Not that crushed blood mountain night,
last, little memory, nothing to the high
moon's walk in the swamp, its neon cowboy
we saved, several worlds we blew up in song.
Her book told it sad & too long I listened,
molten slave on late night trains over high bridges,
why was this so? Music's sex & teeth remain!
They call it our wedding. Wings explode from
a crossed heart, the rude meat of those
gnarled hours gives over to hearts arriving ferocity.
No hour to king & coin without a slave's wince,
will you shake & sing true? No world endless
by men's simple, brutal reckonings. Will you
let dream raw tonight anew? No love which
does not break & bury & raise. Would you be
free as the green beneath your feet? Will you?
Little words, I meant them, let them go.
Each hour still glistens, on humility's prow.
Sweetest music passing, I mean to follow you.
Tis a perpetual cauldron boiling 'round
the heart, thicking quiver of grinding passions,
aching nebulae of tangled faiths, frantic
run of wresting desires, a soup hoarier
with any life's summing fractured hours,
churning with dreams of that last great burst
I water nothing & bear its growth as mark
upon my own. I break no rocks with my
arcing sweat to build up new. I sing
helpless with rushing black ink & wait the
words enough to crack this life of its rotted
shell, reach the root of its withering caterwauls.
Come high enough to breach its ever waxing shine.
What was that strand riffing you
years ago? Old city streets, their
evening flashes of blue, riled spring
lace & whole nights crumbled to a
bare moment's sparkle, its lovely idiot
remain. What can memory do but suffer
your wither, bear your fractured bonds,
lean you past mind's tangle to a rawer hue?
What higher living than among burs & beams?
Just look up! A freak's hunger for fruit made
this world, scattered things cohered into night
& tree. Now look down! An unknowing leap brings the
best song, faith roar greatest when belief but a tendril.
Swarming suns over sprinkling plains,
what yet hid below in the bent empty
house, some other year's bright, broken plan?
What mornings watch brown hills twist
with fire, slower hours drawn in lavender
dusk, dreams of cities depleted to a raw few
merchants of plastic moonlight & crumpled meat?
What looks toward where the traces fall,
wilderlands remain, rutless beasts bound free?
"Our only guide is our homesickness."
—Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf, 1929.
Sing yon blood-glow of moonlit ardor,
tonight's growling dream nearer our restless
fecund, & want better of time than its
brutal leavings, night's anxious wane through
daylight's familiar oncome, sudden a flash &
one set on by two, common wrong on a crawling street.
Sing & we deny trigger's cry as this world's
farthest truth, dare another way & later
come the numbers. More watches us kindly
than we know. Such the blind man & his
stick's snuffle down the street, warned by an
alley's breeze. A lost brother nods & remembers.
Sing while men divide the wilder lands into a
here & there, naming what they do not know,
missing the tongue of spark, of waver, of wane.
Soil will swallow the great wall & the ode's
reaching hand alike. All soaks empty in moonlight
upon its hour, climbs its beam, falls untold within.
Glance compelled & again by hard hips &
steaming metal, whipping rhythm & cries for
promises near or worlds buried. Every face
its name yet knowing fruits little. I remember
ragged nights, wet leaves blowing off the sill,
knee to knee with him, her, we, hearts twist
for warmth, high complex of matter. Wracked
blowings, seeming gone. A shine & a tale, seeming gone.
Dream a sun of flesh & flame,
its buried scent in my blood, its memories
how I watched breezes of daisies
in a half-moon's light, its given some
spectral new world I cannot imagine,
its home where desire at rest, smiling to stone.
I dream the cage within the cage
& humble pass in & out. The water
sparkles like kisses from a trusted
mate & yon smoky white god points
not up but around. A sore vow among
kind leaves remains: to sing & love.
What convincing to live in a men-hewn world,
coin's twist & bullet's bite, kings lord orchards &
direct vengeance, which small kindness beats back the bomb?
Crumble in every fist too, ancient kisses remembered & sung.
Call it God when the hour rests soft
upon your cheek, the faces laugh &
everyone kisses the stone pipe in great
fraternity. Call it God when sunlight
tips every heightless wood up there,
when the air itself weaves sugared
song through this hour rests softly
upon your cheek, faces touch &
withdraw through swathes of darkness
& call it God as familiar bed becks
with its sweetheart smiling through
your webs & chaff, knowing truer
the wreckage of your heart fine
& holy, alive, grateful, take her
hand, let life's glint of a dream
draw you pictures of the possible,
call it God as new day streaks
through them & something else reveals.
The wall of beggars longer every night,
nearer the sleep of merchants & preachers,
where heat & bread kept & counted, longer
every night, jungles flare, canyon rivers shout,
longer every night, books of belief prophesy
from the distance of tangled words, longer
every night, those whose dreams bite &
bite again, longer every night, soldiers
watch through cracks & speak low, the
wall of beggars longer every night,
more lose a mother, a heart, a shop,
a job, longer every night, the king
thickens his wall & smiles from ever
more afar, longer every night, feel
it, nearer you, eyes you cannot avoid,
drying mouths, hands clutching for the
same air you'd share, but is there enough?
