Would live out his ambition
To listen to the trains
In his newsstand by the subway track
Instead of seeing all his dreams go unfulfilled
Like some incoherent poet
Who, having captured the world in a net,
Knows it can't be saved
Or thrown back.
It's not soul-suckery but a yearning
That takes down all that's good
From the trees
Some say the almost true
Is the low-hanging fruit
But I know we only feel the love
With the world on fire
The homeless trumpeter
We never see
Plays "Millard Fillmore Days"
And I become the cormorant
Wary of the shot
The crimp across the pond
Between the man and song
That in the arc of breath
Into the holes not taken
From being dark and full
What might have been
-- what was
but never was...
The melody repeats
stark longings long deferred
While orchestral cushions
-- never more than auroral ghosts --
Are as voiceless as the sky
The fact of loss
like a gilded cage
Where sunset stays
ambrosia out of reach
As unresolved as what hands
make of time
The picayune weeds one threads through
From some dream that burned
For cold star certainties:
elegant denials, noble vindications
The final harmonious note
stolen by the red-tinged sky
Fading into dissonance
-- so rich and so alive...
A glow that holds the wizened hands
as they pass through lighted rooms
Unfolding and then putting back
things too small to see
Not memory or wisdom
but what must finally be
Some sacrament of love
The memory of an orange shed
Where a homily in lacquered wood
Embodied a dream of a family
A natural mystic clan emerged from trees.
It suited the locust bean, at least,
And pidgin peas, the goat-crossed coral street
Where cats were leashed in church grass
And chickens foraged freely.
Now I sit in Hungry's Restaurant
With the mid-day Mt. Gay crowd
Burying an inarticulate prayer.
For what was
Except as I was told how to feel
The people wearing smiles like flowers
Were never revealed.
The first sight was all we got:
Overwhelming white with sky-blue sea.
The sudden suites and green estates
Will never take the hunger away
For an unfamiliar country
And so we forgot, not sanctified
By pebble roads, we had a purpose.
All the love you gave fell through
But a boy still waits in the sand for you
To carve a lizard king.
Night watchmen at bars,
Lights on patios
Where wine bottles glow
As parents wane before their children's demands,
Reach for glasses.
The magic the day refused to bestow
Is piled up on the hillsides,
Organized as stars
Near ocean blackness.
No blame or irritation any more
Just the langour inside windows,
Unhappy stares and cackling slurs.
The road curves in circles
All the way around the island
But the cars keep following some longing
For a love that isn't here, at least
But may be there
A boulangerie where they speak Francais,
Or a high-end beachfront mall,
But there they beg with missing teeth
For cigarettes and love,
And there the third floor's always closed
It comes back in your face
Like the merciless sun:
You do not know
What you're given,
How a vault of gold
Has been laid before your feet
So you can observe
The imperfections of the coins.
And someone must pay dearly
For the ointment's shining fly
-- Fingers point and eyes collide
Til sunset masses phantasm armies
And we are left the rich savor
Which feels our compassion,
Knows how hard we try,
Sees how we make the most
Of every shining token
Slung on a string,
And sometimes, in a
Certain blue light,
It might lead you out
On a pier wet with lamplight
To see the circling below
Of giant shining fishes,
A gift you've finally walked
For long enough
To stand in awe of.
Wearying how everything breaks
Like waves the same ways as one ages,
Disappointment locks in like a cool breeze
With the luxury accommodation.
I hold you and you disappear
Except for your spirit.
Am I alone when I'm with you
Less than when you're not there?
You're free of any dialogue,
That coupling thing's been safely put to bed,
No questions ring the hollows of your heart.
You've been redeemed again in water,
Returned to tempering fire,
Your memory is immortal.
You've burned through heaven once again
A gift you gave yourself to learn
What you have done, but will you?
My gift is not to know.
The infinite I gave must equal zero.
At the indigenous resistance
The drummers are not putative,
They beat the drops of water stolen
And the law comes to enforce
Their submission into silence
The feathers on their heads
Came from copters that descended
At midnight on the pens
For the specialists with gloves
Who shoved the chickens into crates.
And their warpaint isn't blood
But communion petrolatum
Still the fracking thunder comes
Like nuclear Kippur
Upon the burning man inevitable
That the organs of the well-informed
Rooster rainbows in the dreadlocks of the waves,
Tumescent moss directs the dripping off the caves,
The bees are making love like surgeons to hibiscus
As couples narrow distances to share the pounding swells
In white release across the folding lace of opening shells.
They take photos of each other in their complementary chairs
Before the endless thrust of surf that vents what it bears
And just as endlessly receeds along the curves
Of long-suffering sand, its bite -- not preserved.
moving lines of force
In paper-thin intersections,
slow across glass,
as the lavender surf rolls in,
Rainbows in its wake,
the curtains loosen and tighten,
that exist for us only as beauty,
As purposeless as we believe
our lives to be ...
The last spike of peach holds on
against the human mind.
Everything else has been denied,
by being understood.
How could we ever be explained
by the mechanics?
Our lusts, our thirsts, our drives?
The wall called
Understanding has been placed
here between us
As the mystery still
You want to know
because you already knew
And were waiting for the moment
But now you are disputed.
The slut, the whore,
How could she
want me anymore?