Saltman, Benjamin. Deck. I. Title. PS3569.A4623D4 811'.5'479-22756ISBN 0-87886-107-6
The frequency of turning of the whole animal makes its hollows, the color where it turned/ and the tablecloth's history is in the fingertips. Hunger forces the mind toward justice and the plate sits heavy on the cloth . . . The trail of memory is constantly not the memory and yet this homage to rye bread to the grating shoe on the gritty pavement homage to retrospect / to a natural order too much like mechanical order and confusion like dispersal in death past all outline / past haze and glitter where a window and a bush cast themselves upon the warm slag of torn walls.
So soon? So awaken and be limited be sunlight and catkins fallen from the tree into the yard formed by sleep / scattered. To begin: stone has no seasons. Black and serious is power. Yes to begin with the slammed door all climactic acts with high wave forms. The gas stove poofs its blue jets round the pierced ring to begin. To begin with the assertion of meaning first by its denial, hopeless, curving, central.
Those cows posturing on the slope are set for tourists, for all they can eat. So much for passion at Cambria-in-the-Pines, Vivaldi for the lunchers at the Grey Fox Inn, so rich a sound of eating . . . and nearby below the white sea sleeps / and, let's see, Orson Welles once bought this stretch of Big Sur Coast bought it for Rita Hayworth who would not go for fear of the wilderness. The cows musing. Love will not explain these rendezvous.
Caterpillars slide down through the trees, warm wind makes such beings unstable so they whirl / then intervention by leaves slashing the sunlight. The green caterpillar on the orange tree is a tunnel / green finger transformer transforming . . . themselves, these worms like chill water down my sleeve tarnishing the distances, swinging all dying to turn complacent wings telling me not to move.
He helplessly watches his daughter pour out summer on the beach / chemicals of the plastic ball in the sun and coconut oil lotion. Sand continents, the ball seething in a sand kettle. The baby's head in purple sun smells like bread / the ball the baby and the sun are chances between surging water and his towel trying to make him understand. Between water and rock each meteor of sand is glint / is hot with hate or absence, and the baby drives her stick through vinyl sand singing "Oh..." Her first brief look being why it is and now her plan for popsicle sticks for her ball and the sun.
The usual hamstring pull / the tears of losing hardly real but the plastic grass was dry and seared his skin dream driving his high cleats / and the rules were fair, you could see the score. Night games a thousand runners pass beneath opaque birds and there's the penalties, the strange beliefs of stunned suburbanites whose bosses got them passes, forcing their faces toward superstars, his battered eyes.
"Shaken that planets will not survive, Lord protect my lions / my spiders hide. We never were sole killers for this place, let lush trees regenerate / waters clean themselves, the worms accept their peaches": so he sang and watched them go. "And if I go in this blue envelope, if we go yet let the stars have the night animals and the sun its looking grass, let flagella flash and for songs let crickets be." Those amber shells / everything gone.
Those fights at breakfast were not more serious than death / they made less sense. "I'll get out of here alive, I'll just disappear." "Disappear," Lara says. A seductive humming from outside / the night theater has just let out its wings. "O great agony..." a dream sings still. And she says "What do you want? How can I know what you want?" "Raspberry jam dried on the table, that's what I want" and the baby saying "What!" like a tennis ball whamming a garage door. Annealed cracks in a paste of crumbs in the table, that's what.
Have mercy on me, on my eyes injured in the dark drunk in the rain on the bad side street unable to reach her. At the phone stand near the propped tree slick and wobbling, drunk weeping through his hands, and the cars throbbing against his hands...there under the litter in the sick grass ants washed and rafted sliding on wrappers. And through the rain the phone stand glowing, needles working the drunken eyes, and deeper / deeper ants checking the eggs, constantly.
