Thursday, November 10, 2016

                                                                    Henry Gould  

         A surf of starry clematis
         foaming once again
         over the Roman iron
         lozenges of chain-link fence.

         The crickets of late summer
         fiddling their plaintive
         airs... intuitive
         premonition, seasonal no more.

         The wild sway of Jerusalem
         artichokes, abandoned
         citadels of rotund
         bumblebees (careless flotsam)

         while an enfeebled sun tends
         toward foundering – sinks
         into galactic night-talk
         (millennial egg mintings, bends).

         I whisper this out of nowhere;
         only a declining garden
         buried in provincial town.
         The blind touch of a wheeling Bear

         signals North Star somewhere.
         It is near : as thought
         of Guinevere for Lancelot,
         as Galla Augusta’s anxious care

         for her boy’s soft crown of hair
         in the decadence of Empire.
         It is nigh... near as the fire
         that welds my rusty eye to golden air.




         Friday night.  Rosh Hashanah.
         New Year’s eve.  A milky moon,
         gibbous (bulbous doubloon)
         beams down... bright guest (selah).

         Bimetallism, in itself
         cannot save the Republic;
         silver & gold won’t stick
         to the stomach (pelf

         a dead issue).  Hamiltonian
         guile, sleek Mississippian
         packing crate... insinuation
         of the serpentine (Mammon,

         rooted in cotton).  In the beginning
         gleamed the Dhaka kingdom
         of a coin (whose home’s
         nowhere) : spectacular ringing

         of strong selfish bells (bells
         from Hell).  Feed on this
         slick commodity : it’s
         an ideal-collapsible waterfall.

         Chippewa Falls.  Where they laid
         the railroad line, Grandpa.
         So you pursued your hero (baa-
         baa black sheep) in Rimini (a blade,

         of course). The Renaissance, man.
         America in your shoulders
         like yoke, or hearse... World
         mauled by haughty greed, fraud.  Mine.


         AUTUMN RITE

         Crickets nibble summer’s leavings,
         their squeaky elegies
         buried in dogwood debris.
         A herd not seen (pale daylight sievings).

         Time’s growing old.  Apollinaire
         head swathed like a mummy
         fluting his pipe (fumant
         sa feuilles d’automne).  Debonair

         veteran (soldat anonyme).
         Time numbers her days.
         Old Tiamat, torn, crazed,
         nailed above Nineveh... beam

         of salt-light through bullet-holes
         in the ice.  Sun-bubble
         in the balance – Hubble-
         shot, right through that oak-bole’s

         honey-gal (apple of his eye).
         Some telling overture
         soon over, William, sir.
         29th, maybe (Champs Élysées?).

         The vacant chair, the lost ship...
         the broken bow-strings
         of the bowsprit (Noman sings
         in the rigging, having fallen asleep)

         ...evening’s quiet ark.  Only all hands
         might lift this mate from sea
         of tears, moon’s tendency
         to swell-time (swaddling bands).



         October burnishes the oaks’
         unburied treasure; Asian
         maples, dogwood veins
         bleed Roman gold; Sir Edw. Coke’s

         uncommon ghost of commonweal
         lingers by Providence.
         That logos-diamond (sun-
         spangled claritas) will steal

         way back to local color (coal-
         dust gray).  November’s
         reign... spruce embers
         glimmering.  Time sobers up (well-

         seasoned now).  We go ghostly
         toward All Hallows, Eve –
         all folded ‘neath one eave’s
         projected Shades ‘r Us, are we.

         The nets of pauvre fishermen
         (Edessa, Glasgow, Galilee)
         seined with autumn bounty
         strain, slacken; one gilder thread

         angles from perihelion
         to wheel in a high room
         spoked with tongues aflame
         (rare pentecostal raven)

         & my chinese lantern (in buried
         furze-fest) gleams, octa-
         hedral : orange docta,
         Apollinaire-berry (international bird).




Somewhere out on the wide flatlands,
on a highway, on a prairie
where you are, lonely
Manitou (man, too – man-

woman)... beneath neon signals
through the rich gas fumes,
something threadbare looms –
a used-up catenary cradle’s

rag.  An old hymn, scored for coral
shell.  My coffee cup
out of Byzantium – wave-top
mosaic with a dolphin’s hurl

of blue-green (lofty ruby-diamond
star) – I’d set you down
upon a lake so round
like glass, in Galilee – let the almond

world, centripetal, converge,
surge into your matrix
grave.  These raven-tricks
the wind plays – Ishmael’s urge

to ride Q’s coffin-cup, to surface
near your lifeboat, Rachel...
left me alone to tell
the tale, Jonah.  This carapace

of turtleshell, this heavy salience
is near silence – closer yet
to your own ear, my pet.
Black Elk in Elkhart... life-sentence.


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