the otherness of the poem


The turning year brings its anniversaries.
Sunken ships in the harbor.
My fleeting image of an arbor
green on the slope at Golden Gate – Julie’s

last day (her father Jim’s birthday).
Today the sun glistens
as if through Temple linens;
pearl beyond price, merciful Gateway...

The otherness of the poem is merely
the cosine of a conversation,
Cuz.  Light trinity of sun-
moon-star, embedded in clay lips (dearly).

As America is balanced in the scales
by a feather from Byzantium,
so a Pipestone eagle-drum
summons a kingdom borne on wing-sails.

Covenantal arc of steel
at navel of the earth;
gangway to spoke-berth
coralized beyond our iron wheel.

& from a pearl-eye in the mandorla
light beams to every hamlet-
brig across the planet –
melting the blood-red wax of Danelaw

& Washington, pouring dark wine
into each muddy river-vein,
lofting all-human
fellowship again (curving J-spiral sign).



bridges of Hennepin County


So many bridges flung across this river
like stitches on a wound –
their heavy iron-concrete bond
knitting a wintry Twin Cities together.

One thing is welded to another,
like the almond in a Venn
design – Cahokian
canoe of koinonia? – out of mother-

clay, spun wide... like risen bread,
or galaxies of diamond fire.
So lights flash over limestone
mire, through night-black thunderhead.

& Hobo, hunched beside the riverbank
is like the shadow of Henry
as Henry is of lowly
Galilean king (his incognito prank)

– as are we all, in that high diagram
checkering light across a dome
in old Egyptian Byzantium
(proof-stone of perpendicular wisdom).

Like Hagia Sophia with a million eyes...
rimming the twin-bent boughs
of swelling arcs (in Voronezh)
where East & West, mud-rings & skies

are melded in your almond lips’ ellipse
& God & Imago
& world & Churnagogue
are sanctified, sealed with a kiss

of peace (pax, agapeWakan Tanka);
where Rio del Espiritu Santo
whispers I love you so
& Hobo walks with sister Joan (Columbia).



Byzantium or high Armenia


Light snow cascades into December dusk.
Each flake a brief memento
of infinity.  Drifting so
far... from a distant world.  Ask

& it shall be given unto you,
intones the snowy-mantled
priest (Byzantium,
or high Armenia).  So the seed grew

amid its granary of full, deep faith.
Here in Minneapolis,
first snow is ceremonious.
A sanctification for the dying earth,

a last light blessing to the forehead
of a fading year.  I think
of Roger, leaning at the brink
of the Terrace... one hand lifted

floating over Providence spread out below
& miming his canoe’s prow –
an equilibrium of high & low,
of holy & mundane (Jonah-Hobo).

& Henry, tilting on the pivot-point
of Berryman’s rail (Washington)
is rescued from oblivion
by a mustard seed of restoration... faint

hexagon of gold sky-fire, transfiguring
the babble of his broken tongue
to chaste vision – sprung
rite from Ravenna (almond wing).



if I walk through this wormhole


If I walk with Hobo through this wormhole
at the bottom of a zigzag
Mississippi... will I see Cesca Tag
again, when we were young (my soul)?

In Providence?  Et tu, S2?
Picketing the perimeter
of Sagittarius A*,
noting that gravitational tug, you

sense her there, the ghost star...
back of an ecce-crypt
time-vacancy you slipped
through (holeworm, treacherous sailor).

Lean music of the sunflower.
Tall spirit loyal to the sky.
Your gravity a steel gateway,
oar-eye – florescing tacit power.

So this gold Einstein-Rosen bridge
domed by the Milky Way
shines like a lighthouse ray
into a monarch’s heart.  You wedge

there, anxiously, between her wings,
like the child in the blindfold
when a Black Ship sailed...
til tenderly his midnight origami brings

enfoldment to the nth dimension;
Liberty her royal seal
in beeswax, breathing... feel,
Hamlet, soft sunlight’s restoration!



perhaps we are Hagia Sophia


Down by Mirror Lakes, in Mendelssohn
Henry collects the silver
trading cards of a younger
self.  Still innocent (the future Hobo-man).

In that Providence springtime,
when we were setting out.
Pure Japanese note
of your own childhood (high chime

of Tokyo folksong).  Your Florentine
round pallor, papery
sheepglow (Butterfly).
Who knew I’d be the priggish Pinkerton

of Rensselaerville epithalamia?
Til that blindfolded boy
waving a Yankee flag (say,
can you see?) – sows stony drama...