They grew safe, a right degree of challenge caused the right fear / their appetites never sagged for crab, the "mushu pork," the Carta Blanca. Days so various they felt redeemed even by their medical coverage. Was it then a sense of privilege? The houses with heavy shake roofs, the spanish tile / not crushed rock and tar broken out in scars. Pleasure, and the obligation to serve which goes with privilege, the sense of public good which is the difference between privilege and ripping off. And in soft light of bedlamps they abutted with such ease that through each breast reverberated a cosmos, they were a condominium. Pledged well-being in tennis courts where lights hovered like praying mantises / agreed to fight busing, learn sign language, give a day to the clinic / examine the heart, be self-aware, vote always, make the young adore them and so not murder them too soon.
The morning run of the neighborhood trees... Mist softly correcting the neighborhood. Hoarse first words, tongues begin questions and all light grows yellow. Newspapers which slapped concrete before the rain now darken and settle / I hardly waken. News of a great man's death has slow going this morning. Children turn their faces to be kissed or surprising offer their lips. It's wrong to see clearly as long as the research labs are still working / but did he die? Was he part of night? Was he the huge dark body through which we saw?
Casual prayers were days with monarch butterflies and eucalyptus / the grass blue in winter, dust of the road still kneeling toward water, prayers like casual glances at a freeway. At the Big Sur River at Andrew Molera Park we walked under butterfly beauty urging search high as if leaping from leaf to leaf. Certainly we didn't help each other. We offered nothing to their fertility, but when they mated, tigerish with slow pumped wings it seemed more than for themselves / it made us wait at last where the river gargled the bay and the orange seaweed nodded over its ocean.
So ends part the first wherein Lady Isobel practiced being ravished / not forced. Something she could wait for handsomely and not miss if it went past completely. Cultivating held breath and lines slowly gathered like the stems of her lips about her lips. Living with surprise she could devote herself also to knowledge of soul travel / football/ transfiguration / rock / and the amelioration of hairstyles. So when the future swung its hammer down upon her anyway, she rushed to accept it screaming "Oh, no!" Her cry fit well the day's event.
Redwoods had been so hacked that sycamores muscled in, and with sycamores their insects and birds interpreted a thousand years of throbbing... Their songs hot wire drawn bitterly. He hiked down from SF with hash to our tent at Pfeiffer. Easily again became a comrade being high / chuckled, smelled redwood, heard redwood and fern hissing in the dappled arms of the sycamores. Seeing oblivion, a small stream in the sun creasing winter. Blue hands seemed right. "If you can't convince yourself of inner life," he said beside a cobwebbed stump, "then that's it, Pal," and passed the pipe.
The past glistens like a boiled egg / yesterday beneath a profusion of flowers, mastered by hands moving instruments. "Waterlilies" by Monet mastered him. Why all that water? Blue buried in the Louvre? Birds became shadows of birds soaring into his shoulderblades / butterflies settled on the fingers of children and waited pulsing like express trains. The world became a surface, even the graves on the surface. Willingly he ambled toward the summer casket whose light turned out to be yellow as if passing through old skin.
Reduced by change pulling at courage she appeared in Pittsburgh with a shopping bag murmuring against her leg. Her passion was just lifting her eyes to strange facades / leaking window ledges, housedresses, her historical moment. Roundnesses she had left in the Old Country, let's say the Black Sea, whereas her spring was sudden and governmental, a show of life for purposes of power to becalm a people. No one could say that behind her powdered cheek she longed for Cossacks, yet her heart had burst and smoked in terror / and Pittsburgh she regretted, was shades and flickerings settling at night from mills along the rivers. So often the rivers burned. With her money wrapped in her handkerchief and fist she marched upon the present against multitudes clutching pride / fanatic in what she would not do. Her miss-dyed hair mixed grey and blonde and green.
