Four New Poems From My Current Collection “Holly & Hemlock”

Lebensraum

See through death –
– oh, there you go:
New bones prancing upon the old.
A foreign wangling of joy
The skeleton tried to recall
(Celestial trumpets peal
Like silk in elapsed ears)
“We can take care of our own here” –
The capillaries and rivulets
With Source-aerie sparkling still.

The sun on the leaves today
Could make a barn-burner cry
Or street man sing or do magic
or swim all the streams
as Heaven slowly unlocks her fire.

But high on those wood-roads
The duchess of leaves is dying
The dryads of ease are hiding,
Enshrouded by Maeve’s hair & bones.

In the stern beds of the past
Cold queens did scoff and gasp,
And lift lanterns to indoor skies
Of future-guessing eyes.
Silent fire dropping down
Still descends on amnesiac lands –
Children swimming the confused waters:
Angry sons and cloying daughters,
Wondering where to shine their light.

9.6.15

Fire Island

I am the King of Siam.
I am Johnny Appleseed,
making fertile the tired land.
I am all the great and forgotten poets
And I am a fire in which you cannot believe
Nor quantify; that is so.

Yet here on my island does my flame
Disappear nightly into the sea’s claim.
Twined in shadows, I may restore
Because I am ready for the moon.
I contain the world in my
Submerged heart, and in my
Laughing wilds, twinned, parlayed
On such difficult shores.

Where my sip of eternity
Was as bitter as it was alive;
Where I thank all your arms
Showing me the way
Through busy twilight
Toward the high strength
Of towering mornings.

9.12.15

Autonomicon

Probed bounty had a sun
Sidled in pods of leaf –
The needed stain then splashed where
Life crawled expanses of green.
So massed was root of take, as I
Held it to my breast, life total;
And was cat-groove to what
Young table brought us through:
A sheaf of epoques where music
also swam & smiled heroic
A priori to what now defines,
But could the crimson cap truly see?
Where I walked in padded age
The archetypes spreading clichés
And romantic epiphany becoming passé?

Where a man in his currents blows
Howing a world dark in its shows
Identity of how he goes a-where
To come to this or that shore or share;
Could an electric beast sing in its times
Of things unknown he says must be?
Wilds of good could you, stepped along
In the courage of colors meant to spend us long?
The guest o’ little time
Has finally been let through…

10.7.15

Intifada du Jour

Stay in country – see
How wicks of wonder light up for thee!
Observe how freely the air bides
In darkening time where you need no license
Or name or rhyme. Mountebanks have fled!
Scoped in murmur riding their asses & jackals
to where warm hammers glow.
Bright regions rise and collapse
In the time it takes to breed an asp
(in the unshorn grove there is an answer)
But how do fallen seasons grow?

The stately stream is steered
by wolf-habitude (true)
In the seedy ranks we devalue.
The trustless fob, curling his lying trap
Squirms as the human fog burns off.
No Marys of “The Way”
Need virginal to be;
What’s left is churchless sanctity
& now coffins for songs like black hearts,
Gold-buckled, lay like dead soldiers
In powder-blue sarcophagi
And unfettered calm.

Somewhere sick and empty feels
A girl or planet or camel or eel
Where beheadings feed the trauma’d ground
And old shadows twine and reel.
The sour door now craves an entrant
And echoes such a child, my child –
In coming rooms like I just yelled
Across a golden canyon, and does
Grandmother-sight give bells to this wisdom?
Her private vicissitudes have branches, too.
(My naïve years having broken the ruse)
Where crescent moons stabbed thunderous sides
And calamity aches in closets denied.

A burst of woody care
wears before us the Atman that dared!
Laden with death-church flare,
My pink-fingered joy deepens the room.
Where the laughing brook washed me to center,
A home, youthful zeal trimming the
Wings of awe, amongst novel treasures.
Today, the escapes were internal measures.

