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.


Minnesota Mining & Meditation


Among the North American tribes
Ojibwe midéwé medicine
was considered, bar none
dark & strong.  Copper for earlobes,

iron for arrowheads.  The beetling sky
barreled down over tamaracks
as wind made tracks
disappear in shifty drifts... hey ey

yo, winter raven!  Iron mother-bird.
Little Henry Limp
climbed out of the stump
of his papa’s grave (obsequious word,

weaker than puff of cottonwood).
Up there in Rez Cemetery
overlooking Mississippi –
him foolish-fond Ski-Neighborhood,

him dream-nest, reconciling every pain.
Down below on the floodplain
wimpy Abel, mean Cain
wrassled for the gilded unclean

scepter of dominion – going insane;
in that negative snow-light
your abject, self-abasing wight
is king of the weak, the outcast, in his rain.

& who shall have the succession, lil Hamlet?
The brass coil Vengeance
around your wrist, the dance
of California, D.C.... where’d my safety net?



ineffable seraph of the boomerang


Love is the curving frame of things,
the flexible woven logos
of the safety net – bamboo’s
swerving embrace the sculptor brings

to public squares in São Paulo
(Alison Grace Martin).
Thus, in Pushkin & Scriabin
Mandelstam spoke of an eternal ritorno

fresco’d in the alcove of Redemption –
earth already redeemed
& art set free, beamed
through spirit-webs (boomerang-spun)


until the world becomes a nest or den
prefigured in those icons
limned for all seasons (our
pre-existent & imaginary friend

who nevertheless walks upright, smiles
& calls us by our name).
The rays through the cranium,
holes in the hands... Earth’s exiles

sense the time-scent of eternal ends.
& so the sign of humble dignity’s
grandfathered to eternity –
the nest feathered with wings, my friends.



season of myths


Yearnful melancholy Hobo ambles
through the cool autumn air
beside his ancient river.
The stately ship is in shambles –

audacious frigate, Ironsides;
the man of lawlessness
fills sails with loopholes,
fraud & force cloaked in bromides.

The mellow colors by the Mississippi
figure a buoyant hearth
where a woman might give birth
amid flame-tongues of domesticity –

like these nests of bold maple leaves
mingled with cadaverous hearts
of cottonwoods (Hart’s
premonition, Berryman’s Osiris sheaves).

& Henry, patiently delving like a wasp
through its oak-apple shell
or a worm through the skull
of a defunct Lear, will suddenly gasp

like an infant breathing her first air –
where oak-leaves chitter
beneath Roundhead October;
a restoration from crypt-keeper’s lair.

Hobo, following the copper shoreline
bends toward St. Louis
& his bark of Jessie, O.
Light churnagogue (twin trees becoming one).



Cordelia in the wasps' nest


In the car coming back from the memory unit
I catch the tail end of Mahler’s 9th
the slow slow strings’ fading strength
bent like snarly willow limbs into some resonant

sweet culmination (ancient Mendelssohn
elegy in mind).  Autumn’s
rust-blood golden sun’s
quintessence now, O silent one?

Cordelia in the wasps’ nest, at the axis
of the earth... Lear, trembling
like an oak gall wasp – bleeding,
stung by the crypt-keeper (Euderus

Set).  The wasp within the wasp, Osip –
Shakespeare’s quaint acorn-
crown of happiness (shorn
pharmakon).  & shalt thou drink my cup?

The box-within-a-box, the matryoshka
toy?  Like bloody JFK
in Dallas, on a Friday –
Jackie’s pink tiara (autumn leaf regalia)...

The river of violin sound measures time
to its serene delta, my friend.
& the tree (Hagia Sophia with a million
eyes) harbors the wind like a nursery dome –

you hear the sound of it (that waterfall
through twin cities, Berryman)
but you know not whence (my son)
it comes (oak’s Galla rite, imperial).



beehive hop melds drones


October in my spindly cedar octagon.
Oblomov in a quaint gazebo
waiting for his Olga, O.
Henry had an MRI today.  Beat.  Ochin.

