6.30.2014

Correspondence

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
All nature is as an enchanted hall
Form and substance sing in tune
Occult shadows dance about the room
Pictures like mirrors upon the wall
A richness there, of fractal pattern
Dense like inprismed light is scattered;

The eye catches various things, they are
Thrown across, met in scent and sound
Strange and frightening connections found
As unknown tunnels deep and far
Connect tractless places suggesting danger
They are but beautiful, and far stranger

Or is it that the hall is dark?
I mean, full of images of common things
You light a candle, which through the wings
Casts a flickering, wandering spark
That causes forms to shift and waver
But the mind is sharp, the heart is braver

Each face suggests what it once was
A history, or perhaps a story
Lost in details sordid and gory
The pillars impose, the dust a fuzz
And the mirrors silver not so bright
That it swallows most candle light;

Or perhaps the forms aren't there at all
Just a reference to the mind itself
A thought of pride, a lust for wealth
Perhaps there is bareness within that hall
Only imagination makes vision real
Only if you love, only if you feel

But strange, the mirrors show deceptive things
They are alive in all contrary ways
As the walls in some funhouse maze
Or just another ailment madness brings
Touch is real, you close your eyes
Grubbing around to fall or rise;

These visions show the mind of man
A correspondence and a symbol there
A paradox of which we should beware
Why meaning flees the grasping hand
Not spare or false or opaque at all --
For nature is but an enchanted hall.
a postscript is here written:
a pass-word:
Baudelaire is my homeboy

6.27.2014

The Poet and the Hooded Night

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
The multifarious night comes speaking
In the tones of the almost-quiet dusk
In the gold and rose its glories busk
And waxy leaf and metal bridge creaking
What do you say O man? -- greeting
For mendicant evening is fleeting;

This place is but a bedroom town
A glum tapestry of Arbeit macht frei
Was that what you had wanted to say?
-- no -- but here we look further down
At crepuscular street-lights on-winking
The restless road sick with their blinking;

Dead but for cars fleeing the fleeing sun
Or chasing the fading night's last serenade
And else for people sleeping, it was made
-- that similitude holds for everyone?
-- yes -- and in gesticulating wave
What does not-wander like the grave?!

Where are the colors now, O evening?
-- they go, with day's youth, with youth
they go with the young, and sad truth
in ataraxia too seems soon leaving
-- for what cause is he thus tranquil?
-- he journeys with not large shoes to fill;

But where I see them the stale wall
The garden-walls, the immaculate gardens
Run edenward, going past dim sense
Cries of the living in middle distance call
-- interlocutor do you feel the rumbling floor
Do you hear their twilit traveling roar?

-- No, not I, but I am as one deaf
From the roaring of the crepuscular cars
Blind from a thousand gaslit stars
What is color to evening? -- and breath
Rising to blue depth, then death as out-breathing
Then life as child, then day as swift-leaving.

6.25.2014

The Quick

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Such a fascinating sort, these cyphers
Their last dilemma, one made for lifers
When cold pure water thaws to bring forth
An eye like old crystal, a brightening cup
Blink-blinking, now-looking, now tipping up
Receiving light, sungold dipped in dark north;

As ghosts all, perhaps only half living
And hosts always a soft radiance giving
Half earth, half sky, half star-stuff
So smile suspended breath, knowing cloud
Is your expanding, blowing under heaven bowed
You three and two and never-loud -- enough?

O cry out; will they rise and in rising be first--
Or in that sunrising will their light be dispersed?

6.24.2014

The Sage Is Perplexed Concerning the Automobile

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
The car, what is it really --
The man sees just a machine
Is that though what it has been
But a means for man till he
Find a more natural course
Acquire a finer iron horse?

Consider; it breathes like you
Into its lungs it hungrily draws
The air, and its inner laws
Burn a heart of fire too
To idle, to pace, to run
Spring forth at the sound of a gun;

But its parts are rare and strange
Did you ever see one growing
In the lawn, when you were mowing
How the world must rearrange
To form a body that begets their kind
What mothers, what fathers did you find?

