shout it from the rooftops


Hobo was playing solo crane bone flute
like an airy trompette marine
as he watched Henry puzzle on,
muttering his thumpy rhythms en route.

It’s the Union, the Union, Hobo intoned –
as your eye is clear & light
in the pasture breeze – right?
We wrestle with this violence, shark-boned

with vicious avarice – yet Sophie-gentleness
may rule at last, a restoration
of your soul’s volition
the true child-wish, mild & harmonious

as that lamb-lily in the tiger’s eye;
as Sophie plays her middle Cs
at center of the keys
& swings all 88 into the sapphire sky.

Hope is our natural state – for a grace
bestowed, unbeknownst to us.
Lost & found – like that Tombs
Angel, swimming from the marble face

to lift a prisoner out of the dust –
Rebecca Salome Foster, spun
by Bitter-Lamb into the sun;
drawn out again (by Jeremy Ann) at last...

So Henry clutched the muddy wheel
& turned it, counter-clockwise;
from oceanic Providence
to clear pine river-source... you feel


it turning, turning... into San Francisco
& a rainbow pigeon-throat
blent with rainbow trout
all natural wonders for that footloose hobo

full of ecstatic spiritual deliverance
marked on his feet & palms
from walking, chanting psalms
all the way to the Delta – joyeux entrance

into azure Gulf, American trumpets
O when the saints
come marching in...
& the clay wheel turns bronze serpents

into flame-gold lambs, whose linking thread
folds limbs into a March on Washington :
where they will wash away corruption
& the violence greed breeds – the dead

shall climb up from their graves, & dance
the Beguine – the beginning again;
the restoration of all men & women
in the clay river-light of Cahokia’s immense

plateau – across Big Muddy from the sky-
blue angle of the Gateway Arch –
that silvery canoe, echoing the arc
of one invisible & omnipresent loving eye :

Aye-Aye of Providence.  Elliptical wafer
lifted from humble bowl...
Hagia Sophia (universal
soul) wearing her limestone life-saver.



whispers out of Colchis

painting by Michael Gould (acrylic and Elmer's Glue)


Henry hearkened to the dream song hum
along the stairwell of a crane
bone flute.  The black mane
of Mama Miriam Dodona waved to him.

As if a little tree anchored his coracle;
a branch of whispers out of Colchis,
woolen silky-shroud of Maximus –
his golden fleece a minor miracle

where twin wheels mesh to form one
almond (of almonds).  Mighty
mickle canoe, whose Isis-eye
looks from the prow (tease of the sun).

There is a vortex in the Black Sea
where the Great Year pivots –
Hamlet churns through his regrets
there, until Milky Way whorls like a G.

There is a grail of emerald stone
beckons from the bottom
of the sea.  Four rivers stream
out of a matrix there – exalted zone

of moody CHURNAGOGUE – the potter’s
center & circumference;
Ferrara ghetto-sense
mingled with Dante-radiance (all hers).

& the backward Nile flows down to Memphis
where the martyr at the bleak hotel
sipped from her cup, & cancelled Hell –
his milky dome hoisted to foamy wisdom-bliss.


photo from Ballets Russes


Old Hobo-&-Henry, down by Big Muddy.
Hobo lounges in cottonwood shade.
Twirls a bright curving blade
of tiger-lily, so orange & black, idly

between finger & thumb.  Henry
thought of mossy Giuliana
walking away from her pottery
shop, entering the gloom of Sant’Apollinari

high frieze of majestic virgin martyrs
carrying their crowns.
The photo from Ballets Russes,
Paris, 1913 – spring maids, en fleurs...

& the black dot of Juliet in the distance
crossing the tensile spine 
of orange tiger-dragon
one last time (beneath frost-cobalt silence).

Strange oak, epileptic, near the shore.
Bent like a lyre before
a cluster of cottonwoods – your
humble servant, it seems.  Kingly no more.

Hobo eyed it.  Washing their leaves
with hers, maybe, he said.
Like San Francesco & his bride,
his sister, Povertà.  Humility cleaves

to the pivot of this world, the matrix –
to the crossroad, to the tree
of life.  I look into you, Henri –
to your salty heart.  I read the asterisk


you scribble for a star, approximately –
I scan the fresco-sketch
you offer for a spirit-potlatch
replica of New World Galilee.  It’s funny.

Earth is in its birth-pang death-throes,
Hobo.  Hope is hard to find.
Yet... the kingdom’s in your mind.
Your heart, my friend.  The Shadow knows.

