Lanthanum 8.15 (& 8.16)


Summer in Providence is cresting now.
On the cusp of evening, seashell sunset.
Caribbean pastel pinks, blues... inlet
of cricket equanimity (in shadow

of night). The granite hand of the founder
floats over the prow of his canoe, at the edge
of the Terrace. Blackstone, brooding, hidden,
tries that pledge (in profounder flounder-seas

of lostness, anonymity, oblivion). Finds
it fair (& kind, & true). Soul liberty...
your spiritual magnanimity is poetry.
Your metaphysical gratitude binds the

ensemble in its upsurge of a cosmic urge
toward harmony ‒ that rose-petalled state
where many states & planets merge (what
forgotten melody-memory rises to the edge

of her cave-mound now?) in an almond curve ‒
an eyelid buried in the garden-cemetery... one
teardrop planted by the vernal sepulchre (wan
limping Wanda of an everliving-leaping vault).

Only the sign of the whisper, out of the shell.
Like a tattoo on the shoulder of a rocky brow.
Like an air out of nothing; like a game of Clue
or Hide n’ Seek (one eyelash, lofted out of hell);

or like a glance from a cherished face, toward you ‒
of measure, law & cognizance; of mercy, patience,
lovingkindness ‒ substance of soul-confidence,
ration of the bread & wine (of Magdalen-Yeshu).



Under the byzantine bickering in Washington
lurks a kind of autumnal undertone ‒ the wobbly
gait, the straitened happenstance of an elderly
citizenry (O senile generations...). Peevish

widower’s refrain (mothballed Uncle George)
There’s not enough! Then cut some more!
reverbs the pensioner’s paltry share (just one
lottery win, Chief, will even the score
). Gorge

yourselves on bile & special perks, ladies
& gentlemen of the pork-fed Beltway!
You’ll buy a lengthy trial in the illusory
labyrinth-mirage ‒ yon Babylon-daze

of symbolic checkers (who’s keeping track?)
for egomaniacs (& other spoiled characters
with something to prove, absolutely
nothing to lose). Take me back,

little Sheba
! chants remorseful Solomon ‒
the world’s too big to fail... meanwhile
the kids are not all right (Absalom in exile
twitches his next move, under a pseudonym).

The world’s too big to fail ‒ isn’t it?
Or maybe not... or maybe it’s just me.
Lately I’m alert to the flyweight harmony
of a simple salt ‒ that Black Sea anchorite

with hands chopped off (by tyranny) ‒ yet
continued writing his hopeful letters (elegant)
with imperial stumps... So what’s his secret,
Jason? What’s yours, Ariadne? Not yet, not yet.

There’s a revolving door beneath the everlasting
dome of heaven ‒ where fingerprint of Everyman
whorls in its sovereign mystery (of one is one
& all alone
). Tattoo of trumpet... flowering.



Lanthanum 8.14

i.m. Amy Winehouse

On this gray Sunday of indecisive rain
a lone rose plants a scarlet matrix in my
backyard hideaway, on scraggly stem. High
in blues, the sweet chanteuse, lost in the wine-

fields of one Detroit soul, has come down early
to her clay bed, has sailed away on a trumpet-
tattoo... blues mingled with red-eye (delicate
heart). White on black purred that pearly

pigeon, banding Machu Picchu with a shady
ululation-ring : flotation device for overall dove-
mind (reclusive, swooning into the earth, love-
light switched on). Under all the neighborhoody

spectra-differentia, a furtive song
of bran-matter & wine : of black in white
& back again : of human mind & heart.
Soul (indivisible, immortal) is forever young.

& needy of light. Rhode Island, for example,
is a state confessional : refuge for all those
troubled in mind
(conscience) the footloose
founder underlined. Each soul a sample

of ruby, diamond ‒ forged from, blended
with coal & clay. Like that earth-mound
(Cahokia) under a tungsten steel-wound
Arch : both prong and spire, in a tensile

mend (grounded, centripetal). Your rare
earth path, your solo hum, your Amy-soul...
the limestone center of this wine-red world
is in your heart. Is resting in Elijah’s chair.