His mini-RI, his Ocean State,
full of scrambled eggs &
mussels, canonical sand...
some Narragansett raving (will abate).

He can’t lift Juliet (or JB, either)
out of the bitter surf
with a pompous word, a mere
sniff to the wise.  Just take a breather,

Hen.  The heart is a mystery
who can plummet?  Purple
majesty amid all people,
8-ball in the Rabbi Shabbat sea –

where be wisdom be to found, Henri?
In love again with Heidi
or whole neighborhood, ey?
In Mendelssohn, where the bee-

hive hop melds drones to symphony...
where children laugh naturally
& Sophie will skip-to-me-
Lou through the live-oak gateway

immemorial... as toward you, gentes,
Jeannie, Juliet, Jonah,
the heartbeat (Shekinah)
skims near – overshadowy Benny Voluntas.



fireball parody


October Indian summer weather;
delicate red hands
of sumac & maple pause
suspended, swing through clear air.

A white paddlewheeler like a ghost
glides upstream out of
Lethe – like a church dove
burbling an emerald paternost,

a moody coracle out of Iona.
Who is the master here,
O mini Man o’Tar?
Whose maze is this, Grandma?

Nile Voodoo Queen seeks her Osiris
at the snaky rainbow mouth; &
Henry Churnagogue steams south
to find his figurehead (Columbia’s

Joanna-genesis, out of impoverished
Franciscan waters).  These two
reflect each other – so
your spring-coiled safety net’s accomplished.

So when that fireball parody of Icarus
– no guidance system – lands
a direct hit on Ireland’s
intricate dear vessel (Ick-R-Us?

Ich bin ein Russki, then?) our meta-bridge
of bridges, our Iris beyond 
all arks, will respond –
braiding a human chain of love & courage.



driving around Kenwood


Driving around Kenwood, the memories.
In the mist.  October
leaves me almost sober
(maples blushing maroon, umber).  The bees

have mostly flown to sleep (in the calyx
of a sunflower).  You’ll find
soft traces of the mind
in whorls of thumbprints – Red Wing phoenix

lifted out of blue clay & industrial (okay
now what?).  Zone of quiet
emotional measurement.  Whit-
mind, informing each & all.  Today

the Mississippi is a feathered serpent,
mirror of oak & maple,
cottonwood.  Oak-apple
galls the rotund roundhead tyrant –

harboring the charismatic prince
whose mother & bride is
Espiritu Santo, Sophia’s
father & son (green acorn salience).

The canoe downstream is almost invisible
like a pair of wooden lips
whispering across the gaps –
a miniature ark, whose rainbow burble

bubbles back her own Churnagogue wake;
she is the radiant candle
glowing through the cupped hand,
the clay grail mending each American mistake.



keep on pushkin, straight ahead


Under the silver shoreline of late cottonwoods
the quiet gray clouds
the dry river weeds (wounded
with scattered sumac) Hobo broods

as always.  Trying mightily to bring it all
into focus, under the aegis
of an ineffable Isis-
eye (black West Branch granite, under veil).

Seated on her throne, standing for a Mind
of grace.  The poets’ doctrine
as against the matter-men –
lambent clay mutter-shape (FOR BLIND).

Johnny, we hardly knew ye... Iona
clover, twirling like a dervish
in the shadow of an Irish
Tyche.  Liberté, coulombe, Columbia...

Jeanne, Jonah.  Up from pacific waters
of an Ocean Rose, an Okeanos
Newport oakenship – ceremonious
wedding (chaste prow, beyond all wars).

Like scrape of diamond on a coal-black
door.  Marking your graffiti-
passage, Henry Contumely –
he hath entered the realm of signs (alas,

alack).  You search the scriptures, lil Red
Fox – but do not come to ME.
Swift as cottonwood leaf
her sun-heart passes... (Dion-Isis?  Fled.)