& you were right to shape the Southern Cross
surrounded by Sydney fig trees
into a diamond-figure Paradise –
to stem four rivers from St. Louis

like emerald casket for the Eucharist;
for Micòl in her black canoe
& MLK in Memphis too
sustain that central martyrdom of Mars

just as Dante foresaw, in his basilica
where little sylvan J
circumferences her almond tree
delightfully... & the grail of tears (Ephphatha)

opens broken hearts across the globe
to each one’s almond Argo
Isis-eyed Hagia Sophia...
see, Henry Church?  & like a strobe

light suddenly unfolded, Henry felt
what Osip felt – accompanied
the rapture of the universe (sighed
with bold Marian... watched iron melt).



throned upon dignity


The muse of my Ravenna poem
is secret & silent, hidden
in quiet like that Belgian
Isis – adamant black Mom

throned upon dignity in West Branch
shaded by old oaks
& the whisper of spokes
on a windmill (over limitless green avalanche

of cornfields).  She is my implicit
First Mower – my ground
of whispering midwestern sound;
Hobo, curled by his sprung rivulet,

her loving servant & factotum
& my bosom pal;
we three walk out of Hell
by the glow of one sole lux humanum

an eye-in-hand, like that manifest
benign donation of a palm
opening from the cosmic realm
above Transfiguration of St. Apollinaris

in Classe.  & as we are three-in-one
in the mode of deification
we mirror that diamond Everyone
dwelling in the well of supernal Union

before, within, beyond Creation –
in the heart of the dream-songe
& the rêve-vision, we plunge
toward Restoration like a green acorn


& rise like ancient Osiris or Lone Ranger
through the climbing limbs
of an emerald Okean Stream
glowing more human (richer, stranger)

& more alive, as we lift toward that
light cross-tree of stars
where gentle Dante stares
& time & space availeth not

& where the marriage of true minds
is blessedness of spiritual grace
as we become one Falcon-
Ace, or Jeanne-eaglet – who finds

her microscopic lamb-lamp in the grass
just as Maggie spied Jesus
composting the flowers
there, in Resurrection Cemetery... Rise,

Sister-Dove!  Walk, Jonah-Lazarus!
& thus the reunion of the universe
is now our interstellar fire-house –
Maggie a tower of almonds (brown eyes

shaken up to smiling Milky Way
between Jerusalem & Athens)
& my dry diagram begins
to melt into a double Tiger-Lily –

like this one (Hobo showed me)
peeking from the shade-weeds
by the Mississippi – beads
of green, black, orange... a flag (you see?).



the stubborn Acmeist


The way a stream flows around a piece of granite
rough gray in the water, winking
with rose quartz, mica (splintering).
So the stubborn Acmeist would honor that

which is, that which exists.  & Osip
would agree with Oscar Cullmann
as to the meaning of Redemption –
it’s already happened.  So right worship

is a thing of joy – ample gratitude
for being, & the hope
of Restoration (its full scope
a celebration, braiding bread & wine).  You’d

barely sense the almost-infinitely distant
echoes of a first Thanksgiving...
everyone hoisting something
to that scrawny picnic table (ancient

light).  So as we J-stroke forward
let’s return to New Orleans
with B. Latrobe, who kens
the old French buildings there (mired

in mosquito nets & drainage swamps);
where he will follow his own son
to his malarial grave (one
body, bread & wine).  Under yellow lamps

like fireflies in the harbor (swaying,
soaring).  Scintillant mosaic
for one lugubrious Republic
(hopeful, Creole).  Clay American thing.



on six directions


I will not rival Dante’s double
spiral (from depth of Hell
to heart of Love) but spell
a complementary bubble-

rêve, mapped on the horizontal.
Infernos of damnation,
sparks of elation
harbor here – my guide no Virgil,

only turtle-speed Hobo;
not Beatrice now
but one blithe ocean-dew
rainbow (her smiling Jonah-brow).

Like that mercurial Micòl in Ferrara
she lights my imagination
with X-S creation,
aslant from Providence to Frisco –

a river, crossing at the Gateway Arch
like some switchback, Pawnee
Missouri – molding a key-
stone at Cahokia (ten fingers’ kiln-torch).

