Stet Stet Stet


Where the curve of the road rhymes with the reservoir's
and cleared of the leafy veils that for six months
obscured it,
the landscape's wet chestnut
in the gray descended cloud
intones You're lucky to live in a watershed
so no vast tracts of tacky drywall
turn the land into peremptory enclosures.
You've bought in.
The venial sin:
being exceptional.
Reading Hölderlin.
And the natural hallucinogen of joy
helium-cum-oxygen
leaving wordy outputs
hanging on piney tenterhooks
while all the wild protected liminal woods
contrive a blind.

Migrant

Sunday takes us to the relic-boxes of small Texas towns,
their shops of Sears and Roebuck
            sewing machine stands,
bordello bedframes, and scrap-metal lawn art: a butterfly
stakes a Spartan garden
            with pollen rust.
Learning the hard way not to touch even the brass panel
of a swinging entrance
            door to cold beer
a rose catheterizing a vase, bloom achieved. None of these
wheel-hoops made overseas,
            none of the wind bearing
signals toward receivers. "What are you, unremember-prone?"
But as a clock-spring's
            reincarnated in
an obnoxious doorknob, squint-squeal, a drawer is shaking out
again its rubber bands,
            nails, batteries, twists,
razor blades, shoelaces, coupons, q-tips, to jerry-rig the butterfly
a sunflower. That's to say
            the armored flower
these Sabbath-shut antique shops show me in mirrors.
With a castle of black iron,
            very Louise Nevelson,
gears and ratchets and half-moon windows in turrets
buffered by a wall of copper beech,
            a moat of black mondo grass
and borders of purple wandering jew. If I thread the screw
in that will hold the weight
            of this world upon the wall,
the mirrors of the antique shops and the antique shops themselves
protest that we're not unpacked.
            That we may not be
before the buzzards sink, empty ink cartridges
of those translucent claws.
            Not fully.

Related Poems

The going. The letters. The staying.

The going. The letters. The staying.
The life of the little boy. The staying
and the life of the little boy. The
letter. The mushrooms. Dear Mom,
I’m writing to say how good it felt
when we took the mushrooms. Our skin.
The boy getting on the bus and the
street lamp. It’s getting cooler. The life
of the little boy. The life of the little boy.
The going. The letters. It’s getting cooler.
It’s a little bit better. We took the
mushrooms and got on the crowded bus.
I’m writing to say how everyone seemed.