Keep back the harm | tenderly | Locate the night, and the parts | of the night | tenderly | lashed to a bull’s sun | Hold off the blows, the longed- | for blows | and cup the falling blood, cup and | cut and | keep the stars | From the harsh fist | an untold palm is drawing | out a caress | and along the green stem | briefly and suddenly | the petals tremor | Down-broken | gates | the quick | shot of lace to the skull | and in the dust | thunder | and more shaking | Ward off | the crush | Open | the unsung | want | and want it | to the point of | song | Only to the Ooh La La, the raw | throat’s calm | croon | and rush the tape | the boiling | tape | to run the race the loser wins | the race | all losers | win | Before the war | before the crash | holding on to harm | gripping horns | hard | to force the head | to follow down | the softening line | cut the stars | and cropped the storm | found the ruins | gentle | And picked | from angels’ pockets | what was there | a bit o’ the necessary | gold and the way to milk | and feathers | took | short sleep | and waited in | a nick and groove | bored through shadows | found ourselves at peace | when, merely from a nothing-much, meaning to go back | quite soon | we stayed on | a little later than imagined | and to the rustle and the ripple | the stomp and kick | of French can-can | could pull out the thorns | and bid the devil rest awhile | from his onerous | routine of sin | found | we could make this run for it | and we did

Bull-rushing sun | flamed out for the cool | suspension of the lucid moon | Stripped free | from the dazzle of those gimmick jewels | form our blackness and our pallor too | we are again | the lonely and the desperate | the greedy and the cruel | Tape up the hands | fit on the gloves | for others’ entertainment, and for our own | slit rope of heartbeats fraying | let us dance | Don’t say | it is not you | sliced the tongues | from the angels’ mouths | to make them | sing a little differently | don’t say | you aren’t on show | pulling down the angels’ drawers | to make them laugh, the passers-by | don’t | pretend you’re kind | or good | or innocent | don’t waste their time, the poets | or the passers-by | talking shit | filling raw heads | with paradise, tomorrow or the Fall | stuffing into the angels’ eyes | the pure green limes of leaves | torn from the trees on Silver St. | in early spring | a little after dawn | the dew still on them | no thought of love | no thought of tears | no thought | at all…

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from the series fp2 (on-going sequence of poems, commenced 2016)

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