States of Poetry
The desert dreams of harvest,
of holy writ & rain.
The city dreams of ruin,
of upturned cars
& vine-dressed churches.
The tiger dreams of freedom,
of shaking loose the stake & chain
& racing into shadows
large enough to hold it.
I dream of you.
There was a time we collected
after it has died,
we will hold a vigil for the moon.
We will burn candles,
cheap mimics of its light,
& utter prayers we forgot to utter
while it still lived.
And we will say,
'Remember how it
spoke to us its bone-coloured dreams?
Remember how it gave us hope
when all else seemed savage?'
And some will say it was ...
We would sit on the wings of his knees
and see-saw our way through stories
For the soft-handled horse-mane hair
of the half moon brush
The gleam of pewter, copper, glass.
For the carpet palimpsest of patterned lives
that lie layered in the deep pile – embedded
wine, coffee, blood, bread, skin, and ash.
For the possibility of preserving presence
and particularity in a photograph.
For the quiet reliability of maps that ...
for Wolfgang and Birgit
I failed to sleep last night, I failed to have the dreams
that would take me safe from one day into the next.
I failed to be brave, afraid of the train, its snout of steel
pushing out of the dark into the station at San Pietro,
its sides towering over us blue and white and filthy with night.
It hissed, cracked open, impatie ...
This poem has not yet been written
and before it is I want to say I respect
the President of the United States,
the man himself and his office
and I respect what the people
mean when they say Democracy
though I do not know what this
might have to do with being armed
and having put these points like this
as plainly as possible
on t ...
You woke with a headache
and opened the bedroom window blind.
You bent forward as morning light came in.
It fell on your belly and breasts
and your sleep maddened hair.
I could hear the sickness in your voice
as you accepted a salad bowl to throw up in
and two pills with breakfast.
The new sun tipped itself up over distant mountains
outside the ki ...
For Marianne J Boruch and David Dunlap
We walk past the ruined past
pasted to the Academy’s cloister walls,
past broken Latin stones’ fracture ...