Flushed down the mother-delta
Into a florid garden gone to pot
Where vision scorns power-abuse
In the battle to proffer the altar abstruse,
I opened my windows to October’s
Banners, the colors of a dying world
Just beginning: annihilate the poison
Spew on lake-cirque trek, oak-hewn
as cask arrives to ferment our libation
Of truth. Hale and home-grown are the wares
Of our eternal health, and strong are the bowers
That grow our germens’ stealth.

Love is a many-creatured thing
Solaced in a tarn of Spring;
My soft engine beats
In a relish of vigor
Where this darkness remakes me
In Quixotic rigor.

Is this the very structure of joy?
As again the axe of evil hits me
And I swing the wand ‘round
And exculpate them from the realm.
Once more, can you sense their collective
Perishing, that their shadows can stand no more,
And that only the bubbling love-light pours?
This, the place where infant gladness restores?

What good, then, if your:

Books are balanced
Insurance’s paid up
Mortgage is paid up
Vacations booked
Yard is trimmed
Taxes are paid up
Church-tithes given
Cupboards are filled
Charities are gifted
Friends gathered ‘round the punchbowl
Cubicles & homes are nice & tidy…
…if your freedom, dreams and children are lost?

10.17.15

chris robideaux, new poems, poetry

Song of an August Sea-Gale

I.

Ancient intrigues spill their jars into the staggering sea;
My foaming blood bubbles up from earthen spring.
As fishermen drink away their troubles at the Sea Hag;
The crashing sea at our window serenades our wanderlust.

Tigers prowl for escape among the jetties and the capes
Donning their misty crowns, forgetting petty apes
Their vulgar homage;
A man in a darkened doorway chastises his dog
As I roll the nautical highway wearing night’s corsage.
The gull’s stark morning greeting is delicate custom,
As Ondine’s moons resound off the storm-riven cliffs
That beckoningly rumble.

You stood there, looking serious-faced at the sea,
Just like the nautical wanderers who’ve gone before thee.
But the sea hag, jealous of your beauty, turned your love
Into a watery leviathan, and now my days are spent
Wandering the whale-spouting vistas listening for your
Song.

II.

All night the howling gale did pound and thrum
Like Thor’s hammer upon nail or human drum.
The stolid ground, though a-tremble,
cradled still the coastal vales; as all day, still
it kept on, the tempest, and sandblasted
were our faces at Neskowim, the falling branches
on the highway showing the peril, where we
put our whims at risk, though feral; and rode
the nautical ranges – the breakers spraying
fifty feet high over the precipices above…

We cut short our after-lunch drive when the
Sea-witch, angered, swept us from beach and roadway,
Now to rest back upon Arch Rock,
Arrested in our wandering ways.

All night the raging gale did our dreams assail –
Only now calming in late afternoon to assay
The land-lubbing sea-gazers who on the
Roiling whitecaps do stare, to see if the
Salty spume’s blowsy signature’s from the deep’s
Leviathans fair.

Now streaked, our window on the briny churn
With saline tears that cloud the ephemeral turn;
Now have guests of the sea-witch wandered;
Now found they rest upon the pounding surf
Unhindered. Where portly dowagers and their doggies,
Asian families and angry-looking men vie for a table,
A room, a lane in summer’s bosom to gaze from;
In these nautical nests the chaotic tides
Never given their rest or absolution.

The vestal virgins of the sea, green-blooded and free,
Scare away any threatening fang or poisoner’s glee,
That may etiolate this Neptunian estate,
Leaving stark eyes to contend with this
Thrashing torrent, wave and rock to battle it out
With the late question: which kingdom doth
Move the globe when man’s hands have
Muddied the elements up to Jove?

I go out once again to listen for your song…

My “Experimental Epic” Thanatopaeia, For Sale Now on Amazon

Finished in 2005, and having floated somewhere in near total obscurity (but for one or two supporters who even read parts of it at poetry readings), my experimental epic and “verse documentary” Thanatopaeia, which was conceived in the wake of 9/11 and the rush to making war on Iraq and Afghanistan, has been published in paperback form, and is available on Amazon for you epic poetry aficionados. Proceeds go towards the writing of more epic and experimental verse.