Sit here beside me, there's smoke in the air. Was it that to conceive of her was to make myself unworthy? Then everything is simple and self-defeating, and that ends it... But as if a burnt-leaf smell was her hair and as if sensing her brief powers of seduction, she envisioned being stalked through October from the beginning / and surviving as the gift of a smooth body and with contempt for her own art. And disappearing behind her yesses where no hand could catch her true wrist, no kiss reach the corners of her eyes or press her high cheekbones. Not that she ducked attention or changed her major or left town: her lovers were a normal few, aggressive, incoherent, and preoccupied. She gave them her unreal wrists and eyes and Los Angeles tan. She tried to see it their way / she would bring great luck being bright and fabulous possession. She could not have happened to me alone, I have been saying. And for those who lived with her she might as well have been another woman. She lurked behind herself whatever she offered. I can remember calmly what I brought upon myself ever since I hedged against her loss. "She's for me in every woman," I said almost from the first, lying, fearful and lying as rain grew cold preparing winter and general sleep. So now she can never be for me in anyone.
Beatings he gave the kids for their greenness and would have turned those acts decent and forgiven with just words in careful moves transforming acts making the language of events redeem events as usual / everyone healing anyway. But if he could get out to the yard, even still heated, and watch ants carouse among grass blades, maybe a breeze would hum at him prophetic in those small struts. Free him of judgment to be there with destiny. Destiny that tugged the honey-colored mandibles. Wordless destiny that made meaning meaningless and slapped suddenly a child, embraced another, threw a case of light bulbs into the sea.
Blessed stupor in the small threaded roots. Taste of pillow / soft burst the squid's transparent spine, the beak. Wrong to want such contact / forcing greater distances so you say blundering in brown leaves slick wet hands the tufted head implying mindlessness. O my beautiful land simmers in the last heat. Belief in sleep / in the fresh hillside through a door in the mattress where a drowsy boy licks lost chocolates. And far across the hills the streamers of light the hulking autumn...
Something dreamed that brutality would make it strong. During the ice storm each window wore its other window of ice / we stared from the car into abstractions. Drapery on the telephone wires, crystalline twigs, and rain seeding the roof metal. There will be such moments for which these moments were visions for us given to death and saying prayers like blue hostages in cars waiting in parking lots for glass to shatter / the engines grinding at the cold. Like flamingos cut out of paper for a retinue, like pink suns pasted to the inner globes of bone--our torn idea of Floridas sunnier than Florida. Such was our resistance. No comfort in wool, the wipers chattering helpless slapping the windshield ice, dank upholstery, inert signals on the dashboard. The price of the car.
This life given over and the curved earth exposed. He hoards a tree, a breathing, the white morning on the linoleum. Still plenty of time for the glossy end of summer. He drives downtown to coffee cake. The white shirt and all debates end at the locker. He fashions with knife a block of wood / it becomes a lamp. He breathes, he sets out his stockings in the sun. He slowly rattles the front page, and a nimbus surrounds him and his callouses. The huge energy of the bluffs, the chicken shack diners radiant over the Allegheny. He coughs up the black year of 1936. He marries a bargain. And his love goes with him to the end.
The heavy crows in their sprawl sweeping over the houses, the stones pausing in human beauty the fingered crow's wings, all rubble and tough sky a human beauty...and a bemused looking at the also inhuman trees / the totally inhuman turning of a squirrel's hand as if when the flood fell back sucking out the open windows and we kneeled exhausted calling to the horses to save themselves, there was a shimmer between human and inhuman mercy / and birds yelled in the walnut trees or tried to break walnuts from a height by dropping them to the muddy street. And there was no end of grotesque sundowns on cemented faces, no end of mornings either for the convulsive clay beneath the city.
Only seeming to be lost, seeming to go easily one thing about those blessed days is / once here they grapple earth and the wind can't move them, rapidly cast out roots so with each blast they hold tighter, grow more solid... They become the past and that's all right. The mood is somber, there's a smell of burnt gunpowder or burnt newspaper. Families are alerted by the acrid smoke. Over the whole neighborhood people pause listening though it's the smell that first took their attention. They hear nothing. They are betrayed by their need for proof. Thus complete families find their limits, hysteria about lost time / and it would be silly to pretend otherwise. Having the name of lost each thudding heart reminds them, gone to stay in December when branches were blackest and wettest / lost in disgusting vague episodes whose slim value remains only because a few dramatic types keep insisting on it. And the model or metaphor is that, back then, even in the act of love attention slipped aside, and they had to remind themselves to say those words they did not know were true. Gone words beside the road / carpets beside the beds. Vague phrases, true in not being right or whole.