And we see trace of their tread
The built-things of genius they remain
Black tire or oil or no such stain
And these are not to them dead
But help bring them to life as well
The extent of but one; who can tell?

Unseen life, an order is born
A soul of men in want of going on
A body of all industrial brawn
A thought of the sounding of a horn
Pace, pace, impatient filly
The car what is it, really?

6.18.2014

Sonnet V, "These Sudden Flashes"

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
These sudden flashes mark a time I know not
Blinking across the floor and up the walls
The fireflies flash in a sky star-unshot
Responding latently the thunder calls;
What was a sky with stars enow to count
Long lost its many splendored host of yore
Is now like every summer squall and fount
From dark and darkness shown its waters pour;
But now it rests and marks a silent waiting
City breathes its lucent fumes abroad
As when symphonic sounds anticipating
Break the movement, are with softness shod;
  And then the force: a hundred violins
  A night as bright as day! The music ends.

6.16.2014

The Poet Saw A Nightmare At The Death of a Poet

it is addressed thusly:
A vision.
it reads:
Thus I saw their faces, no faces at all
With but an eye, a cyclops we may call
Looking this way and glancing that
Behind the mask of inclusion and love
One without distinction, below made above
Providence an eyepiece and faith a merry hat
A rainbow-color scarf, empty cross about the neck
A tiny violin and every trumpet at their beck
Sound- make a sound! A sound like a wreck
Victory they call - for freedom it is said
With a plastic face and eyes made of glass
Goggling, googling at every thing that may pass
An angel they have made out of one that is dead
So if you look askance the eye may look at you
But unblinking, unthinking,
-- it is only staring through.

6.15.2014

Dress

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
When it is time for dress-up do you wear the fancy hat?
Do you find the highest collar and then don a fetching spat?
Or do you wear a tunic made for men of every shape
Efficiently to bundle flesh like the skin around a grape?
Or do you wear a hood that makes your darkness darker still
With glitter gone for putting on the envy that may kill
Do you wear a color flat, a habit made for those
Who in choosing dresses must dress what others chose
Or do you wear the air your wore the day that you were born
Wearing but the shaded eye, wearing off-putting scorn

If you see a man dressed well do you find it in your heart
To try to make a scoffing of the whole or of a part
Forget then that no matter how forgetfully you've worn
Whatever it was you threw on from the closet in the morn
That for man all dressing is a costume up or down
Even if he thinks he's wise he may just be a clown
If he wears nothing at all, he still must wear his lack
His skin is but another cloak worn from front to back
Man is an imitator, so no matter what you think you see
By his dress he does confess what he would wish to be.

6.13.2014

Kissing the Sea

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
The Colorado River kissing the sea
At last, when heat's long advance
Halts, leaving cold, wet -- chance
Letting us glance what might be
What might have made those grand
Strokes in the dry and silty land
Drawn like a clade-chart you've seen
Branching, broad trunks go forward
Tentacular limbs thrust out, deferred
Toward a bright and crystal blue-green
Toward fair Cortez, the muddy waters flee
And in the land left, a mighty tree.
a postscript is here written:

6.10.2014

EXIT, VOICE, TERROR

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
On a sunny day, such as this day
Whose clouds bluster, whose sun dogs lie
A light-blue so bleached, the placid sky
Seems now to have not been another way.
And say, like mind, stretches on and on
Until that moment when it is suddenly gone.

Once I think, my greatest grandfather came
To a wild shore, to EXIT, to leave his Albion
It was a time, it was a once-upon
But it was once upon a time the same
To find his way from the crowded burg
From Money and from a scurrilous word.

He and his kin on a day perhaps
Did at last desire to sever ties
Not mild over whether it was wise
But earnest that time should not elapse
Earnest that their VOICE be heard
Earnest for many an honest word.

But days wax on and long they may be
Many else came to share this place
Though gone was my father without trace
He was not one to live yet to see
The dividing of all of his spoils
The water warms, the water boils.

No inheritance is ever certain for long
But if it is at all it must be kept
For its decay slept not when we slept
A din would come to drown a song
Of buying and selling all under the sun
Of commodities for everyone

The mad mob! With its mass of eyes
Who could know what it would do
You would have been frightened too
If death you did not prefer to lies
But men must follow their selfly laws
Even if towards the cliff it draws.

