In spite of the insistence of the whippoorwill
there will be those who,
out of misguided nostalgia,
remember a season the way it was portrayed
in some movie, envisioned
by a camera and an eye
that lights the sun just so
to accentuate the cleavage of an actress
whose name will fade
as quickly as her natural hair color
and the leading man's virility;
and the makeup covering her freckles --
that reminder of her first lover,
a teenage boy in the backseat of her father's car
who, in his passion,
could not manage to play connect the dots
before the night was cut short
and blood on the upholstery
would be a reminder
of awkward hands
and an over-exaggerated post-coital description
in the boy's locker room the following Monday.
Maps and calculations;
Spring makes for far scanning eyes.
Lists and computations,
accounting for past blind spots,
for presently unseen predicaments.
The world is a pathless wide open land.
The road is waiting in the soles of these boots.
The compass points West.
Dreams run South.
Down river, deep in the mud
there are roots sunk
that have the mark
of East bound tributaries
and of West bound capillaries,
carrying this blood and this water
back to the by the dirty sacred river
where all life began.
We brought our defeat with us.
Buried deep under the continental shelf.
Packed it along with the obligations we carry.
Only the gods truly see
and appreciate the irony.
13. (Whore's Bath)
Consideration of the crucial bits.
This is no dry ritual; this
is the meditative contemplation
of each act,
there is more to feeling human
than the comfort of others.
Talk matters less
than the silent exchange
in the conversation of hands and eyes.
Memories passed in the manner of touch.
Woman is man's sacred mnemonic --
soft and warm and firm.
In all the public spheres,
sectioned off in desperate windowless rooms,
the pale, the old, and the afraid bellow
speak of worlds past
that no one remembers
except for the suggestion off ghosts
hiding in the peripheral vision
of prophets passed out drunk
and saints whose optimism has sunk
and in the unknowing laughter of children
who see but do no understand
that god is a dog riding on the shoulders
of that madman
who wandered into town giggling
with a mouth full of maggots and dried blood.
15. (Recorded Conversation On The Topic of Foreign Policy)
"You have to choose a side!" The old woman spoke
upset, her voice exasperated, unaccustomed as she was
to confrontation in this, her most specious knowledge.
"Fine," I said. "I choose everyone else."
The powers and dark principalities
will have none of my soul today.