Unimagined Things

 [Poetry], Unimagined Things  Comments Off on Unimagined Things
Aug 272011
The world must change if we but imagine it.
Copernicus squinting traded in his lamps
For furious mysteries;  Galileo tossed Aristotle out
For a swinging stone, back to the turbulent sea of thought
Because his ghost had no bones. What new paradigm
Will rinse us shining from the misbegotten foam?
Unimagined things grow real, grow real.

Nietzsche knew pale Apollo well, that he
Must step lightly from red Dionysus' side;
Michelangelo's high man and God, that mirrored touch,
Poured the raging heavens into our daily cup.
What matter that before unimagined things grow real
They must first condense in thought? Man's a drunkard
With his dreams and will piss them to the sod.
Unimagined things grow real, grow real.

Aging wrong and aging right cannot
Endure our scorn or enhance our thought
(Morality's an old, old play, with curtains that must fall)
But new worlds imagined, that body in the breech.
Einstein knew that his equation unraveled no new sky
---That were indifferent--- but was a chant to change his mind.
Unimagined things grow real, grow real.


 [Poetry], Unimagined Things  Comments Off on Supernatural
Aug 272011
Say whatever turned round in Plato's skull
Or mounted Mary Magdalene's heart, St Teresa's chest,
Pours quickly away; chill vapors dispersed by day.
Say chance is in our substance and makes us free.
Say whatever terror that holds man by the throat
Is shed by accidental antidote. That St John in pan's cavern dwelt.
Vast plans that had Caesar's mind for habitation
Or in Hitler's bunker slept, and map by map were built,
Were map by map and town by town disintegrated.
Say chance whirls in what strength or thought threw out.
Who knows but that chance is projected indecision,
Petty habits of the mind grown great, great thoughts grown worse.
What do we know of history and fate? Did Venus,
Who knew Adonis' worth, imbibe his dead sperm for bitterness?
What in her belly purred? What from the great legs leapt?


 [Poetry], Unimagined Things  Comments Off on Nativity
Aug 272011
Was there carnage in that shot
World-leveling god begot?
Stubborn Christ born in an abandoned lot.
Old cross crows are drubbing in the dust.
Cracked heaven the dividing splinter teared,
All that riotous confusion heard
Before the roaring droplet seared.
    Old cross crows are drubbing in the dust.

Did that staring infant's head
Dimly unwrapped above the stiff bed
Know what it engendered?
Old cross crows are drubbing in the dust.
Pack-animals' musty blood
Flubbed responsive where they stood,
Deep in the passionless mystery.
    Old cross crows are drubbing in the dust.

And was that woman bleeding there
As in a tapestry, for the crawling god prepared?
All generation in a wound condoned.
Old cross crows are drubbing in the dust.
Did that penitential infant shriek
Climbing heaven's empty cheek
Draw ecstatic thunder down?
    Old cross crows are drubbing in the dust.

In The Cold Dawn

 [Poetry], Unimagined Things  Comments Off on In The Cold Dawn
Aug 272011
Before the geese upon the water have begun their day,
Before cold dawn could allay the winter's deep dream of May,
Or any symbolical host fly out of the dark, as it must,
The thoughtful song, drawn like yarn out of a beggar's breast,
And which had illuminated pride, so weak was the world's way,
Unseen ages, like the bird with the silver ball for a soul,
Died dreaming in that beggar's breast, before he could awake 
     from the dust.     


 [Poetry], Unimagined Things  Comments Off on Policy
Aug 272011

When Twyla Tharp begins again
Her own sweet body to command,
Charm of personality or face must vanish
Into the reality of pattern.
Soldiers lined up pidgeon-toed
At the mosque, shot out their enemies' heart.
What lies still beating in the cart?
Was there passion in that slaughter?

There was a dream of feasting, and we fed on dreams.
Instinct in the sculptor's palsied hand
Creates where it divides, eating to the face of man
As if stone were so much rotten wood.
Although young, it seemed all dignity must be spent
On sinking love or suborned monument.
Where was the gamble if the loss lacked reality?
We were young and solemn and did what we would.

Son of God

 [Poetry], Unimagined Things  Comments Off on Son of God
Aug 272011
And if I were the son of God
And out of that grand house came
Tumbling with lions
On Heaven's bursting lawn,
At breakneck dawn I'd race
From grave to cradle again
Until to a moldy house I crept
And turn the last clod.

St Augustine

 [Poetry], Character Poems, Sonnets, Unimagined Things  Comments Off on St Augustine
Aug 272011
"A seed of knowing out of our ignorant fruit must drop.
My pear tree, not Sartre's, rises from the wrong ground,
blossoms and rots in God's green affections;
memorizing Cicero all afternoon, the lagging speeches,
a fist of pebbles in my mouth, shouting at the sea....
a carpet-bagging stumper after my sweet fee.
We threw the golden teardrops uneaten to the hogs---
all boys and wickedness leaping Huck Finn's fence
whitewashed in north Africa. The orchard door
yawned on darkness as we exited, loaded down
and laughing: reality in the act, not the scenery.
A tentacle of happiness, not nausea, gripped me then
coiling my black heart in light like an extra aorta,
fibrous and alive and dangling from God's omnipresence."

Sweet Dancer

 [Poetry], Unimagined Things  Comments Off on Sweet Dancer
Aug 272011
The world enlarged from a shell
Is stripped and standing bare,
A grinding dancer on a stage,
Violent with despair
And sweet to look upon.

Is not every lovely thing,
All gauzy prettiness and hidden force veiled
And held from revelation as destruction
By gyring chance
By delicate strings?

The Blind Man

 [Poetry], Unimagined Things  Comments Off on The Blind Man
Aug 272011
Because I am blind and walk agape
And beat out rough rhythm with my stick
Like the fascination of the sea
I can create, as in Yeats' dream,
Man in the soul of God
And batter out a place 
Among twilit immensities
To dwell in that contempt,
Giving bitterness a face.
    Stick, stick, stick, stick.

Because I am a blind old man
And came blindly howling hence
To fumble with a stick, I demand,
Passion of my decrepitude unsung,
A gallery where bright heroes hung
Stand each for that passion
That pitched them to their deaths;
And I demand it built
Behind the eye and in the heart
Of God and his burning son;
All glory in the uneaten bud.
    Stick, stick, stick, stick.

I have heard on the walks and ways
That give my confession to a stone
That some with bitter inward breaths
And some in necessity of fashion
Live slave to what words have wrung
Out of man's contemptible mash
And nail to each star each part,
As if misery made flesh were all.
    Stick, stick, stick, stick.

I can see because I am blind
How each tiresome human vine
In eyeless arrogance of its kind
Sprouts like a worm in its own food,
Divine soul all lumped with mud.
Each blind root heaves its back to the sun
In perilous ignorance of its own blood.
    Stick, stick, stick, stick.

Although I am blind and cannot see
Bleak wreckage of the dark tide,
Rank human ecstasies and defeats,
I know what mysteries abide
And carve these rude words upon my stick:
We must feed what we beget;
Imagination shall provide
Some unsought froth as yet, rank spillage
Of the glittering sublime.
    Stick, stick, stick, stick.