oracles from the Henry Couch


While the planet bakes, heats up
like the moon... Henry,
like Winnie the Puer
Aeternus, idly rotates his kaleidoscope

full of little bits of brass cymbal.
Hibernal, he turns
this way & that; his urn’s
an ointment jar from Mary Magdala

full of tiny frozen stars of royal
palm oil.  His screech-owl
habitat’s a cypress bole,
an Erica-tree (washed up by Nile).

Osiris is a long brown river
searching for the sea.
A muddy throne for Henry,
couched like round-headed Cavalier

in the living room of an argot Argosy.
Whose vessel wavers
on the waves, & shivers
when the keel spokes (glossy Lady) –

a buoyant kind of synagogue-canoe
or pileated coracle –
high honeycomb cenacle,
multiocular almond (with ox-eye prow).

The Golden Fleece dangled in Providence
like a unicorn in a cloister;
in Sheep’s Clothing (her
murmur nest) Francesca wove the dense


gold poncho for young Dionysus
out of San Francisco.
Light moves now
through the window, Theseus;

Ariadne is a widow, & young Helle
sleeps with the shellfish
south of Phrixos (Frisco);
all shall be well, & all thing shall

be well, &... who shall lift up
the great acorn of light?
Not Henry, with all his might –
but Grace (who bears the Bear-man cup).

That donkey-man of Apuleius,
cousin to St. Francis,
steered the figurehead of Isis
to the throne of Henry’s soul-crisis.

Pressure from the Left to dispossess
the thriving bourgeoisie
leads (see 20th century)
to misery.  Children, beware forgetfulness!

Pressure from the Right to still maintain
luxurious plutocracy
leads (see 21st century)
to misery.  Children, beware unrighteousness!

Old Coke & his disciple, Williams
joined ancient lawful right
with each & all – O passionate
recognition!  Love neighbor, & be happy clams!


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