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Collected Poems (2i)

August 8, 2018

from An Ordinary World: Section, “Normalities”

Les Fauves Aimables

Like slashing wrists
Beneath white neon stars
And blue cathedral spires
October claws the trees.

From freeze look down embattled eyes
On beggars soaping shields of cars
And veterans tending barrel fires
To still the scurry of wine-scented lice.

The blast and rattle of the last drive-bys
Fling panicky pigeons round the skies
And bring the unicorn to its knees
Too late: in telephone booth its lady snores.

Come dawn there flows a warming breeze
As if from doorways of a dozen bars
A dozen waitresses blew blessings
With the low-slung voltage of guitars.

Awaking in the morning mists
We’re treated to a glow of canvasses
Wet with the gift of carcasses
Created by the friendly beasts.

* * *

“mon coeur qui bat”

She looks up and I am foolishly
caught, staring. I smile unassumingly,
meet her gaze steadily across fiction
at good-riddance prices, as if to say
naturally, we are both human, or I
was abstractedly, absently, not at all,
actually, we’ve met before I think
surely, across friends or acquaintances
briefly or hunting their ice cube tray
mutually, standing in sun or in chill
at The Neighborhood Cinema recently,
probably, I’m being neighborly, this
moment certainly has nothing to do
with how lovely your hair or how simply
it falls from that pin, how it accents
your cheek, truly, stunningly, leopards
and pheasants and partridges, timelessly,
that’s how she looks away, knowingly,
she’s never seen me before and I’ll
never, not ever, mouth gaping foolishly,
mind scraping foolishly, heart breaking
foolishly, foolishly, foolishly, foolishly.

* * *

Nothing Special

After sitting for three hours
with my pen in hand, no poems
have appeared in my study.
But there’s a hole in the screen
that a digger wasp tips through
to watch me from the top of Ogata,
Zen for the West. Now it slides down
the spine and walks across the covers
of Selected Pound and Williams. Bly
leaps up onto the desk and gets
a stinger in his nose. Wu-Wei!

* * *

Old Woods

seed hoards spilling
from the cabinets
of oak

mouse rustle

autumn creaking

in the dry


splintery voices

leaf losses make

windows wide

eyes bleating

lamb in dog teeth

prism cuts cast

sunset shards

on paneled walls

bark darkening

frayed velvet blue

blood pooling upon


of old woods

at foot

belated flaxen

flame of infant

hair grasses

owl waking

rocking shadows


black stars

mouse shiver

under the dropped

leaves of the maple

changing table

skitter at the whisk

of dusky silk

up stairs

whisper of wings

softer than cotton

swaddle floating



of lemon



wild dog running

down a narrow hall

bare limbs


empty attic



bone leavings


glint of

lulled coral


* * *

One Thing


[After Kierkegaard: Purity of heart is to will one thing.]

[Pages (2h) and (2j). Page CP (1).]

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