Featured image

An Assortment of My Recent Flash Fiction/Prose Poetry/OuLiPo Snowball Poems

Flash-Mod Poems for Urban Redaction and Submission…said the paper-airplane-as-message from Borneo…Please read, review, offer comments and feedback, and most importantly – enjoy.

Bastille Night

A high, immortal summer sits hunched on serpentine sands – begs in situ where I would not lose her eyes, and when I should not leave these lands; where steeped in living majesty the roving minstrels call; violent, vulnerable passions in their luminous revolt cause your fire’s teased soul to fall; feather the matinee’d dust, locked in a Moebius loop of frissons coughed out by capricious lust.

In the stern roads the joyless cars that run cloyingly on crystal fire – eyes glow as if for the first time, suave fossils, selling oneness’ masque; O buy, and buy well! And when I awake tomorrow with an unsure heart, I will scroll, click, and live in that gracious mansion made of summer light called Adoration, a singing Orphic bird, drawn to such desolate woods. Far from the city wants and wastes. Listen how the voice repeater patent goes: Queer flies the crow, queer flies the crow, and the moon shall ever know how queer flies the crow.

The Man Who Split Himself In-to

“I have no language for this,” he said, and bled and bled inside his own head. For truth, for love, for time eating itself did he say – “It verily cannot remain this way.” Lovers in a House of Mirrors, images don sagacious leers. He follows her in, but twain the chorus
did he hear:
Spaceframe,
Heartspace,
Heatsound,
Pacino as “Starface” this go-around – a will of the wind bids him afar and Adieu. Happy lover, laughing friend! Now in places two, alike, upon the verge where we must ascend.

He felt a pocket sad-full of laughs split holes where nethers crow and drop its seeds at last.

Orion sleeping on his side dangled celestial danger like a pop star’s balcony babe. The honeyed hunter of hellacious heights stands by, right where love spread new feathers in a tropic of why.

“I eat time, and love!” he yelled in the crowded marketplace, going chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp.

Then, at last, the human ceiling blew off, and the maelstrom tromped entire genealogies where the pruned limbs stabbed.

Now he walked the worlds above and below,
Split in two ways mapped, just so, in a fallen scheme of starry waste traded in on gold remains.

Cat Fight

In the wars of miniature tigers, the fence leaned in where knives and fangs were out. The elder feline grew a fat beard of discontent to cover the pain and indignation of his territorial pas de deux. We nursed him carefully from his swollen incursion and the towers still broadcast sports and weather, viruses and fake feathers. A turn of light opened a chamber of seasonal doubt: no matter the welter, the whiskers ached and stood out for relief.

Would an eye toward loss see all the way through? Pock-marked desire and streets shadowed by birds that flew. Destroyer of Shadows left his drink on your nightstand. Destroyer of Stealth mocked his heartbeats like a clown. But now he sleeps, that tiger-king of the enclosure; an eye-language marks his prowling story.

You can’t beat the winds back for this kind of October spectacle. We were saying all along a rival may breach our paddock, and here, our Golem humps nothingness with a smirk of bald power.

Schismorpheum

Great hunk of colonial mash, cities like eyes on giant face in medium-burg corners lie, starring prodigious rivers. Industrious, some. One, you stare toward Canada across great lake; one, you had also a sepia-toned past of opportunity fleshed with pioneer netting and coal chambers. We straddle apparent opposites of the New Kingdom, such intrepid gulfs of land leaving us dry. Drying our leaves.

What was once housed in a school or requiem for youth, is now click-trotting, globe-clicking, un-champion of status quo and with great grids at his feet. Tea time, the alphabet of the land curls leaves and no brain is another. In we go.

