VERSES FOR A JOURNEY
You’ve been abandoned, Daphnis, to the world!
Dozens of heavens...dreams of elements...
Verses for the duration...sacred wood
Within whose austere eaves...suddenly...nest!
Freedom! Is it fearsome? Or sprawling glee?
Cyclones. Vapors. Ethers—they’ve all lifted
To reveal everything you are to me:
A swallow in a calm expanse of cloud.
Spirit that moves you. Answer of answers.
Son of thunder—your verses bolt out! out!
Into the world—your capacity house.
There will be no place where you are not.
Yet, I shall pray for you. Even seraphs
Confront a loam of manacles rotting
With the sins of harlots and bards. Daphnis—
Go farther on into the night than song.
No spans, cubits, fathoms of human thought,
No yesterdays, nows, tomorrows, or next year—
Coal-colored Aquila Bold Eagle hear
Letters of a wayfarer you never caught.
Beyond Life-in-Death, Beyond Death-in-Life,
Beyond the back of Boreas the North Wind,
Aquilo slay sunshine with a penknife
And drew the void for which pure souls are destined.
No time no continuity o desert—
Perception—the realm without the perceiver;
No rhyme no ingenuity o desert—
Reception—the realm without the receiver.
Eternity wipes out beyond the course
Of courage in facing the unnamable;
“I” “m” abandons “immeasurable”
And Pegasus dies, the corpse a rocking horse.
As regards you, what is there to throw light on?
Neither the muscle of Adonis nor the conceit of Narcissus
Would be found by zeroing in with a compass pin
Towards the high-pitched fork of description.
Clouds and will-o’-the-wisps, occluding an immortal,
Shield in a marshy landscape a gravure with black hair,
Black gaze, black thoughts which will not rest until
Nature itself stops in its tracks (all told)—on a dare!
Lawrence’s rabbit. The deep otherworldly
Wind-up frenzy of passion. You must know that under
Scribbles spill out, surge: Niagara whirling.
That’s why each poem plays taps. Each poem suffers
Granite. Marble. Peonies and phlox—the buds
Amid recalcitrant blocks of tablets,
Straining out of shadows towards the sun
As though devotion itself were primed on battles.