A Different Inspiration
Flashes of epileptic light
induce the brains
of the spiritually dead
to turn their thoughts
from blood-drunk Hades
and the muddy rivers of their sleep
…and to inch their eyes
beyond the life of earthen dwellings
toward banquet tables
which the stars and planets keep
…And this way the Son of Man is born
breathing fire and life
into our prayer full tragedies of rose and thorn.
The Soul of the Emigre
Gershwin bubbles in the lights
of this computer screen
where words and images flash lyrically
in a gush of jazz atonality
for a thousand dreams on a thousand nights
in this backwoods no place
U.S. southern army town
where I lie down
sleeping to dreams
or waking to the same.
Either way and none the less!,
by any other name.
A Certain Randomness
Pathways are made of stone and flowers
in this cracked garden
which hangs on days of Summer
wrinkling into Fall.
And soon the leaves will amass
in a dance toward piles
of brittle oblivion
cool as an old jazz riff
that drifts from a fifties horn
And we, all of us, will lie awake
haunted by promises that we made
or should have made
in this lucky life, this grave mistake
which cheated its rational abortion
and looks out on a city
like an ocean.
What Judgement for the Mad
Prolixum is a coldly burning drug
injected in time release
…every lunatic and thug
to find his peace
in the constant smell of piss
or in a spoon of lunchroom grease
that such nerves could turn to a fire
cold enough to cancel every yearning
except the one to sleep.
An antipsychotic made to make things sane
so that once there was nightmare
and now there is a hole
…once there was a brain
…insert a boiling vegetable instead
…such hell might suffice as sanity
…such mindless dulling pain
among the likewise dead.
Oh Lonely Unrepentant Heart
Oh lonely unrepentant heart
…a throb within the deep recess.
Those lips of an outsider
which squeeze and blow the saxophone
…atonal hugely colored art
…those stick figures of our undress
…those notes and words of irony
…the meeting place of fleshless bone
broad in the nights computer glow
because of shadows lingering there.
Illusions on the telephone
where friends and strangers puzzle these
which fly like birds
as if a poet’s pen had coughed
in deathlike throws.
Fetching the Holy Waters
Cool and drowsy downer of a day
…the witches stir the herbs of earth
…the angels pray
for winter children of heroic means
and virgin birth
against all odds
to come in poverty of immeasurable worth
and bring the cleansing waters
born as well of blood in distant Springs.
The witches and the angels both
…they dream of this in Fall!
They stand as one united hope
and lash the bucket to the rope
and plumb the depths of such a well
where wisdom comes to call.