Having broken down the walls that guard
Altar, garden, market and tomb
Even those that bear about the womb
What would prevent then the strong and hard
To whelm, to whelm to now purloin
And what was mightier than the coin?

And now everyone knows this is the end
To hear but themselves when they rise to speak
But it is not, as they insist, all so bleak
There is money to be made if you bend
If you ignore the all too empty helm
That vision might tend to overwhelm

With the thought of a billion men at arms
What choice remains for the caged beast
From the greatest unto the least
Who cares not for whomever he harms
He clamors for voice, he clamors for sound
But in his own clamor his voice is drowned;

But if a man should chance to die
With a bomb, with a gun or with a car
His fear and name will travel far
His TERROR will make the moneymen cry
And clamor to hear his harsh demands
This law such a man understands

The sane man, then must recognize
That voice is only worth its good
Where such one could be understood
Among his own, he may surmise
And what good now are his selfly laws
What good now is his heavenly cause?

Many arguments I have heard to say
That in this I am wrong, that I err
But I have searched and found nothing there
But a claim to the placid sky of day
For I know that I am not in error
About EXIT, VOICE and TERROR.

6.09.2014

Leave

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
And so we are weary, and things break
Whether so great as people or mean as chairs
Is it that our body anchors us to worldly cares
Or that our limits rightly force us our leave to take?

6.08.2014

Pentecost

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
Christ returned to us today
But not as we have been expecting
As though his secret needs protecting
But in yet some other way;
The world did not see this returning
As though a petty orb clear hewn
Sat in a dark and empty room
And at the blink of an eye the burning
Light of the EAST would pierce it through;
Spareless eye renew, renew all the worlds of blue
And gray and brown and red and black
A forwend here of tremendous heat
Now Babel's tongues in fire must meet
And find their distance all turned back
Rise up ye gates, speak face to face
Division's reck gone without a trace
Are you patchwork, made of many things
Dead ones, who breathe no Spirit out
Dry with pleasure, cold with doubt --
But water and fire a Pentecost brings
Still divided and yet now whole this way
Since Christ returned to us today.

a postscript is here written:
divided and yet never disunited

6.06.2014

A Song of Evening

it is addressed thusly:
An ode.
it reads:
When the heat of the day is at last expired
The breeze which made the cooling air
Comes sighing, pressing up the stair
And to the door where we'd retired
And as dying coals might be inspired
The twilight comes with heady light
And retiring at last then makes the night.

6.05.2014

Aloft

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Even the flighted are bound to earth
Though when we see the birds aloft
And each cloud with countenance soft
We think of what wings were worth
As though the kite in its own way
Did not in that narrow band but stay
Whose hollow body and hollow bones
Did not all the more draw it there
Did not festoon it to inconstant air
To hear and know deep heaven's groans
For the sky complete is more than deep
It is high and wide and cold and far
And no bird can cross from star to star
But must to his own orbit keep
So just to fly - what is it really worth
When even the flighted are bound to earth?

6.03.2014

The General Strike

it is addressed thusly:
A thought.
it reads:
Such is the strike, in its archetype
But yet another thing of its sort
To bother ejection of consort
Loss inflicted, engendered hype
Thought advantage of negative sum
But found by most just troublesome
An emotional trick, a strong placebo
For when such differing things do join
A power which no thing can purloin
Follows the enduring where they go
To try theft of it by grief or gripe
Gains naught, as to bear its stripe
Such is the strike, in its archetype.

6.02.2014

Impeccable Freckle

The Sage Remarks on Woman

it is addressed thusly:
An ode
it reads:
O Galatea! In a sordid dream
Was his fair lady of ivory made
He made her such as not to fade
But not all is as all must seem
And gratitude must from her pass
A fragile hand not up to the task
For a poet who had else in mind
No Venus was there to intercede
Twixt dismal science and its deed
But in this spell we all must find
The sculptor from his dais tossed
Before Galatea, Pygmalion was lost.
a postscript is here written:
shaw pygmalion