Tree, woods, cave, wheel

The jump tree to tree
or the rupture there where you
were, here where you are.

Backwater, deep woods–
something human crops up in
the sift, bronze or bone.

In the cave things feel
larger than they are, every
dark thing but exit.

This little wheel we
drive drives us while all the while
wonder awaits us.

 

 

 

Paddycake

met terra cotta woman mirror crop 1 mod

paddycake paddycake
make us a man
make him run
fast as he can
send him to the city
send him to the town
give him a hand can
knock walls down
set him in a sliver
set him in a comb
send him to the country
send him out to roam
make him amuse us
make him fight our wars
give him a shadow
give him claws
adam cadmon
earth and sand
paddycake paddycake
make us a man
give him a word
no one can hear
give him a prayer
no one can say
send him to the airport
put him in the ground
make him tell us
where he’s found
send him with the spirits
send him with the waves
give him the keys
to every rock and cave
put him in a tumbler
put him in a boat
give him a beard
like a billy goat
give him all our kisses
give him all our clothes
let him know things
nobody knows
make him fearsome
make him wise
give him sticks and
stars for eyes
make him bad and
make him good
an army of banners
a tower of wood

________________________
image: Metropolitan Museum of Art http://www.metmuseum.org/collections/search-the-collections/248689

willow

willow willow willow
our darling singing at the well,
and up and down our road
sweet as longing that song but
the singing of it’s dying, it’s
the dying that’s all wrong, yes
the world’s a huge thing
but not much for worn pockets
or a bodice with a heart in it
or a closet full of stones
what is it that they do
when they change us for others?
oh my dear, you must know
they think to change themselves
willow willow willow
where they want, they will
where they will, they go

 

 

 

italicized lines from Othello

Whose Cat Is That Oh Frank O’Hara

whose cat is that
oh Frank O’Hara
the sound of your typewriter
like a voice-over traveling down
fifty years
all your everything
should have been
in that message we sent
into outer space
at least the address
of your voice
saying in everything you said
I’m alive I’m alive I’m alive
and that’s not all: here you are
on film with a friend
you’re reading what you’ve written
then writing on that typewriter
and still talking to the friend
and the phone rings
and you keep typing and now
you’re also talking with
the friend on the phone
being filmed for educational TV
Alfred Leslie is holding my hand
and another cutaway to the cat
are you also communing with it
has it escaped alive from
the black box to arrive
like an emissary in your apartment?
I bet even your cat
could type and talk and think
and write big and live big life
everything every moment
all at once other people
only think they can
What is happening to me
goes into my poems

yeah that but also how that looks
from here outside—
you were the happening, man
nobody had to tell you
or your cat
to be here now
what wonder in a world
with your mind inside it
your wild mind
your love mind
your New York state of mind

Where is the clear land

Where is the clear land whose outposts we pen and
crops raise with wishes though some are all edge.
You follow the lines wherever they go, then
your muse snaps the long leash tight when
sufficient’s not enough. But stick around and see
the four-o’clocks you grew with offhand seed
bearing without tending such vigorous bloom
to weep what can’t bear the weather or renew.

Tied

O if there were knots
could tie the shining day
to its shininess,
migrate
ghosts loathe to leave their
home. Afterthoughts like
automatic writing–
waiting, waiting, waiting,
not to confuse
the memory of it with
the regret one later feels.
What happens that
cuts you back
attaches itself,
renovates the far mind,
arrives before you do.
Such tiredness not
to resist fortune
or where you hid in your
things–
some garbled message
from the darkling empire of
the rotary telephone.

The part where hearts get broken

This is the part where hearts get broken
though not all at the same time
or in the same way–there’s still time.
The terror team might come to town
with some slight expanding in their
minds till all that’s left is undoing.
Or perhaps a movie crew, inspiring
awe and hospitality just because
they have the charm of somewhere else.
But I digress. After all, it takes
only one of two to think the other
feels the same–something uneven up
ahead, but any flutter in the
universe will do for explanation.
That won’t last. This is the part in which
all other parts are forgotten, more or
less, in favor of the chemistry of
hope, the feeling someone’s always with you
when they’re not, the embellished fetish
of absence. In that imaginary land
in which time together is too short and
time apart is endless, time collapses–
you jerk awake at an alarming
border, on a bus in someone else’s
screwy dream, those guards, if they don’t
like the looks of you, they’ll shoot.

 

 

Where do you live where

where do you live where you look
your desert from a satellite or
what heat hides inside itself
how easy malice circumnavigates
all additions to the convex you
and your nimble earthquake lights
independent of your gravity
a great wind blew & they dispersed
the squandered armada like that
other one we await the return on
mile-high rockets or lost shoes
frankly we’re so tired we’re ramified
meandering tourists after lift-off
miscellaneous numinous weapons
they break into your heart your
dark room and poisonous ring
the mystery to parse and pace

How it will come to you

sky for how it will come

How it will come to you, this joy
that rides in on pain and breathes
your inspiration. The one who
dwelled beside stands at the gate
waiting for another shining passerby.
In the tree, a conspiration of birds
abides this green nature. You had
forgotten how performance
isolates. But in this only moment
now, such surfeit, such grace.

 

 

 

Probably Nike

probably nike Jon McL flickr fr poem cmprsd

she has wings
but you are not going to like them

a chariot
in which you’ll never ride

horses cantering off
to far-in-the-future crusades and crashes

shields that hover in the air
flying saucers are you scared

a painted face you’ll love
but never touch

an ocean she rides over
that you’ll only see by looking up

image and inspiration for this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fogey03/6602511055/