Friday, December 28, 2012

For Elizabeth Dagenhart

when the stars like claws
  and the night sky like someone else's secrecy
  and the city lights like false nature
  conspire to make beauty
when yesterday's pages of armed robbery
  and last night's phonecall of attempted rape
  and this closed car's best attempt
  to pollute planet earth to death
conspire to invent safety
  we know we're home

they come up on us like hydrophobia
  panhandlers turned muggers
  hunters turned predators
  hustlers turned rapists
your sense of safety like a dead bird in the gutter
no sophisticated victim

welcome home city of god
  remade with rapist's smile
         robber's claws
         murderer's scent for news
welcome   home
  that won't last
  without collapsing
that blesses us
  with our own blood
    only at certain points in our histories

from The Troubles (1993)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Steamer to Greece

in medusa
the seeds of pattering feet under the volcano of innocence
plowed under interplanetary foreheads' 
intimations of time bomb
soloed at la scala    presented the prince's pin
at the end of the time of the blueberry sandwich
the traded for a polar bear
declared at customs left the officer a harsh glare
which he took inside to sharpen his motorcycle
leaving her to a steamer to greece

she arrived steamed
nine-headed dogs hounded her feet
television sets glared from serpents' heads
the rock cafe where she ordered butterscotch
refused her babylonian money
she grew fat on a ranch with a one-eyed giant
watched her island shrink to respectability
adopted circe for establishment of ages future
then went to the caves     to her stay-at-home sisters

in medusa we have her two sisters
plowed under by the sharp motorcycle of babylonian money
nine-headed at the time of blueberry sandwiches
teeth declared and traded for a television set
medusa alone among them alive enough to die

from Twisted History (1999)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What Saw

art is large floors
brought to crowds and workshops

three exhibits attract films   seasons
art along influences

it was heart orphanage

yet another canonization

calamity of downtown royalty

survivor house

   and you must walk through the showroom
   grew up to be a new york journalist
   thousands of immigrants arrived
   i see their eyes   through eyes of my own
   the long deep line at the edge of the sea
   a young divorcee called civic duty

from Purgatorial (2004)