Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Imagining Holly


         Blue thread
          hung from trousers,
        vestigial hems calling
              for shears.

    Mother stilled me
       and fell the errant

   White sheets cover
       the desk my brow
     shed its first


 Ash fell
   from a cigarette
 on an empty page.

 Her finger
   pressed it flush,
      smearing a dark trail
     sinuously down...

   A lock of Holly's hair,
   like Christ's face in clouds,
     was the word made.
                                                                      She wants
                                                                       clear windowed silence.
                                                                      She, rendered still.


 She sent the sun.     
  On its face                                                She is under the sign,
translated                                                         an order:
Michelangelo:                                              Please
"I blame the mistress                                        remember nothing.
   I was born to serve."                                    Simulacra, the Dead's liturgy,

Postmarked "Siena, 2013".                             Passed by sleeved
Siena eclipsed Lisbon.
The ships, dismasted,
    off shore.


Paula blew
  smoke from pursed lips
as we walked narrow streets
    stretching to shore

Where listless
gently rock
on sun-dipped

   Her ash fell to sand
  covering our wreathed path.                               She is the sign.
                                                                                  The world's chant:
                                                                                She, she, she, she, she
                                                                                      Passed by naked
      The lamp burned                                                                hands.
    low upon

Locks fade to ash.

     Like Holly's face
   in the creased photo
     adorning a staircase,
    accompanied by


Paula smothered the lamp
     and curled sinuous
      beneath sheets.

Lisbon mounted Siena,
     Our bodies, displaced,
   at Sea.


Smoke shot from
   creased lips
as I discard
  these pages.



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"Old Adorno"

"You have said my fortune shall be forty thousand crowns; this you would not scruple to pay down upon the nail to any old curmudgeon, deformed, abject monster that shall hit my mother's foible. For if she says it must be done, there's no remedy. We must both consent, though my eternal quiet is sacrificed to her capriccio. Such a one I'm informed she is in treaty with -- old Adorno, you know him, my dear papa -- but what are his large possessions to me? I shall ever hate him."

                        --- The New Atalantis, Volume Two, Delarivier Manley, 1709.