July raves, deliriously green.
The feverfew stands three feet tall!
Its yellow faces ringed with white
ruffs. A songbird perches in a birch.
Its wings, still when it sings.
How your heart is, inside mine.
We thread our loom with echoes,
a fly buzzing against the screen,
thunder talking to the snails
who write it all down in silver lines.
The late Jim Brodey once instructed me
on composing a New York School poem:
“You use blue and name three friends.”
This off-the-cuff take is on-the-button.
Here’s Larry Fagin in Complete Fragments:
“Brodey’s flashing bolt.
Here’s the deal. Just wow. That’s it.
Ratchet the vernacular like the dickens
with Hippolyte mincing beside you.
Poppycock. Rubbish. Return to the fold.
Popinjay. Nincompoop. Ninny. Dolt.
For starters, try kicks, see what you get.
Rain hammers blue nails into dusk’s chest.
We find ourselves in August’s maw.
It’s a month to rest but I’m restless.
An Eastern Comma flutters around.
White peaches in season. Sliced
and enticing, they deliver promise.
Words remain uneatable. Fading
Light, growing sticky, combs
a part in the sycamore’s leaves.
Knitting shadows, whisper,
“I am getting longer. Are you?”
Fingernail moon grins, complicit.
Dusk’s silence is actually a thousand
cicadas making their opera roar.
A shooting star isn’t sleeping either.
for Ronnie Burk
The bear went over the mountain, Ronnie.
Moon-bone. Cosmic hobo. Trickster.
In your diary, tears run from
the faucet. Time drips. A white raven
sifts lightning from your ribs.
The third eye of the ninth fairy winks.
Ronnie, with your Comanche hair,
your black irises flashing code
as you sailed into The Tempest,
the stars dialing 415-643-1843.
That’s how the bear called it.
He left a light on when he left the light.
Like you, a product of the revolution,
who gave some heart to the starving gods.
My eyes are green. My beak is quick.
I live on the fringe, keeping a vigil.
My wings stir, pages of a date book.
I live in between Greyhound stops.
My tail can speak but only to lie.
I live on, in unremembered dreams.
My claws ring like stars on an anvil.
I live in a draw, easily provoked,
my heart mimicking an ode to a yoke.
I write poems in letters 100 feet high.
If you ever saw one you’d probably die.
I live unscathed in distilled wilderness.
My smile is always here, on the horizon
where I live, in an abandoned instant.