Call it song but what do the days
call for? Lose in the pretty & call you
that a God? The wall of beggars longer
every night, low heads mask childish
memories, of sky, space, small kindnesses
by big strangers, longer every night & when
the whelm comes it will be those who
sided coin against heart, iron against
wood, army against soul, you will be
buried, forgotten, lost, mounds of brutaled limbs.
Between two shadows, up above a call
from one to another, & here drifting near
dream's moonlit curtain, look, there! Away!
Secret nebulae swept full into a
lost, light gesture, memory blood-foe
of every king. She smiled, called nearer.
Every petal a note, every note a face,
every face gentles into dream & slides
in with all, sugar's best sweet, a moment or more.
Halo shrouds the going & gone,
corona of great leaves about a
departing thing. What radiates describes
secrets born in all come & coming.
Arc of Ray
Trail fruits off many ways,
high & out & other, fronds & webs
blow back the wind, & the cross
between here & hereon is complete
to the savage, calm mind observing.
Gather the hour sweetly near,
surf piling diamonds on the green shore,
lone gull near & fed, far hills & the
elusive question we ask them. Wooden
totems scattered, sun & sea-hewn, wishes touched.
It was crush sun by sun, flaw &
distort & jerk. The grey building heaped
coin through wires & cracking blood.
Moons & truths gathered up to its door
& perhaps smiling I let a few pass in.
Some bastards won't break without breaking you too.
Something lost here, left back here,
come back here, years later, where
is it? Ratty kids yell gleeful high
from jacked wheels, cruisers drift
by watchful, there's where I sat
with a poorfolks sandwich & a book
urging higher by its tale of something
lost, left back, now here again &
what of it? Streets cross ghosts on
tracks & beat sleeping corners. Music
here still? The night won't tell,
just push along with humidity's
gnats, stars by pines by memories
unraveled, & know something lost
here, blinking traffic light spots an
old Sunday paper, left back here,
four youths scream for their best hours,
come back here, finally. Nothing here, nothing here.
What of the past? How it sticks,
how a guru, how it betrays. Remember
everything, but lightly. Feel its flutter.
Know its pierce. Morning come, now breathe,
relax. Beck the new hour with all you will.
Among lorn faces want for balance,
its high & lower strums, sun's assured
arc into dream's pushing ripples. Grit
of memory in every seam, faster swim
strangely follows lesser, & on, now all
rests in a mold of memory. Fury, waver.
Fragrance of want in a night
wracked & blue, what hardly smolders
secret, flesh's godly cry for taking,
what blows countless by raw second & century.
What cross between humble & thrust
will blow out the great green sparkles,
will bring a properity's shimmer near &
worth swinging & suffering for? Faces tangle
between wish & want, hunger swarms by
noon, the night eats every weak impulse blood & bone.
When blood knows not blood, when fists
gird squalling streams & manless acres,
when the common high is crushing another's
path with scythe of coins, run, stumble, &
run again. Nightmares plenty await for every
laughing vengeance, mirthful stories of ruin by tavern's blur.
Longing not a ceaseless in same
waters, more a doe among ferns &
away, a cloud's violent hour & the night
cooler for dreams, a memory hooked around
tight, an else, a nothing, an all. A face
explains, the moon shines smart & detached.
Two walk among vines & swamp, everything
listens as they speak nearer to the core
burn, raw smolder within. "He meant it.
I wish I'd believed him." "They took the
rest. I remember everything." Tell it all &
what left but infinite remain?
I don't know any of you now or ever.
Is this chasm mine or ours or everyone's?
Touch tries, & for a passage there is calm
& common. A song cracks the worst of it,
laughter bites in tandem, hope blurs up, sharpens,
leaves in this grove seem a loving shade of green.
Can it? Maybe? Again the unclench tonight
into dreams where why & nonsense dance their lesson.
Romance the hard rhythms & reck the
change, conjure from the brightest of small
fingers, & something lost in wide, bracing nights,
raise it by scalpel & song for what affronts,
when someone says the war is endless,
reply that peace is longer. Love is great & small.
Dream that man's death tonight, be a
welcome the world forgets to bestow,
there was kindness, there was water,
there were prayers & kisses, he wondered
about sky & soil, & reck how bullets
stripe fruits & no better. Reck how kings
wish for rows & silence. Reck how preachers
keep God safe in books & under rooves.
Dream that man's death so that he
does not die alone, be his carpet, be
his flower, will him an after for the
pain of his end & for the child who
roared because every hour was still to come.
Find God in your dear forgotten hour,
among shadows & scarves, the news
of despair by numbers, there, trembling,
not a shape for music or wish, closer,
less clinging than a feeling, not hardly
a thought, there, that juice, bare, spiced wisp.