Hunter heart a lonely is the

Dream I have a little   of a mathematics         Child again absorbed
in novels from my sickbed     Bright clutch of what is recognition

somewhere avant meridian     Another child leaving in the novel
I am reading    Light in me     a sleep a pool of neither

thought nor feeling     not of things but of     their elements
escaping          Slips away the child    in the book from a party        

her birthday from        the other children        she is leaving  
I am tired        I am reading    I am adding I am                  trying

not to understand        To undo the will         to understand 
Must relinquish must and trying         Reading free from I

I read a child   listening for the first time       to music for the first time
in the sense     of recognition             What is it that sees me

child in a novel           that has neither                   person nor a substance                      
music              mathematics is a dream                   makes me see myself 

more loving     when I listen               makes my heart go     
the hunter and a lonely           Remembering  is a mathematics         

and the body in its illnesses    the stamina has symphonic               
calculus of living        in a sickness    I can listen now          

learn I have a mind     listening          heart I have    
remembers      what the seeing was    a dream a reading is    

a feeling          I have every time I have         first comes     
the listening    then memory     dream            the sense

of speech         is mathematics                        to see a means of feeling
there is always then    the leaving       and undoing            Life I was

a fraction         will not see      the world that I am making    
I knew in my additions           I was nothing more than

almost             child again      in the middle distance speaking
to his apparition          Speak              you have a history

Related Poems

Night Seasons

Up late, reading alone,
I feed printed pages
Into the Kurzweil scanner,
An electronic reader
For the blind.

Randomly now
I take books from my shelves,
Open the mysterious volumes,
And lay them flat on the machine.
I can’t say
What’s coming next—
I wait in perfect silence
For the voice to begin,
This synthetic child
Reading to an old man.

The body, stalled,
Picks fragments,
Scraps of paper,
Whatever comes.

Pico della Mirandola,
Egyptian love poems,
Essene communes beside the Red Sea,
Paavo Haavikko’s “König Harald”…
An old professor,
Bitter at the graceful way
The poets have
Of gathering terms
Told me, “The poets are fools.
They read
Only in fragments.”

I’m the fool
Of the night seasons,
Reading anything, anything.
When daylight comes
And you see me on the street
Or standing for the bus,
Think of the Greek term
Word for soul and body
Constructing each other
After dark.

Why I Am Afraid of Turning the Page

Spokes, spooks: your tinsel hair weaves the wheel
that streams through my dreams of battle. Another
apocalypse, and your weird blondeness cycling in
and out of the march: down in a bunker, we hunker,
can hear the boots from miles off clop. We tend to
our flowers in the meantime. And in the meantime,
a daughter is born. She begins as a mere inch, lost
in the folds of a sheet; it's horror to lose her before
she's yet born. Night nurses embody the darkness.
Only your brain remains, floating in a jar that sits
in a lab far off, some place away, and terribly far.
Your skull no longer exists, its ash has been lifted
to wind from a mountain's top by brothers, friends.
I am no friend. According to them. Accordion, the
child pulls its witching wind between its opposite
handles: the lungs of the thing grieve, and that is
its noise. She writhes the floor in tantrum. When
you climbed the sides of the house spider-wise to
let yourself in, unlocked the front door, let me in
to climb up into your attic the last time I saw you
that infected cat rubbed its face against my hand.
Wanting to keep it. No, you said. We are friends.
I wear my green jacket with the furred hood. You
pushed me against chain-length. Today is the day
that the planet circles the night we began. A child
is born. Night nurses coagulate her glassed-in crib.
Your organs, distant, still float the darkness of jars.


  At times poetry is the vertigo of bodies and the vertigo of speech and the vertigo of death;
  the walk with eyes closed along the edge of the cliff, and the verbena in submarine gardens;
  the laughter that sets on fire the rules and the holy commandments;
  the descent of parachuting words onto the sands of the page;
  the despair that boards a paper boat and crosses,
  for forty nights and forty days, the night-sorrow sea and the day-sorrow desert;
  the idolatry of the self and the desecration of the self and the dissipation of the self;
  the beheading of epithets, the burial of mirrors; the recollection of pronouns freshly cut in the garden of Epicurus, and the garden of Netzahualcoyotl;
  the flute solo on the terrace of memory and the dance of flames in the cave of thought;
  the migrations of millions of verbs, wings and claws, seeds and hands;
  the nouns, bony and full of roots, planted on the waves of language;
  the love unseen and the love unheard and the love unsaid: the love in love.

Syllables seeds.