And other places of worth One bent thought is all I need To double my mindset, And be in the realm of the new Where goose honks become The mutterings of accented foreigners I choose not to fathom One call can bring me back Or I can address others from thereUsually I record it and tell it later.

Girl I girl I girl I can’t Find the meaning for this rant, But if I thought that I could stop it, Take a silver pin and pop itI’d take you on a twilight cruise Treat you like the endangered moose, Pin your ears with dangling treasures, And let the waves ring out their measures.

Is it possible? Can I sing to Rigel From a promontory not yet formed, But only now creeping out of the sea, “Things that gave me life as a youth Will give me life at forty-three.”?

Brown flecks Are organized by the wind Around the new devices: They are man’s flecks, And they each, a small bit, Channel the immense force Of the ruling hands That spin odd gestures and designs To drive the immense, energetic wind.

A Mack trailer, red and glossy, turned onto Elder Street. I was in a bus, looking at it, almost head-on: It plowed by, squeezing between the bus and the opposite cars. Once past, it diminished and the roar faded, But, as it was passing, I saw it as a huge ship Rocking slightly- a cradle on the buoyant water Of a tight channel. It passed me flaunting its red, starboard side. I felt as if I was on a log built dock, Where log built houses sat meters away From the clear channel; As if a floating wooden town, Supported by spongy trunks, Was dipped into a stormless bay. Then I saw the truck as a canoe, Embroidered with suede designs And encrusted with precious stones. The canoe glided along, stretching out to full length Once beside me Tipping gently in its unerring tubular path. It passed and the surface waters Split behind it like an ever-opening rose, While winds popped the waters with clubs.

I waltzed into the forest with my rifle in hand, Then all the animals fled, but re-approached, slow and shy, with puppy love in their eyes; The The The The bird wanted to show me how to fly, beaver, how to build a dam, bear, how to fell a buck, cricket, how to play violin,

The stars, how to twinkle at just the right moment: when poets look up or love is threatened; The tree, how to shade a squirrel or provide a home for the owl or ant; The monkey how much we were alike, and how to lose yourself for your young. I’ve learned all their little secrets and hidden stores But wanted to fly so much more.

The nighttime desert is A rumpled canvas sack, But I am too caught up adoring The space where stars float boldly To care for the bones, In small, white sets, That pepper the sands. How disheveled the vulture seems, Flapping and shaking by under the stars, Yet his gluey discharge Winds down in a breeze And smats my face. I feel such kinship With this soaring creature And far from the begging, pure glimmers Above him. I yank my face down and plod Across the infinite expanse, Where earth and sky Form two perfect dishes. I step down into a sharp-rimmed valley, And there is a lamp flickering ahead. There will be water and a soft pillow For me tonight.

The Leaf-Keyed Craft Forest columns Spray the sky With rattling canopies That make the leaf-rings echo In the heat bubbles Of the air. The leaf-keyed rings Hover overhead. The oak spray Never reaches them, But fountains endlessly As the forest stands. The golden rings, Blurred with haze, Slowly move Toward the hills To land.

Air bubbles up From our breath to the sky; Air bubbles down When snow drops to the ground. Hands reach up When we fondle the orbs; Hands reach down When god leads us around. Souls drop up From our bodies to clouds; Souls drop down When stars fall to the ground. In transition, Our souls are friendless; Heaven’s exchanges Are balanced and endless.

Never is a truer fancy wrought Then when alone I lose myself in thought With pen in hand, only sad I be In classrooms cramped, never am I free My body shifts and, face it, hards and softs, As if the fancy in my head took me aloft, And over woods and towns my body flew, All my friends to me were in a zoo They couldn't see or catch my blatant stares, Or see me sing my ballads, humming theirs' No they couldn't, and free from them I'd be, As free as if I sailed on the sea, And the waves were calm but the wind sent me my way, And mother left me for a single day.

Though my landscapes and characters be far flung, Remove the scenery, props and costumes, And what you see is my living room, My mother and my father, My whole house, the block I live on, All quietly there; some reading magazines, Others mildly shocked at the unfolding of the scene.

The cocoon stores me, Head detached and tilted in the GlazeArms wiggly like chicken ligaments.

In the deep ocean, weight doesn't matter. A single, light teflon muscle, taught and tough, Is better than a five ton hulking hull As the pale, wet, blistered skeleton of the Titanic Can attest to.

Inside a tank, like the inside of a de-blooded lamb, All whitened skin, tendons and bones tied together And bunched.

Reason is the tree seen as a log cabin, And all the trees seen as a village, And a net to capture hogs; And reason is a sharp pike to joust tigers.

The trees line the street like pillars; The sky plainly elucidates the beauty of Every texture; The sky admires the cars, the street's face, The hairs on every head, lawnsThe wind lightly chills all of it Like vanilla ice cream to the touch. The lawns are cool like my cool white cheeks. Give to others the south, the jungle, Greece, India, the Sahara; Give to me my city block and its coverings.

2009

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