Howth sky. The hem of Apollo’s tutu.
Howth pier. Lipstick lid. Sun over seaweed-rock and rope.
Dublin. Dixieland jazz and dry cider cannot console the clown on the wall.
The National Archeological Museum. Peat-digging machine discovers bog body.
On route to Culture Night in Limerick.
Along the Liffey.
a tree stands lone
against the sun and with lone leaf stares
from its cracked ground
morning knuckles creak; hill-hide ripples golden
mat of fur about to rise, about to rise and growl
you said, sometimes i think the trees are hairs erumpent
from follicles of some vast beast whose skin we prowl
i said, i cannot watch too long the stars or i would stay
the night in keening
iris-glitter dulls within the memory mausoleum
gone the crevices of your voice
gone the nights our tongues dueled
the old sea beating bitter
the sand crabs have not vanished nor the tread-trace
upon the shells, sea urchins denuded to pink intricacy
bones too abide in subterranean precincts
the skull shuttered to withstand meaning-gales
as yet, the sky has not been singed
El Greco chose just the right greys and browns to muddle Christ’s face with quietude and death.
For the blood of cherries is sweet.
And by the rivers of blahblah I sat down and wept.
Somber glowworms lumber in hedgerows.
I could not undo the hopes I had birthed in you.
Dandelions chuckle on suckling fields.
Desiccated leaves scritch scratch moonstabbed sidewalks.
Vast moths curtain the iron sun.
All my cells are thirsty.
Supernal nuts draw squirrels up trees.
Church spirals rife with breeze.
My garden. My grapevines. My house.
Stray radishes fester. Rotting roses float on the purple sea.
The mug was cheap but it had held your wine, felt the innards of your palms, and in this way its existence had taken on legitimacy.
And it was right to chase the dreams of the toads with our fingers.
And it was right to listen to the tarantula path of voices across the skin of the slightly heaving house.
It was right to observe the trajectories of nocturnal rodents.
Even the moon is musky.
What a beautiful skull. We’ll all look good. An eater of your dead whoreson body is all water.
A professor once said, “Poets make terrible philosophers.” We were studying one who wrote a brief bit of theory claiming that words have their attractions, their affinities. That they find each other, draw each other, wish upon, evoke each other; that they set themselves to tune and as surely as F# wants G, words have their trajectories, their longings. The professor said, “In terms of a philosophy of language, this is nonsense. Though perhaps as a poet it’s helpful.”
Maugre the laws of logicians of language, words like to flirt. Some make eye contact across a crowded room and slowly circle to meet as though by accident, but before the night is over they will have planned to meet again and before the week is up they will have raced to bed. I say writing is a mere marking of the love lives of words, their friendships and feuds, their animosities, their tittering gossip – transcriptions of the soap opera of conceptual spheres.