I love you
I love you
We are in summer
How far it is?
How far is it now?
The gigantic gorilla interior
Of the wheels move, they appal me-
The terrible brains
Of Krupp, black muzzles
Revolving, the sound
Punching out Absence! like cannon.
It is Russia I have to get across, it is some war or other.
I am dragging my body
Quietly through the straw of the boxcars.
Now is the time for bribery.
What do wheels eat, these wheels
Fixed to their arcs like gods,
The silver leash of the will-
Inexorable. And their pride!
All the gods know is destinations.
I am a letter in this slot-
I fly to a name, two eyes.
Will there be fire, will there be bread?
Here there is much mud.
It is a trainstop, the nurses
Undergoing the faucet water, its veils, veils in a nunnery.
Touching their wounded,
The men the blood still pumps forward,
Legs, arms piled outside
The tent of unending cries-
A hospital of dolls.
And the men, what is left of the men
Pumped ahead by these pistons, this blood
Into the next mile,
The next hour-
Dynasty of broken arrows!
How far is it?
There is mud on my feet,
Thick, red and slipping. It is Adam’s side,
This earth I rise from, and I in agony.
I cannot undo myself, and the train is steaming.
Steaming and breathing, its teeth
Ready to roll, like a devil’s.
There is a minute at the end of it
A minute, a dewdrop.
How far is it?
It is so small
The place I am getting to, why are there these obstacles-
The body of this woman,
Charred skirts and deathmask
Mourned by religious figures, by garlanded children.
And now detonations-
Thunder and guns.
The fire’s between us.
Is there no still place
Turning and turning in the middle air,
Untouched and untouchable.
The train is dragging itself, it is screaming-
Insane for the destination,
The face at the end of the flare.
I shall bury the wounded like pupas,
I shall count and bury the dead.
Let their souls writhe in a dew,
Incense in my track.
The carriages rock, they are cradles.
And I, stepping from this skin
Of old bandages, boredoms, old faces
Step to you from the black car of Lethe,
Pure as a baby.
Paintings by JW Jeong | http://jw-jeong.deviantart.com
Bout to fight this guy….
Over your body the clouds go
High, high and icily
And a little flat, as if they
Floated on a glass that was invisible.
Having no reflections;
With no strings attached.
All cool, all blue. Unlike you-
You, there on your back,
Eyes to the sky.
The spider-men have caught you,
Winding and twining their petty fetters,
So many silks.
How they hate you.
They converse in the valley of your fingers, they are inchworms. They would have you sleep in their cabinets,
This toe and that toe, a relic.
Step off seven leagues, like those distances
That resolve in Crivelli, untouchable.
Let this eye be an eagle,
The shadow of his lip, an abyss.
This is the sea, then, this great abeyance.
How the sun’s poultice draws on my inflammation!
Electrifyingly-colored sherbets, scooped from the freeze
By pale girls, travel the air in scorched hands.
Why is it so quiet, what are they hiding?
I have two legs, and I move smilingly.
A sandy damper kills the vibrations;
It stretches for miles, the shrunk voices
Waving and crutchless, half their old size.
The lines of the eye, scalded by these bald surfaces,
Boomerang like anchored elastics, hurting the owner.
Is it any wonder he puts on dark glasses?
Is it any wonder he affects a black cassock?
Here he comes now, among the mackerel gatherers
Who wall up their backs against him.
They are handling the black and green lozenges like the parts of a body.
The sea, that crystallized these,
Creeps away, many-snaked, with a long hiss of distress.
This black boot has no mercy for anybody.
Why should it, it is the hearse of a dead foot,
The high, dead, toeless foot of this priest
Who plumbs the well of his book,
The bent print bulging before him like scenery.
Obscene bikinis hide in the dunes,
Breasts and hips a confectioner’s sugar
Of little crystals, titillating the light,
While a green pool opens its eye,
Sick with what it has swallowed-
Limbs, images, shrieks. Behind the concrete bunkers
Two lovers unstick themselves.
O white sea-crockery,
What cupped sighs, what salt in the throat!
And the onlooker, trembling,
Drawn like a long material
Through a still virulence,
And a weed, hairy as privates.
On the balconies of the hotel, things are glittering.
Tubular steel wheelchairs, aluminum crutches
Such salt-sweetness. Why should I walk
Beyond the breakwater, spotty with barnacles?
I am not a nurse, white and attendant,
I am not a smile.
These children are after something, with hooks and cries,
And my heart too small to bandage their terrible faults.
This is the side of a man: his red ribs,
The nerves bursting like trees, and this is the surgeon:
One mirrory eye-
A facet of knowledge.
On a striped mattress in one room
An old man is vanishing.
There is no help in his weeping wife.
Where are the eye-stones, yellow and valuable,
And the tongue, sapphire of ash.
A wedding-cake face in a paper frill.
How superior is he now.
It is like possessing a saint.
The nurses in their wing-caps are no longer so beautiful;
They are browning, like touched gardenias.
