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Book of Pictures

Threnody, Euphony, Prosody

Out in the green grass
a baby girl, a music box with Brahms, a golden scarab
each only a season old, and fourteen lines of skywriting, dissolute.
So much is the languor I feel
in the clarity of this June air--but just how does
a scribbled bit of rhyme soften the arch of the black
cat's yawn or cease and celebrate
the nasal nuthatch whonking?
Where will we be next century?
Only Allah's shadow knows.
A seventh station of the cross:  sleeping
with involuntary heads set towards Thule.
Stars and goddesses and earthworms,
grant us long life to see such miracles unveiled. 


The Glass House (New Canaan, CT)
    for Philip Johnson

From there you can laugh
at Mies in heaven or cross the sky to Göttingen
by chariot, up the Housatonic
before what clouds of pine-dust pollen
cluster-clog the clocking
of sexual pools in sedimentary rock,
and summers, succubi
that float along Museum Mile,
forgiving damp-pants lovers, whose
heather can kiss and twist and burn
about the male silage of the moon.
In a windowless, gaunt roomette
Warhol's Lenin (and here only a German verb will do) schweight--
he actively does not speak--
some Factory-slur across
the hamburger mouth of Mao
is apple-crimson, just
angled off the fireplace.
After the fascist architecture wars
and hairs gone gray and Connecticut sunsets
turned clover red to dew, you the
coroner of centuries sit
perched, a Halcyon dream
in a burnt pin oak tree where
crows above the concrete pediment
jumpstart wheatstraw nesting in
the black glass edifice of a bottomfed Atlantic.
Fog of your mind drifts to
ladies' lavender-poofed boudoirs.
Once I was inside-- the cube itself
was gone except for the Kentuckian
streaking the air with lemon oil and Windex.
A hundred Gaudi turrets breeze at
governing islets of the mad,
tear-struck faces (of Bagdad boys)
that dream you far from here.
Dizzy's clarinet drowns out
teenage campers on your backlot land:
they line up for the penalty kick of your eye.
From the ziggurat above the birches
you sail like a falconer back
to the nineteen-twenties, when
there was honest work to do, and love.
In the pool's surface, peonies, painted vulvas,
a young man's grass-stained knees,
the wracked perambulations
of Dharma rats with too much cash.
From here there is only an ellipsing down
to privet, or up to the trees again then
over beyond the house of light. A lone wolf scraps
with a catfish in the bamboo implants:
improbability rising on the air, a riddle
of the Sphinx for me or others to unravel.