Bread has been broken.
All along now fresh twists.
Wired to work all hours,
spin on toes and turntables
(the kind for cakes). I’ll take
my eye for symmetry:
4 roses on an 8 inch cake,
keep my taste in reserve
in 3’s, 5’s & multiples of 9,
Henry Pussycat arise!
5 & 7: the nearly human
and the heavenly. Add both
and you get Henry arched
between the two poles,
cats paw grip on 12,
utterance for every season.
Pain & jubilation for all occasions,
a rose companion in glory & decay,
taking spring & decline with a nod & bow.
Lives to the 9’s between the boards.
More varieties than Heinz,
the hairs in your beard
& general whiskers wink & fly
as the Pärt De Profundis overtook the wind
on that day you waved on the bridge
and set sail: your last poetic act.
And I hate like hell to say that,
it hurts to the bone, Henry,
this life that goes on kicking
Mr. Efficiency, his arms swing
up and back down without even any balm.
The work takes that, dishes out much more
to make a grown man hungry.
O, I’s hungry. Hungry & tired
old Bones, mixed among the cutlery,
instructions long gone, going on ingenuity
—each task, done countless times, an adventure.
He reels, takes in and reels.
One day it’ll all come undone.
1st there’s flowers, 2nd a speeding truck,
next meteorological exigencies & after that
some shit I can’t remember, 5th cigarette
& 5 too many. Today = 6 minutes shaved
off my life (in addition another dog day
scratch off). I only got 10 in me,
sorry Henry—master of 18, whiplash line.
You’d have gone past the 100’s, I’m sure,
a perfect form, not too fit, pliable
for expansions & many little deaths.
An albino of the soul runs Florida
while a snowbound man scraping by
on crackers & whatnot
googles “goiter” for fun
and gets Ann Coulter (what’s it mean, this life).
How long will we last after looking aslant,
owning a piece of the limestone?
Your secret sinks to the bottom
& what will rise in her place,
what new dreams sing?
In the river’s heart, effort loses
stride, a human life breaks lockstep,
living a dance off the margins
The heart knows but isn’t telling,
tries to be art but beats too regular
& isn’t believable (as odd charms in 7’s & 9’s).
A head between 2 hands murmurs,
Truth is irregular.
Spring, more a perhaps than a hand.
Though not necessary to dive deep,
it takes more than a toe test,
the whole green bag amongst the blossoms
(after submersion, before collapse)
—not to underestimate empathy—
bring on the groundhog already, anyway,
I understand nothing, forgive no one.
Take me in, you’ll have all of me & history,
thru open eyes, oozing freshness.
If Klee took a line for a walk
what did Pollock do? What do you do
in a room of electric eyes looking for a poet’s truth
before being cast down among the stubs
& it’s buttered toast? What’s needed: a modicum
of cooperation & you go home with dinner.
Before you know it daisies burst
through the oldest cracks, the poet’s eyeholes
open new views on the broad avenue,
accept any invitation to dance.
Dust blown off the old pastel box, I remember
my cell at the YMCA, the injunction to make a drawing
6X6. With nowhere to go, on top of myself, I invoked
The pastel dust fell to the bed as you took form
& I sang you through me.
Tho years drain dry and gray turns to white
your colors still break with a crack words
opening eyes & mouths to speak
dust to dust.