The child at the window the rain dripping from arbor to patio the sun's dazzle hidden in whiteness behind the juniper, the dark green juniper frosted by palest green / so the child is hidden. Present song makes flutes of the branches electricity running through webs of water under the grass dripping lemons shaped like the child's eyes seeing a procession of wheelchairs in a green hospital / glittering spokes and in apartments the first hugs the bemused abstracted kisses earth shrugging and weeping easily / comforting easily.
What's left of our white alder lies in the yard round of orange waiting for splitting the maul, the wedges the stacking. Such energy leaks out / the treestump still in a rage the yard's passive gaze in a drapery of yellow across the massive segments of a huge worm. When those cylinders drummed the tight lawn and wood flakes spurted down the sunlight I saw children birthing slip shoulders free suddenly into yellow hands / and placental earth that fed the tree into the rocking salted air chamber for its tassels received its howling. Confusion of changes and returns. The girls climb wondering the alder logs the little girls / the moths fluttering.
He drove it seemed a getaway or breakout. Had taken a hostage but she needed medicines like April weather or vinyl. He had dreamed of exchanging her for future lives, but didn't know who wanted her / she smelled like sour metal... Or he was squatting gazing from an ambulance, his memory of ether, the moon cruising its own truck through the wired important darkness, ambition glittering in factory windows / the moon surging backwards and forwards over them fabricating his losses. He could have yelled. Yet he remained flexing his hands feeling bandages hearing gravel hiss and spatter from soft tires / stared at the pattern of streets following the moor trying to remember her, trying to work out her exchange for his life, or to keep her alive, or to find her.
Without a guide and desperate he grew pale with belief citing glacial mantras. Effort left blue fingertips / his brain starved he lived symbolically his suicide symbolic first stepping out of transparent skin then out of blood and at last it was winter. His name was one-hundred-and-forty-six-pounds, his destination mineral the thin ice propped by twigs half-embedded leaves and a milky wash suspending something like shredded tobacco or taco meat. Those moments he turned to his heart from disgust, to the warm cave empty but suffused with pink smoking light as if in triumph as if his faith sustained him someone's glove soaking on the lip of ice at pond's edge...
What shifts in oily retinas of glass in morning light and restless strands of muscle in shoulder and thighs of auditorium crowds is simply gone: eyes of cats closing and closing cats on sheds or dark shelves in garages / under- world throats enraged breeze of programs and menus / desire touching or flexing sticks or tines and so on and precise cupboards, paint like tracings of innumerable sullen worms sobbing, struggling for breath in darkness. And whatever moves is what the mover is: the brick building's salted glisten changing shuddering escalators / sudden transmissions grabbing the bellies of old cars the unranked iron flaking / the trucks lost already as they pass / they pass.
In early morning the streetlight secretly sucks hard blue candy. Children asleep in lighted rooms have let their nightmares trail behind them. Fathers and mothers having stumbled back to bed begin to hear the harmony of the place pitching its vague presence to the almost invisible clouds. The living swing deep into the earth shy in the suburban dark / quietly the root hammocks creak in the earth. The blur of autumn circles the brown hedges and the apparently still trees. Therefore only sleepers see how each thing live and dead sets out from the choked neighborhood, how the carpets slip away from under the furniture and trees abandon dripping piled bracelets / how families separate swimming upwards past all light, how slowly atom from atom soars apart.
Yesterday the 747's embraced / attendants backflashed disaster epics as they fell into the fire...a fireball in the fog, and within it as in the sun's circle a ship embarking on a spring cruise to the cave of Polyphemus. This was as serious and moral as war, this death of tourists / and ponderous teams must go poking through carbon looking for what stains their fingers. Technicians will haruspicate the locked tapes and proclaim the blame. Yet neither "human error" or machine survives Circe's compounds or the Islands of the Sun from which a man returns always alone stumbling from the blind Canaries.