Plash

Vroom with vervain guessing, what are these cities all about? Randoms syndicated, teeth all irradiated. The boy who swallowed a swallow – his heart then fluttered for years attempting to break out. I then looked not at faces but throats. No eyes, only what everyone swallowed, from day one. Breast milk, then Coors, then Almaden wine. Ice cream bars at 4 am.
We hiked to the lake and paused on plash of stem, where a warbler heard our glowing perversity and lit up the glen. Another time I thundered Thor’s cliffs as she swam far below. She, who untangled a moth from spider’s web as August burned laughed and laughed death away as the clockwork time-trains blared.

Discotheque

This dream is a France of the mind. A world we tumble into, where music-mavens grasp on cue, alter house music to fit their queue. Rod Stewart asks, “Do ya still think I’m sexy?” as the discotheque writhes in an anachronistic welter. “Beware les flics!” the cognoscenti scions of radical chic rave. And then she is there – a girl who once I played with when young, our bodies hot again under impossibly-colored lights. Linnet poses cause her a redness, too. She says “My cherry leaf has turned,” and pale, she must go. I catch her; she says, “You must be needed back at your bachelor pad” to my bemused incomprehension.

This certainly is some France of the mind. Sex a trophy for its sleeping wiles. The discotheque filled with discontent – les flics ready with batons and hate – the free, young bugs they fever to eliminate.

Tokyo Flight

We are led along incomprehensible airport corridors, the meticulous Japanese shuttling groups of us from section to section, quarantined and endlessly waiting. At each checkpoint something is lost – time, money, the human…I feel I cannot go on. “We have a layover in Israel,” someone said, and flipped out a brochure that showed the Jews at their lugubrious wall, sun-drenched and dressed in failed dogma. I cringe at the proposed flight time and the intrepid prospect of landing in the Levant.

We fly, and I am met by an ex-pat American family who had chosen to live in the realm of the Shogun by choice. We feast with them in their dim but ample lodgings. With my lover on my right, a woman who had inquired into who I was sits closer, at my left, and begins flirting, subtly. My lover pokes me hard in the ribs and I fall off the bench, look at my watch and realize I must fly again. “Do I have enough time to pack?” I ask my lover, feeling crushed by time restrictions. She shakes her head and shrugs her shoulders.

I run out of there into a composite landscape where I meet old friends who seem to mock a kind of fame I have acquired. I seem impossibly trapped. To gain passage from this land I must hurry into those meticulous corridors once again.

OuLiPo (Ouvroir Litterature Potentielle – Workshop of Potential Literature) Snowball Poems

Halloween – Friday the 31st

I
On
Day
With
Candy
Giving
Blessed
Children
Treasures

Believing
Pleasure
Pasture
Pauses
Above
This –
Fed
As
I

A
Go
And
Flow
Burns
Worlds
Welcome
Terrible
Scurrying
Hopelessly
Vacillating

Conversions
Redemption
Elongated
Sing-song
Empathy
Blazes
Roomy
Plot
Two
Be
I

Careers in Poetry

A Thor or Freya you may be in reason and in rhyme, but don’t fool yourself that the world will embrace you in your prime. Perversions of world racket carve no hole for you, and anyway, you would not be a tenant for such dimestore Nimrods. You will wish for a million eyes, and have only your own. But, they will do, and will see so much more than even their official, polished quislings adorned with thorny laurels. They will seem at times those of a mountain, river, or forest sprite. “The philosopher ends by sweeping the floors,” and the poet ends half-insane in alleyways or coffeehouses, on urban moors, but they – you, too – hunger for a place, a niche, a way to pad your waiting rooms and caravans before the sun at last is gone.

So, you lunchtime Shakespeares and improvident Yeatses will stoop to sell yourself low, for the simple prizes, for a box, should you eschew the open road, and be a kept tenant or pet of feudal impropriety and traditions that the saints themselves could not uphold. You planters of wise trees must find other slopes, the oddest homes, the farthest, widest-reaching shores in and upon which to pluck history’s roses of their canny thorns. But your greatest fight will be how, at last, to write and speak as only you in the you-ness of you.

Nine Eleven Dream

Tigers in a sea of shadows

Stalk my aging pride,

Pull me on an ageless tide,

In a twisted town square

Thick with human bustle.