The bed is rolled from the wall.
This is what it is to be complete. It is horrible.
Is he wearing pajamas or an evening suit
Under the glued sheet from which his powdery beak
Rises so whitely, unbuffeted?
They propped his jaw with a book until it stiffened
And folded his hands, that were shaking: goodbye, goodbye.
Now the washed sheets fly in the sun,
The pillow cases are sweetening.
It is a blessing, it is a blessing:
The long coffin of soap-colored oak,
The curious bearers and the raw date
Engraving itself in silver with marvelous calm.
Th grey sky lowers, the hills like a green sea
Run fold upon fold far off, concealing their hollows,
The hollows in which rock the thoughts of the wife-
Blunt, practical boats
Full of dresses and hats and china and married daughters.
In the parlor of the stone house
One curtain is flickering from the open window,
Flickering and pouring, a pitiful candle.
This is the tongue of the dead man: remember, remember.
How far he is now, his actions
Around him like livingroom furniture, like a decor.
As the pallors gather-
The pallors of hands and neighborly faces,
The elate pallors of flying iris.
They are flying off into nothing: remember us.
They empty benches of memory look over stones,
Marble facades with blue veins, and jelly-glassfuls of daffodils.
It is so beautiful up here: it is a stopping place.
The unnatural fatness of these lime leaves!-
Pollarded green balls, the trees march to church.
The voice of the priest, in thin air,
Meets the corpse at the gate,
Addressing it, while the hills roll the notes of the dead bell;
A glitter of wheat and crude earth.
What is the name of that color?-
Old blood of caked walls the sun heals,
Old blood of limb stumps, burnt hearts.
The widow with her black pocketbook and three daughters,
Necessary among the flowers,
Enfolds her face like fine linen,
Not to be spread again.
While a sky, wormy with put-by smiles,
Passes cloud after cloud.
And the bride flowers expend a freshness,
And the soul is a bride
In a still place, and the groom is red and forgetful, he is featureless.
Behind the glass of this car
The world purrs, shut-off and gentle.
And I am dark-suited and still, a member of the party,
Gliding up in low gear behind the cart.
And the priest is a vessel,
A tarred fabric, sorry and dull,
Following the coffin on its flowery cart like a beautiful woman,
A crest of breasts, eyelids and lips
Storming the hilltop.
Then, from the barred yard, the children
Smell the melt of shoe-blacking,
Their faces turning, wordless and slow,
Their eyes opening
On a wonderful thing-
Six round black hats in the grass and a lozenge of wood,
And a naked mouth, red and awkward.
For a minute the sky pours into the hole like plasma.
There is no hope, it is given up.
I am a miner. The light burns blue.
Drip and thicken, tears
The earthen womb
Exudes from its dead boredom.
Black bat airs
Wrap me, raggy shawls,
They weld to me like plums.
Old cave of calcium
Icicles, old echoer.
Even the newts are white,
Those holy Joes.
And the fish, the fish-
Christ! they are panes of ice,
A vice of knives,
Its first communion out of my live toes
Gulps and recovers its small altitude,
Its yellows hearten.
O love, how did you get here?
Remembering, even in sleep,
Your crossed position.
The blood blooms clean
In you, ruby.
You wake to is not yours.
I have hung our cave with roses,
With soft rugs-
The last of Victoriana.
Let the stars
Plummet to their dark address,
Let the mercuric
Atoms that cripple drip
Into the terrible well,
You are the one
Solid the spaces lean on, envious.
You are the baby in the barn.
The courage of the shut mouth, in spite of artillery!
The line pink and quiet, a worm, basking.
There are black discs behind it, the discs of outrage,
And the outrage of a sky, the lined brain of it.
The discs revolve, they ask to be heard,
Loaded, as they are, with accounts of bastardies.
Bastardies, usages, desertions and doubleness,
The needle journeying in its groove,
Silver beast between two dark canyons,
A great surgeon, now a tattooist,
Tattooing over and over the same blue grievances,
The snakes, the babies, the tits
On mermaids and two-legged dreamgirls.
The surgeon is quiet, he does not speak.
He has seen too much death, his hands are full of it.
So the discs of the brain revolve, like the muzzles of cannon.
Then there is that antique billhook, the tongue,
Indefatigable, purple. Must it be cut out?
It has nine tails, it is dangerous.
And the noise it flays from the air, once it gets going.
No, the tongue, too, has be put by
Hung up in the library with the engravings of Rangoon
And the fox heads, the otter heads, the heads of dead rabbits.
It is a marvellous object-
The things it has pierced in its time!
But how about the eyes, the eyes, the eyes?
Mirrors can kill and talk, they are terrible rooms
In which a torture goes on one can only watch.
The face that lived in this mirror is the face of a dead man.
Do not worry about the eyes-
They may be white and shy, they are no stool pigeons,
Their death rays folded like flags
Of a country no longer heard of,
An obstinate independency
Insolvent among the mountains.