"Why come to me?" said Nicolette "with silence / your sort of sorrow?" The tree failing at the window could not reach him either where he walked trying to feel trying to feel / to listen with leaf-dry ears for directions from closing earth. "But I think of little farms" said Aucassin at last "eroding, and corrupt colors distracting the unemployed from their pleasure...and if I were moved then, if I spoke then..." he stopped in the darkening room because she had moved taking his hand saying "No" as streaked darkness outside stretched "No, you could have learned from children that crying speaks belief that someone hears. You haven't said / you don't speak to me." "But I speak" said Aucassin. "You won't hear how I was hurt how I even said I was afraid..." And Aucassin and Nicolette argued the silence and argued Autumn out of its last blood.
Sliver of grey is Pfeiffer Falls thread down the bluff / the seam of whose miracle? One of the ways to see in lichenous rock as if poured from a cup transformations touching the delicate fern. Small water bringing ghosts. My fingers dredge the wounds / slits and roots on the path and from the sky. Persistent slender water dividing the world running under the small bridges. Fog numbing the tops of the hills, even the blue wildflowers cold and silent. The dead stiff mouths of the wood arrive here / huge holes gleaming with black ladders of carbon crowing both side of the stream. On both sides the fires failed long ago leaving a little unintelligible water. Source merciless and ignorant gulping stones / dazzling.
Old men at the spa / their genitals pink as bubblegum flesh sagging at their sides gaze at the heaving jacuzzi. Lowering to prepare themselves for cannibals slowly put on loose underpants engrossed lean on lockers / soon to move their tender white-rimmed feet toward intravenous solutions. Meditating dim lymphatic lives, misty glasses, adrenal pasts crying what happened what happened downward to themselves / thin porky pigs steaming to shined shoes, trembling grateful fingers.
The sick go on turning away in humility / not to count lost days. What happens to small things embarrasses the halls, even the unaccountable pain "I can't breathe! I can't breathe!" Yet each demand lined with the arrogance of helplessness borrowing the large motions of death. The sudden love of warm eyelids / the air buzzing as in autumn when the lungs are trees immobile and crystalline and sequestered from the body from the huge mothers and fathers and overwhelming intimacy / a sense of stuffed animals carrying flowers.
In halfsleep affections are tactical and touch is above all pleasures / her smile as she strolls with hand rooted in his backpocket feels his rump and her memory absolutely gluts her eyes of contentment of her nipples they take pleasure in / warm uncoverings of whole selves become surface in the morning when the city's lights dissolve these strangers gleam as if in knowledge of each other and the dead flies in the store windows become streaks of caramel. The lovers seem to say: "Of course we can't accept it all." He leans to her: "I'm more than you can handle." "Oh yeah! Oh yeah!"
I brushed blue flowers and a storm of flowers fell / the myth of how this feels is slight. Jimmy Carter was dozing on his vacation island but here the season was withdrawn. Another would be offered in its place / an epic. So projections of fulfillment would go on while I made of those flowers what they were. Blue and of a name I preferred not to know. Rich and for a moment for my eyes. And as if each petal tapped a source of water flaunting its darkness here. For a few steps after I was dizzy as if I'd been the wing they had waited for or a groundsman's careless shoulder. I didn't change direction exactly yet something had happened to the line drawn from my car / something if it had been darker I might have bowed down before.
At cinder level at crumb level the sound of the horizon is a particular wall where caterpillars wheeze where yellow twigs surrender to yellow leaves / and the maker has not been made. Where the singer has not yet sung. Romantic gestures of the mildewed peach reveal slyly its dry stone pitted light as volcanic slag. Which the singer cannot sing as "cold drink of water" or "banana squeezed to butter by the tongue." Politics is a lung disease at crumb level. Quiet peachstone wrinkled / tan as a scrotum.
