the totem poles steeping in the dark. Open mouths of the archetypes
gobbling the present. We swoon to see the height,
or was I drunk
on monoliths in the sky, the glow of her cheek,
all the cased-in objects purporting a life I knew, bed mats and cooking
stones, pestles and blankets.
The open mouth of the museum. Open mouths in the museum.
Sortie, le cou de Anne Boleyn
Once was a head with white handkerchief hidden.
Once hid a body in ermine and damask.
Depart! old friends. The tavern lights are raised.
D says, We’re gilded-aged, Manhattan—
Isle of Emulates, of the Metonymies,
Big Apple, the Big Edamame, the Big Bean Sprout—
not the least of which Chinatown rose
in likeness to China,
smelling as fish on ice smell, as shrimp & mussels
mingle in the crates, the women
sifting through lychee barrels the men
the skinned duck—
from Pipedream : Lincoln City, California
Tarry, then turn away. Which is my prayer.
Which is the length you tiptoed naked
to the motel door, the stale room staring out
to sea. Which is how I see you before
my father interrupts us—you & I
goose-flesh white or as sexed red
as the mermaid’s red bulbs behind
the neon sign that read Sea Gypsy.
from Body of Dare Wright as Totem
Born to gingham at the shutter-clap,
to the shuttered sound of camera’s click,
a doll feeds the pigeons. Hopes for friends.
Opens louvered doors into secret rooms,
the vanity that is someone’s vanity,
someone’s lipstick, peeptoes, pill-box hats—
but whose? Whose hand spills a vase of roses
over the jewelry box but blames the bear?
What is self before it finds the louvered doors,
innocent of the mirrors it was framed upon, within?
from Variants on 'Under Bryant Park' Installation
of roots. And basalt. Below and through it
the words dripping water hollows out—
Cosmic drool from the cleft hobo chin,
the words dripping, water, hollows, out,
heel to hallway’s echo, echo in a head,
cosmic. Drool from the cleft, Hoboken,
compose the commuter’s passing,
heel to hallway’s echo echoing ahead
a train of words reverberated so,
composite. Commuters passing :
generations gone into the century’s gait,
from Statue Sketch : Nick Saban : Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Which is why Coach is up there leaning shouting
let’s go let’s go let’s go! May be we’re in it for good or
blood or may be we’re going national from D.C.
to California, but they’re making sure we keep
our bed sheets clean. Any moment they’ll walk in,
asking to speak to Alabama. Sherman ain’t in it,
we know that. We know every God-sent puff of air
in July when the county’s soggy with sun and thunder.