Puccini’s on the turntable, at Amiata.
Her spectral Iris-wings
loft LIBERTY (to thee we sing)
unto this microcosm of liublyu stigmata.

Yet, perhaps... we are Hagia Sophia
with a million eyes.
The crucifixion of surprise
curves down, humbled with apatheia

– still time, still time, to turn
from the spent spirit
to that glad esprit
reflecting oui (edging Ravenna urn).



the sense of being right


The sense of being right, said Mandelstam
confronted by the Kremlin
goons.  Gumilev’s vision
of sweet radiance (chaste equilibrium

of morning dew).  The restoration
of all things might not be
some dystopic unreality
but a balancing of earth & heaven –

the way a canoe takes wing downstream
like feathery kayak
or golden bubble-track
across the sky (the Ocean River of your dream).

Kennedy, Jack.  A 4-leaf clover
assassinated every day
along with brother Bobby, &
King, Martin Luther (justice-lover).

A green eye floats, engraved over
the pyramid.  I calibrate
the shifting angles of a late
Atlantis – one heartbroken sky-rover

whose tears will magnify an Iris
in transit, like Venus
(from luxuria to lux
aeternam).  She was born for this –

to be the eye-in-hand of muddy clay
transmitting Jonah to Columbia;
to launch a hallelujah
from Monk’s Mound to D.C. (U.S.A.).



mercurial transit of the Martian sun


Armistice Day.  For all veterans.
For memory of an end
to hostilities.  Promised Land
or Providence... high limbs of the ones

who came before, palms lifted (orans).
From martyrs of brave speech,
whole truth, let us beseech
ineffable blessing.  Alighieri stands

nigh frozen Sant’Apollinaire
trasumanare in Ravenna.
Where mossy Giuliana
calls me from her potter’s lair

(soft aviator from a sunken realm).
Like that Tim Taylor, seeker
at Pacific depth (1132
ft. down... USS Grayback graven on its helm).

Project Lost 52 – to bring to light
every forsaken sheep-canoe
& let them float anew
somewhere divine (mercurial transit

of the Martian sun).  She’s calling me.
Like salt-grain in the war-engine,
a kernel from the Corn Maiden
of Grant Wood haunts... her Grand Marquis

a black blind spot across that gilded orb,
Ferrari Rio Santo Spiritu
she snakes toward you (& you)
from her smile-park (topaz to curb).



Apollinaire lived in Paris, I live in Minneapolis (MN)


A little snow meanders down in Minneapolis
to cold November earth.
Guillaume, prince triste of mirth
was lowered from his balcony in Paris

two days before the Armistice.
Grandpa packed up his guns
one last time, near Verdun.
Spent rulers carpentered their peace.

Sacre du Printemps set the stage.
Russkaia Neva-sacrifice
summons her apotheosis –
leaps for the holocaust of banal rage

mounting to self-consuming poshlost peak.
Apollinaire was there
that night (under the sulfur-
flare, the guttering of Belle Epoque).

Grandpa field-marshaled the parades
on Armistice Day.  Lafayette,
we are here... the old print
over the dinner table (Revolutionary shades

trippin’ la gigue française, at Mt. Vernon).
My ghosts are here now,
in November snow.
The Rio fleuves inexorably on

down to St. Louee, New Orleans.
Jeanne spins with Jessie
to their Stagger Lee...
my snow wheel hums, Rose (oriens).



I dream a general restoration


The early ice on the Mississippi
forms a maze of frozen
eddies, a chaos of cotton-
wood leaves on glass, all dark & ripply.

Somber November drawing on
toward JB’s Janus-mouth.
Slight man, moth-
light, leaf-blown from iron span.

I dream a general Restoration
cousin, cuz.  Because
our love that never was
lies crypted in a deeper congregation

of earthworms... Earth-life...
this pumpkin-celebration
where each seed is someone
like a minuscule canoe (collective

buoyancy, anchored in agape).
Not that Cyclops-utopia
ice-locked with Satana
imperador del doloroso regno, nay!