No one preferred to live at the gas station in summer under fluorescent sticks / yet in the desultory craft of mini-serve and after nine no cash accepted, only credit cards (moths browsing the grease), drivers were startled to be living transformed blinking at the pumps as if set up by vampires. Dandelions waved from the yellowing faces of the pumps and from the moon sliding in glass. A skeletal overhang practiced its depleted art / drivers stumbled out as if ordered by transylvanians to serve their furry cars.
Having come this far our finch excited in the living room scatters seed across the table beside the candlesticks / mocks the three cats outside the sliding glass door. Awesome and detestible green knits itself into the air. Awesome the crushed snail. And baby Marjorie cries "rain" at spiderwebs glinting from the roof bent by a small breeze / such making sense of spring where the yard will not be good and tomato worms want blunderingly to live, where needles of the sun and moon run up and down knitting block wall and light together. Where change is the journey and what the yard has instead of heaven is innumerable.
A man with full cheeks the face of an immigrant / sepia stands before a dark tree / white shirt turning brown at its edges, its tails tucked burning into sunlight the fire invisible the shirt curling like old cabbage. Under one arm his string-tied package bulges as if with shoes and he is about to go / it will be forever a brown leaf waits behind him like a detached hand in the air birds wait in the detached sky. Whatever happens here will generate what happened before / he will wander from Kiev to Brussels / burning O Father backwards beginnings slowly out of beginnings.
That nothing is finished / that the earth remains unrhymed in color where Nixons appear and reappear and steam goes on licking the rocks. Breakfast foods as corrupt as the general and his degenerate firing squad but sweeter, no appeal the same / nothing the same: all hallucinations in which minutes pass and pages separate days as if they were the same to add to a final score. Am I thirteen? Is it another warm spring? And she in her slip ironing forever in an upstairs window?
The future is driving its car through an upper floor, the building cruising too close to me on a wet night when the lights flicker / when huge partners thunder in the stories below. The plastic panels quiver in their forms / everything is as lightweight as a bracket standing at such speed that the city causes inexplicable wounds. Suddenly a chest caves in yet no one says "He broke into himself." Huge amounts are spent on reruns and the news. Tonight I feel like a crew and the winter sweeping prayers into blue corners where windows roar where busy mottled shadows argue weeping over the rain and shivering with appetite sunless / forced above ground far from the all-night store.
Simple moment in the Chapel of Precious Memories. The many objects, the brocade, the deodorant took away the air / and the groom and bride were tangled in wallboard and wire. The wedding ended when the veil dissolved in the reception hall. "It's enough we're here" "We put together what we live" "I'm honest with myself at least" "What does he do?" "They lived together for a solid year" "More divorces mean more marriages" Blue windows sweated to contain these voices. Rib and pelvis strained at the knots of clothes, but for a while no hero could restrain the cold cuts or potato salad. One guest brought in six months of tennis balls, another offered shrimp-like babies in a serving dish. Nothing tore the bridegroom from his bride. The bride's bouquet was soaring through the room, the cake stacked up like planes in holding patterns. And when the doors were open and the sky rushed in upon the furious mouths, winter fell upon the cake and mustard, the plastic cups and paper plates.
Somewhere there would be blue winter but here I built a fire against the rain and naturally it was mine to crumple the L A Times / split kindling on our used brick hearth. And light. The kitchen window opened for the right draft, a twisted-out coat hanger ready for marshmallows we settled into worship of heat and the damp bark hiss of last year's cut walnut. Flares and bouquets of the pine trees in the yard crept close in the form of our daughters gleaming reaching back to the bleared strings and clusters of lights / chains of dancers waving the low city hills. I lay my head on Helen's thigh, the baby jumped me, the girls crowded over us in a struggling jealousy of blankets, stuffed bears and windup radios / as if we might squeeze back upon each other, enter and together pour into the fire into the light becoming for a while ghostly rags of paper to wave / wave, blink and fall upwards toward the rain.
