where the old road curls into pale blue sky
where rock and pine distill a blurred horizon
backs bend and are divided into valleys
glorified in a field of flags
the Tyrant marches in tight ranks
spells out MOTHER, DIGNITY, FORCE
the story goes like this:
only a hungry ear, a mouth
law speaks in quivers, whips
line by line months break
(here is no child’s game)
incessant in smiles the Tyrant governs
a fist of furrows, knobbed, arthritic
—No peasants, no sepulchres, no bones. A tower, open-mouthed, with no one above its crater.
—No soil that speaks of living, no deity that trains the dying.
—Ruins of a luxury hotel wither two hundred years in the fields. Such is a hospitality of vestiges. Such is finesse. The lastingness.
—Fearful of fevers, no one enters.
—In such peasantless fields, wounds gape uninhabited.
A deserted city. We’ll have to imagine
it’s in a movie. Beneath a listless dome, walls
crumble into backlit dust. Flames on a hillside swarm,
tattered auburn fishes in the autumn wind. Glints of dying
light fall on unmoored mountains whose thoughts of home
come to nothing. Everywhere, flocks of matter dip pale snouts
into inky ponds. We’ll have to imagine someone watching
that movie. No one left to forget irrelevant seeds. Some left off
praying to the mother of a tarnished idol presiding over a flock
of angels, breath attended by golden lice. Others
paused long enough to view dusk’s leisurely descent
over the white noise of crashing surf. All found something
to swear by before it was too late. Photogenic dullards jazzed
in the waning light. A ship’s captain jingled his coins
before staving in the ship. Embers in a hearth
illuminated fish bones on plates.
Sonnets and Looms are available from the following vendors:
Glib spice announces the news bleeding
in the monochromatic distance. The short-term
memory of distance flees in fear. Enemies
fall, money flees. Falling gloom dazzles just
as history taught it to. Not the history of stars
made of tumbleweed nor the annals of a dust mote
singing rich disaster. Masoch was never so rich,
or so it seems to each geological layer. No
notebook records a pocket of posies between thick
layers of ash. It just is, caught in a small pocket
of time. “Time to return to star,” announces
tumbleweed on the news. The news shrinks
to a speck of pollen on a posy’s anther
in a pocket caught between thick layers of ash.
Sonnets and Looms are available here:
From a helicopter at night, an aerial
view of a city. In the dark, gigantic
iron statues loom with an ominous
aura of permanence. The people
who live in the city obsess
about the possibility of doomsday
erupting among their soaring
buildings and effigies. Of the end
they’ve made a fetish, chatting
about it at cocktail parties as if
it were the latest vogue. They believe
that it could happen at any moment,
so they no longer bother
to make their beds in the morning.
Martha Nichols, one of the editors, recently approached me about writing an illustrated essay about what it’s like to work in three disciplines: poetry, collage, and music.
I invite you to have a look at the resulting featured spread in Talking Writing and to explore the rest of the issue, which will be added to during the next few weeks.
Click the image below to view my collages and essay:
In his review, rob generously included a couple of poems from the book. If you’d like to read more from Looms, you can order a copy at the following vendors (click to link):