In the white sterility of the frozen food empire
I lost my mind. What remained was sold to
a grocery outfit. White bear of the poles, white
shark of the tropics—-instances of freezing.
The dank foreboding of our wine cellar, now much
bigger, a metaphysical winter of snow and salt.
The idea that money should settle upon me
like a gentle snowfall. But little snows falls in
March. A place holder word adds nothing to
the familiarized working mind. One’s absence
from the social scene is live-able up to a point.
The Zinc Bar made each arm of Buddhism a tough
sell with poet identities in decline these days;
Sipping perceptions from the wine basket of inquiry—-
Or what you’d call uneventful French writing.
Recently, I bought an expensive dog,
a French Griffon and an “armoire comme toutes
les armoires”, stuffed with Parking tickets.
Three or four things had fallen into my lap
concurrently, a vacation home and some
mysterious ailment causing me to roll over
onto the stone floor by the hotel pool shaded
by a few sickly palms—-Recesses where tireless
minds display their most secretive and affordable
memories. What if the graph of set expectations
was itself unmoored and you no longer knew
Where you were standing?
I remain goal oriented across a span of time
as one does for a dead-line with purposes
unknown. Something you said in passing
about how we can no longer tell the seasons
by the fruit we find at the market. I guess
there was something practical to learn
in the nursery. I was riveted to a view of the
ocean and the beach ball. The wind didn’t
stop. Without identity it is lost, paper is scarce.
If we use less we’ll have little to say.
My affairs turn out badly, the sky papered
over with flimsy nuances. They cross the limit—-
You’d think, by now I’d be used to the rain
stealing the light and the girls in galoshes
waiting for the drug stores to open.
Is ordinary fruit no longer acceptable? Must it be
pomegranate or mahogany antique? Are puzzlers found
only on $ 100 bills? Are the plazas to be unshaven,
trickling down to the poor like a useless tear?
When sitting next to beautiful people the most endearing
object was always you. Anyway, you’ll never get
to know them not even their Christian names, with
the terrible onslaught of breakfasts, brunches and
phone calls, all that schlepping and shelving because
you don’t want anything extraneous in your way.
Some liked the gorging, yet nothing happens and they
fly away beyond a white wall. Can you keep up?
It’ll take weeks to fill you in on the savory details.
Me, I’m doing ok up here in my crumbling crows nest.
Land ho ( I guess) a newly minted land called Israel,
not part of any one person. Its boulevards go quickly
by, flanked by houses not built to be lived in,
flagstones set for you to walk on or between. A joyful
evening on a sad occasion is better than the reverse,
I suppose. Nights after my father’s death I carried
my briefcase up and down the stairs to a carrel in the
library. Dorm life was sublime, with its moon-
shaped elevator dials. Footnotes come to mind and a
subsequent march in a continuous succession of
goose steps. Then after a month long hiatus I resumed
donating blood to the Red Cross. Research made everything
take longer, even writing. A parade of authors.
As the visible world disappears the word, spit or spirit
enters my mind like a distant steam boat. The fan’s
steady whirr of where...where? Lulls, scolds. Come back
into the beyond. The darkness of a plum high
in the plum tree.