Archive for May, 2014

A Part of the Elaboration

May 31, 2014

He stands alone at the podium,
his horse voice [his joke]

become a paper whisperer
[ours]. He needs

to go on speaking, he says, despite
his throat. He will recite

his poems. Once read,
twice destroyed [no joke].

His mind is slowly sifting sentences from
the past in to a confrontation

with the future. So vivid is silence,
especially when in a shouting match

with an empty room. Too young to be a summary,
he must remain a part of the elaboration.

Dante’s Cat, its Acoustics

May 23, 2014

A hawk-like silence guides his every step.
The kill is but a breath away—
to exhale, so quiet, so pale—
Will nothing ever move again?
Imagine how this consummate grace
so precise now under a sun once perceived
as wholly good, can spark a moment of death
for but a moment’s inattention.
Dante thinks of his poem here.
How it starts out in a dark forest—
a regular day for most of us—
a product of earth’s revolution, this light—
not a perfect circle, nor a perfect cat—
which in turn turns a false guide
into a real one, a radiance full
of God’s grace, bright for sure,
but so swift, it leaves not a sound
to echo His good intentions.

Sound Traveler

May 10, 2014

You listen harder at night—
your veins squeeze,
together—
the nameless neighbor,
the police car/fire truck/ ambulance sirens
as they cross on to the FDR Drive,
the lonesome/ frightened barking dog
the groan all buildings make when they breathe.
You listen to the voices talking to you—
though they don’t know your name as yet
or the sound of fog your breath makes
against the mirror glass—
so much like blood as it hits the porcelain floor.
You listen to the sounds your ears must make
as they shear off the words, themselves the kin to words—
by being there, so to speak, to listen.

The Sleepers

May 10, 2014

Who dream there is a city full of sentient caterpillars;
Who dream the sleepers, who begin to believe this dream;
Something the brain has squeezed together, say,
Something that allows the groggy and the gasping sleepers
To sleep soundly while the caterpillars climb
All over them. Of course rumors abide. Some say
That the caterpillars must be a dream,
A sort of collective nightmare. Others disagree.
The caterpillars must be the reality, they say.
This is not Walt Whitman with his super empathetic
‘pausing and gazing and bending and stopping.’
This is a nest for the nameless. We want our rights,
They say to the sleepers, not your stupid dreams.
Butterflies, this is our dawn. Sleepers, you must wake!