I ride in circles, squares, games

That shuffle lives like a Tarot deck,

But the dark-striped cats never attack.

 

I ride from the department store

Where I’d spied my grandfather

Bopping to the beat of Michael Jackson,

Still as he was, in a red shirt,

Sitting in his wheelchair, as

Tigers in the town square prowl

Our sick bustle, attacking only fear

As our animal needs vanish.

 

Tragedy’s anniversary receives

En masse the gift of life;

I stand at the kitchen window

And pray the cabal be stripped of its knives.

My own cat flees –

A kiss must appear grotesque

To those without lips.

Apollinaire’s words bled onto the page,

His demure face unready for war,

His hands read by drunken eyes.

 

Chief liar plugged in bloated dead-rat dream,

stained meme of bribery home –

The sun never stops a gleam:

No stump speeches, no shortfalls

Or pittances couched and handily emptied.

Christs of free consciousness

Traipse lakeshadow artery

caressing absolution, their

Hermetic pools poised across archaic shelf

obliterators of human failure,

idleness’ sigils razed I instead breathe

Bounty, leisure, abundance

As the pogrom’s fancy dies.

Bones of browning skin rattle

With high parking lot comers, claiming

Their piney estate in mute pleasure.

 

Hums the bird-clock galvanic –

Would it carry place-name truth of you,

Where life truly stays?

Words held in rare head

Where singular mouth flurried

Need no slumbering list to test the air.

Dada of space wonder,

Consul of a wanton game,

Memory’s circus ballroom’s gutted,

But the blood never forgets.

Someone’s decade knelt down;

Another one’s tumbled.

Vicar of cool cause,

Leaded footprint of game show gods,

Empires of wood-paneled rises,

Summer lawns fed with shrewd claw-bits;

Turtlenecked desire once wore you where

The snug epoch was parsed.

No delay of your fished northern veins –

Years piled on years long have held out

That green car for you.

 

Acquisition’s tiled halls may re-seed

broken hives of commerce, but

Still-knot a forgiven cowboy who acts out

The starry dream for applause:

Poise of wondrous-bosomed airs

Dawn with peace in bombarded lairs

(But the himbamädchens go on singing)

When the addled race rabbits the spoils

Hymns cover the forgotten hills –

Colors just beginning to dazzle

Fallen from ambitious wound,

Led into bourgeois galleries

Glutted by status garages and minds –

Usurpers, we, have conquered the land.

Our actor-hero-TV leaders say so,

Time’s holo-cognate dubs silly children slaves.

Nowhere to run from what the moon craves.

Reach with epochal stabs to gain higher signals,

As is spread the general breach like pâté

while criminals police you. Read:

  1. List of Depression-era actor salaries
  2. List of NY train disasters
  3. List of most dangerous animals
  4. Richest bankers in heaven
  5. Top 10 brightest galaxies

 

Copies of haloes handed out as Hollywood awards;

Tintype of “most evil woman” shows her

Blued with smiling devilry, her “red child” running.

Dolorous spin of earth has Okinawa flutes lamenting

& New York summers already packing up the chairs,

When hardly a Tuesday can woo us,

No love in the afternoon for the poor American.

Hoggish schemers wear fiscal futures like

Girdles or gridiron teeth.

Museum of the A-bomb recreates the blasts

Of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Unholy Trinity

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 and 3pm;

America entire attics of fluff & diversion,

time to kill the wolves in your henhouse.

Time to sober God up & fertilize the

Hidden gardens, gold patches,

trade the Nazi in for vector of truisms.

Whence bulleted real heroes,

Bombast of destiny camera’d, come we

Buffalo & obelisk.

 

Diner car gutted, Detroit industry graveyard,

Fake-tree towers upon skyline ridges

Felling you, now

Does this great gut cry out for hara-kiri?

Floors all clean, plates all stacked,

Now call for Superman, for God has been

Drowned in our blood – revive!

Vertigo muscle retracts you,

Strawmen in sackcloth preach

Till snowflake vacancies

Deride them with new dreams.

