Philosophy, that schoolbook for princes,
Staggers down the steps
Drunk on citation and celibacy.
Preferred play-date of maidens,
Sips the sighs of fresh Love in the corner,
Pushing wine and dine on Reason.
Philosophy quaffs a stiff one
Before looking for a victim, a student;
It insults Kindness, sloshes gin on Grace,
Introduces Antithesis to Fun.
Even stooping to tell The Truth:
You're a fool! You're a fool!
And you. You're the worst of all!
Who, me? says Poetry, dropping a joint
On the floor, birds tumbling from sleeves.
A pretty blaze mauls the carpet.
Philosophy hacks on a bloom of skylarks
That form broken mirrors from ribboned wings.
Stop! I can't see…can't…breathe, it wheezes.
Who, me? cheeps Poetry.
for Federico Garcia Lorca, and Seth
The libraries where
Lawfully unwed women
Meet to fornicate
Froth in sadness
Beyond the naps of felines
A geronimo blue
Lifts its fanged maw
As a saintly hobo
Swaggers in the distance
The bassoons of herd dogs
Line the western winds
Dew scented wanders
Dazzle the moon purse
From a gullible sky
Wine men light firecrackers
Cackling into puddles
With cherry tongues
The glow behind the hill
Shouts to the sleeping
Neighing in the stables. And the man
mouths the words of the dead like an aspiring patriot.
Still, he angles a finger towards a cloud
and writes thirst. Then something
shuts him in a room with a candle.
Says, stay. Muscles picking at the lock
of the spirit. The summer day
long and haughty from that window-stare. Birds
and our insufficient names for birds. Swallow.
Cardinal. Direction. Throat. Quail.
The tongue conceiving flight.
Alexandra mucking the stalls, polishing
the bit. Desperately he invokes the Mother
for a long winter, for nights, till night comes.
I know him and slide a matchbook under the door.
Sometimes you are the angel
Who saves the children from the flood.
When no one else has stayed awake
Your vigil keeps the living blood.
Sometimes the tree is high enough,
With branches strong enough to last;
But the young only venture dawns
If at night you help them hold fast.
It comes towards us, even as we kiss.
I'd hoped to keep you ignorant of this,
But when you took me on that winter trail
In that dancing wood, where the snow and sunlight fell,
Before such sad beauty, my tongue was bound to fail.
Underneath your crumpled hood
I started sadly, still, I started to tell--
That was when, miracle!, you slayed the fearful spell
Of what is coming even as we mortals kiss,
Whispering—forget all that, we were made for this.
November comes, falls and flees,
Throwing colors at our feet.
They won't dance for me
But if asked, might show
Where they danced before
Whirling while I grieved
The years that I alone
Had need to bear and be
You left your necklace on the table.
I have no sight. I see.
Professionals don't love,
They let the anchors choose,
From their fog-filled channels,
The late heartbreaking news.
But I want to show thee
In time, what time can't keep.
Let's make our haste slowly,
And unload it for cheap.
If only I had the sense to shave
Off this thick archaic rime,
We could set verses free by a grave
Like a pie for dinner time.
So let them tell Splendor she is done,
For I have seen a mountain eat the sun,
And have taken as a sacred task to replace
Their learned theories with human grace.
If life seems odd,
You're learning to see
Bird shadows snugged
In the wind-stained tree
Where you hang this feeling
Of sleeping in a noose.
Do ash and autumn
Mix to any use?
The gold leaves burn
In backyards with you.
A bent branch reserves
A space for two,
Or anything at all,
Let her hands wake yours,
To let you choose you.