Going to post a couple of oddities from Forth of July for the 4th of July. This one was written on the 200th anniversary of the death of George Washington:


 To drift on a raft, in the cold Gulf
 your mother drowned and gone
 to the bottom, your no-go
 father waiting, wanting to lug

 you back to Cuba.  Elián González,
 refugee.  Half-orphan, political
 racquetball.  On elliptical
 orbit... to please the ghost

 of his mother, or follow
 his father’s voice?  A listening
 crane on a listing splinter
 under unknown stars (willful

 beasts beneath transparencies,
 emergencies – self-righteous
 crowds of kinfolk tyrannies –
 calculated raptures, seizures).

 And Henry trying to right the boat
 from a Babylonian mess, a mes-
 tree, a mystery–semblance
 muttered by tabulator-

 oracles, never getting blind.
 All out of fo’csle fire, folks
 – star-speech of sophic
 sophisticates in dabble-

 science.  Dark mutter
 beneath the beautiful city
 of colored stars (drunk on illicit
 l-Iku cubes, original razzmatazz

 of paradise).  Tom Thumb
 (vain little man to the finish line)
 hefting his axe to shadows, Nile-
 willows, round oak boles... mythed

 again.  It was the voice of Persephone
 brought Kore to the well-stone,
 sent Gilgamesh nose-tossing
 downward toward the Scorpion

 or Mother Sun or Dead Zone
 south of Canopus and the big
 muddy vermin-mouthed gibbous
 Nile-thermousine nose-diviner

 raft of pap set loose there;
 was Sarah Wilds for truth, hung
 swinging for it between Hale
 Oannos and Oannos Golden (Rhea’s

 Salem shulamite for real) and
 all the other saints (from Jeannie
 arcing east to Mary Easty, swinging
 west) fled to our island Rhodes,

 colossal Roger Wilco’s will (his palm
 of stone extended over the Terrace
 of soul freedom, calm, certain)
 for every ignited fire-lamb

 of foolishness or wisdom (children
 circling around a christmas tree
 all lit with stars gold-wrought
 and silver-shimmering for their delight:

 some happy pappy’s saintly clause
 exuded from the fireplace or through
 the cedar boughs:  some wraith
 of presence through chalk-

 white blindness:  deepening snow
 of winter night, adrift... a raft
 from the serpentine and far
 Antipodes).  And snow it was –

 since the blizzard of the galaxies
 unfolds in chaos, and the choppy seas
 avoid the careful, coppery seasons
 of Assyrian seizures, accidental

 Babylons, and the dismal
 dizzy darkness bears, it seems,
 the single inkspot of a measly
 thumbprint (on a live-oak dreidle

 backspun against gravity) –
 your will, old Roger’s Will, old Roger
 Williams’ will – the will to rage
 against stars, for heaven’s vague

 unvarying stake – rage like a lion
 against cruel stars, their stories
 and their cold indifference –
 muttered spider tales, nails

 in the coffin of each living
 soul (nursery rhymes, cribbed
 around your eyes – the bier,
 creaking at the vile Nile mouth).

 Ah... but your rage will turn to wonder
 and your Martian heart dissolve
 upon the hearth, when the love-star
 climbs from the depths – the red one,

 turning violet and green - the star
 that fell into the well in Bethlehem,
 the star that guided Balthasar
 from the heart of Ethiopia

 to the rafters sheltering a refugee
 bringing his single gift - an emerald
 jewel-ship (tender shell, immured
 in his palm... a gleaming nef).


 Yesterday 200 years ago
 a humble father of his country set sail
 with Utnapishtim, for the terraces
 of Ocean-Sky, in far Ogygia

 (where all the rivers meet).  O
 you who love the land from the bare
 cradle of the zu-bird to Arabian
 phoenix (Jeannes at the teller teamed

 with arching armored Johns adorned
 with eddying maelstroms, gunslung tattooed
 catch-22s) listen:  alpha beta gamma Pegasus
 at the Florentine font, 529, sidereal,

 intones:  go out to the Exalted Courtyard,
 Iku-Star – where truth grows saltier,
 more regal.  Light along an axe-blade travels
 upstream (pennyroyal mint) to Blackstone’s font.


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