It is the right time for hallucinations.
Drowning in a sty, the sailor
feels the ocean’ s buoyancy.
Dying in a web, the moth
discards its wings and falls free.

I wish something would put its hands on me,
give me stronger poison and then stronger.
The beautiful flotillas do not stop.
Undying love drifts and delays.
I am capsizing.

Great joy lingers still.
Nothing can be said for suffering.
It is legible only to strangers
and at great distances. It detests
survivors. It drapes gun-carriages

Elegy a Little

Linoleum and half a dozen eggs
In 1960
Many towered Ilium
A brand name and a shopping list too

Memory distinguishes all things from
Only nothing
I was born and grew
Rooms stacked up into houses
A few trees (maples) welted in their seasons
Wildly like sea birds in crude oil
What amazes
Me now amazed me always but never
Often eyesight is prophetic instantly



Given to sweet motion
the wilderness believes
one fair one of flowers
to be a moral blossom.
We go so far. Walks now,
only legend remaining.

"I came afterwards to the window when you was writing."

But in their documents
her judges had written

In its branches
spirit shelters
air with wailing.
The air thunders
unavailingly there.

"Fear is a snare. Why should I be afraid."

The Children

In three directions
are two storms.
I instruct the edges
of my hands to become
irises, to shatter
in that way,
in three directions.
There's nothing behind me.

claw beneath our fences
at the elevation
of sound to pure
unsanctity, the moment
of simultaneity:
airplanes seeming to collide and not colliding, the crow alighting
in the manner of a seabird, the carbomb a more than momentary poppy.

Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out

Every morning the maple leaves.
Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts
from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big
and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out
You will be alone always and then you will die.
So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog
of non-definitive acts,
something other than the desperation.

Because our waiters are hopeless romantics

the plates are broken after just one meal:
plates that mimic lily pads or horseshoe crabs,
swifts’ wings,
golden koi, whirlpools, blowholes in rictus:
all smashed against the table’ s edge —

... also our chef eschews pepper & salt
for violets & vespers
& squid ink & honey from wasps
rare lichen grown in local snow
authentic silt dark from the Nile or Tigris.

Acceptance Speech

This time I’ m not going to say a thing
about deity. It’ s not the blizzard,
it’ s three days after. Trinkle from thawing
roofs, ruined crocus pronging through.
Ruin, I promise, won’ t be mentioned again.
Trees, sure, still begging in the road, split
to the bole but this isn’ t about the chainsaw.
A pruning saw will have to do. The puppets