Wednesday, December 31, 2014

HEART THREAD 123 & 124


Wanted to do this hard-edged island in the city
could be Manhattan could be Berthillon
makers of fine wax masks to mood your seeming
this little language lobster in your trap
broken cage left empty on the sands
void your prisms soon o white man
a voice comes through the stovepipe listen
charcoal hisses at you beneath the ribeye listen
the blackbird explains it in the hedge
your fingernail on the mirror watches
we need more footnotes and fewer wheels
broken plaster statue still Mother of God.


O light no different from the night before
as plain as the beginning of all things
simple as hydrogen a one-piece light
the longest day on the smallest island sounds like life
terror in every sense rises from identity
pulchritudo voluptas fortitude
and give all things to everyone you meet
discard your enemies like old clothes etc.
teach a morality machinery aspires
to be one with you without myself
there will always be oligarchs be one or leave it alone
there is a broken branch a bird can sing on still. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

HEART THREAD 121 & 122


The mystery of when this must be said
lungful of particulars maiden voyage each thought in your hair
over the frozen lake a childhood spell a letter read
a breath from their mouths condenses on St. Peter’s dome
we break our vows by silence wet tongue of the beast
Anglican hollyhocks rise by the stone Buddha
I can’t remember to dissemble this self no I
I spend my day interrogating ocean
my nights parsing my interrogations
drink soup with me breadcrumbs on the snow
a bird will follow them to the open book
always contradict the weather the Cross is contradiction.


Long day to celebrate the light
knows what’s coming a colonnade in hemisphere
to catch a solar system in your back yard
southern somehow arrogance to kiss the wind
I fought against me all my life and lost
nearby on the longest day a sheet of light
we saw it slice down into the forest glade
pagans these days more pious than Christians
the earth asks more of us than Bible does
stand up and be shadow wield the axe of light
horns of a bull wit of the woman pluck
flowers out of nowhere and braid them in your hair.

Monday, December 29, 2014


Measurable the music
forensic afternoon manuscript
who murdered the morning

alter your A’, scriptor,
get ready to wedge them down
into the welcoming silent matter

that brain below the brain
sympathy is union with the dead
peachpits germinate next spring

in a tune like this
nothing gets lost neither
sorcerer nor saltimbanque

a child chided before supper
wants to go home but is home
woe woe a foundling feeling

can you get over it?
personality defects hypnosis heals
to be in your hands though

drink from earth’s hollows
you replicate by anatomy
a child and an encyclopedia

incurious pharmacy of oil
sandalwood I learned to sew
lions roamed that city when

medical issues glamorous therapist
cool fingers on the swamp of my brow
healing is happenstance alone

crystals by the Keekenhanna
cure the wound by waterfall
into the stone the illness falls

water tells more than the land knows how
exercise the spirit that glossy colt
be quicker in it,  be mercury

no one will be there when I look
opened this door a thousand times
fumble the light switch temple maiden

you need a shave she plainchanted
olives red crush beneath our feet
the inward moment springs on us

one more lion to ride home
you speak their language with your knees
that was the hegemonic greeting

kissed her shadow so she spoke
the words for once don’t count
but I will tell thee them

what counted was her breath
upon my temporal-parietals
what she said was Mind this matter

imagine we had done this long ago
gotten to the quick of questions
and touched the silent matter then

not waited all those years of who are you
but plunged all wet through the crazy gate
wise houses waiting to teach us a story

far away to our very selves
think of the children in the quince trees
all chattering in Welsh we’d be

and no one to gainsay our games
Principessa Salome you slew
my image quenched it in your own

kissed my dead lips till they spoke
and everything was language once again
no more damned music

I am afraid of being about things
want only always to be from them
from them all the way to thee

your ear your easy rapture
and all the children waiting to be fed
hasn’t the sunshine said enough?

