Xavier Descends His Soap-Box

 [Poetry], Constellations in December  Comments Off on Xavier Descends His Soap-Box
Aug 262011
 
 
Every day there was a little less of himself, 
A moon of diminishing hues, 
 
Less and less, as he strode from the balustrade 
To the roses, each night a different leaf fallen, 
 
Each day a new ambivalence in the sun's assertions, 
Proverbial gold in a stale world 
 
Where the water tasted tinny and the tap spat 
Erratic chuffs of water in an empty cup 
 
And something or other had died a day earlier, 
Had died and had its poor death recorded, 
 
Less and less itself, or its wintery twin, 
Pacing from the terrace to the garden. 



Cloudy Apostrophe

 [Poetry], Constellations in December  Comments Off on Cloudy Apostrophe
Aug 262011
 
Calmed lightnings in the evening sky 
Shuttle, like warm humans, from sty to sty. 
 
If ever there were an evening readiest 
For comparisons, gilded in flashes, half real, 
 
It is this evening, blotched by light, 
Spumed with cloudy figures of our imagining. 
 
And so the erratic discharges of our thoughts 
Are themselves significant, 
 
Indicative perhaps of the circuits that we make 
Circling one disaster and another catastrophe, 
 
Symptoms of a discord so profound, 
Malevolent fragrances of black, pitted things, 
 
That long-fruited hopes have withered, and everlasting airs 
Crimp their silvery middles tiredly 
 
And the brazen horizon awes us a little less 
With its simmering magnificence 
 
Dull a little, and a little cold even in summer, 
Shunted to one side a little, and old and used. 
 
Wormy lightnings, restore the discords of your colorings; 
These are the makings of our end. 

Remote Chiaroscuro Enters West Virginia

 [Poetry], Constellations in December  Comments Off on Remote Chiaroscuro Enters West Virginia
Aug 262011
 
 
Is it a death of the self, or of the self's 
One projection, fatal ray, deadliest beam 
 
Unfolding from out of a stillness the self contains 
Like scissors, or a dove's placid wings, abruptly flown 
 
From brooded palms, this quiet that returns 
To the stone house, empty and white 
 
In a whiter air? Something deeply tired 
Has taken the place of the cows, 
 
Still morose, filling the entire structure 
With placid breaths, but what is it? 
 
Is there, in this fix of airs, an extinguishing anguish 
That broods from the barn, the tired reds 
 
Falling in the air under a Dutch hex 
And a soggy roof buckled by the weather, 
 
Something that ticks in the empty hayrick 
Or yawns from the creosote timbers 
 
Leaning together a little in the space left 
By the solemn breathing of the cows? 
 

Among the Shadows

 [Poetry], Constellations in December  Comments Off on Among the Shadows
Aug 262011
 
 
The pines in their shadows are distinguishing themselves 
Detached in a softly shaking emptiness 
 
Separate from themselves and their riveting greens, 
Voraciously vivid, beyond coughed words, 
 
Beyond a last leaf stretched in a last silence 
Like Hamlet at the vacant end of the meadow, 
 
Dying in summer, breathing a last breath 
In the final rye and grasses, seeing the trees loud sway 
 
At the rim of the yellow field, shaken 
Softly, softly, following a blue track through the pines. 
 

Flatterers Among the Roses

 [Poetry], Constellations in December  Comments Off on Flatterers Among the Roses
Aug 262011
 
 
Does the moon sail in its sumptuous heaven 
Disfigured by pity, 
Blindly tearful in an icy lair? 
 
To walk in the moonlight, to trod 
The verdant ambers, and to think of nothing, 
What sort of matter for a poem is that? 
 
Is it a matter of having nothing 
In the mind, icy sequester 
Of nothing, of nothingness layered in its own absence? 
 
Or is it a matter, rather 
Of nothingness icily conceived, icily meant? 
It is a matter of sinister consequence. 
 
To walk in the violet moonlight 
Discussing the moon from which it flares 
Disfiguring the roses 
 
Is a kind of nothing, a suave 
Hollowness that we may hold near 
Or suspend between us as we walk. 
 
O savage celestial, misty moon, 
Snarling in your lair, speak, 
If speak you must, in dismal syllables 
 
Some more blatant human meaning. 
 


Loquaciousness in Louisiana

 [Poetry], Constellations in December  Comments Off on Loquaciousness in Louisiana
Aug 262011
 
 
Picaresque birds cry hi-yi-hi 
From the lustered branch 
Festooned with ants. 
 
Crocodiles mustered in the bayou 
Flutter melodious tails 
Under oaks. 
 
Captains of the stratosphere march high, march high 
Stepping the squalid dews 
Of gaudiest clouds. 
 
When the marshal of the swamp cries hi-yi-hi 
It is his essences' valence 
Neatly strummed. 
 


Aperitif in November

 [Poetry], Constellations in December  Comments Off on Aperitif in November
Aug 262011
 
 
Standing a long time before the pond, in November 
Standing and looking at nothing 
 
Or looking and forgetting it is oneself that looks 
One begins to think 
 
That the sinewy residue at the bottom of the pond 
And the pond, and one's consciousness of the pond 
 
Moving over it like an enigmatic cloud 
Are one, that the famous watery veils are no longer 
 
Waiting to be torn, or that, torn already, 
They have left only these sinewy shreds, 
 
Gluey blacks thinly dispersed in the space 
Between the self, astutely observing, 
 
And the brown pane of water that lifts the clouds 
And the bottom of the pond. 
 

The Condition of the Furniture

 [Poetry], Constellations in December  Comments Off on The Condition of the Furniture
Aug 262011
 
 
When the house stands empty, the rooms disgorged 
Of all the crumpled laundry daily life imposes 
 
How conditional our maundering sorrows seem, 
Another routine, like sleep and death, 
 
Engaging our restless spirits 
As soccer in Brazil, the overnight weather, 
 
The uninhabited chair, weighted with fringes, 
That stares in the leaning mirror morbidly 
 
Or the dirty shovel that leans in the garage, 
A little old and uselessly, by a mended fishnet. 
 

The Mannikin Grown Large Again

 [Poetry], Constellations in December  Comments Off on The Mannikin Grown Large Again
Aug 262011
 
 
One has lived long enough 
Among rusted hills, and the solemn sunlight 
 
Spinning its steel shadows out of itself 
Over those hills, thickly gathered at the arbor 
 
Where matted vines still move on the latticework, 
Purple embrasures, seeming almost to speak 
 
In a light that is constantly fading, 
Shifting its emphasis, a sliding center 
 
That creeps over partial hills, 
Real where revealed, invisible elsewhere 
 
Full of hidden masses and interior kisses 
The way a sliver of grass is an entire field of grass, 
 
The way a man represents a man, 
Without feeling, in the inhuman landscape.