Quo Vadimus

Postmodernism,
Otherwise known as…

More Modernism,
A Fragment of an Echo,
or
The Twice-Forgotten,
Post-Enlightenment Bad Mood
of Believers in a Deist Fate,
no…

Forget that much, forget
the walks, the blood pumping in your veins
with the shadowy night surround you;
forget the broken glass of college towns,
and the concrete displays it,
the grass hides it and
divides it,

Forget that much of this was once noble,
in its kind, and some is
today,
again,
and some merely drifting into a now-empty niche.

But… forget-me-nots,
and fountains will not play
upon the Mount,
it becomes harder, more workaday habit
to escape to that Olympus;

O Quo Vadimus?
O Where Are We Going?
Where has the question gone,
and what is this devil posing
in its place?

Goldfish

The magic and lithe light,
the chords of yellow,
dots of small light,
and bright light-catchers;
All of it consumed,
digested, made new,
made whole within me,
gave me goldfish fins,
appreciation of beauty;
Whose tears will fall,
evaporate, clean the world,
make it salty,
make it hurry to its death,
or to the well of the petty,
or to wondrous swimming souls.

Clicking tongues
and angry tongues
have before called me
an amazing boy,
an arrogant boy,
a prim and proper
distant goldfish,
breathing from the bubbles
in the deep dark heart
of a fish bowl’s water.
But I say there is a great machine
somewhere inside the center
which even I do not know,
that the angels hide in,
and bide their time in,
and resemble golden fish.

Handshakes and Cradles

Sweet babe in the imagined future world:

The cradle is your grave,
later, the handshake your slave.

You put upon the friends you
represent, pull apart the pill,
in bathwater, smoking still,
around the feather bed, around
the graves.

The handshake hands wash and
glide away, like a bird of somber
prey, pray your hands today
cradle may the grave be, your
handshakes stay slaves.

Represent your honor, knave;
pull apart the pill to the smoky,
undeniable scent, put upon yourself for
another day, another daughter,
another heart in handshake travelled…

…through the feathers, through the
handshakes, through the smoky,
sleeping, dreaming glade…

…your cradle,
slave.

Birchbark

Just how does time begin with song,
it’s speck expanding everlong?
And parser passes without weaping,
God the Sower wheel and leaping.

Assets are for loving’s grace,
and God with ever-simple face
shines in part on willow desk
for boards of birchbark in my chest,

Stacking, wrapping paper still,
then to climb the towering hill
to speak with man on top of it;
we enlightenment + get,

Rounding bend and corner gave
to live with me and further have
a friend, a magic spark of light
then alone to wayward night,

Where dark towers wheel and wing and whisper.

I Don’t Know

I don’t know glosses or feelings or crosses,
Or miles and miles of reading and reeds and fantastical things,
Or books or clauses or feelings or crosses,
Or mandibles, marks, bugs, or weeds,

Not tweed or bargains or top hats or slogans,
Not guns or steel or blasé Pa Jenkins,
Not his banjo or Soho,
Not rainy Sunday coves

I don’t know the weather,
I don’t know the clothes rows
I don’t know the glosses,
The crosses,
The echoes

Nor know them for fear
Or know them from wants
Or hats or Pa Jenkins
Or laying cross cots

Christ in the Murky White Woods

Bounds of eight white towers
with eight white waving cigarettes trees,
below them, clumps of three, green;
all of these, to find it:

No waiting while of culling,
burning famous mulled wine,
His sign, His arms are categorized
by the eight cigarette wounds thereon

And in court the martyr
tells he fought the Beast in eight-part martyr,
with his eyes unfocused and legs crossed,
marked, wiling away white hours,
smoking cigarettes on the rain-covered,
green-lit and -layered stoop

It’s ways
in part remembered just for
the fragrant scent of their long,
smokey tails unrolling, building forever,
misting the air and relieving it of sour, modern smells,
old and hanging well smells in a new-built place,
he says:

Remember me, my pretty, my failed and fragrant beauty,
Remember me, in part, in parting and in place,
Remember me, my loving, remember me in song, in face,
Remember me, the seventh, the strongest and the best,
Remember me with patience and with twenty cigarettes,
For a day will pass, and a day return,
the fall with not a broken back, and learn, and learn

The history is on the trees, you try to read it in the leaves,
you try to read it on the doors, in the pillars,
     page-covered floors,
you try to stretch out and absorb it, unfletch and unmoor it,
you try to feather grounds with arrows,
     just to see if they surround it,
you make a martyr of your chances, spend too many sevens,
you cover it, you swallow, you wait for next tomorrow,
you will find it, you will have it,
     your history is on the trees

It’s in the leaves, it’s in the wind, it’s in the trees,
to find it.

Word

Something said:
“That is more easily spoken
than lost, brothers.”

One word rises,
One word names,
One word replaces,

One Word remains the same,
takes wing,
says what words of other things

But something said
is something lost
is something gained.