A PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

“Be afraid of nothing.” ― Oscar Wilde

Faces facing faces
in mirrors facing mirrors
along the walls
and down the halls
of some Augean Stable

on the other side
of here and there
and now and then

bouncing on the lap
of Morpheus
in a birthday suit.

And Persephone in drag.

SILENCES

“My poetry builds on process, not content.” ~L.G. Corey

There is silence
in the voice,

even in the mouth
speaking the silence

and the tongue of the mouth
molding the silence of the voice
on the palette of the tongue.

Words are the beginnings
and the endings of the voice
heard by ears that hear
and eyes that see

what eyes have never seen,
and ears have never heard
from the disfigured sapling
growing up before us:

the voice.
the silent voice.
spoken yet unspoken
by the silent ground

from which the voice of Able
cries out to a deaf God
for whom he listens silently,

buried in the silent ground..
7.25.2016

A DETACHMENT

Nothing sticks.
Nothing holds.
.
Everything is falling.
.
Pictures from the wall.
Tea cups from the hand.
.
Falling down, all falling down,
they all fall down
from walls, from hands,
.
(from clumsy hands)
.
they all fall down
on the wings of a bird,
the wings of a fly,
.
a snapped branch
and a crown of laurel
.
from the shaved head
of the fallen hero.

REPRISE

move. moved.
moving moved

the ball rolls, rolls,
gathers moss,

rolling down,
rolling over
the clover.

again! again!

do it again!
do it again!

rolling over
in the clover.

do it again!

 

INERTIA

“I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!” – White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland

bus stops.
clock stops.
tide stops.

stopping but
not starting,
not resuming.

(the peanut butter jar is empty.)

black upon black;
white upon white;
the pages are blank,
the book sealed.

but a voice calls out
from between its covers:

Read me!
You have not read me!

ANCIENT AIRS & DANCES

“You are old, Father William, the young man said.” ~Lewis Carrol
.
old man. old man.
you are old, old man.
.
old and older.
older than order.
.
older than
the dirt under your fingernails.
.
older than
the bowels of Christ.
.
older than
your hands, your feet,
.
your going out and coming in,
your footprints in the sands of time.
your sleeping and waking
.
and the dreams between
such waking and sleeping
.
when the alarm clock carillons
an old, old tune taken
from the days of old,
.
no longer new.
.
7.14.16

 

 

HOPSCOTCH

a circle converges into a dot
at the center of a cyclone where
it doesn’t feel like Kansas any more
.
nor East of Eden
or West of Wyoming
and the deep rich taste
of a Marlboro cigarette
inhaled with the deep, dark dust
of the cattle drive
.
from the circumference of the circle
to its center just one last time,
one last Loony Tune,
one last kiss and then,
.
goodnight.
.
7.11.16

DICK & JANE

See the old man,
see the old man run.

See the old woman,
see the old woman run.

And Spot,
see Spot run.

See spot run
to greet the man,
to greet the woman

who meet
to say goodbye

by the fading light
of the setting sun.

7.7.2016

ANOTHER’S TRASH

Snuffed out cigarette butts
float along the River Styx,
out to the Dead Sea
and a salty grave.

No deposit no return.

Protected from the fire
of Third-on-a-Match
by Coppertone,
mothers bury their children
deep in the sand of past mistakes
and tomorrow’s tickles

while we, wearing other faces,
collect empty bottles
from some Aegean shore
for pocket money.

Beer and cigarettes.

.
7.6.2016

REVELLIE

Angels

going up and
coming down
the ladder
outside my bedroom window

make a sound,
a sound like starlings
swarming at my bedroom window,
beating at my bedroom window,
falling to the ground
beneath my bedroom window.

Angels falling to the ground
beneath my bedroom window
make a sound like
peacocks in the morning,
or a seagull lost at sea

in the morning