Friday, April 20, 2007

river man (quick shuffle)

I am not the river man,
I am not the green shadow
that moves on the banks
that baffles your eyes
at dusk, nor the hush
that stills the watchers
in the dark shallows.
I am only a distant gunshot
sounding at nightfall,
and the burst of one star
over the treetops.

I am not the slippery river man.
I am only the undercut clay
of the river's bend,
raked by hands that tried to rise
but slipped back, tried to rise
but drew back, succumbed
to the currents and the flood,
to the bend of night,
to the voice in the rushes,
to the voice
that called from downstream.

I am not the leaping river man.
I am only a mudstone
with a round hole
where the grass once grew,
a hole where something alive
once passed through.

I am the sifting of pebbles
and the song of night,
I am the eye in the riverbed
the spring and the sprite.

I am not that frog-eyed river man
who weaves the dawn in your heart,
who wraps you in blankets of fog
and tugs your tresses apart.

I am not the choking river man,
and I will sing no river songs
of far horizons as I pass you by.

I am not the river man
with his swirl of thunder.

I am no more the river man
with his ache that drags you under.

Monday, April 09, 2007

fragment of Auden

As I walked out one evening,

Walking down Bristol Street,

The crowds upon the pavement

Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river

I heard a lover sing

Under an arch of the railway:

Love has no ending.



You have to be dangerous, you
have to fix yourself, breathe in
intentionality, fixity of purpose
like a man sucking flame

through the nostrils, staunching
soft tissues. You will know
that it's you I'm talking to here,
not everyone, only jailbreakers,

criminals of the senses.
Yes, the static in your head,
the pain has to stop,
but don't think of freedom

here, pinned to this tree:
there is no freedom to hope for.
But there is the breathing in
of purpose, and the breathing out only

the extrusion of a silken span
dragline and capture
singing with little death


Breathe down, scoop cool
energy up from the earth
let it flood and draw down
heat from the stars

this is what we get,
this fervent shuffle

starlights fall from my fingers
batshit hits the floor

a reasonable substitute for a life
is what it sometimes


breathe deep,
wayward choker on moths,
here are new airways
for the nightflying
new paths new
flames to follow

more chimes here, a clocktower


This is a poem with no end
this is a thing pinned to a ledge
consuming itself, watching the night
flood by, snatching at the wind,

waiting forever
to catch its death,
waiting forever

to catch its breath.