concrete Cleopatra


The river is calm, like a brown mirror
on the vernal equinox.
Moving through bifocals
of that lovable double oval (dear

Franklin Ave. Bridge).  Gliding
from Ojibwa marsh,
a trickle out of harsh
winters... a fluent continuum (abiding

parchment years, the tides of March).
On this sparse Minneapolis
spring morning, under clumps
of woolly cloud-cover, her twin M-arch

might make a 2-seat kayak for a monarch
(Manitou, Big Wind) –
swelling from wing-finned
goldfish to a whale (or Jonah’s ark).

The flimsy grey wool threads a quipu
knot.  Stravinsky’s right
to be so wrong : the lights
are snuffing out all over Europe...

the little gypsy girl must dance
to death (so we might live).
The crowd roars, GIVE.
Ariadne’s thread enwraps the lance

of Theseus, the hunter.  MINOTAUR
IS RUST (feed him tar-cakes
until he bust).  Stakes
are high – each gets an equal share


or else.  It’s the American way.
So speak plain English.
Royal myth be not the dish
we wish for now – try testimony.

They killed the King of the Milky Way –
lofty Melchizedek
(& his Irish sidekick,
his brother).  Sacrificial hay

for infinite Corn Goddess, maybe?
Don’t think so.  It is
& means to a dead end (his,
theirs, ours)... rewind the anthropology.

Anonymous shadow tilts toward sundown.
Ghost dance under trees.
He coming back, in threes –
the buried man, with his Papillon.

The guy in Resurrection Cemetery
(never gone, still here).
Can’t kill someone who never
died – so let’s undo all this necessary

violence (stand your ground, Hamlet
– until Ophelia’s dead gone).
The Shadow Knows (someone
whispers – my Dad?).  The blood is let.

It’s an old warped story, on the loom
of Time.  Peruvian lamb
sandwich, taken for a ham... a
concrete Cleopatra (equal to her doom).


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