to the window.
it folded & shrank.
quietly, & without warning
them, night leaked into the
room, into the 'idea' of the group.
how easy it is to lie
to you. what a soft
lie your silence is.
she moved closer
to the window. night
shifted & sank.
From The Floating Bear No 13 (1961)
I hear shots.
It’s the wind, I say.
Then, loud murmurs.
Surely the fountain below my room.
The moon is a bruised fist tonight.
It has obliterated the stars.
I sleepwalk across the tiny island
to you, mi Hombre Sin Miedo,
my stony love.
It’s dark and the padre in the chapel
with his missing arm and chipped toes
is soaked in yellow holy halo.
But you mi amor, my lichen-crusted
beloved, stand against this moon-lit wall,
eyes sewn to the sea. Such sadness
in the curve of your spine, the tilt of your neck.
Does the smell of death still reek
through the crevices of this blood-stained wall?
Do the cries of men in Franco’s blizzard of lead
still echo in the chiseled chambers of these ears?
Here are my eyelashes.
Take them in your lips.
Here is my forehead.
Let it rest on your chin.
Here is my tongue.
Something behind the wall shudders and
the ancient oak. Leaves flutter and rain.
We kiss like ghosts.
Night, night, night. And the shadows
That wane talk to us. The music rounds
Up, exempt from history. It’s an endless
Canceling out of divinity, ready to speak
Again, saying, I am here. I’d call it endless,
Endless. What is stripped of its mortality
Goes on like a soldier to war. But we can’t
Do that, not really. Instead, we balance
On the head of a pin with the angels. I’ve
Spent hours lettering the borders of this
World. My cohorts, I don’t believe the laments
About leaving our lives, but I do believe it
That there is elegy, as green as grass. Nothing’s
Touching me anymore, and the spring rain Is peace.
Ten trees are the things that you find when you are walking alone
He said that calm is what we wanted and that was all that I remembered
The devil is when you meet someone meaner than you
But what if you are at the cruelest point of humanity and that doesn’t happen
Are you disappointed in spring and that it wasn’t what you expected
When you let go of life with a thud
When it was really your patience that did you in
Trees can be named by their leaves or their bark
And when you happen upon a tree in the memory of your childhood
Maybe then it seems pretty important
I had one such tree or I should say I do have
It was so enormous then and now with its thick bark
I never named it and of course it’s gone by now
It’s too late for me to have this sort of moment with it
And isn’t it the self that is the hardest to write about
Isn’t it harder to be more than they thought you could be when they planned you
When you lived for so long
And then you thought you were a good person
Or that you were completely aware of what you were doing and you thought this is it
When people say the sun gives us everything maybe they aren’t thinking that hard
Certainly the sun couldn’t be more important but I don’t see it anymore
When they said I only had to be myself that’s just not what they meant at all
I kept going on, begging for anyone to save me
But by that late age I realized these were silly dreams
I was so big when I was born no one knew what to do with me
They gave me a name but it’s too late for that
I just want to be saved but by whom and why should they
When you meet the devil in the dream he’s usually the person who is meaner than you
If you are very mean you will only recognize him as the thing in the mirror
When they say be prepared for anything they really don’t mean that
They will be watching if you are but also they don’t care if you are or you aren’t
No one cares if you have a memory of the tree of your childhood
And what it looks like and what it was to you
When you die all of that tree will be dissolved into something like a peril
When people in your life die you can say for the rest of your life that’s my angel
But maybe if it had been the other way around
You wouldn’t be so eager about all of that nomenclature
When someone says bring me to the body of water they really mean they are in love with you
When she met me she wasn’t so sure it was me but I was sure
When you meet yourself in the dream you are usually the one that is meaner than you
But really it takes a while to realize you aren’t mean at all you are very kind
And you can be kind again
It’s just that easy!
When you reach the body of water in the dream all you have to do is jump right in
Don’t think about your body being all in there and what the slick feeling will be like
Only think I only have this one time to do this so I better do this right
When it’s your turn to turn around and see who has been waiting
You better be wearing a tiny locket and have in it a picture of your mother
Otherwise no one will know where to place you
When you meet your mother in the dream she will be the one who is nicer than you
And she will smile and smile the meaner you get
When I thought about all of those things one afternoon
When I met the devil in the dream
Then about how he had left seemingly so suddenly
I’d rather we’d have had an opportunity to talk more
Now he was my angel for all eternity but I’d rather it had been me
No I don’t mean that but I mean I’d rather we’d have gone to lunch
Instead of how it all turned out this way
They say the hardest part about writing about the self is that the self is writing it
When you meet the hardest part in the dream it will be about growing old
I promise you
The devil is right about everything and he is never rusty
No he is metal thru and thru and so shiny
When you meet the very bad statue in the dream
You will be inclined to think it’s the devil
No instead it’s yourself and you should probably be scared of it
There’s life and then there’s life
When you meet the metal devil in the dream
You will be tempted to say that’s me
But in general things don’t work that way and you should get used to it
When you go on a walk, find the ten trees that are the most beautiful to you
If they don’t have names yet, name them
You are connected to trees in ways you will never fully realize
When you meet the tree in the dream you will be almost sure that’s the devil
But no instead it will be you
Standing tall and proud
All of these years
In spite of everything