Where slowly, slowly, the potter’s wheel
with shaping eye-in-hand
rotates the whole land
counter-clockwise – churns against the keel;

casting her clay cup on six directions
like Black Elk diamond –
firing her mandala-almond
amid each human hearth-rose (Hobo reckons).



heights & depths


In the phosphorus dwelling-place of the Most High
Dante, murmured Hobo
will I be able to hear
that melancholy train-horn cry

so-so long gone?  His pal Henry
felt that ol’ pulsing flame
of lonesombrero, becomin’
churnagogue (centripetal clay) –

that emerald lichen-moss of Giuliana,
flanking a time-hewn sepulcher
with it still whorl
of tesseratic Emperors & Empresses... ah

Psyche, from those regions which
are Holy-Land!  Smoky
incense signals eye-
in-hand, Galla (yon casket-niche).

The soul is feminine.  The turbulent
churnagogue is melting
galaxies, in buttermilk –
hamlets of sacred discontent;

YHWH, detached from patriarchal kings
unveils a weird Coatlicue-
possessed & epileptic Dante-
muse... Venusian fire – & Jonah sings

Love leads us up like moth to flame
from steel-train Iron Range
down to Delta... strange
diamond, Latrobe (El MLK mandala-frame).



under the Memory Wing


Henry’s ancient mother in the Memory Wing
shows him how dying &
amnesia are kin.
When coarse indifference is the thing,

my countryfolk, how to redeem the time?
Henry tumbles down with Hobo
to wallow like a gator now
in river muck – fish out the paradigm.

Wakan Tanka, Great Spirit, O
Thunderbird of Red Wing’s
olden days – you being
transcendental I AM – hey ey yo...

The metaphysical is just outside
your A-frame, Hobo sez –
& as such, pivot of the rez
(or any reasonable maze of hide).

You get me, Hen?  Might be
the shadow of that Jonah-
J’waytroulife, clear to eternity.

So this rough clay my mother molded
with bare hands (these
Mexique 4-face planters)
might morph a continent – dead

rising altogether from each cold silo
into the dream-sponge
Providential plunge
uncoiling slowly (at Cahokia Ground Zero).



hidden by Ocean in an oak


Henry’s troubled mind sends him in search
of Hobo, down by the riverbank
as usual.  He’d never think
of working on the Sabbath, in a church

or anywhere else, or any other day,
either.  Tarries by the stream
Espiritu Santo – off-beam,
at ease.  & murmurs thus to Henry –

Born to trouble like the moth flies upward;
like my uncle Zack – bartender
in Pig’s Eye.  Took a gander
from a sycamore – & suddenly soared

up tippy-top, full of T-total joy!
Clambered down, & followed
that young’un, Jay – he’d
never be the same again.  & I say,

ol’ Hen, the comfort’s hidden in your mind –
an equanimity & rest
that plummets to your birdnest
straight from yonder Pole Starfriend.

Love’s quicker than muscle, nerve.
Is there already, waiting on you –
wing-form, wave-form, arrow-
true.  But – such a swerve she gave me,

Hobo!  Bed empty, whole place cleaned out
on Sycamore!  Off to D.C.!
Take it from me Henry,
was all deservedly, you woolly lout.

Grace gave you a reprieve – your whole
lamentable life.  Coiled
at the source, like a cockle-
shell of plenty – to restore your soul

& the whole damn world.  Some morn you’ll wake
like that blithe monarch
hidden by Ocean in an oak,
& see the Restoration – like an earthquake

coming with the Child of Woman.
You will no longer pine
lovesick as lamb (in cotton-
wood, or buttonwood) but rise & stand

like Abraham, by them great trees
in Mamre, or Ogygia –
& watch that little acacia
of Jessie reach on up to Paradise.

& then Henry saw his shadow on the path
blend with the branching shadows
of the cottonwoods.  He goes
as it is determined, through sluiceways

of wrath, up to the blazing Southern Cross;
faces jangled music
of a Minotaur’s acrostic
(all this New World torment) – at a loss;

& yet he feels the light breeze of that grace
Hobo made plain as trees,
American as any poetry’s –
dark gold fleshtone foundation, keeping pace.



until this firefly leaps


The flickering faintness of a hobo fire
grew steadier as Henry drew
near.  All for you,
muttered Hobo.  Your Falstaff, sire.

The heart’s a cracked & splintering
toy drum, he droned...
Henry just groaned.
He felt pangs of fibrillating

Providence – inviolate rose island
in the hearthland of the sea,
where what might have been might free
one Bonnard fête from tragedy (a sand

mandala, slipping under the wave
of pewter experience).
Imperfect sense is
normal, Hobo (hustling to the grave).

