Architecture & Design

Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form

Pity the bathtub that belongs to the queen its feet
Are bronze casts of the former queen’ s feet its sheen
A sign of fretting is that an inferior stone shows through
Where the marble is worn away with industrious
Polishing the tub does not take long it is tiny some say
Because the queen does not want room for splashing
The maid thinks otherwise she knows the king
Does not grip the queen nightly in his arms there are
Others the queen does not have lovers she obeys

from Odes: 15 ["Nothing"]

substance utters or time
stills and restrains
joins design and

supple measure deftly
as thought’ s intricate polyphonic
score dovetails with the tread
sensuous things
keep in our consciousness.

Celebrate man’ s craft
and the word spoken in shapeless night, the
sharp tool paring away
waste and the forms
cut out of mystery!

The Indoors is Endless

It’ s spring in 1827, Beethoven
hoists his death-mask and sails off.

The grindstones are turning in Europe’ s windmills.
The wild geese are flying northwards.

Here is the north, here is Stockholm
swimming palaces and hovels.

The logs in the royal fireplace
collapse from Attention to At Ease.

Peace prevails, vaccine and potatoes,
but the city wells breathe heavily.

Privy barrels in sedan chairs like paschas
are carried by night over the North Bridge.

His Carpets Flowered

— how we’ re carpet-making
by the river
a long dream to unroll
and somehow time to pole
a boat

I designed a carpet today —
dogtooth violets
and spoke to a full hall
now that the gall
of our society’ s

corruption stains throughout
Dear Janey I am tossed
by many things
If the change would bring
better art

but if it would not?
O to be home to sail the flood
I’ m possessed
and do possess

Love Song: I and Thou

Nothing is plumb, level, or square:
the studs are bowed, the joists
are shaky by nature, no piece fits
any other piece without a gap
or pinch, and bent nails
dance all over the surfacing
like maggots. By Christ
I am no carpenter. I built
the roof for myself, the walls
for myself, the floors
for myself, and got
hung up in it myself. I

tonk and waterfront, black line fade, unbuilt hotel, that union hall

the archive dance of

frank gehry crumples

to the sky its finger
and walking bridge.
the mummers disappear
my city sounds.
dance crumples to

the archive sky of fela.

the breaking public crush
a lot and pilgrimage from

greenville (to farmville) to ruleville up the road.
let me place Mrs. Hamer, who

crush like an architect outside, like

broke composition, in parchman.
lula and helena strayed
to the dock, founded the hiding

republic of the westside trucks to come

An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture in England


And, after all, it is to them we return.
Their triumph is to rise and be our hosts:
lords of unquiet or of quiet sojourn,
those muddy-hued and midge-tormented ghosts.

On blustery lilac-bush and terrace-urn
bedaubed with bloom Linnaean pentecosts
put their pronged light; the chilly fountains burn.
Religion of the heart, with trysts and quests