here is a field

after H.D.

here is a field
and here there were people
which means charged space
in a void,
which means charged space
and steeplejacking
of some sort

here is a field
and here there was a field
which means echo sound
of echo feeling
and steeplejacking
of a natural sort

here is a field
and a glass of water
frozen on a stump
somewhere in that field
as a demonstration of method,
of indistinguishable mind,
and the glass waits
only to freeze to the stump,
to give the universe punctuation,
not a bad thing

lastly, here is a field
of vampires, of feeling
frozen on a stump
somewhere in that field
as a demonstration of passion,
a sort of Ark with funny animals
that even children somehow know,
troublesome animals
in the sense they must be loved
or at least amuleted

and that is the beginning of justice.

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Fisherman

A man was night fishing at surf’s edge in the darkness of a new moon.

He felt a strong tug on his rod and the battle began with what he thought must be a hammerhead shark. But as he began to win the contest and reeled the creature to shore, he saw a tumble of arms and legs. These were so pale that they glowed with their own sort of moonlight. These human limbs were almost phosphorescent.

It was a boy, he figured a corpse, some luckless soul drowned at sea.

As he pulled the body onto dry sand, using his hands now, he heard a sputtering, and fish-like sounds came from the mouth. Though it appeared to be a boy with long jet black hair, webs and fins were all about the body. This “boy” had human legs. It was not a merman. The creature seemed stunned from having been pulled from its element.

“Speak!” the man commanded the creature.

But it could only gurgle in the air. Perhaps, he thought, it could speak only underwater.

So the fisherman took his club and beat it to death.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

When the fisherman served the flesh of the sea creature in a soup to his son, the boy was puzzled by the strange taste.

“What sort of fish is this?” he asked. A clear distaste was evident in his face, the twisting of his handsome features.

“Monkfish,” the father replied, without looking up from his own bowl.

They had only each other as family. The boy’s mother had died in childbirth. He had learned to trust his father. Though the young man did not like the taste of the strange “fish,” in fact despised it, he dutifully finished the meal.

Soon after that night, the fisherman’s son fell sick. He fell into a torpor and then a fever. He raved in his bed as he tossed and turned. He talked constantly of the sea. He told his father he would die if he were not placed in the sea.

A doctor was consulted but could do nothing. The father felt great shame for having fed his son the flesh of the creature. Oddly enough, he himself had not fallen ill, though he had eaten the same meal.

After more than a week of his son’s suffering and worsening of his condition, the father took his son to the sea. The moon was now restored, bright. He carried the boy to the surf’s edge. He laid him in the soothing, wet sand.

As soon as he began splashing some water on his son’s face, the boy seemed to improve a little. He said it helped.

“These clothes,” his son moaned. The father understood and helped him out of his sweat-drenched vestments. He was horrified to see the fins that had sprouted on his son’s arms, on his legs near his ankles, the webbing between his toes and around his neck.

The boy began to crawl towards the sea.

The father saw him struggling and helped him to reach a depth of water where he could float. He could feel his son growing stronger by the minute as they went further into the ocean.

His son smiled. Then he laughed.

“Thank you, father. Thank you thank you thank thank you….” he said as he swam away.

(This is my adaptation of a Japanese folktale of which countless versions exist.)

Claustrophobia

To what to be close? To white tiny
hairs on the ears of night?
To hold such office
at the darkest window
of the tallest office blight?
To syncope, sliding like a cloth
off the shoulder of a planet?
To round of circle, to blue
of sty? To oryx, to Arabella,
prefix, suffix of thought
and feeling, evolution’s
dear uncertainty,
delicate cosmic thing
of a robin’s egg
cupped in child palm?
To the rigging
in which it all lives,
to the marble faun
at whose feet a crush
of styrofoam cup?
To his archaic street,
satyr’s sense of smile,
an author of white stone.
To slickness of soap,
to barren coin
of monster emperor,
to homeyness, homelessness,
none the better
for any difference
is how shelter
managed to conceive
itself? To what
to hearken, to hold,
to burrow, to invade,
to throw to appetite,
to mourn, to forget,
to be, without knowing
one is? To telescope
shut in the end,
to hold the infinitive
sense close
as the apple
reaching out
from the tree’s
core, a score,
somehow, to
her, to
Eve.

Underworld High School

We are dangled over our family histories.    Like Pin the Tail on the.
corrupt sausage-grinders.    knuckle bashers.     donkey punchers.
We’re sooted in school chairs.    Going up to the chalkboard.

To perform a striptease.  This is our progressive school.  We will model.

The economy.    Nobody has the great tenderness of the boiler room.
Nobody in the whole high school.    Only the janitor who is Hephaestus.
Lame down below.     Waits for the rumbling explosion.      And its golden net.

It will capture the whole school.     In a new mythology.    And when it explodes.
Like the Hindenburg.      Like the Bismarck.      Some primordial animal will say
and sway in the grasses behind the school.    Also beautifully on fire

like Chinese paper flowers

God, this is so lame