Table of |
It’s time to read
and hear the backfire
of camaraderie & wine
at this late-night
all heart murmurs
whiskey & lipstick
to fill up
on Jesus, Mary & Jericho Brown
trinity of gospels
mouth to mouth
Though you are dead
almost 30 years
Only 6 months
a distance of sky miles
You would have loved their words
Samuel Ace & Gregg Shapiro
but your press
ink for blood
A thousand paper cuts
in my heart
If it is The Brick nobody seems to care.
Everybody on their way to all the places.
On the other hand they might care an awful lot
but having never seen The Brick don’t know it’s there—
off the sidewalk one day, out the jet window the next
and all locations The Brick might be if only it could be known.
The answer is beyond the town
where somebody is slopping mud into an oven.
But because the town runs on something
nobody ever leaves. Nobody wants to be the one
who ruins everything—
think of it—everyone piling things into the square,
and the smoke. The music going sour. Photographs spoiled.
Better to keep moving here to there and back
generating the juice to keep things going.
And while they all need The Brick
none are interested in seeing it
because what if it wasn’t The Brick?
Suddenly everyone having to deal with
What would they do?
Where would they go?
He Mows My Lawn
He mows my lawn in a clown suit this time. When he’s done he’ll leave without pay. That’s the ritual. The neighbors have stopped questioning me. Even Jones the dog next door sleeps through the ordeal now. But the first time he arrived eyebrows were raised, Jones erupted on his chain and I went out to query him. He wore a tuxedo that first time. I called the police. But he was back the next month in a yellow bikini strutting up and down the front yard at 9 a.m. Sometimes I think I know why he mows my lawn, but however sound my theory may appear on first thought, it falls apart like cold fusion explanations on the second. He does not rake the mulch and usually leaves a tuft or two still standing. The smell of fresh cut grass lingers into the afternoon. I think that’s how he’d like to be remembered.
Fourteen Compositions for a Female Chorus
(from the painting by Carlo Maria Mariani)
Chorus of women
each with warble & pitch
love the caged breathing of mares.
A girl leans precariously over the balcony,
her hair wild with sleep,
one bare foot all the rush of boys.
It is hard to define the wonder in the head
of a god hoisted off its shoulders with rope,
hung from the colonnade.
There is so little air up here it is hard to breathe.
Even the way light sets aside theory,
one walks away falling.
The question is why this butterfly is
painted so delicately. The dust of its wings
invokes pity from old cracked walls.
We imagine rooms in
the harp player’s hands
each with its own shadow.
Even where there is nothing but stone
the sopranos find water. High throats
open blue robes in shade.
The long rows of worn out tile
are days of tangerines & espresso,
old laughter sleeping in the length of it.
Something could fall forever from here.
A salmon-colored gown with evening
in its folds.
Beyond the door, we imagine a snake
because what reason would the door not
Long after they leave, one
stays with her arm around the
fluted column, a little red & looking out.
This place has happened before
at a time when they tried
but could not move their hands.
They stand in a circle
in which gravity fails for
just a bar of music.
Once when they believed,
they made girls from glittering dust
shaken from their hair.