What I mean is stop thinking

& scent your inner fire.

Our blue Montmartre is far too serious,

Vagabonds maintenant carry derelict bones

Through Purgatory’s necropolis

Whilst trivia gilds temples for corporate oblation.

Cotillion eating feral canyon graphology,

Scrubbed by mafia banks,

You are red man’s hell.

You are expiry of the primal bid.

Your tiger escorts are here

To usher you to the seas of eternal shadow.

 

– September 11-12, 2014

Holly and Hemlock (Title Piece of My Current Poetry Collection In-Progress)

Cognate multiplicitous – o narrative of everything

Which we can psychically see into – across beyond before

As I stand here on fragile breaths, the fleshy door

I can invent sight-story-saying, gentle mirth

Destroyed, but playing – just salvage something –

Anything. What do you want to know?

With the fur and arms that come springing,

Bearing the idol of this portion’s idea, gesticulating,

A convent for vagabond urges,

The mother of silence retrieves her ghosts;

Groves of the pied phantom ring the seasons’ bells

Affrighted by such unorthodox hells,

Such a tangled matrix we weave

When first we practice to believe;

Station where love itself deceives

Yields flowers we’d not oft receive.

We all suffer each other madly – Family,

Mother envies waifish daughter,

Daughter adores, then scorns the mother;

Father resents them both for smothering

His manly pleasures. Around this

grows a knotted web – spider’s moss,

grafted laconic limbs on august trees –

Her lover, her fortune, her grasp of things;

What we think is, and what really is –

Retreat to symbiance of fantasy-dibs,

Sink in delusion quagmire,

Hide in privations, differentiate desires…

 

We split our differences & infinitives

And leave with magic in the can

When once enjoined on such a unified

March became the direst of opposites

To lurch into the gold sea. When cat-leap

mousers would trample the sample-prize

For the getting of the monarch’s eyes.

To gain o many windows in porphyry of shadows.

Why did I awake thinking of Constantinople?

I channeled a Timbuktu shaman

In candle-and-bath chanting transcendence;

Semahib is no longer the unknown god,

But is now the god of all known things, too.

As well, sensations, feelings, places, insights.

Like Dick’s god of “the trash in the alley,” it is a

Palpable, direct god of causation, modality,

OUR primary action and effect.

The wonder gained – when thunder reigned:

A pinhole price guaranteed, though waived;

What is genius but an opened way, or

One who has opened a way forth from this

Sticky chaos? A real-mass relation – old disaster footage

(why in this elation disastrous thoughts

Raising their chicken heads?) O, foible!

Thump private hurricanes, hum-bull wave

Of fettered knot twined human time –

Was this the Gordian Knot at last severed?

The great secret opened, the genie and the djinn,

The spy of grieving fluff begin – even nostalgia

Becomes obsolete when hatred has destroyed

Our streets, such fleets, that withered in rust’s empire.

Ovarious versedit, versea

Ahoy the marble sea

My joys flung across cold worlds:

Cabbage would the ample bean.

What am I supposed to do with all these bourgeois scenes?

Progenitory wastage dropped me blind, see.

 

I weep for Birdie Africa!

O weep for Birdie Africa!

The massacrists removed his smile

Like Nazi dentists extracting a (good) tooth.

May the Osage fires forever burn beneath your beds!

 

Home what beds and water

Assay these rooms a gentle slaughter

Fill a dell, fee ya, brotherly love

By fell enmity cracked, random lives,

Not mine”.

– Who won the game of hives?

Madame X installs a piano in your squirming

Conscience, forestall kicks and skull flounce,

Bulldoze them out.

 

Houses of the dead sit beneath winter’s sky,

Yesterday the lookers high, Spring looming

As youth espies or dies or flies

back to Parnassus or Boetia – heavy color flares –

The only subtraction is death, or abstraction,

Distraction. Girl in mauve Lafayette necropolis

Tosses care like corset to the ground.

