You have devoured the pheasant
and now you sweep your desk
with its blue tail feather.
So you didn’t write back
to your friend in dark need.
Of his own intricate making.
You get tired of talking to it.
The browner fields that lay wet all winter,
When you can’t not think of their bones,
There is really nothing in there,
Chunks, pried ice more than anything,
Maybe a few Gordian knots of roots,
The leftovers of the salad days,
They’re only here to be looked on.
It is and isn’t like a body laid open
By surgeons on a metal table.
The love knots and their strangulations
Of the anticipative past
You could display
As natural forms, as art.
Some of those look Gaelic.
They make for sexy tattoos of constancy,
The only real human threat.
The passivity of that earth,
strange as if it were a ring of Saturn,
why does it soothe you driving past?
Your soul is a photosynthesis of darkness.
The largeness of small chemicals
Should not be underestimated.
The smell of language’s chemicals,
How you use them to char the images
That float in the dark bath.
The swipe of your hand
Using the blue feather
In a lightless room,
Jabbing at furious dark and future dust,
Maybe this is really you.
It darkens the dust almost like an apology.
The world is in two pieces: you and it.
This wound into two is done.
The mouth suddenly closes.
The heart skips a beat of iron.
The blue feather commands your attention.
Your friend is gone into.
It does its little blue sutra.
You want to stand at the river’s head
And then stand at its ankles
If you want to know
Who it really is
The sort of dirty tricks
It plays all its life
The mud in its heart
becomes more itself
It flows relentless
because heeded less
the sense of cold
of the water
beginning to speak
cold taken apart
The sense of a river
of its source
a terror thing
as the yawn
widens the mouth
of the river
where no one
stands or looks
where no body is
since they are all
In another room
It is only
a clear glass
as the fish
in the river
This pebble does not even wake at morning
There is no need for it to even know
When the arc of the heavens comes up over it
When dawn rides up with her rosy hood
There is a sweeping sense of existence
For those who rise and look out windows
The pebble that rests on the street
It is as real as you or I or any president
But it cannot care that it is real
Is it more or less true than us?
Granted, it always was exactly what it was
It didn’t vacillate the way we do
Oh, there were tiny erosions
But we wouldn’t know
So we mock it and say “unreal”
Because it never changes so much
Nobody could ever even know to endear
The way we fall in love with the inconstancies
The word is spoken as an accusation
Spoken as a term of endearment
It may be bafflement or certainty
There is suddenly the feeling of direction
We know which way to look now
It’s a feeling of symmetry or asymmetry
It can be very exciting
In fact it is galvanizing
To suddenly know which is the one
By which we know we are and are not
We have come to see the name of an old man
His name in a very old place
It is raining here it doesn’t matter
Our fingers go to the memory shape
As if they could feed on stone
This is the sort of translation
He did all his life
Those people who think it is their duty
To cease to exist for the rest of us
Whether very old or very young
They are like drawings blown through the snow
When the winter comes up to one’s house
I feel their existence constantly
Creases in my being
Everything about us is paper
We are here to be recorded on
I feel their existence constantly
Green light at the empty intersection
When there are no cars there
Growing light and breaking up again
As the seconds in a clock
They do away with themselves
And their names blow after them
They make me very sad because I understand
I try to hold them by the fistful
But it is like snow in the warmth of a fist
It is like the green light of the intersection
Where there are no cars and the snow blows through
Bright and scintillating and light
As if to show off
How easy it is to be nothing
But a sense of light
Blowing through the eyes of others
Never again agreeing or disagreeing
It is hard to see through those blinds
The way the hands are always trying to see
Through the fingertips
Maybe it opens on an alley
Another narrowness of experience
But maybe it opens like the snow around a streetlight
When you are looking up at night
The immense chrysanthemum of snow
And there is the sting of it in your eyes
Which open wider nonetheless
As if to punish you
All the times you unheld something
I believe that is the word
I mean letting go
It is like the bones of your hand
It’s merely structure
It’s like a piano being a piano
No apology is necessary
But you believe you have angel wings, don’t you?
So your apologies are gigantic ones
Like the winds stirred up by your wings
When you are upset and they flutter wildly
You feel there should be a groan in ice
Even in the ice of outer space
Of your feelings
You think you are a special form of earth
You suppose you are different from dirty water or hard winds
All because you have a name and a front door
And these feel like solid things
Those two things you must perforce defend
I, myself, am just a guillotine
Alone but not lonely
And lonely but not alone
And only but not one
And one but not own
A lamb and yes a lamp
A lamp but not a loan
A loan but not true
True but not here
I found a bird’s wings in a pond
Left and right, weirdly severed
Where was the middle part
Meant to hold the thing together
I had to imagine a raptor, a rapture
It reminded me of the alphabet
It was a bird all beginning and ending