traveling Walter Whitman


A luminosity of grays
above the winter river.
Bands of peach, & silver.
A quiet surge past Pig’s Eye,

which became St. Paul.  John
Berryman sleeps on a bluff
nearby.  Once is enough
for everyone (a long time gone).

One casket will suffice.  Paul
was Saul once; an orange
angel flared so strange
his blade curved into burial.

He felt the change upon his skin.
So Queequeg tingled
where the needle angled
in.  The tattoo (Ecuadorian

gold) blood-red – indelible
(via serpentine
Cain-crozier) of Abe-Ape’s edible

ancestry (just incredible).
The primate history
of human mystery
incarnate in a star (blind, Oedipal)


who fell to earth, not far from here.
& like Walt Whitman, wandered
swamp-deltas... milk-&-honeyed
Hobo meadows... (poplar, cedar)...

all the way to San Francisco.
Golden Gate grandeur
sparkling orange-azure
not one whit less marvelo

than Solomon’s Templo.  Yet neither
will surpass one friar wight
who flutes across deep night
his piccolo arpeggios (Breather-

Bro to Sister Sigh-Nature)
lifting his humble sign’s
Venetian-blind design
beneath that glory-span – sheer

delicatesse of silver threads
raveling safety net
for one slight violet
(shorn, scarred by callous crowds).

She is your Imogen, who keeps
weight balanced on a wire;
fleet-footed candlefire,
light houseboat over frosty deeps,

your witty Sophie – at the wheel
of supernatural law –
sailing toward Awe
full-smile (lips compassing her almond-seal).


No comments: