Peace Time — a poem

© 2019 Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos, courtesy Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris

“…on the barb of time.”

— Ezra Pound, Canto V

below middle C a steady rhythm steadies
turns
tunes my ache
to saline drip
not pushed
half time quarter time barbed time
week
week
week     wreaked

now undone
one steady beat
birds flick from white key to black again peace

again
the piece plays along synopses
down along the chords tuned
sharp too sharply it plays
hammers dampened
keyed back to perfect
pitch rain drops
on the grand
beads on black lacquer caught
in spotlight reality
the hush rushes over the faceless crowd
and I am left
to drown under the unwritten notes.

— listening to Bill Evans, Peace Piece

High-Strung and Flimsy — a poem

Public Domain

“I liked the A side [of Abbey Road]…. I never liked that sort of pop opera on the other side. I think it’s junk. It was just bits of song thrown together. And I can’t remember what some of it is.”

— John Lennon, speaking to Rolling Stone

The web hangs suspended,
a disc — 33⅓ — will bounce
with prey as though dropping
down a spindle onto the table.

Seeming flimsy, it holds
together — like side 2
of Abbey Road.  Eight
incomplete pieces strung
with filament that bind.

It draws you in… flies
to feast on.  Inner circle,
her majesty awaits;

“…but she doesn’t have a lot to say.” 

 

The Mirror Reflects on Its Place — a poem

image by author

Like every storm cloud before
you, I am with clear silver backed;
though my tongue, free of glint, glistens
not with honey.  I eye the silver sprouts
among the brunette, thinning pate.

Wisely you spend less in converse
with me.  I am without guile, speaking
plainly.  What you see in me is truth.

What you carry away in your view,
however, is a matter of your moment.

When you return at the end of labor,
your glance my way may, may not edify.

What you see in me will accurately tell
the damages of the day — but not relate
a possible arc of improvement.  Morning
is always bleak for those who slumber
but fitfully.  Return to home seldom brings
immediate return to health and glow.

You would do well to avoid me more often.

The Whispered Stain — a poem

“One scarlet flower is cast on the blanch-white stone.”

— Ezra Pound, Canto IV

 

 

The stain, the stain, a whispered —
no, a creatured thought that crawled
from the blanketed chambers.

Too easy to follow its rhythmic flow,
                                                                       ignore
questions of source, of purity, of alloy,
of intent; to trip the meanders, wave
at others oxbowed, becalmed in static
utterance — atonal life along a silent shore.

But what then?

Paddle, portage, prospect the driven
stream of unconsciousness.  Seek
golden answers to unexamined
life while the stain, the strain,
the whispered petals remain.



* * *

What comes of reading Pound!

Into the coracle — a poem

Ezra Pound

“In the green deep of an eye… (XCI).”

— Pound, from the Cantos

Into the coracle I bundle my tormented
night-sweated revelations, memorized
mea-culpas of dreamed delirium,
and row, row, row my fat arsed self
across Acheron — the wind’s unsailable.

Waveless glass, though more like oil,
the bastarded vessel, bent in the making —
never true — slogs and dies, slogs anew.

What seafaring lay makes the task
more a bliss?  “I shall never this way
travel again,” comes to mind.  Is it?

Is it a veritable song, or more fevered
my brain’s fantasy?  It signifies not if…
if the laborer throws unction under 
the tongue!  The craft is heavy laden,
and I am ready to drop them over
into the swirling orb of the green deep.

* * *

One never knows what will come from gazing into the Pound Cantos.

The Crash Scene of My Brain Contemplating Modern Art and a Pound Canto In the Same Day — a poem

…and the lines and the lines
and the lines making squares
making waves naked waves
unmasked waves slippery
when wet the rivers wet
the streets wet the rain sifts
the rain sifts the drain slips
wet lines draining waves wet
drains lining drains wet waves
squares slipping slippery wet
runs together straight lines
together lines trees dripping
waves breaching their frames
echoed lines wave wetly drains
repeated lines wetly wave rain
squares wave as I drain —
and the lines and the lines
       …ah, the lines