bleak side of oblique


The long flat barge, the tugboat
pushing a pile of dirt
upstream – the delicate
reddenings of autumn trees... what

was Henry saying? – up Big Muddy...
Onshore, the back of Hobo
bent like wheedling oboe.
Imago of male failure (Osage hey ey

yo).  Autumn moon... they smoke
& dawdle out the sunshine.
She was a figurehead of mine,
Miss Posy; felled with a single stroke

(of either oar).  Nobody you’d know.
Besides, was long time ago;
sort of a dream-show.
Some tormented buried Poe-ego (Pogo)

traveling unraveled down Path P.
Nominated Henry
(domestic amity
is key to what-y-call happy).

Something between a rat-mensch
& Minotaur.  All entrailed
with entitlements, failed
fatherhoods... sweats on the bench.

Mercy of a rude stream, somebody
said.  Children of want
want what they, but can’t.
Have.  Le-Hev-Hev, spidery


black hole of the cannibals...
Only a drawn-in breath,
inhalation of death.
That’s all, folks (snaky nuptials).

Hollywood, Kali-Kali-fornia.
The sacred woodpecker’s
your twin prospector –
gold-digging Theoria, Inc. (wing

of raven feathering from cloud).
It’s a Pacific mist,
mister – a golden twist
on Vertigo, for crying out loud!

Shapes of a familiar otherness...
someone you know.  Her
scent (don’t bother
to ask).  As from the wilderness

of the sea (or out of a bath).
Not Venus, exactly –
not even Aphrodite...
maybe antipodal Sheba,

Queen of the South?  Or maybe Johnnie
of the Ark, or Jeanne,
or Mary Magdalen...
under cedars of Lebanon (selah).

Sometimes you see a faint rainbow
on concrete sidewalk.
& someday somebody will talk
to you (smiling wave thread shadow).


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