Rather a contra-dance of Earth
& Sky, a balancing
of stillness with evolving –
clay vase molded into mirth

by humble presence of the king
(of servant-kings).  A single
molecule of brine (NaCl)
is tabernacle bread & wine (of everything)


& you will meet her in the ordinary courtyard
of the everyday (she’s Everywoman-
Everyman).  This is a vision
of figure & ground.  She’s walking toward

you, now... like Roger Williams, stepping through
twin pillars on the Terrace...
Providence, a place
of mercy & discretion (fair & true).

I cannot put it into words, this waltz
of swirling time & high
eternity.  It is the sky
spanning the sea.  It is the salt

in everything; it is the molten dove
dive-bombing into clay
who joins you in a sway
of hurtling dancers (Milky Way

a-sarabanding, up above).  I cannot
put it into words.
The brutal violence
(stone-hearted ignorance) surds in a knot

of self-destruction, planetary waste
& You must turn & repent
cries San Francesco, bent
upon his imitatio Christi (feet laced

with scars).  It is the Via Francigena.
You will walk back to the river
sped with such a pulse... her
springing from the graveyard (Magdalena).



essential graphene histrionics


My biographical Brown Decades tumbled
rapidly by, in Providence.
How simply the silence
of these beseeching trees (autumn

at the Arboretum) speaks to me!
Alex Weinstein, in Mt. Auburn...
stood there with Sandy (Grecian
Urn?  Likely committed it to memory).

He played the violin at 91.
Emigré from Odessa –
fruit-fly research @ Columbia –
loved poetry & science... (thread-thin,

stooped, seraphic gentleman
of Cambridge Mass.) –
& so the fleet years pass,
callow Henry, to Thanksgiving (amen,

amen).  I put my faith in one
contextual canoe –
dry tacit Quaker taboo
against unquestioned superstition;

a sort of Boston Personalism
accepting each whorl
of conscience as the real
sign of some ineffable wisdom –

spring, source, coil, J
spiraling beneath a moon
brighter than cogitation
tonight... in a jumbled chaos of hay


stacked (by osmosis-creation)
across twistronic history
into graphene infinity.
Histrionics of pacemaker nation?

No, kid – it is the equilibrium
of a canoe or gyroscope
emanating (spilling hope)
out of the heart of the Imperium

accosting the Seizer of All Good
with adjusted reciprocity
of infinite mercy –
that normative hearth-neighborhood

established on the everlasting rock
of I & Thou, of eye
& dhou (equality
the ratio of the basic J’nah-Ark).

& so the weird Isis-receptacle
of Mirror-I-Am
fuses in twin-rhyme
with Notre Dame; so the spectacle

of male narcissism becomes unviable
at ordinary crowing
of Rhode Island Red – being,
like palm at the end of the mind, able

to hoot like Owl o’Athena
in the autumn night of
history   (the shadow of love
bending over your cradle)   Ephphatha



the true poem always comes from elsewhere


This is that ancient harvest night.
You bring a refugee inside
– might be an angel of God –
& find participation is the true delight.

The otherness-&-love of God
deflects the local stream
from its own banks.  A dream
intrudes – disturbs each land of Nod.

Bright Dante, growing gaunt & gray
steps into a seashell
– beached, like him, in exile.
Tall haunted shades of Sant’Apollinare

gaze, raining compassion
from wide almond eyes
like springs, like Beatrice’s...
he feels at home.  O prodigal son!

Poema sacra must be reconfigured.
Maximus in prison
by the Black Sea... vision
like shadow of the Argo soared

– an Easter visitant, come dawning
far above Firenze, or
this rusted blue-red frenzy
ferrying Rubicon (Cain-abling)

& you are weeping, you are smiling
far beyond sacrifice,
climbing that hill-face
near Kinneret (life-reconciling).



an ocean swell


This is that ancient harvest night.
Rhode Island harvesting
the sea.  A Newport wedding
(Jacqueline & Jack) at rocky height

(of Sachuest). & as the whale
harvesting the sea as well
is no less an ocean swell,
& Jonah is his pearl – still hale

& whole, alive from deeps of hell –
so Henry might rise again
from his own carapace of sin
(that shimmery-mirror Minotaur-spell).

