Archives for the month of: July, 2012

for Si, Jo, Louise and James

What do we ask of the word?
That it be strong, and fine, and straight
like a flute,
that it may bear us
as light as music
across the silence?

What do we ask of the word?
That it be true? That it sing us to sleep sometimes,
and sometimes wake us?
That it will wait for us
like a nightingale in a fairytale
in an opening in the forest
and lead us
home when we were lost?

What do we ask of the word?
That it be real? That it remain for us
after all the silence of life is over
and a new, dark noise begins?
Or that it shape us to our own images
cool as a mirror, as mysterious, and as depthless?

What do we ask of the word?
That it may love us? That it may understand?
That it may remember us
the way a score remembers music
so when the new musicians play
we are revived again
warm, where the lips
hover over the silver?

What do we ask of the word?
That it do our bidding? That it move with us
like a Lord or a song?
That it give us power? That it carry us
the whole distance across a child’s smile
or an ocean, seamlessly and with no obstruction?
Is this what we ask of the word?

What does the word ask of us?
That we be like itself —
shy, impersonal, endless, and free.


As I wrote that day, it began to snow.
Like a Victorian journal entry, perhaps a promising scientist
in his neat hand: but Andromeda
Or perhaps, Aurora’s condition troubles me

I guess she has lashings of curls, Andromeda Parry.
Her lips are lusciously full, but her pallor is more
than simply fashionable. She is soon to be married,
but dreams in carnal, slaughterhouse reds
of torn bridal gowns and of ravishing creatures
with the forms of men but the teeth of beasts
and with eyes haunted by a long, inhuman hunger…
She is scared of these dreams inside her,
and her case begins to disturb
our earnest and baffled young man…

I suppose there’s a kind of comicbook lucidity
to most notions of sensation or of human sentience.
The WHAM of self, the KERPOW of presence
and absence. It’s still snowing, even now, as I write:
but now, it has stopped.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

It was a glittering shock. We clung to each other.

After that, I wondered
who would look after us, now we’d made something beautiful —
who would guard us,
and make sure we didn’t lose what we had?

It was quiet in the room, the clock patrolled
a used condom with its cooling universe of sperm…

I’d been reading Almost Translucent Blue,
then left it for a while: it lay near the bed,
at an odd angle, covered with pale dust —

I could see it, my face on the pillow.
And your hair was mountainous when I turned,
my eye Asianed, my perspective changed:

and I wondered, Who would love if we did not love?
Who would care, if we did not care?

America was mist, China a melting wheel of stars
(but we weren’t looking at the stars)…

I found it hard to accept
I must lose you. It was a fairytale exit,

our carriage of atoms awaited us,
pulled by the ghosts of dead horses.

What stability could we have, in what kingdom
be secure, beneath what rule, under what king?

It must be like this, a kind of peace: seabird hours,

sleeping on the waves, bills tucked into their feathers,
in the stillness of no dreams

rising and falling.