Confession time: “I want you to be beautiful” –

Between the tombs they search the parochial

Sky, man’s prisons, God’s lie, but through

Morning’s glory are they revived from the

Tombs of ignorance. Never the same sky twice.

Twice the pearl to leaden dice. Twice and thrice

went straight to his head.

 

Sky smoke of what you kneel beneath,

the blue – “fortune over soul” died

Where the Hellenist walked the wasteland,

wastewater, wasteair, wastefire…

 

This mass wants a heart to listen

This heart’s mass thins and thickens

Where rake meets loam and April smiles;

We plunge forth with our desires

As simple as to till the mulch-soil

And secrete the earthen glands –

This mass wants our starry hearts to

Feel real – not weigh the burry chaff –

Let it go, it says, “This Way to the Sun!”

Up the road, raking the loam, brushing

Earth’s hair, unsullied the sown, and

climb the cherry again !

I put the weed back that cried its denizens’

Shady sum; and apple boughs got first water

The bright, dry day has snakes coiling in the hedges;

Someday’s amorous mass clings along

These songs and travails (not trivial)

Seeding hieroglyphs to challenge our wrongs.

 

My barrow is the year, dumped in hallowed

Grounds, fewer, though, than the grievous

Rounds this torn dream makes. Daimonic!

To venge a cur for mournful rakes,

so must it be. A mother recalled emptily,

unto infinity.

Upon what?

All night the crested fledge o’erflew peace.

Please, peace my bosomed nest.

Tadpole ponds waited all winter to undress.

What happened? To your vest?

The kingdom’s besters all sharp, abreast.

Remember O child has scented best

Its storms and vales blest.

I recall the tigers and the japes, wounds –

Summer crowds and singalong blues.

Jet expansion of a tech-world housed,

Keepers of the keepers keep them unaroused.

Hail the new bees!

For ‘tis in the springdirt I get my bare feet

Expending strengthful under the new day

And within its heart so many of these

Wings chasing to neighbor’s bonfire

Pow-wowing –

My place for the day, softly.

Poppies (Elegy for Philip Seymour Hoffman)

I just thought of you last week in Synechdoche
Pudgy master of your craft
As a tender thread of mortality
Hung in the background of rooms that laughed
And held your sagacious girth, flood and ebb
At to-dos of the cause celeb
Where you disappeared like words.
Your portico was too narrow
So you hid from view what some might dread
Or masked it as you paced your stages bled,
Your grim swagger desperate.
Was it that you thought none’d understand?
Cut off, but all the same cut in?
Who would break your heart upon a wheel
Of doubt where they might feel
Your imprimatur of inner pain let out,
Our screens never wizened without?
But, a season of disgrace unseen upon you
Steered you well down esteem’s blowsy ponds.
On uncanny screens we watched you grow,
Maturing gradual into your most natural role,
But Ixion’s wheel tired you
And Midas’ gold laid his vigor low.
And now to write no part for you,
No further frame scene and shown,
Sorrows the muses and I –
A part so languorously broken
Into naked emotion could un-vex the
Jaded eye.
And you lived among the stone hearts
And smiles where your blistered kingdom
Bled –
Yet live on thus, the many parts have defined
Your Thespian bed.
Your soul’s bellowing cherub has now
Flown to Purgatorio or Parnassus,
Or forever to haunt cinema’s vaulted lapse
Monsieur, oh golden character at long last
Now filled with the ambrosia
You in private doses sought, sing!
Sing to Valhalla, Give me all your dreams!

I just thought of you last week,
And mentioned you aloud,
And here, self-freed, on day of “bowl game”
And mid-season shadow seen,
You take your final curtain call
And your sudden leave.
Poppies of painless rest now must
Molder and weep,
Where our stages have been emptied
Of your keep;
Poppies that once succored you
Bow their heads in grim review
Of your vestige divorced from worlds undue.
Poppies that in sun-drenched fields
Grew high
Whose sad seeds stirred, and by your
Hidden heart imbibed,
Settle now with you in the guiltless tomb
Of filmic light.