NEW YEAR’S EVE BEDTIME TALE

“In the great green room. . . . “  ~ Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon

gone.
all gone.

gone with the cookies.
gone with the milk.

gone.

where have they gone,
these guests of the house?
where have they gone,
the smoke and the mirrors?

gone   gone   gone

gone to the other side.
gone far away.
far, far away.

goodbye stars
goodbye air
goodbye nighttime noises,

everywhere

~December 31, 2015

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STICHES IN TIME

Mustard seeds.
Mountains of ant hills.
Ant hills of mountains.

coming  going  returning

like the bear in spring,
or hunger in the belly.
or an old love in the sheets.

There is no end to such beginnings,
nor beginnings in such ends,

but only the vacuum of a circle
surrounding triangle and square
and a mound of mustard seeds

in its center.
.
~ December 30, 2015

DANSE MACABRE

Everything converges
at the point of nothing,

decanted into nothing,
evaporating into nothing

like dishwater,
or a redolent sweat,
or a vintage wine.

Everything is something
becoming nothing

in a black hole
in the black sky
of a dark night

where the Devil dances
with Lillith under the moon,

greased with its light.

~December 27, 2015

LANDSCAPE, WITH FRUIT

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” ~ Percy Bysshe Shelly, “Ozymandias”

The hidden structures
of water

are coming apart

in the coriolis effect
of a flushing toilet
somewhere
in the emerald city of Oz.

Trees are ripe with children
hanging like giggling fruit
from aging branches
breaking under the weight
of their fruit and their aging

and the tears of mothers crying,
“lost. lost. lost.”

Are we there yet?”
the birds call
to the falling children.

“Not yet. Not yet.”
the children reply.

“But the ground is waiting!”
shout the leaves of grass
under this book being written

by an inkless pen
in an infirm hand,

waiting for rain.

~December 25, 2015

REMEMBERING JOHN JACOB NILES

“The one of them said to his mate / Where shall we our breakefast take? / with a down derrie, derrie, downe, downe.”  ~”The Three Ravens,” Traditional Folksong

Undone strings
around an undone sleeper,

under and over
three ravens in a tree.

But what is that to you,
my lad?

And what is that
to me?

~December 24, 2015

ENTRANCES & EXITS

“Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you everlasting doors,” (Psalm 24:9)

what is closed
shall be opened.

what is opened
shall be entered.

doors, windows,
closets, caves –

all shall be
opened and entered

by clocks
and by candles

and bleeding feet,
bleeding ground,

into the opened,
out of the closed,

past all time,
past all

passing.

~ December 22, 2015

LAST WORDS

“. . . . it is done.”  (John 19:30)

Headless chickens,
faceless gods,
empty caves.

The child is coming.

Wrapped in muslin,
carried by condors,

the child is coming.

The faceless gods,
the headless chickens

are coming
are running
are filling the cave,

the empty cave,

with bread from the ground,
with night earth, night offal,
and the moans of stones
crumbling to sand

in the hand of the master,
shouting:

Lift up your heads,
you everlasting doors!

Fling open your doors
you everlasting caves!

Glory
to the Stones!

Glory
to the Sand!

Glory
to the Everlasting Hand!

~December 20, 2015

ULYSSES ON THE TOWN

“…yes I said yes I will Yes.” ― James Joyce, Ulysses

words dropping
from the page
like hands dropping
from a book

of Kells in Dublin city

where blooms the
yes, yes, yeses
of clitoral iterations

by the one-eyed man

banging on a tavern door
in Dublin town,
in Dublin city

(where the girl inside
is so wet, so pretty)

at 4 a.m. in the morning.

HOMAGE TO GERTRUDE & ALICE: A Pastiche

A wall is a wall
is a wall

until it’s
a pile of rubble
on the ground

like pigeons
on the grass.

Alas

for the pigeons
no longer on the grass,

but gone with the saints
on the stage, in four acts.

“Pass the brownies,”

Gertrude said to Alice
(in italics)
as they all fell up
the flight of stairs

in single file

to bid adieu
to Lucy Church,

amiably.

~December 17, 2015