Boots & Divination
"In the most elementary
hierophany everything is declared."
Under asphalt on Batterymarch the clang of cobblestones rose up
as if under iron shoes of horses instead of my boots & divination.
A few days later I looked around for the hard evidence. Real joy
in discovering the alley separating the Royal Arcanum building erected
in 1877, & the present Charrette. Nothing but a great
grid of cobbles undisturbed, in place, like a set of molars when
the street was the mouth of
It was as if things & utterance merged. Red delphinium
vibrated behind our talk influenced by French burgundy. The friend
called soul & fertility of soil equal. It happened in a flash.
On a street given over almost entirely to fashion. For a second
poetry clasped presence & memory together with the strength
of sinew. Language, direct descendant of the senses. Love rose,
a sea in the bloodstream.
the need for transition suddenly fragments flow collage, listen
White Dog (of Death)
Believe it, I was in the same room with Brassai. OK, an auditorium.
I was also a month old when he & Picasso discussed differing
styles of graffiti in Paris, Rome, Barcelona. The etched holes,
lines, dug marks Brassai photographed & shared with the master
who studied them, zeroing in on the naive, the primitive. Picasso
compared them to his paper napkin animals. The day after he showed
Brassai the white dog (of death) with cigarette-bum holes for eyes,
word arrived of Nusch Eluard's passing.
Nineteen Days Later
November's last day cast black across the entire sea. An absence
of light? No, a hundred layers grey, & a threat of snow. Under
voluptuous stone-cold clouds one remnant of sun remained.
Morning of December 19th Jung's negredo appears, again, the
second time in twenty-five years - first warning in a written message
after knocking on the door of the dream, "Get out of the white room!"
This time, disguised as an old, goateed, Blues man, he says, "I'm
old enough, now, at 53, to change the past.
Tunnel Vision: One Untender Button
Conquering my own fracture, walking till it fixes, I jump on the
orange Line in Boston across from the guy in black leather jacket,
heavy steel zippers running up sleeves, black jeans, black boots
half-a- shin high, handcuffs attached to a loop, black headphones
blasting over cropped blond hair, left hand holding small spiral
notebook over which he labors with pen in hand blocked in thought:
danger as intense as I've seen a body distill, he looks up glowering
below brow right at the woman next to me, old enough to be his mother,
trying hard to keep from laughing at the kid toiling over the manifesto
hidden under mammoth thumb. A tract of decimation equal, I imagine,
to the dogma printed in bold white on black letters pinned to his
chest EAT FUCK KILL I get to Haymarket, turn on the platform
to watch in awe the train disappear into the oblivion of daytime
Communicating Vessels II
It's August's eve. More green & shades of green, & more
rain expected in days ahead. In last night's dream the enemy just
drove away. I carried that optimism like a parasol across a slaughterhouse
floor, when walking the pure, wet, black asphalt of Batterymarch,
rain sent steam spectres fuming out of man-hole covers, foreshadowing
the enemy's impending return.
Something ended up taking your place in bed, almost hap-hazardly,
while you were in California. My notebooks.
Difficult to Imagine
"Joy followed always
Whether it was Apollinaire's voice recorded in 1912, reading Le
Pont Mirabeau, made me understand, or scenes from Betty Blue,
or the tragic sound track from Last Tango, I'm not sure,
but recently, apart from finding you in our Paris hotel room, kept
up all night by Bastille Day revelers, only to ball all night long
like Betty & Zorg, where by their voices alone you'd think they
were, not like Brando in clochard's overcoat sifting through the
trash; or alone together, the only couple in the after-hours dining
room of the Hotel Negresco in Nice, mornings spent in the Mediterranean,
then at noon, the escape to our room five blocks away from the beach,
to drink off tributary bodies, eat cheap grocery lunch, then back
in the afternoon to watch Sadui Kamel lug huge rectangles of ice
over his head under the sun, & cover the translucent blocks
with stones to keep beer & soda he sold for meager living cold,
"7 Up-Up-Up;" or the bar in Cahors named after the movie 37.2 le
Matin, where on the outskirts of town you walked naked, ankle-deep
in the Cele River; I don't know, but what I do know is that when
I returned from this extended reverie, & saw you standing before
sun veering mercifully off the frozen lake... I recognized that
the most difficult thing in the world to imagine is Beauty ever
The Good Dog
The city paid little attention to the lightning. Lightning hotter
than the surface of the sun. Lightning, talk that changes things.
Women, nonplussed. Men, indifferent. Suddenly sauntering between
two lines of cars a dog emerged from the Storrow Drive tunnel, immune
from time, against the clogged artery. Haughty smile under his tongue.
Baudelaire in his last prose poem praised the good dogs of Paris,
the poor dogs, the muddy dogs, exiled by all but the homeless, &
women past their prime ignored by the imbecility of men. This outlaw
mutt, shaggy, wet, yet getting somewhere faster than the rest of
the rush-hour commuters. Unleashed grin of freedom, progress in
its own way.
Monument à D. A. F. de Sade
Those mid-thigh-high-black-velvet boots the Asian woman appeared
in, striking everyone dumb along the way! I'd drive her further
down into them, turning her upside-down to make the most of the
force of gravity.
OK! So what if I am, in this case, the heel on top?
It's an image that lasts!