To begin ...

As the twentieth century fades out
the nineteenth begins
.......................................again
it is as if nothing happened
though those who lived it thought
that everything was happening
enough to name a world for & a time
to hold it in your hand
unlimited.......the last delusion
like the perfect mask of death

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Uncollected Poems (15): “Six Night Thoughts” and “Twelve Lunar Meditations”

SIX NIGHT THOUGHTS

1 A night for ponies

2 A night for peonies

3 A night for twisted papers

4 A night for stamps an angry clerk withholds

5 A night for sympathy

6 A night for being old


TWELVE LUNAR MEDITATIONS

1
a knife falls
in the water
grows a second knife

& over each knife
looms an eye –
my second eye trails off


2
life has spirit, death
has only chalk

with chalk a word
is written

but not by you


3
end it here,
the man says
as he puts his thumb on it

the thumb is raw,
behold,
the man is even now alone


4
easy sleep
easy rest

easier to be an animal
than not


5
DIRECTIONS

rub this side of the chain
against that side

how many years before
the chain rubs out?


6
after Nerval

like inserting two pictures
in a single viewer

(he writes)

then moving my hand as if
sketching my signature


7
death has a taste
after we hear of it

a man’s taste
or a woman’s

a child’s taste
or a cat’s


8
someone slips below the sod

the grass grows over him

as if someone has died,
but no one stops to ask


9
A FUTURE POETICS

with inspiration vanished
respiration took its place

is expiration next?


10
there is something
we like to hide

if not our tongues,
our eyes

if not our immortal souls,
our daily vices


11
A MESSAGE FOR THE CRUEL MAJORITY

they will punish the poor for being poor

they will punish the dead for having died


12
the spirit of the dead
means nothing


[These poems were recovered, along with numerous others, for Retrievals, a volume of Uncollected & New Poems 1955-2005, to be published later this year by Mark Weiss & Junction Press. Fourteen previous installments have appeared since 2008 on Poems & Poetics.]

1 comment:

donnafleischer said...

Your list poem is especially inspiring.