a little air


A little air, a melody
out of Mendelssohn, maybe –
like a wisp of smoke you see
afloat above Red Wing one day.

Like pipes out of Apollinaire,
trompette marine – sole
zigzag rigmarole
of an enigma (serpent’s lair).

You walk the blank maze, Oedipus.
With ghost of Ariadne
by your side.  Keen
pal, forsaken thesis – surplus

collateral, original
betrayal.  Henry Adam’s
dusky twilight madam’s
mad, quiet... a virgin owl

nested in stone Columbia.
Only her bird’s eye
as the crow flies
correlates phantasmagoria

out of the desperate heart of Cain
into clay valves
where muddy stars revolve;
through the dawn labyrinth again

from light, toward light, with light
blazing mild power –
like some firefly bower
mowers glimpse of a summer night


beneath remote aurora-shower
bearing fathomless delight
miraculous & right
to chastened human hearts in flower.

So I behold Dante & Job,
David the King,
hedged by ironic ring
of instinctual violence – the mob

of envious, avaricious rivals
circling their prey
to make King for a Day
once more.  Florentine hovels

I see transposed to Catlin prairie,
vertiginous Beatrice
mingled with Platte clay.
To the horizon’s elegant Bluejay

molts saturnine Cawtantowwit
with amorous Jenny-
Jonah; they buried be
only to soar in monarch-flight

O harbingers of Milky Way
whose kingdom is an Ocean
Stream – salty communion,
sea-green flock of Liberté!

Out from the massive turning of the wheel,
where Miriam churns the cream
of every starfish dream
into her almond meal (Messiah-seal).


No comments: