(a love song for the living dead)
My Sweet engraveable You
depressed below the surface smooth to the touch
saddest at that
so that an impression
by design yields a cameo afloat
you are what you are not
an image in relief composite of
re-leaf what a good tree does
reel off one good reason one last fish
says the velveteen rabbit
your rending a remnant collage
I know a Paradise when I see one, because I've seen one.
The trick is now to see another till I see One again. (1)
the sunken treasure
of a semi-precious life
vitreous excised from inside
which is to say brittleness + luster
I've entangled with the dying
the big dip
(One) per lifetime
my drop-dead Lovely
prized-consolation kisses goodbye
the art or process of executing
the art of losing
printing (die-stamping & gravure)
done from (done for)
the image sunk below
lowering the body
formed from emptiness
Beauty has three possible endings and only one of them is bearable. (2)
I mean cut into
which is to say taken from
cut it out
the five points of a body
star or human doll
cut from the flat felt of skyscapes
by this I mean
those people-shaped places in midnight
traveling twice light's speed
Captain Valentine will do everything possible to avoid turbulence. (3)
a shoebox full of hope & sweet minutiae
tucked under one arm
kindly reupholster this fabric
a soft landing an impression
from Earth I would like
something of a garden (she grew basil from seed for you)
sole paradise served whole
won't hold us so hold On(e)
1: Donald Revell
2: Larry Levis
3: Anonymous flight attendant, Flight 1431 Chicago to Salt Lake City.
(a questionnaire on xeriscaping)
One put lost love & locusts
as the fill-in-the-blank response
for describe last year at this time.
For what season do you feel now?
Someone said I've had a hand up
August's blouse. Another responder
noted the yellow jelly sun.
When asked where are you?
someone replied: canyon-steeped
like a good tea. The soft lips
of clouds at the edge of certain skies.
Another mentioned The ski lifts
of his eyes.
What season do you feel now?
Winter crickets sprung from cages.
What kind of music plays against time?
There were, as stated, crickets & hip hop
& a half-dollar's worth of wisdom
gathered on the Russian sage
of a pretty broker's lawn.
Which month is a good kiss?
June is a pretty-broker late-arriving
& itching to leave.
What color does that make you feel?
So yellow: that sunlight, a white car,
and the sense that one could drive
What might constitute a good weather?
The rain of cheap (poetic) champagne.
If a body were a house...?
Sadly, she might slip by
the motion lights
without tripping them off.
Whose radar is this
& what does it track?
of sparrows, a spill of lilacs,
fallen apples turned
to wine out back.
Rest easy, the crucial questions
will go unasked: How long will the kniphophia
stay in bloom? How do the living motor around
on the fuel of the dead & where, pray tell,
might it take them? If we were really were doves
wouldn't this re-claimed desert
be some kind of complete, some very divine?
INTAGLIO was rather coincidentally or mimetically an exercise in excision and textual windows and doors, plus a little collage. I wanted the poem to recognize the more obscure but deeply-cool definition of a variety of grave as well as the sculptor and print-maker's take on that term. Death, sex, art, and print—who could ask for more? But since I'm greedy, I went for Revell, Larry Levis and Captain Valentine—and yes, that actually was the pilot's name.
AGAVE DESERTI came from an on-line poetic questionnaire, a talk with a hip hop aficionado, and a front yard in Salt Lake City, Utah (hometown of the poet) which was trying to get honest with its climate and the annual rainfall and the desert plants that should grow there.