A calm part of them remembered the farm fair. Fresh with blood of a sheared yearling and the lamb's naked dazed stumble the crowd eroded back to ring toss and aluminum bottles and the children put down to walk / it was another fair where fairs are families and throb in the throat of the galaxy, the tractor shuddering and woodsmoke and iron kettles. "Hello, I'm ordinary." "Are you ordinary?" "Isn't this ordinary!" That fall weather was a tree rooted in a moon they saw even in daylight / trailing but lost easily as they strolled under the heavy tree awed by their luck, enchanted by their riches. A yellow cardboard picture of swirled frozen custard drifted in their memory like a spectral boat. "Be mine" they murmured at the dust and straw. "Be with us and alive."
A long time since I watched a spider skating the air mending his home his business or an ant hauling something's leg over a hot pavement. Change is made simple by forgetfulness. What I was then must have been what I saw and remain. And yet I make up what I saw. Chance recovers those trees and sets them in cocoons in August. Thick-bodied black crablike spiders from my California house interpose against the past. I try to see through delicate shadows into the crook of the backporch steps in Pittsburgh. I make the steps / I blister the slate blue painted wood where a long glide to the walk is forgetfulness. The distance cannot fabricate itself / the spider is delirious in darkness. And I make up in joy the long line of ants trekking across America to me.
Something in apples always made me sweat under the eyes. There used to be worms in apples preparing to fly. And the yellow apples eaten at night on the front porch glowed meekly like bulbs of low wattage. A sliver of peel sticks between my teeth. A flower lurks at the core. And the seeds that wait in their little garages / that go on waiting and never say a word against the failures of earth.
More than her nervous smiles must tell how agonies of change eased her. A life rounds itself in change and she certainly rounded herself. Simple persistence made her new, was her rescuer. What did she collect before doll furniture? Guilt, regret in tiny frozen dresses. When she arrived at what she feared it made her happy. She had been close to beautiful when adolescence broke upon her unsuspecting endocrines. For forty years her misery left her bones to bask upon her body: she was fat at last huge supervisor of doll estates. Known to the antique crowd / a friend. Hypnotized her husband, kept her children close, slipped past her own danger to herself. She was given to weak tears and Almond Roca / retained her delicate wrist. People loved to hear her laugh. She was new.
The quavering of trees after you / Eurydice. Your thighs grown passive. You twisted your hair wondering what would be tangled there. You felt a yellow moon / a lake / a mist of insects. Crickets that left their shells. How vaguely you created your lover / your fingers fell away as if when your soft arms reached against his loss you knew that you would weep / sensed that you had made a world. Ecstatic the shadows growled. The guitars awoke and then the lights.
Not to have said was part of saying small words hard sand/ a running girl rubs her breasts inside her shirt torn/ a stretched bird drowning on the beach dying dragging letters. An agony like wire. Not to have said was an excuse was part of waiting/ a score blood-tipped fluted in simple form to seize the land. The simple tongues of water at the mountainside. Not to have said was incandescent / was the tongued estuary and its drift sleepless in exile across Pyrenees, the Urals, the Sierras into simple ground / silt in the driveway pine needles brown heaped and cool quilled summer mornings. Not to have said was how it happened.
Newer cause for silence yellow moths the sun's disintegration obscures old quietness light upon light. Joys superceded / smiles slip away and the face grows unrecognizable. Last summer when I showed my daughters first fireflies hung beneath bushes and slowly sailing I saw us in the greencast singing damp evening / Jeanmarie, Lara and Marjorie frail planets afloat among leaves. They brought the light they saw by / it was theirs and cast upon the future such modest wings I was afraid and comforted. Now another year's yellow moths have come.
Saturday not far from Venice Pier. Cool evening / and the attendant distances dwindle. Those who glance at the sea do it longingly as if measuring a return but are lightly snared again in the faces of others. Out on the pier knives are scraping fish. Sunset pink light trembles south in the Marina. But here skaters pass slowly on soft wheels that glow like jelly candy. . . Though you look there is no blue on the water.