Just when I’m most certain,
an opposite intrudes.
Walk with me. Here
over the strand tracks
confirm a presence
until tidal sweep
or scurries of sand abrade—
ghosting our glyphs.
A theorem, a belief:
the in-between matters.
Gapped by menace—cliff-fall,
sea-surge—to devoutly fix
an iridescent cloud,
its droplets half-formed, prismed,
or listen among the dunes
where wind-hum resists
bracketings of silence.
This has consequence:
to a span, its truth
dispersed at each terminus.
Even now our path perturbs
among the flats and scrub
marsh clover, pillowy, pink,
mocking the dead.
Give me props of art, a god
to mediate this. Or the prop
of your arm—don’t leave—
now that a fog rolls in,
so thick it enshrouds
with sheets of viscous air
but lit, a dull pearl, from what
must be a solar lake
somewhere—setting, yet burning.
A Cubist Confronts Monday
Pour the thin liquors I call alcools,
morning throat-raw, dark blood tinges
a frozen dawn, annihilating our games.
Hold high a cracked rim to first spill of blue
when daylight, veil on veil, occults
celestial mirth, accelerates a dance
to tie our ties—hair back in place,
a warm shaved face answering a fragrance,
last night’s perfume, the stepping into traffic…
A bus transports my bones, fissured, edged
in jagged glass. Passengers view
solids, voids, intersecting cuts
of patchwork man pulled toward a temple
whose angles fit the shape of what provides.
Planes of my face, groin, buttocks
slip into a passing slot—a tower’s
revolving door—it shows my every side
to mammon’s guards. When boss bull bellows,
I’m on the horn, severed from ear
attending to a jargon, a journal
entry in corporate lives. What use words
when gins of perfect thirst mill years to urgencies?
Back on the street. I hurry past bottles,
heaps of the broken holding on boxboard brown
lyric of unscanned suffering that piques
disregard (that quick averted glance)
as if a prose, spiritless, clouded…
Night again. This stave like unheard cant,
quaint as milkmen clinking over cobblestone,
music no one pays to hear. Étude
all surface and slant, faking the underside
in tests to alloy scrap with solace—
a divertissement with which to pass the time?
I lift a chipped old tumbler, hoping to taste
liquid alive. Dust pours out,
nothing to slake thirst for limpid fire