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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Fast Day 304 March 30 2013 {The Four Seasons}

The Four Seasons

wastrel Winter ,
the garbage winds of March
fill flower beds with trash:
beads from Diwali,
Christmas trees,
Hanukah wrap.

buoyant freedom,
we are the waifs of Spring,
and our vernal hunger
when we awake and rise
is hunger most
deeply habit.

floating Summer,
stolen swimmers’ kisses;
midnight's forbidden trysts
under cloak of stars;
childhood dew,
eyes and pearls.

Autumn’s arcade,
when we made love beneath
diving board and dock:
skinny-dipping moon!
nonage love,
gasping breath.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fast Day 303 March 23 2013 {The Day Of The Comet}

Bird Swarm On Andromeda

The Day Of The Comet
Hasidim speak Yiddish,
The Amish speak the Dutch;
the educated speak in TED-tongue
but I feel  the arrival of
The  Days of the Comet
to disturb the meditations of the young.

Bondu girls and killah nights,
I try to speak the sacred kiss,
but have not mesmerized the words:
we are pilgrims of the universe,
leaving behind old Europe,
flying across Andromeda’s dance like birds.

Telephones to Neptune,
Skype calls from the Sun:
the illusions of omnipotence;
we still arise to milk the cows
by light of morning star,
awaiting melancholy in a private place.


Dutch  -   Deutsch, i.e., German 
Andromeda's dance -  the route the galaxy Andromeda takes through the sky

Inspired by a NASA spokesman's reply to a Congressman who asked what could the USA do if a comet - such as that which hit Russia recently - come straight at us. The answer was, "Pray."

Monday, March 18, 2013

Fast Day 302 March 16, 2013 {My Father's Cabinet Has...}

My Father's Cabinet Has... Many Earthenware Cups

My Father's Cabinet Has...

The leavening is gone
from our house;
it has been burned;
dust to dust –
my father’s gold cuff links,
and collar studs;
the idle socks and shoes,
the atrophy of his belts,
cords, laces –
things to tighten,
things to cinch…

Some of us are steel
cooking ware:
and are kashered
by boiling –
Yet I am earthenware:
terra cotta,
and even with bright glaze
am of a porous nature:
no soaking,
in water hot,
in water cold…

Incomp’rable dangers
that proceed
from the morning news
this year –
we gather Easter icons -
dolorosa -
in stabat Mater sketchbooks
painted to His holy death:
sounding brass,
tinkling cymbals…
still rage!


Easter and Passover approach this year.

kashered  -   cooking utensils are made kosher by various methjods of cleaning.
dolorosa   -  via dolorosa, the way of the cross during Passion Week.
saxophones  -  I believe St. Paul would have loved the saxophone.

stabat Mater -  a hymn from the Stations of the Cross during Lent


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Fast Day 301 March 9 2013 {My American Wisteria}

My American Wisteria

My morning hair in an unflattering
mirror, destitute of any beauty;
irregular spikelets rare, mostly sessile,
squashed flat as a grey, thread-bare beret…
and I sigh.

Where has all my dark hair gone?
I strip the sheath of sleeping clothes,
searching clandestine cloughs and broad
meadows wrinkled with racemes…
and I sigh.

Sweet scented valleys of cockspur grass,
variable in its luxuriance;
diffuse flood of the auburn light: all gone!
now dried fields, ditches, and somnolent ponds:

Where is my American wisteria?
the cable-like sinews and woody sytrength...
so spare and yet strong enough to support
a pergola of hope to my youth?
and I sigh.


the American wisteria is the slim and trim and leafy hardy growth of youth....

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fast Day 300 March 2 2013 { Beautiful Sparks of God }

Vesuvius Erupting Soon After The Landings At Salerno, March, 1944

Beautiful Sparks of God

funeral home collage of history,
unsure whether we be bound or free;
ruins, fossils,
fire-drinkers of the dew:
Vesuvius erupts
and world war, too.

I go through the tomes for what I may see,
and find the works of the old Livy;
beauty ejecta
a baleful rain yields!
not in Elysium
but Phelgræean fields!

photos and videos, like leaves on a tree,
bold brushstrokes of vanish’t conspiracy;
buried in ash
the soot of noon-day,
pyroclastic x-flow
in the streets of Pompeii !


I have found the usual ways of talking about the separation from a loved one are awfully opaque and trivial to express what I feel. I am still trying to express it.
My father was at Salerno. Soon after, the volcano Vesuvius erupted.

Beautiful sparks of God   -   "Freude,  schoener Gotterfunken" from Ode to Joy
world war, too  -   world war II
Livy  -    Titus Livius observed the eruption of Vesuvius which buried Pompeii
ejecta    -    things ejected and thrown by the eruption...   I seem to remember Livy was sitting on a boat in the bay watching the spectacle, and probably dodging ejecta.
Phelgræean    -    sulphurous fields, the opposite of Elysium
x-flow   -     extreme flow

we are buried in our remembrances: photos, videos, souvenirs. The soot of noon-day is darkness at noon.
There is an end and the promise of an archaeological beginning in the future.