the fewer words that answer far
legible at close quarters chapped skin
imponderable yesses and no wonder

questions seem to be part of the sky
his business with Gaea and all the green
and scarlet things are answers to

whom was happy as a drug can make
a friend a beach  a nightingale
uncaged in Switzerland, yes you

ride my pony far as please
different faiths for different miracles
blue light deep in my mother’s diamond

first time I saw it, look for it always
sick eyes among the lilies from Peru
stanchions hold foot traffic back

one league southeast the raven croaked
a town grows from a raven’s wing
a town is a bird’s shadow solid grown

I walked until I found a field
and there you were guised as shadow
guised as ten thousand stalks of corn.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

HEART THREAD 119 & 120


I lag behind the utmost grammar
the truck squeals out when it backs up
lost without prepositions if no angels were
the operators do not believe in their machines
a Vatican of leaks inside your cellphone
but you don’t believe me when I call
because calling is its own thing, calling is God
and you always think I have some other motive
I have no motive I am motive I am mind
so make room for me in the caravan
across the Sahel because I am also salt
a word in your mother’s mouth you hear in dream.


Seminivores all over beaks and tiny talons
when you see a bird in flight in truth it’s flying through you
the hollow places in your close-packed chest his fly-zone
so hurried and so gone by,  a clifftop romance
the pale-eyed ghost sits on the inspector’s lap
left alone the little dog howls harrow harrow
moon phase sundial water from the rock
endless embassies of birds at sunset crisis
they go so fast no one knows where no boasting
and if the mind be separate from the brain how wise they are
and we too with our fidgets of the flesh
inferring trajectories that lead beyond the real.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014



The priest slept through my confession
so my words went straight to sky
the little sky inside the heart I feel you here
the sentimental sinner cried the ferry left
the harbor suffused with nightingales from somewhere else
stop being continuous already the truth is made of broken glass
rose petals we nibbled from the rocks
quotations from Montaigne a clamshell cracked
a cardinal singing from what is that an apple tree
the day left-handed the ragged sky Guantanamo
clouds can only tell so much but more than we
there is a cruelty in America we must delete. 


Try against the cruel cry we have rights but no right
what sunrise does to morning glass you do to me
the sentimental agents spoil our feed
all that nostoc dripping from the night
listen to the cupboard the dishes tell the story too
the star-sperm settling slowly while you sleep
and the cup left in the sink to soak the herb stains out
each thing knows some part of the situation
the battered hulk this boat you call the truth
leaking its way from Portugal full of opera singers
priestesses on hilltop canoodling with the dawn
this vessel trembling in my civil hands.


This is the dawn of ceremony the clement word
when all men and women open their mouths and say
the truth that only they can know each one a part of 
we need them all we need them all to speak
until every man and woman is a prophet we know nothing
leave piety learn prophecy say what you don’t know
each one has words enough to know what he doesn’t know
they don’t all have to love you they just have to speak
language will not really work till everyone has spoken
then we’ll really learn what language means
the secret god hid from herself when no one created the world
back before even this argument our life began. 


The hear of the message is proportionate to the anatomy of the angel
or are there no numbers up there
or nothing but numbers in heaven
pause for breath even those who are not breathing
she walks down the street and everybody understands
that’s what a sky is for to trap the light and spread it
so we can breathe, the wolf can prowl
the square perfect pixels make everything unreal
unreal as it really is dream about me
in the long Pacific nights and I will change
I will be whatever you intend I will dig
gold plates out of your hill and give them to you.  

Thursday, December 25, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts 113 & 114


I'll know the question when the answer speaks
if you say so darling I only hear the organ
green and white the monks’ church at St. Gall
remarkable country for being left alone
whoever told you there are alternatives
remember pennies not made of copper
remember the wolf in the driveway
mockingbird on the drainpipe
I have tried to deal with everything
give every weather its place in history
for I was Waterloo and Austerlitz
Prince Andrei dreaming by his horse’s hoof. 


