Lanthanum 10.10


While Hobo was sleeping, like Frankie the tramp –
like the rest of us, with our cramped little dreams
in the garden of our lives (didn’t amount, it seems,
to mulch) – his soul was training her reading lamp

– planted aloft, in crow’s-nest made of birch-bark
(hidden in a pine). & so he played the shadow
of its abiding milk-train light. Hear that horn blow
now, silver, serene (silverine) across the sylvan

river-dark! The float moves upstream, serpentine,
while you doze... honey-melded servant-of-servants
on fleecy ship-sway (Sheba, Sheba). From Memphis
trance to St. Lou needle’s-eye (mandorla-medallion).

& as I sprawled there with Hobo, like a wastrel
in a weed-patch, I looked up... traced the path
that lantern traversed (arch over earth-borne
wrath). As if one soul stepped back from Hell

as from an empty well – stood upright at last
like diamond out of crystal cave – & sketched
an octahedron for the six directions (circumflex
of windy symmetry). To be an anchor – ballast,

balance (scaled to weight us). & all my heart’s
bewildered memories, remorseful hope
raveled upon that upright star-pole – sloped
to Bukovina, Karelia (vertical text of finish-start).

Prone upon earth, like Frank the tramp (spread-
eagled bounder) she lifted me (that Sheba-soul)
& all my dead with me (JB in the snow... HC
in the delta... Juliet at the gate). Into sun-shed.


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