Friday, April 13, 2018

Carnalities

                                    1
               
                           Baudelaire

               A man can only possess himself if he 
               creates himself; but if he creates himself 
               he escapes from himself.
                                              —Jean-Paul Sartre
                                                 Baudelaire


The dark, ignorant dungeon the poet inhabited
was nowhere here but a mirror image of
a rabbit splayed out on an evening table
for guests he hadn't invited and intended not
to. It is his dinner, and when he's ready to sit,
he tucks in his etiquette like a script
perfected through years of rehearsals, a live play
to be spoken when the moment ripens and swells.

Now is forever, and he hears under his shoes
the wind vibrating and whispering a deep song
as if to accompany him, as he suddenly stands
and stretches his jacket forward to embrace the seats.
Convinced he is elegant in his green hair and cravat,
he limps into dialogue with the closed door.

    
                                     2

           A Gruesome Jewish Whore

        Une nuit que j'étais près d'une affreuse Juive
                                                        —Charles Baudelaire


I was once less poetic than Jesus, a Jew
crouched in a socket when the walls echoed, stung,
by the few shekels that centered me in a room.
But now outward, a creation of a mock substance,
I address all with a hand wave and a smile,
and when they come for me, or pretend to, I trot
briskly to a ledge stocked for living and have
none of their travail, their wretched intent.

I'm live like a new cricket about to be eaten,
but then all is different as I yield ground
but not earth, as I succor no wounds because
none come. I have a way of desiring,
and if intruded upon, I step outward,
spread contagion among the equivalent grasses.
                                                                        

                                     3

            Montmartre on My Mind


The visual equivalent of a friend's corpse, a flame,
the black sun dissolving over Sacré Coeur,
you look down over the sea of Paris,
but behind the boards the festering and germ-ridden
incendiary of living spreading out like a venereal
disease, and the tourists down low on the steps
peeping over the barriers, inflamed by the steadiness
of their Sunday, ever human and partial like small birds.

And what period of a magenta hue, the blood
red that flows out of the wood, where Christ,
less dominant than the whores, offers a vision
nobody uses here where the artists are blue
beggars with erections who laugh giddily when the girls
haunch over their pillows like huge birds.





Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Encrusted

Violence is brewing. Ordinary life subordinary,
as in other land masses where exploding barrel 
bombs cluster the air with steel snowflakes.‘Tis 
the season in the community room where the lit tree 
a cocoon of aliens transporting the elderly to a far-off 
nebulae of death dying and rampant health. The truth 
is never in-between but falls on everyone whatever 
one’s fantasy or faith. Believe what you see. Live
in it. I’d like to go back, protest for something, not 
only my life. The land is curdling whatever is said. It 
needn’t convince anyone. Who’s going to stop it? 
A neighbor says I’m blessed, What does that mean?
She offers me free sneakers. I decline them. They’re
Not what I wear. A child is born, is born repeatedly,