Whenever I Go There

Whenever I go there everything is changed

The stamps on the bandages the titles
Of the professors of water

The portrait of Glare the reasons for
The white mourning

In new rocks new insects are sitting
With the lights off
And once more I remember that the beginning

Is broken

No wonder the addresses are torn

To which I make my way eating the silence of animals
Offering snow to the darkness

Today belongs to few and tomorrow to no one


What We Want

What we want
is never simple.
We move among the things
we thought we wanted:
a face, a room, an open book
and these things bear our names--
now they want us.
But what we want appears
in dreams, wearing disguises.
We fall past,
holding out our arms
and in the morning
our arms ache.
We don't remember the dream,
but the dream remembers us.
It is there all day
as an animal is there
under the table,
as the stars are there
even in full sun.


What Is To Be Given

What is to be given,
Is spirit, yet animal,
Colored, like heaven,
Blue, yellow, beautiful.

The blood is checkered by
So many stains and wishes,
Between it and the sky
You could not choose, for riches.

Yet let me now be careful
Not to give too much
To one so shy and fearful
For like a gun is touch.


What Can We Do

at their best, there is gentleness in Humanity.
some understanding and, at times, acts of
courage
but all in all it is a mass, a glob that doesn't
have too much.
it is like a large animal deep in sleep and
almost nothing can awaken it.
when activated it's best at brutality,
selfishness, unjust judgments, murder.


Upon A Wasp Chilled With Cold

The bear that breathes the northern blast
Did numb, torpedo-like, a wasp
Whose stiffened limbs encramped, lay bathing
In Sol's warm breath and shine as saving,
Which with her hands she chafes and stands
Rubbing her legs, shanks, thighs, and hands.
Her pretty toes, and fingers' ends
Nipped with this breath, she out extends
Unto the sun, in great desire
To warm her digits at that fire.
Doth hold her temples in this state
Where pulse doth beat, and head doth ache.
Doth turn, and stretch her body small,


Tz'u No. 18

To the tune of "Intoxicated in the Shadow of Flowers"

Thin mist, dense clouds, a grief-stricken day;
auspicious incense burns in the gold animal.
Once again, it is the joyous mid-autumn festival,
but a midnight chill
touches my jade pillow and silk bed-screen.

I drink wine by the eastern fence in the yellow dusk.
Now a dark fragrance fills
my sleeves and makes me spin.
The bamboo blinds sway in the west wind.
And I am even thinner than a yellow flower.


To Lou Andreas-Salome

I held myself too open, I forgot
that outside not just things exist and animals
fully at ease in themselves, whose eyes
reach from their lives' roundedness no differently
than portraits do from frames; forgot that I
with all I did incessantly crammed
looks into myself; looks, opinion, curiosity.
Who knows: perhaps eyes form in space
and look on everywhere. Ah, only plunged toward you
does my face cease being on display, grows
into you and twines on darkly, endlessly,
into your sheltered heart.


The Pangolin

Another armored animal–scale
lapping scale with spruce-cone regularity until they
form the uninterrupted central
tail row! This near artichoke with head and legs and
grit-equipped gizzard,
the night miniature artist engineer is,
yes, Leonardo da Vinci’s replica–
impressive animal and toiler of whom we seldom hear.
Armor seems extra. But for him,
the closing ear-ridge–
or bare ear licking even this small
eminence and similarly safe
contracting nose and eye apertures


The New Hieroglyphics

In the World language, sometimes called
Airport Road, a thinks balloon with a gondola
under it is a symbol for speculation.

Thumbs down to ear and tongue:
World can be written and read, even painted
but not spoken.  People use their own words.

Latin letters are in it for names, for e.g.
OK and H2S O4, for musical notes,
but mostly it's diagrams: skirt-figure, trousered figure

have escaped their toilet doors.  I (that is, saya,
Ego, watashji wa) am two eyes without pupils;


This Side of the Truth

(for Llewelyn)

This side of the truth,
You may not see, my son,
King of your blue eyes
In the blinding country of youth,
That all is undone,
Under the unminding skies,
Of innocence and guilt
Before you move to make
One gesture of the heart or head,
Is gathered and spilt
Into the winding dark
Like the dust of the dead.

Good and bad, two ways
Of moving about your death
By the grinding sea,
King of your heart in the blind days,
Blow away like breath,


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