The New World Order #1
The buildings have invaded fields,
the sun glances off archribbed mirrors.
Chunks of slab with fake porticos.
Homes were scraped aside
for row upon row of random cars;
is pelted with lights
that slide from one horizon to the next,
the powdery sheet of stars
is blotted out.
None of this has given us our freedom,
though our freedom reclaimed these fields.
Corporations Buy and Sell
Corporations buy and sell
kingdoms rise and fall,
goods surge like rivers of traffic,
the poor huddle in their pealing apartments;
the opposition: slender types in black,
with their MAs in creative writing,
chattering lists of platitudes
to a crowd that applaude
everything it hears.
Rivers boil away, woodlands wither,
species die out,
fighters fight, ranters rant,
everyone makes their living from
a dying planet.
Sometimes I go out to look at the moon,
radiant white, or chili pepper red,
lost in the clutter of lights.
Does it remember the things we have given up?
The moon just smiles and says nothing.
Whitman's Ghost Takes a Tour of the City
The goddess sits in the axhandle park:
she would give more grain, but corn won't grow
in our streets.
The trees can lift their arms skyward,
but their hands and hair sprout flames.
when the old shade goes loafing (though evening
can't come any closer). Could he manage disembodiment
before now, the fire of the flower would still
be there by chance.
But you, knowing the richer reds
and deeper blues appear briefly at dusk
then withdraw into their own flame...
He goes out at evening, shirt long, baggy as a coat,
his white beard flows from the sack-like face,
the outstretched hat-brim;
he has made himself bewildered: Where are the poets
chanting to the multitude? The headlong, vulgar, robust
freedoms of the crowd? Is there only you?
Bleating out this quick-flaring image? You chant
the gawk-shuffle, art-patter, and wonder how the plant
ever let you in. The inferno of the city blazes
around us, we detail its hidden lights.
The Rio Grande flows like a hat band
under the international bridge.
When I went over, there was a small blue cross
wrapped in red and white wreaths
stuck in the sand below, fifty yards from
the railing, completely overlooked.
I stood and wondered who it could have been for.
Across the river adobe blazes white in the sun.
Dope smugglers buy drink for their unemployed
friends, liquor flows like a scalding sacrament,
as precious as the girls
who step from white afternoons offering themselves
for a handful of pesos...their brothers sell
shoes or Yankee news papers.
The rubble molds, shinning in the sun, the fabric
of poverty laughing in the world's face.
The roar of the freeway fades.
Here and there
a light among the rows of identical houses.
Here and there
patches of blue-gray light, framed by
a yellow window.
At this time of night I can't help thinking
how silly Rilke would look, standing on
a bridge in Farmer's Branch.
Or he would look sinister.
The ornate cityscapes, the ones he loved,
knew centuries of war and upheaval, for him
they created the deepest solitude.
Buddha of the book stalls (his features proclaimed),
an Orphan of art, brooding on park benches.
A dancer, though always serenely still.
Here bridges are built for speed,
the streets have no sidewalks, the creek
is only knee-deep.
Here the man who would truly go into himself
has no place to go.
And when it's really late, only the sky
is active, filled with lights
taking people off to buy bits of the cities
In the summer
the elders frequent
The musty smell
of old books
with their sense of repose.
The maidens and the wheat,
on their tiny feet;
a slender waist.
as waves crash.
as waves crash.
as the sea of fists clench,
in the archives.
and the minds are tossing slogans
while the Elders
in flowing gowns.
Walls are crumbling,
the horses bolt
like a river.
The night is well lit,
the moon's teeth
the answer is not
in the archives.
The hour is like
wound too tight,
more like a fat balloon
when a child
won't stop blowing;
small faggots are abundant
and the humble lintel.
its sad stupidities
while the maiden
with the slender waist
Her lips fondle
you will never hear;
"the answer is not in the archives."
Beauty in the Brain
The soul hovers beyond the trees,
beyond the clouds, beyond the stars.
I'm an empty shell that buys things,
and yet it's in me.
Does it flutter beyond the broken columns
and green glades, whispering their beauty
into my brain?
perhaps their in me too.
The soul is a ball of light that flutters
beyond. It's a jagged ball,
with edges that cut.
It's a mouth that feeds upon itself.
Yet the soul is also the glades
and hills and broken columns
it's the part of me that knows
and doesn't know.
The soul is bigger than the self
that seeks it.