Elaboration of a Theme

After Duffy

                                                                                    [1. INITIATION
Pass on, broken brother, into the ribbonlight
                                    Of the garden
Where the pumpkins are slouching wetly
                                    Under the wall
And prepare your thoughts with your hands,
                                    And let morning
Riddle your slow speech with its subtlety
                                    Until you come to,
And are ready to return us your intelligence
                                    And take this cup.]

            There’s no reason to believe the world began,
            And yet we believe it.
            There’s no reason to believe Napoleon gone,
            And yet we insist.
            Time twists in the washing of the muddy tide.
            Love lists, ragged,
            To one bunched and broken side.
            Magic fades out;
            The pews are chopped and burned,
            The organ crunches
            Into the bestial vestry, dismantled, smelted.
            A woolly word and
            A bright and sparkling beer. I feel better!
            It was a stupid funeral.
            Was it yours, mine? No? Sally on, sally on!
            Run-a-bun. Rub-a-dub.
            Chenapan. After all, his words live.

                                                                                    [2. PASSAGE
Ricochet!                   Chacun!
                        Blast infinities through infinities!
            Trough the whale-sound curves of the galaxy’s wave!
                                    Immaculate macules of massive mana!
            Rama Krishna Anna Karenina!
Lama mama banana!                     Hubba hubba!
Love!              Love!                                      Dove! …]

                                          The water was white, blue, green;
                                          The idea expressed by the water
                                          Was uncertain, long, and clean;
                                          Love was in the water, electric
                                          And everywhere, flashing in the tails
                                          That ran in minuet over the surfaces
                                          Of every facet of everything;
Nothing undone, but done,
Nothing moving, nothing still,
A graveyard of dancing,
A hospital of athletics,
A saturation of depleted expectation;
Mothers giving birth to mothers,
Handrails of fire leading to moons,
Throat-harps of the great baleens
Humming the basso of invitation;
Motherlethe. Lovermeth. Hover.
Shibolleth.                                                                Silhouettes of great lovers born
                                                                                    Out of the heads of goats
“Insincerity the Clown”                                       Silhouettes of Olympian deities
Performing Albee without                                  Born out of the herds of ghosts;
Makeup. Chekhov’s Three Sisters fight,                          The boat floats.
Then make up. The director is right.                               Life is to eat toast.
We need a shake-up. Rake’s
Progress plays for sobs.A musical leviathan
Is slowly dissecting and eating Hobbes.
The blood-ghoul puts back everything
That the guts-ghoul robs.
                                                                                                    Love is folly
                                                                                                    And death joy.
                                                                                                    Will you love
                                                                                                    What you destroy?


                                                                                                    [3. STASIS
Dreaming in blue through
Worlds of thought, taut
Filament spun in a blue
Infinity of associations, stations
In the night of dream, screens
Tilted as the train passes, ashes
Of sleep in Friday eyes, wise
Bodhisattvas capturing bounty, fountain
Of words into the stream: dream.]


When they carried him out of the church,
There was a word hanging from his mouth
Like a shred of salad neglected by a correcting fork.
I will not cite the word, but it is a present participle,
Or at need an adjective, uneuphemistic,
Beginning with an F. He did not complete the phrase,
Produce the referent. One might imagine that,
In an effort to appelle the universe by some means
Other than by the reproduction of our earthly names,
A stale sport for schoolboys,
He sought a more universal tongue, a follolalli,
Harry Christmas, Gumbo Deluxe:
                                        A jumbo mouth-noun
To fit us all, Jonases, in, and swallow us in obscenity.
But he couldn’t pronounce it, and his rage,
A futtering fountain, rattled its loose calumny
In the back of the throat like one more dying thing.


                                                                                    [4. CATALEPSIS
                                    Long song;
                                    Sing. Wing,
                                    High sky,
                                    Field feels like
                                    Rolling. Swollen,
                                    Short, tough
                                    Thought: love
                                    Runs. Hunger
                                    Under suns,
                                    Wrong one.
                                    Life a waste
                                    Last pass.
                                    Wisteria.                                                       ]


            In every loving heart
There is a place of light
            Where the sound and sense start
And the words come right.

            In every silent thought
We find mystic points, as
            The errors are caught
And the truth annoints us:

            We cannot know grace,
Or feel its warmth: we are alone.
            But in its place
We have, and always will,
                        What our hearts have grown.

                                                                                [5. RESOLUTION
                                                          Sully not my body,
                                            Wide-winged water!
                                   I am not your lover,
                        I am your daughter!
            Bear me on, singer of light!
I sleep in your green forest, I love your night!

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