Untitled Fragment

And as the procession

before me fled one seemed to

know as one whose years the mask

and smokeless altars interpose


numerous as the dead

from whose forms shadows

pass and

of that great crowd rearranged

the thrush and thrift and edelweiss: a

SHAPE whose garments in the changing

seasons as yet formless against

the trembling like the

lifting of a veil

Related Poems

OBIT [Music]

Music—died on August 7, 2015. I made
a video with old pictures and music for
the   funeral.    I   picked   Hallelujah   in
acapella. Because  they  weren’t  really
singing, but  actually crying.  When  my
children    came    into    the    room,    I
pretended   I   was   writing.   Instead   I
looked at my mother’s old photos.  The
fabric  patterns  on  all  her  shirts.  The
way she held her hands together at the
front of her body.   In each picture,  the
small brown purse  that now sits under
my desk.   At the funeral, my brother-in-
law    kept   turning   the   music    down. 
When  he  wasn’t  looking,  I  turned  the
music  up.    Because  I  wanted  these
people  to  feel  what  I  felt.    When  I
wasn’t   looking,    he   turned   it   down
again.   At the end of the day, someone
took  the  monitor  and  speakers  away. 
But the music was still there.  This was
my first understanding of grief.

Fragment: Questions

Is it that in some brighter sphere

We part from friends we meet with here?

Or do we see the Future pass

Over the Present’s dusky glass?

Or what is that that makes us seem

To patch up fragments of a dream,

Part of which comes true, and part

Beats and trembles in the heart?

The Not Tale (Funeral)

The great labour of appearance
served the making of the pyre.
But how
nor how
How also
how they
shal nat be toold
shall not be told.
Nor how the gods
nor how the beestes and the birds
nor how the ground agast
Nor how the fire
first with straw
and then with drye
and then with grene
and then with gold
and then.
Now how a site is laid like this.
Nor what
nor how
nor what she spak, nor what was her desire
Nor what jewels
when the fire
Nor how some threw their
and some their
and their
and cups full of wine and milk
and blood
into the fyr
into the fire
Nor how three times
and three times with
and three times how
and how that
Nor how
nor how
nor how
nor who
I cannot tell
nor can I say
but shortly to the point
I turn
and give my tale an end.