The poem is the fruit of Burgundian largesse;
it seeps from flagrant dogwood leaves
that scatter anarchic caravel-carpets
(maroon canoes) around my feet. Excess
is the sign of the season. Flushed cheeks
on a florid emperor. These tiers
of flaming trees, magnifying the jeers
of sardonic scrappy starlings (cynical geeks
of ravening frost). So the season flaunts
its doom, a mocking diadem (last fling
amid withered shreds of everything
once green). So Hobo grumbles (haunted
house). Here the weather is a voice,
the wind a messenger (thinly, thinly).
Screed of starlings' raucous prophecy -
the rasp of a gasping hasp in an iron vice.
Occasional cry in the distance. Late at night
I hear the freight train's single plangent hoot.
Silver disintegration, formal hail (precipitate).
It is the star in the hexagon (right
eyelid of the king, left there to melt. See?)
or the black hole in the hollow of a pupil
reading late into November. Universal
sailor, say - Ulysses - drifting out to sea.
To see how things sound in the campanile
in San Francisco, or Jerusalem. Emperor
or saint, hobo Fred or Frank - forever
rounding on the perihelion (its catenary smile).
More unusual mutations from Rest Note (II)...