landscape with pony
Landscape with pony.
Landscape with trumpet.
Landscape with underfed ponies and broken trumpets.
Landscape with promises.
Landscape with malcontents.
Landscape with syringes in a shoebox.
Landscape we've lived here so long clawing
after privilege you told me you would bring me
back to the sea before I die.
Seascape with promises.
Seascape with veterans.
Seascape with pink bikini and snowboots.
Variation on a theme by you,
variation on a theme by me,
and, in the evening, "Six Sonatas for solo violin."
Self-portrait with potato farmers.
Self-portrait standing in front of the armory.
Self-portrait with the "old neighbors."
As brought to you by the Tube Socks Co.
Produced by Mr. Former Actuary Man,
directed by Mr. Stocking Cap all the time
and co-starring Sir Chemically Confused
with the one who usually plays the slut
and the Darling Child Growing Older
as the grave child with a tantalizing secret.
It's my dirty little mind
Poverty, cunt, glimpses
sometimes of paradise.
Because around the farm
we're courteous and hardly
ever ashamed anymore.
Casual in interpretations,
painstaking in declamations,
At the check-point,
what were you asked?
About the road conditions?
What did you tell
the determined caribinieri?
About the mediocre pavement?
Let's get back to the subject.
Will you hold me a while?
And speak only in English,
please, in plain flat
So I cannot forget you.
In the ghost-light especially children are drawn
to metal objects of all kinds.
Some for sifting, some for conjoining or breaking in two.
At dawn nurses chat behind stained curtains.
When they discovered they had lost their fathers,
did they relax or did they press on more gallantly?
Was there a secret among rivals they were late to share in?
Did they sidle, conclude, long for, ache, protrude, mumble?
Were the boulevards from which they departed lined with
baskets of flowers, some hanging from railings?
Was indifference a flower plucked and worn in their hair?
Did magnitudes of thought (and erstwhile vocabularies)
venture into their hearing?
Did they recount the damned among them?
Was there some dulled semblance of an anointing?
Of a moment that refused to betray permission?
How mere "pilfering" might play
under the klieg lights.
An inch or two from the dire scene,
an inch or two in the other direction,
an inch or two off the top.
With words fit to place in your poem:
words, words, words, words.
Their edges are like silence,
can't you see?
Don't look at me like that,
stiletto of iron.
Same as the one you purchased
in Tijuana on Revolucion Blvd.
One goshdarn hot August afternoon.
-- Suffer through this common form
of loveliness without a house
to call your own then you can come back
home by the fire and rest your crazy head.
A tortured reunion,
I'll put steaks on the grill.
and I'll invite the neighbors.
Look, redemption that fails.
Look, the failure of redemption.
Devastation at six o'clock
on the six o'clock news.
From the EarthGive me just a minute to remember
the earth and what rose from the earth
beside you and me, to establish that in dogged
pursuit a passageway opened. Sacrilegious,
how the body currently responds…it capers.
But just after "congratulations" it swam away,
so tired of the pitchfork voice, obviously.
It was right there, the corpus, before it submerged.
A way of transgressing had been felt. A how-to
of not-feeling. Give me a second to remember
our beloved sun: in a box of chipped photos
we appear naked to the machines while rowing home.