Your money or your life enough of meaning
I crossed the polished lobby to the elevators
no one I knew could live in such a place
and so I rose through bronze doors to family problems
my own estate the sky above Manhattan
and I owned Brooklyn too and east beyond
but not out west over the river Jersey and America
the sky belongs to me I say and on it
I take my stand no one else can judge or smite me
though sometimes someone else will touch my hand
and then the sky bears witness to my purity
purity of meaning everything in this single touch.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts 111 & 112


If the loves you dream of dream you back
shadows haunt the stuccoed ceiling like small birds
and there are real birds too on plaster leaves
baroque resemblances of passing time
your whole body safe in my arms
vertebral rosary that haunts the hands
don’t say prayers be them
you be the god that answers them
everything is for being and willing to be
and be for the sake of another, the other
not much more left of the story than that
so now at last the story can begin. 


Pieces of fear in the room the child sleeps
wanderlust of nighttime things
can you swear that chest of drawers is where it was
sleep is the great healer of the Irish
a physician who makes no guarantees
sleep lets the world around you change
thing by thing like children on their way to school
aftermath their heads are full of fish
your uncle cleaning flounder in the kitchen sink
what color blood did you think fish had
red is always a surprise a wound of tenderness
where the nice bear lumbers out of the trees and hugs you tight.  

Monday, December 22, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts 109 & 110


There’s a taboo against learning history
tabu, to know yestreen spoils your afternoon
everything forgets, pleasure is always now
back then is all the pain and dark and work and wolf
sunbathers wait for their Renoir, the wind
drives them indoors, Lincoln dies in fever
Romulus Augustulus leaves Rome to die in peace
this is the empire — the sea’s been telling us that forever
forever, no god and no czar, no meaning,
no bible, nobody home, sleep in sun on grass
I forget more than you’ll ever remember
that’s why in sleep I am the same as you.


Ask the sea put on a coat and tie
wear a battered panama
we come close to the pylon where chariots turn
fling into the home stretch at last
fat chance to be Rome without the Romans
live in marble grandly with a purple mind
the Jews taught us angels and never forget
the root of ‘angel’ is the root of ‘king’
an angel is a message on its way somewhere
no angel turns away unheard
but no one knows what language they hear in
or if all our jabber is their arcane philosophy.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts 107 & 108


From the arrow that flyeth by day on the south wind
protect the cradle of the infant thought the blue trees
reach down to us to stifle unbelief
throw your fishing rods away your lariats
because everything but what you see is real
deep in the truth of the unthought
Lila the uncontrived with whom we play
night more than day and the wind knows it all
broken clouds your mother on the phone in every wind
islands change their flags like underwear
we belong to nothing but the sea from which we come
religion is an ailment of the mainland only. 


Hydrangea Himalayan flower favorite blue
has blossomed early in Tara’s gentle hand
I saw her tossing them on the hillside south of Sonada
and here by the sea in Betty’s other garden
a few blue already the many on their way
always like that, profit and followers, udambara path
assigning meanings to each thing I go ahead
listening to what I stumble through leave the self out
have no favorite flower no mountains no name at all
the names are all asleep in you
that’s why you love us best
the colors you chose to smash over the world.

Friday, December 19, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts 105 & 106


Hammer heavy but I can judge the sound of competence
and he’s not it, a father trying to fly kite for kid
but there’s no sky, Chinese dragons slice
one another’s guide lines up La Salle above the river
yea Lady the same river the two-faced blue-eyed water
writing is a way of doing nothing but keeping time from passing
or lets time pass but makes it leave behind it
shadows on the little world people hold in their hands
stare gently out the window thirty years
Pound’s kulchur stares back in we live paideuma
the wolf has turned himself into the door
he lit the fragrant peony in the Western mind. 


How can I be at peace who knew no war
the Brothers Grimm are my grandees
their angry soldier only in exile find the blue light
I follow the bright lumen to the cave mouth of my sin
there is a first place to wander from
in Adriatic mist and summer storm
pale Rilke fiercest thinker of his day
adding the one force Nietzsche missed, the sentiment of love
and to do no more than tell the truth
invented poetry along the way
this new organ in our flesh of meaning things
a word like children screaming in the rain.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts 102 & 103


If it said anything it said blue
I walk with you around the ancient hill to water
am all air and leave it to you to be fire
there are people such that being with them all elements complete
that’s why I run out of breath ascending
the air I needed left behind with earth
I make noises as I arise they are words
you hear these sounds as touch
for every singular is plural I am the frantic chorus
heavy hoofed uphill clamber reach the top
your house in the sky I trumpet my residence
you knew right then we’ve always been together.