Look at that butterfly in Whitman’s weeds,
Henry!  Monarch, Hobo?
No – black swallowtail.  So
azure constellates, where black clay bleeds.

Ouroboros universalis – until
this firefly leaps... a spark
your gemstone soul to mark –
the pure gold’s melting to fulfill.


Like a gyroscope, the soul balances
on threads of conscience
& the normal universe
awaits your restoration, Hobo Eli sez.



serpent in the clay


Henry leans on Hobo, stumbling along
the river path.
Sullen serpent of wrath,
her mud-green bronze glistening

mutely as she goes, her banks
tight-lipped, angry with Man,
older than Man.  The sun
barely registers on shady flanks

slipping by, tongue flickering.
The plot thickens.  Clouds
darken where crowds
hearken – listen! – princes, bickering...

& who shall have the succession?
A cast of characters –
kings, clerics, warriors –
mime St. Vitus in scared possession –

sleepwalk their sacrificial totem
for a perennial repetition
of the same (again, again).
& armies marshal around Bethlehem

to protect the kingdom from its violence;
a convenient woman shall
be found, to dance the ritual
in their place (a chosen princess)

& her cacophonous Parisian Rite of Spring
will set the keynote for a war
to end all wars (for
a while).  Meanwhile the black spring


of Rio Mississippi coils in anger
on the Iron Range, under
the North Star.  Thunder,
Hobo, Henry says.  It’s Woodpecker

come back – alight near Red Wing,
so they say.  What
does it mean, old mutt?
He muttered back : it don’t mean anything

to many, Hen.  She walks beside you
like an iron canoe,
the spiral J of Synagoga –
like that Micòl in Ferrara, like a shadow

of Our Lady.  Spiritu – loving you,
who don’t deserve her
sacrificed for Minotaur
on every altar, from Cahokia to now.

Then Henry saw a little emerald
almond leaf, shaped
like a boat... wrapped
in a river-whorl, spun, twirled

downstream.  The Delta beckoned,
where dark Mère Lousine
grinned from the deep.  Lean
over some more, Henry, Hobo intoned.

There’s Benjamin Latrobe & Son,
sunk like a foundation
in the Gulf.  An American
sun blinked, dark.  A slow wheel spun.



have you never loved & suffered?


Hobo crawled out of a hollow log
like a moon-bear from hibernation.
The River held him in suspension
between breaths, heartbeats (in a fog).

Have you never loved & suffered, Henry?
Do you comprehend soul-agony?
He was a Man of Sorrows, he –
acquainted with grief – like a lost penny

(Lincoln?) at the bottom of a well.
I have, Hobo.
If you want to know
I too be tarnished imago, two steps from hell.

Like who.  But I carry this flashlight
handed me by Lightning
Littletree one morning
(way back, in Providence).  It all right.

Or going to.  Everything you see
is a fresco-dream,
June-bug – the triple beam
searchlights all round (Imogen Dovie

in your mind).  I see you grinning,
Beatrice.  Bunny Rabbi
and Ignatz O’Lamb, too (hi).

will it spin in the sky?  Little Bear,
Big Bear?  In a sloppy gyre
you may bespiral somewhere
sometime, Hobo... in your underwear?

King David hopped like a rabbi
alongside the canoe.  Micòl
was like... O well.
The pure fire is restoration, Jun-eye.



call him Halfway Hank


Hobo staggers along the riverbank
halfway between Henry
& Osiris (bury-
man).  Call him Halfway Hank.

Like Bluejay all out of mummer’s tricks
memories of a Myth America
detach from his hat (ha-ha,
caw-caw).  Tall Tale of Two-Sticks

maybe – or The Time We Had a Picnic.
Nostalgia for infinity
invokes our Plenty-
Big-Prairie; mysterieux Henri Pick

was anonymous, along with Alexander P.
These meadowlands are Russian.
Thunder’s Oblomovian this
afternoon (American iz you & me).