Hobo-Falstaff lurks beneath a branch
of raven-wood (Cautantowwit,
Caws-too-much-wit).  Stone-set
into the Seeker’s providential avalanche –

one violet for the junk-jewelry state.
The salt air clears his head.
One Spirit wakens all the dead,
he chants – one Dream outshining potentate

& pyramid.  He nurses Henry back to health
like Whitman with his milky muse;
Abe & martyr Martin fuse
into the circle of their commonwealth –

a coracle or ark of Liberty
circumferencing azure shores,
whose acorn-rim Henry restores
to dappled shade (bright almond eye).



disenchantment of the sacred wood


This is that ancient harvest night.
Hobo curls deep into his nest
of old leaves, with his ghost
of a motherland... everything all right.

The Middle Ages were a second childhood
for homesick gentlemen, broken
by the gears of modern men –
the disenchantment of the sacred wood.

That light-filled limestone in the towns
offered to Mary Theotokos...
or the tart fervor of François
Villon!  Guild banners, pennants, clergy gowns

blazed with a commonality belied
by profiles of sad Synagoga,
goad for theological amnesia.
Her crown askew, her flock must hide.

Mum Quaker Hobo snores now
in a pile of aspen leaves.
Canada poplar sheaves,
he mumbles, to a sunflower (somehow).

She’s Pando in Italian, he dreams.
Largest clone colony
below the surface... maybe
the universe.  A raven-glance beams

at prow of her canoe, slips by.
Your motherland is endless,
someone whispers.  So this mass
of dead leaves limns one breathing aye.



Thunderbird already there


Late October evening.  Minnesota.
The sky already blue-black,
midnight blue.  Dim speck
of starshine, here & there.  The Hiawatha

sped from Chicago north, May 29
(1935).  Heavy freight train
hobbling across the iron
span, now – screeching, chirping (mine).

Peto, Reminiscences of 1865.
Those mystic chords of memory...
someone to end the enmity
with eloquence (while he was still alive,

and after).  Summon our humanity
into the web of mutuality
where rootless irrationality
might lose its sway (so hope we).

These chords align their intervals,
octagonal resemblances.
Out of a salty sibilance,
an ocean-sigh (when sea-bell tolls) –

one heave of molten planetary heart
whose Jonah waits, to rise again
out of the chambers of Leviathan
coiling a spring where all the rivers start.

The prehistoric limestone streams
ply on ply, like Schifanoia
allegories in Ferrara –
irenic fossilized life-forms


of some St. Vitus dance, before all wars;
here a spiral clover-shell
& here an almond eye
gazing from hell up to those stars

with a perennial fidelity.
Maybe it was your canoe,
Micòl – breaching anew
through stinging surf of grief & joy;

for that amor who is always in advance,
arriving before you know
like an eye-in-hand, so –
molded like your clay flute-radiance,

the little bird who sings out of the kiln.
Coulombe, coulombe,
she coos her name –
so simple, waiting at the windowsill;

out of the fire & burning palms
like Phoenix from her tomb
a new America (coulombe,
coulombe) this livid grail exhumes –

ghost dance of the dove who came before
of Thunderbird-already-there
through the black night air
from the dancing bear – shady amor

framing with shimmering wave-wings
milky Melchizedek
& bright ginger Jack
& gentle Abraham (grail-splicing springs).


a thing a thane might ship


The muted pleading of the cottonwoods
meshed in a counterpoint
with myriad redundant
autumn leaves (Chet Baker, Miles).

Sorrow & joy, sickness & health
in a subtle weave of shocks
& echoes (mental blocks
were mystic chords once, Keith).

Beneath your penumbra, Alighieri –
a shadow pantomime.
Fleeting Ravenna rhyme
(Julie on the swing set, Henry

sailing from the limb, laughing).
The logic of your enigmatic
kerygma, then, epileptic
showman?  Merely a line curving

across historical time, into the light
emanating from your heart,
Galilean nazir-sport –
over a chessboard made of night

& day, an abba-rhyme pattern
(pax-bellum-pax, or king-
usurpavenger-prince... a thing
a thane might ship, a Grecian urn).

Bent overlords still shadowbox
musical echoes in refrain.
Mendelssohn leaf-rain
leads me back to Mirror Lakes


– twin lakes, twin mirrors (eyes
of Oedipus, Antigone) –
Twin Cities ceremony
curing the incest-curse (of Paradise).