I am no meaner than the mind next door
the swan on the hood of a Packard tells the time
long kinship with owls for crying out loud
a ghost train rushes past the slaves are freed
from one master into the clutches of many
the salary of circumstance please tell me what to do
I want to talk about the moist details
the lug nuts down below the arm-break crank
slowly unpack all the details blue glass seltzer bottle
call it vichy in Dubrow’s early edition of the Times
I don’t think the subway ends here but I’ve never gone beyond
it’s hard to stop being credulous about the real.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts 100 & 101


All those things let go
one fish could be a hundred of them rule by rhyme
you don’t see the anchors you see the hulls
moth flies out of the fog the sun
easy weather for an alchemist
the brutal heteros all asleep
why do I love music music is always somewhere else
back to London or Lascaux or on to Jupiter
things shouldn’t lead to anything things should always follow
there should be a cute lieutenant leading them
into the cloud castle little darling
you woke up just in time to be me. 

This is our hour
the first of the last time
the lion comes out from the hill and claws those Christian garments off
battle at sea between the waves a wave is war
the pull of gravity meets the push of current and there you are
loud surf all night and the lion looking at you
naked as the afternoon shingle beach a cry
a gull and a lion and our time has come at last
seize and be greedy there’s nothing left but praise
and where bestow it this tawny sunrise this mandolin plangent forenoon
all the subjunctives gush over your lap
sea syntax one same as different as the mother.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Ninety-Eight and Ninety-Nine


A little bit of legal left I call it mist
you call it sun in water vapor spread
honor Brownian movement throw old letters away
don’t let me into your archive
a rat in grammar
in mesh of syntax mother-naked
the one foundation of your house
Szymanowski’s lost novel an alchemy of sound
or sugar candle in the god wind whoosh
Zuk he did it and bade me to                                    L.Z.
less pants more paunch more tune than tenor
the Romans had no word for it or kept it to themselves.


Sea pink was his poem                                  I.H.F.
and a stone so stood                                     J.M.
braving the Pacific calm
Hebridean storm St. Kilda’s poisoned by birds
my week in Scotland original Annandale
no need to tell you circus tales
sex on the floor while Abbot Sturlo watched
a fish in the sky its shadow a cathedral
did you remember to count the waves
they too have a cycle surfcasters ken
home in wee hours with creel asquirm
this is my theory of poetry.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Ninety-Six and Ninety-Seven


Loud sea last night I hear at dawn
new sun caught in sugar
else all grisaille the fog of morning
have we done dreaming yet or is
that gothic stonework still in place the crowds in Latin
all the discontinuities make also a continuum
as a hand makes everything it touches its own
this bird all birds squeal a blackbird in Ireland
land of tuneful sleep more sheep than men
as every island is the same island except Manhatta
a place where fish were never plentiful
but from the ferries you could see the sleek seals play.

To be long as an epic and nothing happen
boy with a lyre the size of an oak tree
hands busier than the wind in its strings
all words and no meaning
sex without babies
the first posthuman rises from my couch
sonless in brightness and every girl his daughter
the Touch Me Not of risen Jesus new explained
because a story binds us to our culture
and a song cuts free
all Coleridge no Wordsworth
the fable peters out in song. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Ninety-Four and Ninety-Five


This is what happens to music when it starts telling stories
how could it not be that’s why I grew up with
Franz Kline sunrise over East River a girl from Ecuador
I saw the color size of a man’s reach
stories fall out of the light
tells them into new situations:  these are the colors
all the way from red to violet and beyond
I come from Tenth Street just like everybody else
another fin another si├Ęcle the boys come marching home
the girls run away through the apple blossoms
nothing changes the sickle sweeps the moon away
the dark mumbles stories to its lone self.

