SHAPES SHIFTING

       “And I must borrow every changing shape.” ~T.S. Eliot

A litany of shoes and socks
fills the laundry basket
perched upon a tree branch
like some hungry blackbird.

The kitchen floor is sticky
with last night’s love-making
and the air, thick with god
at his final moments
in the world-to-come.

Lilacs fill the empty sink,
as they did her hair
in their last goodbye.

And the chair she sat in,
like a burnt-out throne,
sits no more.

 

RESURRECTION

       For the Catfish

Your mouth, inside,
is like the Holy Grail
filled with blood of Christ
when you kiss my thigh.

Your fingertips
are like the nails
that nailed him to the cross
when you touch my belly.

Your tongue
is like the sponge
of vinegar and water
when it soaks my mouth.

Oh yes. I rise.
Like Lazarus
from the grave,

or Christ from the cross.

CHILD’S PLAY

Lilith threads her needle
from a stack of pins and needles
in the attic of my house.

And the merry-go-round goes round,
and the Catherine wheel goes round,
and the Manticore goes round

and round and round

a mulberry bush, a prickly pear,
and a dizzy dreidle spinning on the ground
beneath my feet just East of Eden
and a thrown stone skipping to my loo,

my darling. .

OTHER FACES

          “We have lingered in the chambers of the sea.” ~ Prufrock (Line 129)

“There are no sounds in here,
neither sights nor sighs,
nor cockle shells or silver bells,”

they say.

And I listen
with one ear to the ground,
the other (pierced
with pins and needles)

reaching to the moon
beyond the music
and the mirror,
and the eyes of god
searching for their face.

Or at least their socket.

“We who are about to die salute you,”
say the condemned stars
to the black holes
into which they’re being flicked
by the dirty hand of god

dancing on the brink of dying,
dancing on the graves of infants,
dancing, dancing, dancing
to the piper dancing

at the Gates of Dawn.

AN AWAKENING OF STONES

Awakening stones; shuffling rocks;
and above them all:
clocks. clocks. clocks.

And we who have no time,
are out of time
time after time,
for whom past and present
have neither rhyme
nor reason,
nor season of the year,
but only this unreasonable fear
of touching –

we know nothing.

But the stones know;
the rocks know;
the clocks know
what we do not
and never will:

be still.

“MISTUH KURTZ, HE DEAD”

A cinder in my eye,
and I remember God.

The hand across my mouth,
the skewer through my feet.

A wood chip on my shoulder,
and a scapegoat in the bushes.

I remember.

I remember last December,
or was it April? I forget.
No matter. I remember.
Or will, when this forgetting stops.

Wheels within wheels
and dancing bones
rising from the kitchen floor

again.

These bones shall rise again,
shall dance again,
shall leave a trail of marrow on the floor.,
shall stumble out the door
and down the double helix,
down the elevator shaft,

down, down, down

the elevator shaft, the double helix,
down the throat of Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
a feast of marrow bones.

Yes. Now I remember.
There were cinders in my eyes
and God between my legs,
and spittle on my chin
and you shouting,

“Little pig, little pig, let me come in!”

WAITING IN MOTION

A dung beetle rolls the sun
across the bedroom floor;

scorpions scuttle on little feet
across the roof;

yet, we have no proof of God
other than a wristwatch,
ticking on the nightstand,

beside a set of dentures
soaking in a glass of water.

And it would make no difference,
even if there were,

even if there were,
it would make no difference;

the same old game
(but on a different nightstand) —

brother Cain screwing
brother Abel’s wife
(their sister)
in a field of mandrakes.

This, too, will pass.
This discomfiture will pass.

It will pass from bang to whimper,
from gate to gate.

So, relax. There is no hurry.
The scorpions are patient.

They can wait,

Only the dung beetles
scatter and scurry
impatiently across the floor,

impatiently from gate to gate.

LATE AFTERNOON

Ravens peck
at children’s feet
and the breadcrumbs
on their faces,
their hands,
and the corners of their mouths.

And follow, follow —
follow their dreams,
follow their footprints,

their faces, their hands
scattering breadcrumbs,
scattering ashes,

skimming stones
across the surface
of a grotty pond.

NOCTURNAL

          “Another dream poem, written in my sleep.” ~LGC

My left hand
casts a shadow
on my face,

the wall,
the ceiling, and
the moon.

Rips out its eyes.
Unbolts its mouth.
Cuts out its tongue.

And kisses God
goodnight.

MOTHER GANGA

          In memory of Swahananda

Ghosts

sit on the banks of the Ganges,
waiting their turn to mount the corpses
floating like bread upon the waters,

like logs of shit, like offal

sinking to the bottom
where the bottom-feeders feed
on shredded epidermis and flakes of dandruff

from the terrible head of Shiva.