You cannot have a child of gods
& men.  Like an albino
freak, or Minotaur
the twin will upset planting periods

& hunting prayers.  The High Priest
tears his robe.  He
says he is the One – he,
he!  Messiah-singularity (least

shall be greatest, last first).  Huh?
Henry earn him tragedy –
dumb spiral out of clay
turn muddy windvane of Columbia.

All about people you know, poetry.
Little Rhody, see –
Rog Williams, Tommy
Gould (Annie Hutchinson too, sadly) –

plumb from Sir Edward Coke
into self-government
by way of Charlie Second
(seedling restoration, kingdom oak)...

til little Providence become
a way of life (like yesterday)
& you reckon the penumbra
yon Lady of the Harbor harbors (hum)



where the wheel pivots


My path of J, my Via Francigena.
You can read it on the Q-
line train, between St. Lou
& Monk’s Mound (clay Cahokia).

Choo-choo, J-J, Joanna, Giuliana...
on the milk train way,
your dewy morning ray –
autumnal hoot of helmeted Athena

(hooya-hey).  Fled with her child
from rude dragon.  Nightmare
tyranny (unveiling there
the root of human woe).  So the scald

burns his tattoo into each trumpet call –
the empty mirror of the king
crowns him equal to everything.
So gather him weird into your iris squall,

milky Sophia – gold sunflower
stretched into an almond
ark of mustard limbs (wand
blooming with abject surrender).

Because I love, because I love...
Behold, my child, I have
no wrath.  & in the hive
of clay lips, trace her architrave –

tacit surrender to a violet
sown by storm (below
these wars of villain & hero).
Where the wheel pivots, my river-pilot.



her quantum realm


Hobo retreats to his park bench
on the riverbank... who
he?  The other half of you –
half-man, insufficient mensch

acquainted with the missing hole
of all deracinated souls.
The fever-men, the moles
in Washington... hungry for the dole

of glitz & lucre, hypocritical revenge
for Cain (vain little men
seeking glory in ruin).
Like a swift & mauvais rêve-songe

baseless as those trumped-up towers
Hobo trips his execrable
ghost-dance parable –
a travesty, to fill last hours

verily unto their scarlet brim.
He sees her, off in the distance
beyond the iron bridge.  Trance-
vision of that Liberty (Wisdom)

triumphant in her harbor... crown
upon her brow, torch lifted
overhead, arm hugging tablet
of the law.  Her quantum realm (unknown

Coatliqubits of soul-restoration)
rotates the clay wheel
on its Gateway oracle –
fright transformed into flight-pattern.



Hamlet in the death-canoe


The dreamer, mapping a circling cosmos
of milk & honey, starlight
& sweet fire... like Brightman’s
integral Person – with tables of Moses

in their cedary bark of mutual promise
lending salty substance
to halting hesitance
of reason (while the heart says yes).

The dreamer assembles the disparate realms
into crescendo-tango.
Hamlet in the death-canoe,
precipitous peripeteia – helm’s

Charon-pilot, planting the scarlet wax
of his father’s dread seal
for a doom they must feel
anon (political axe prickling their necks).

The tables of the covenant
written on our hearts –
sine-waves where channel parts,
Osiris-Jonah reassembled (US to haunt).

Old Ironsides, your canny constitution
oxidizes under termite siege.
The man of lawlessness will wage
perverse destruction like a weathervane

cut loose... yet that rust-bound ship
still bends toward Providence –
native Thanksgiving-sense,
red-corn grasshop (at clipper clip).



one mustard spark


The splendor of dangling catenary arcs
of orange steel & azure
sparkling with slim sure
stride, sprinting beyond the bayside parks.

I saw you, iridescent Golden Gate
on a sunny day in 1974.
Where Juliet had gone before,
plunged into her absence... my jeune Fate.

These tears in the inescapable network
of mutuality, these tears
of things.  What heart bears
at eye of hurricane (one mustard spark).

In the still, small world, along the keel
of a trim equilibrium skims
love’s unconditional hum
of humble surrender.  Like a simple meal.

Like a mother or father who is always there
ahead of time, before
you are aware.  Will soar
with eagles & doves, your Aviator-

Mediator – volant-violet Adonis, lifted up
(beyond the rivalry of red
& blue) into the thunderhead
of Thunderbird (Jonah grail-cup).

Hum now, Evening Star, Columbia...
your rainbow mouth, Osiris-
child.  Over the crisis-
cradle, full of infant cries – la realtà.