So memory would like to dab a fresco
containing a continent.
As when a canoe is bent
around a bough of yew, or spent willow...

in some fictional garage in Ferrara
where recent immigrants
gather for sustenance
like Jonah huddled in a whale’s cantina

& the eye in your hand opens like a tear
& the river streams into the Gulf
where Wolfram & Beowulf
celebrate Thanksgiving (more Grail? – here).



upon St. Swithin's Day


‘Tis hot & muggy in the octagon
upon St. Swithin’s Day.
& will it rain?  Say.
St. Emperor Henry’s (Holy Roman)

also, once upon a time.  It’s stifling.
An unreal toad usurps
the garden throne, & burps.
His orange tongue is mean, & trifling;

his fire-red refuge-chair is for a child
who hasn’t come home
in 33 years.  Christendom
conquered the Holy Sepulchre... wild

slaughter & rejoicing on this day,
1099.  But will his Ghost
lift from that gloomy host?
Joachim daubs a fingerpaint contrary

blindly, with bare feet (a cave-fresco
for San Francisco).  & Henry
plots his own obscure & minatory
figure : double wheels.  Of milky glow

& river-clay – Cahokia, North Star.
To turn the Great Year
5 29s... & spin from here
some monarch milk (a little almond to restore).



for washing Washington


Before you can enter the realm of God
you must imagine it
& you can’t imagine it
until you turn & become a little child

again.  As a red-black monarch
dances over a mauve
milkweed cluster, like a hive
of honey – so the Ghost in her Ark

skims with light shadow wings
through unconscious nature,
& lifts, here & there
the heavy hearts of human beings.

Grace Truth is her name; Liberty
her gift; & the joy
that shines like equality
throughout the cosmos sets you free.

The Ghost courses through human veins
like shade of a rose,
like a prism of rainbows –
wherever Imago walks, listens, leans...

Like a Mississippi made of murmurs
or a clay flute molded
out of golden moss,
the Ghost in us surges toward a chorus –

a waterfall of sound, for washing
Washington – bringing
Vierge-Astraea, singing
from the Delta (milky monarch thing).



otherness of the Someone


Her fingers fondled Red Wing clay
on the circling wheel
into Northwoods bowl
or Mexican flowerpot.  Wheels, say,

within wheels... microcosmic canoes,
Arks of the Covenant...
even Charon’s punt,
Henry (we who have passed

over Lethe).  The woman with child
in her apocalyptic
mandorla, chased by Dick
the Drag to the edge of the wild

(up north, near the Boundary Waters,
in the Iron Range, near
Itasca).  Fresco a veneer
across Ravenna beams – Jordan River’s

sleepy patron god.  Sort of like Hobo
witnessing the fire-dove
skim down Cottonwood Cove
& settle on the shepherd kid... just so...

but I just don’t know.
Iconoclasm sets in,
considering we’re human –
liable to make it up as we go.

The otherness of the Someone.
Your friend, your judge
(merciful – but won’t budge,
won’t fudge the facts).  Solomon

petitioned humbly for wisdom,
sensing the dire burden
beyond each king’s ken :
the destiny of Jerusalem


under a blood moon of violent men
& the everyday mayhem
the grinding paroxysm
of atrocious cruelties – shifting pain

to the weak (convenient scapegoat,
ordinary poor).
Even blindfold Synagoga
might remember something critical, something

our mosaic Pantocrator forgot.
A little gray-brown moth
settles on Hobo’s mouth,
like a fingertip.  Hush, seraph.  That

maybe we are Hagia Sophia
with a million eyes.
Solomon was wise
to be humble before the Shekinah.

& Hobo was a mumbling bumbler
more like a river than a man
more like clay than person.
& Thunderbird was a rumbler

in Red Wing, churning the rusted wheel
until it sparked like gold;
helping her to fold
the wet clay of America on steel

braces... evenly rotating... Source
to Delta... Sea-Rose
to Golden Gate... flows
through the arch... Mud-Morse...



mark how red dust leaps


The trickster-shaman & the prickly prophet
frame a stumbling-block
you can’t dislodge... mock
as you may, puffy lectern-puppet.

It is a fundamental moral world
they dramatize, a place
of breathing flames – their science
is conscience, this life a dream unfurled

on stage (his banner over me was love).
On board a fellowship
from birth, we skip, we slip
& slide toward the deep (sky-alcove,

ocean-sepulchre... Osiris-canoe
full of Isis-candles... grave
of MLK, our architrave).
As if returning to our own soul (true).

In West Branch, Iowa (my grandmother’s
home town) there is a dark
moss-green catafalque
of Isis, adamant earth-mother (who remembers).

& the North Star of the martyrs shines
like a seminal spark
over the Iron Range.  Mark
how red dust leaps into lifelines –

how a merry-go-round of American clay
swings toward the gateway ring
upstream, down.  Shaping
newborn, translated children – maize, hay hey.