Lanthanum 8.13


The sailors, Hart, the sailors in Barbados
fashioned lightweight seashell valentines ‒
mosaics, shell mandalas, roseate signs
(centripetal) of love-bent order (logos-

flowers). & as each visible valentine
is emblem of a violet thought (seal of
a mute immaculate intent, made real)
so every shipshape coracle, each fine-

spun sailor’s hobbyhorse, is like a shallop
sharing scallop shells, or key for a box
bearing hoards of keys : one spin unlocks
them all ‒ each moonshine signal-envelope

exuded by the softest, warmest, most
sequestered crest of life (encrypted pine
beneath the tides). Be Mine,
my Queen, my Cleopatra-Desdemona, ghost-

Ophelia, in the photograph ‒ couched there
(nearly bare) with tintype bit-part players, on
the sidewheeler (from Jewett City down
to Lima, gal). Thin bodkin-signature

on haunted lake, one sinuous moustache
(melodrama-miaow) ‒ negative footprint
off slim rafter’s board (lost heartfelt
Argonaut). Lips lift the calabash

on sounding wave, toward shaken die of
yearning-hurricane... Aye-aye. Your eye.
Scrimshawed in a rickshaw by & by, O
Cap’n Bligh ‒ patented & omnipresent (Joy).



Lanthanum 8.12


Fresh scar of Omphalos, you plunged back
(through hurricane season) to the natal brine
or naval brain ‒ original River of Heaven
where your songs come from... (deep black-

&-honeyed Melville dream). & everything
grows implicate, symbolical, after the fact ‒
your heavy father’s red Lifesaver, racked
in his empty hold... the guilt-ridden ring

of twin clerical compatriots, collared
by strict safe-keeping (spinning through
Mississippi locks, each zigguratic Zulu
combine). You jump the wheelhouse, holler.

Yet planetary batta-babbling of tango-tongs
will never cease, except by grace
, cries
Everyman, fleet Falcon-Ace ‒ this prize
so steeps the tethered mantra of all song

except by grace, which yieldeth grain by local,
keepsake earth. Each foreign, sanguine Eden
of each stranger-tribe ‒ each crime-ridden
bloodsoaked mythograph, each folksy focal

pinprick ‒ each herb & flower cloistered there
in arch-hives of the speechless yokels (weed-
diggers, well-doers) ‒ grace, dwelling in the spell
of humble ship-launches, handshakes... Love’s share.

Hart, you reign thus, with Herman, in the sea :
I hear you, lambent singer, where eagles gather
& serpents loiter, checkmated ‒ ‘mid feather-
rainbows of mimosa, cedar-fanes of Galilee.



Lanthanum 8.11


I had an encounter with a bluejay this evening,
solitaire in dogwood niche or perch, a lonely
lieutenant ‒ or maybe just at ease (one homely-
pearly moment). Looks around, intent, scanning;

watches me (through the window) watching him.
Animals are great actors ‒ each minuscule move
steeped in suspense (a rifled minie in its groove).
No wonder Egypt wallah’d hawk-head Wisdom ‒

hoary Horus was a watchful bird. But I digress.
Where was I? Bluejay watching. Watching me.
Involuntary improviser, memorious volunteer,
funereal... north-southern (riverine, I guess)...

African button, lost in the hold of a Petersburg
prison-ship. Melville’s tomb (honeycomb)
at the bottom of the sea ‒ small room
(portable) slivered in Marlowe’s eye (O mirror’d

). Loaded magazine (a-glinting dirk).
The symbolism of these brassy, clashing cymbals
keeps one wondering & wandering forever & anon ‒
yet yon center of centers, yon gate of gates (hark!)

rests in your soul : yon Equalizer to the last degree
(Simon, Rupert). Just is. Just is the end.
When the Eternal comes, & you spend
your last penny on a rags-weedy gown, Marie.

So be it. Her humorous leg-kick or poke
in the ribs is evening’s promise : the memory-
star. When the whole weight of your soul, see,
is lifted... anima-child, bird-whistle-bone... look



Lanthanum 8.10


I criss-crossed the country on chicory highways
to visit my ailing father in the deep midwest;
past emerald orthogonal planes of pest-
control crops (inimical now to milkweedy

monarchs), vast calm ruminant spaces that
nestle on vanishing points of immemorial
homesteads. O this Lincoln-logos world ‒
full of illness & noise, yes, but also quiet

heroic Ohio highs-&-lows (those visionary
feats, O Hart) ‒ not to mention Pennsylvania ‒
where, in the evening, some sequestered cicada
perched aloft (silo’d, yet somewhat loud) tells me

keep on keepin’ on, like the song says :
because the slanting sails of cedar telephone
poles still lean toward poignant sky, horizon...
finite, infinite... their polestar (immortality).

Because there is something deeply foolish in poetry
which corresponds to something playful (fairly
prodigal) about this magnanimous & silly-lowly
sower’s universe (frisbee’d through every

black & mustard by-way) ‒ the way it was
in the beginning - in the very beginning ‒
the veritable Beguine ‒ before our sinning
sing├Ęd the surface of a planet with such woes

as tears are made of. When we were naked
dancing on goatskin, unashamed ‒ robed
in garments of light, just light. Globed with
water droplets, water ‒ shaken awake (shaqed).