Lay so nary hiding in her underpass
heed here such traffic over who in arches dwell
failing Lascaux, we did it for the silence
no air no sound or molecules of meaning
less plausible than spirit kinds
some unregistered messengers of sense
I touch you now despite the faraway
for every skin is weeks away as India
no matter where the boat is going
there is a better way of getting there
takes longer tastes more pleasure on the way
queen of heaven in her mandorla slips into every me.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Ninety-Two and Ninety-Three


So while the wind away until it’s still
all sea and no container everything belongs to me
let the roof slide off the sky the sleepers show
dare their dreams to stand up half-dressed
to walk outside like decent pagans
forget all the words nibble rosehips and why not
education only gives you bigger hands
after all those meager teachers one real thing taught!
look like you did last night golden ocher
America sky so far away but let me see
mind takes hold the shape of thing but not the thing
excitement of all the pale-eyed deceiving.

Finches like apples so there
we can know nothing of his struggle                    E.D. on C.O.
to know the first time what can’t be known
unanswerable question the fall of light
from the top of the hill you see your limitations
places you know and names hold you in
you are a hostage of the street you live on
a seminaried priest of what you see out the window
everything owns us
will there ever be enough of me to go around
thousands of years people have heard the breathing of the sea
it’s time to hear the word it says.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Ninety and Ninety-One


There is a certain subtext to humanity
they would never occupy this hill
this boulevard to heaven though I have seen
the shapes of them more luminous than light
sometimes by the Dogana or any sea-touched hand
land they walk even when they’re standing still
the form before form is a gasp in the mind
to see such absolute a shape dissolving matter
once you have seen such things you can’t lose
ghost girls of the Janiculum laugh in the cypress
a tree is left from their investigations
a doorway full of light that natural house. 

Venus as the bride of Christ he taught
and every book their wedding gift
forlorn as a block of marble never carved
insatiable as apple trees he offered her
all the comparisons a likeness is a kiss
sudden stranger on a midnight bus
nowhere in Nebraska the one I never
if they don’t live here they don’t live anywhere
to know truth a little is to know the heart
who knows the picture that was never on my wall
I was afraid of images nothing else can wound.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Eighty-Seven and Eighty-Eight


Roar of the mirror whine of the hedge
ask nothing of me, disturb less than one word does
noise left and right unending
no more nuisance really than the fish in the sea
when I sit and look at surf rolling in
as if I were part of something even this
Battle of Actium before me surf creams on shingle
Antony impaled and Cleo’s left breast toxic-nibbled
and all the lovely stories end at once
I spent my whole childhood believing
and childhood never manages to end
the waves her pure right breast, and go weep.


And have nothing to do but this
in the comfy prison of reality
no more work to do but make time pass
change the names of all those wicked places
salt marsh no hay a bracelet of Whitby jet
I went there for the sky the wet horizon
timothy grass belonging from black mud
weathered narrow boardwalk over muck
a thousand birds and only there ever alone
and no room left to plant the lettuce
barely room for dancing with Valkyries
high above the north sky where once a city is.  

Monday, December 8, 2014

HEART THREAD Parts Eighty-Five and Eighty-Six


Every page is precious especially the blank
the story here is her round face her round eyes wet
nothing more to say hence ready to begin again
a man is a wheel on a mountain road
I’m talking tantra but to an empty room
xenolith they built the structure on as if to say
earth gives us something like a day
where is nurture in all this where is Bernini
the woman shape that taught us how to pray
boys in the clouds hair comes through the hat
the sun moves secretly from house to house
but no one knows the father.


The breeze knows these
legends of the mother-house
her hands pressed firmly on the territory
noises annoy her most
no one’s children clattering in grass
and in the sky they mow the clouds
the mother-house is guilty of the sun
she made it cooked it over pine cones in her cave
till it glowed ardent hell and hydrogen
then she sent it to the sky to measure us
mind us little children and a rock she spat up too
to light our nights from tryst to tryst.