Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rape of Eyes

When the black spirit,
curled on the divan in her father's house,
the black, empty spirit, first entered her,
he tore out her eyes.
He entered through the eyes.

Once she was the college girl she talked like;
she would never lose her pretty ways.
In school she blew a lot of smoke,
got out of that;
now she's doin dope, and living it up.

One day in the lady's of the Flamingo Lounge
she brushed Sarah's beautiful black hair.
They'd met on Wednesday outside the Christian Science
     Reading Room on Mass Ave.
Sarah was sixteen.
They found her Saturday morning
in a bathroom in the Fens with her throat slit.

Sarah, you had such beautiful hair!

Coming off a night of alcohol and dope,
the morning was Sunday,
she could not remember
who had brought her the bouquet of Roses.
It lay on the divan like a dream.

Friday, February 5, 2016


The men were burning a field near home.
The fire crawled across the grass.
She saw it whirl.
A limbless animal, from empty spaces,
ghostlike it came out.
Would it stop before it touched her?

They told her:
these dusty months of midsummer,
it raced from everywhere;
it whirled in the innocent woods,
it threatened the blossoms.
She shivered alone;
hiding her eyes in her palms,
she inhabited the shadows.

That night, huddled in her bed,
she drew the covers to her nose.
From the woods echoed the shrillest cries!
She rallied the nymphs to defend the blossoms.
Then she, the dark-eyed peeress,
with whom the nymphs crusaded
gently, gently over the fields,
fell to a troubled sleep.

Next morning with a start she awoke
and raised herself above the window sill.
The limbless ghost had left her untouched
and had gone somewhere away.

O come back, so I can watch!

If he came back,
she could know where he lurked.
And dare she for an instant test
if, perhaps, his touch was good?

Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Family Man

When my brother was discharged from the army,
he went to work in the engine factory in Rivertown.
He had wanted to be a hero to get a good wife,
but he had been just an ordinary foot soldier.

One day he went hunting. He crossed the fields
and went alone into the birch woods in the valley
and went up the mountainside into the snow
where a deer was below in the scrub on the ridge.

He tracked it in the snow down into the trees
and killed it in the brush in a berry meadow.
And he rested; then on his knees he skinned the animal
but disposed of the skinned flesh in a dry ditch.

He bundled the skin and, carrying it under his arm,
he marched toward home. He had not traveled far
when the skin unfurled and spread over him.
Inside were violent palpitations of darkness and light.

After a time he emerged out of skin and blood.
The struggle had been hard. He still worked at the factory.
Then he was enabled to choose a young woman
of the town who consented to become his wife.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Legend of a New Age

In the most distant field strode a great horse.
In the horse's belly a cell was impregnated.
The cell grew and became a human boy.
The boy thrived in the great horse's power.

Then a woman of the town was chosen
for it was time the boy come open.
She went alone into the distant field
on a green knoll rising from the salt marsh.

When the horse saw her, he lay on his side.
She severed his pale belly and in blood soaked arms
she drew the child unto her swollen breasts.
Then she wrapped him in a blanket and went home.

At the death of the great horse a mist came
and a powerful storm swept in from the ocean
while the ground heaved and gently enveloped him.
Then the rich built on this land great houses.

When the boy became a man he doubted,
he doubted his father and they fought terribly.
Even when the great houses covered the field,
it remained sacred and taught him to imagine.

He doubted everything and terribly he fought
but light laughter stole in like a horse.