It cannot be said—

to see it utterly absorbed

into the private blues of her clean eyes—

to feel it discharged, flushed away, by the ‘me’

she keeps hidden inside

the bathroom of her ‘I’—

Is it impossible to know her?—

Can I only purge myself of this immemorial ‘it’—

this phantom limb, this imperishable guilt,

this astonishing confinement, this self—

*my *self?—

No, I must speak—

if only to have a word of mine

plunge into the center of her will

and be forgotten; I am homesick,

homesick for myself.


Our pale hidden hands, longing, guiltily

gesturing toward a greater cognizance of pain—

as if to misinterpret the matrix

of God’s suicidal compulsions

were to see a disk of vindictive love

fall from the sky and incinerate

the last punishable traces of *our *will.

Have I no tongue, no fingers, no eyes—

only ears with which to suffer the abuse

of infinite black doors

swinging open & slamming shut

in the flattened palace of the sky.

Black time rolls his negative dice through space,

as bells toll the extinction of the wild.


Ricocheting like a siren in a block of ice,

your excitement settles, a kaleidoscopic veil,

over the soft warbling of her intent.

It is not, you suppose, unlike the hysterical dawn

retrieving the stars, one by one,

from the palm of your mind.

The injustice, the torn signature

of the absolute, drawing you shut—

She tiptoes, like a priest, through your secrecy—

Accused parrots

quivering in the black branches of her eye—

a ring of hazel witnesses poised to speak—


A labyrinth of me’s

to confuse the course of you and I—

I do not dare, I do not speak—

pacing anxiously, like a faithful dog,

the shores of your invitation—

I do not dare, I do not do,

gawking at the world as it bends itself into a ball—

thinking whether a moment’s indecision

were better spent sheltered and clean,

alone inside the cage of my me.

No, it cannot be said—

to see it exiled, apprehended

by the petty judges of your foreign smile—

doused again and again in the oils of unreason—

and sentenced to the darkening waters

of lonely remembering.

No, I will not speak, and have

my every yes shown to be a matryoshka doll of noes.


Sickened by the thought

of world masked by, and masking, world—

of some implacable creativity

miming destruction, a straitjacket of images

hurrying to restrict the mad twirling

of twisted limbs—

dysthymic jaguars or retarded fish

carried like sleeping children

to the door of insomnia—

Taking his face in his hands,

he thinks, Yes!, there is no greater joy

than that of never seeing myself,

of never feeling contained within

what, when barred without,

hangs the world in its greedy frame.


The crippled girl walks when father shuts his eyes.

I watch with shame, and wait for her to fall.

You will tire of yourself, and still ask for more time.

I have been lazy and afraid, hiding from my life

in a nightmare of my self; letting thought,

like a crippled girl, walk only when I shut my eyes.

I have sat like a dog, and watched the empty streets—

the nobodies and nothings that time will turn to fear.

I will tire of myself, and still ask for more time.

Should turns pale, and could grows thin, and you cannot—

cannot forget and cannot begin, needing time, time to worry, and time to wonder—

until, crippled in your will, you walk with eyes that time will soon shut.

Have I courage to speak, reason to try?—

when she may laugh, or pity my crooked heart,

tiring of me, while I beg for more time.

An elbow on the table, the riptide of hysterical dread

sweeping past the stove—voices** **rise when faces fall away.

The crippled girl walks, and father shuts his eyes.

You are tired of yourself, still you ask for more time.


Time, like God, hangs itself in the scarlet sky.

Without reason, thought descends the black rope,

Enclosing the world, for a time, in a mind.

The mind, a child, scrupulously imagines

That it is free, and arranges the night

In an austere array. Then, the mind

Forgets—the cell doors swing open.

It is as though some pitiless form

Slowly, like a fist, unclasps itself.

A procession of images

Exits the mind, the poor, inside-out mind.

Strangers with downcast eyes move briskly

Through the rain. The cold, homeless world.

Pain persists where thought from thought lies barred.


The evening whistles, walks with his hunters through the sky,

my eye sixteen thousand bicycles riding blue out of the sky.

The mad acrobat bows blindly to the crowd, whimpering,

his marionette legs dividing at the knees. A tantruming child

sin-spinning away his merry-go-round memory.

The evening blinks, wakes drugged and naked in the morning,

his hunters eight thousand blue bicycles riding black out of my eye.

Missing mothers and fantasized fathers,

exchanging fits of laugher and interpretations of dreams,

spill like violet ink into stenciled minds.

Stricken, the mad acrobat peers disconsolately at the abandoned stage.

His lies four thousand ruby eyes depleting the sky.

Meek mothers and volatile fathers,

clipping the wings of zeal, secretly auction

stained glass yesterdays and papier-mâché muses.

Morning wears a face, silver and magnetic, mimes an afternoon,

her juggling clubs one thousand jack-in-the-box fears in my smile.

Broken bells fill the world—the rocking-horse homes,

Persian rugs, and flickering trick candles—with incorrect sound

and incorrect silence, herding wayward feelings into gravedug thoughts.

The mad acrobat asks again and again, is it me?, is it me?,

the homeless animal that emptied its eyes of pitiless resolve

to give itself a name and call its thoughts thoughts; the skittish wolves

chasing worry and neglect into indignant dogs; a red-nosed crisis full of laughs.

Tomorrow stretches and folds itself into today. Figure eight heroes dissolve into zeroes.


It cannot be said—

to see it grow dim in a chamber of mistrust—

to feel it unpardonable, torn from the page

of an unutterable truth.

An unspeakably private hole in my center.

My tongue nails itself

to the amber cross in her sunset eyes—

And I see that it is you,

not her, to whom I address my silence—

Words harpooned in the fabric of what I see,

a daisy chain of voices enclosing what I am able to feel,

a two-faced mistress nude with the mind,

turning me against myself—

Dividing time into time

enslaved and time ignored—

as when an insult to the mind

sickens our love into a defensive coil—

a black hole of mercy—

Speaking, I appear,

lighting an old chaos,

from which we may never escape.