wheezing in an iron lung


Utterly subjective universe
of the poet, Hamlet
dreaming action... what
was I thinking?  A serious nurse

stood by my cradle (Abbott Hospital).
I was four years old,
wheezing in a cold
iron lung.  Paralysis (total).

1956.  Guillain-Barré.
Dr. Pohl – I
don’t remember (sigh).
Osiris in his casket, hey

ey yo.  The photo in the Star-
Tribune – toothy Henry
hugs his scarlet monkey
in a wheelchair.  Recovery! (Bizarre.)

Like the slight son of Giuliana
in a clinic in Ravenna.
Watch her parabola –
purple violet (or cypripedium

reginae) fringes the pottery;
congregate, massive
unguent jar, evocative
lure (hand of Lippo Memmi)

harboring anointment oil.
Milk, sap, honey,
wine, blood...  See
the star-eye riding the sea-roil


on her prow, lancing the Black Sea!
Magnet of gold foil,
handle for plow-soil –
wave of personae-galaxy!

As if the searching character of Isis
were encapsulated in
this matryoshka-queen.
Vierge Ouvrante (Hagia Sophia’s

magnifying glass, or Henry Church)
sums up significance
of eucharist – each instance
in a suffering kenosis, the human lurch

(from safe beatitude to surf
beat attitude)
leading to passionate
étude (H. Gorecki... – it is enough).

Prow like a beak, eye like star,
the solidarity of Polar
Bear – it is our
birthright, people everywhere!

Metaphysical, incomprehensible
Love, that finds an echo
in the infinitely patient burro
suffering everything.  Your fable

inches toward the human heart
on light footsteps...
so Nora’s rose keeps
Eros innocent (sweet garden violet).


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