for Chris Kraemer
Begins, a baby year. Crawls out,
survivor, bearded with ice.
not (b-flat, sustained). Hobo is stout
now as Shostakovich – repairs
the floppy mosquito screen
on vacant gazebo. Seen
more mangy homes, the bum declares.
Remembers that other Epiphany
50 years before...
with Chris the carpenter
in Soho, & Ernst Neizvestny –
three rootless cosmopolitans
christening his studio
with vodka – dla vashego
zdarovya! Hunched on some Titan’s
crucifix of railroad ties
laid out across the floor.
Moira’s “Mask of Sorrow”
on the eastern wall (king-size
Troy’s brother Gabe
there, too – my chemo sabe
trying to toot the sunshine back
with his brass headpiece (soldered
to holey, breathy crown).
Fenced about with unknown
renown, we are, Hobo purred –
doddered. The thatch be windblown.
The star be nowhere
to be seen. The Minotaur
harried our return – he was like a stone
blocking all the arteries, squeezing
the flowers. So we sang Kaddish
for the kids, in plain English –
scrannel our pennywhistles, wheezing
Pipestone smoke... remember now?
Down by Little Crow’s tent.
Where Thunderbird bent
his twisted contrails, laid so low.
St. Paul tied up in a Christmas bow
the whole Fort Snelling crew –
neat. & they’ll forgive you, too,
Minneapolis – just let them Gypsies go.
Morning Star & Evening Star
are twins, brother & sister.
The planet limps... her
black burn-scars all covered are
in tender hexagoons of fleecy
tinder. Let us pray.
One black-yellow butterfly
sleeps in gray winter crèche – she
furls her wispy shroud tight, tight.
The Minotaur has dropped
his cup. It rolls... it stopped.
One pearl winks out of polar night.