the river is a strong brown god


The brazen serpent of the Mississippi
runs through my veins,
cantinnas Hobo (in vain).
How to tell my own (con version) story?

The antic disposition of these shelves
of incunabulae (obscure
revoluminous curious lore)
ripples off Norse keels – revolves

around my cranium (son of
McCain I am) – the worm
a canker, iced like berm
at Sutton Hoo (& strong as

love).  He will lift himself up
into his father’s affection
(this child of deflection)
at last, & be first in the stirrup

at the gates of his sly enemies –
he will be the son
who twists there (frozen
image of abjection) underneath greed-

seas of rifle-toting angels
(Cuzco school).  Spleen
of Hamlet, by the bedroom
screen – cunning de Kooning angles –

that Master of Gray, backed in a corner
of Ravenna – or raving
Coatlicue, stoning
the Consul in the dog-ravine (here,


Fido)... someone lurks in a mirror
with double doves (tin-
whistle Hobo-child of sin).
Abandona-donna’s abbatoir?

Some Aztec alphabête of yesteryear?
Hazel the moth-goddess
flits into brown recess
of brown recluse... (the spider’s... her).

The sacrifice of sacrifices –
hunters’ offering,
a shiny golden ring –
is like this image from ice-fisher’s

thing (icon of everything);
is like this light bread
Moses left for dead,
or Aaron molded into iron Sing-Sing –

a memory of Psyche-crimes
no one can heal,
nor break the lead seal
from the dark backyard (abysmal

time) until the flutter of a wing
like a mind from the sea
Hobo’s thirsty misery
slakes   or forsakes   a palm, circling

through the gray salt latitudes
like blistered sword
blessing   like sunshade
père-sol   ultramarine   (beatitudes)


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