Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Sky Is Indifferent To the Earth

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Oxen of the Sun 393

We are dressed to be cozeners
Meddling with the shit of the faithful
In feathers we dance, a remedy for whispering
Would we full and rear to show our
Sweet smoky religion
Our faith slapped and licked and put on display
For another to shed this word
Our wrists rubbed in gold and oil
Thanks comes to the emperor bare as his women
They turn down this road and bellowing
Make bargains with this daisychain world
But that I had only taught one more ravishing trick
I would not be playing with these dung-blessings
Nor the fodder of the world.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

the Curvature of Memory

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Oxen of the Sun 392

The tongue wants its poetry of tears
Someone raw and broken
wishing for eyes to
Study the mechanics of nakedness
To keep the beast of language at bay
And walk away with what remains of
The butchered day.

The design of the ordinary
Believes itself to be the morning
The oceansea
A fecking, wishing chicken choking
On its own tripe,
A fish of timber without the time
To clear the mess that night has made of it
To burst its teeth and kidnap
Drifting children from their familiar slaughter
To make its pockets empty at auctions of the useless
Trading its salty meadows for boats
To carry us all over.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Another Act of Fear

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Oxen of the Sun 391

The living wind and reason can
Give us cause to belong to water
Floundering in waves waiting for persuasion
We can be seen, our poor names
Written in tonight’s harbor.

What sum increases the rain?
Or will we be happy in this rogue’s game
Of charmed but stolen harvest?
The unknowing prophet
Delivers us our breath but uses it
To start fires in our reason.
Where we hanker for this hot sport
I hear the old telling tongue
And pierce the sore belly of truth
To warm myself alongside its issue.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Having No Shape But Stained, Nonetheless

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Oxen of the Sun 390

We heel who catch
Caught and cracked
The skipping lightning of our time
Without time
We are consumed, breathed, wretched
And given to great strokes
of nightwind coming at us in angles, our
Honor spills forth in grievous rage.
I am gentleman and brother
What does the earth offer to
Make a month of rain?
What is said by the seed crushed
Against chance?
Where does the west shelter
against its own barrenness?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Making Light

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Oxen of the Sun 389

The common passing calm
Is plugged with birds and devils
Pissing in the river of light of
The brave things shown
The other lands where passed
Holiness from hand to hand;
These mark our wickedness
Our not understanding the rest
But nonetheless pointing to the fall

Commanding the show and believing
It to be full of mothers
And other monsters, we
Who have no notion of the devil
Who are certain of their own uncertainty
Who know the hour of our death
Who creep past learned shadows
And are brave in spite of our heart of hurt,
We promise the lusty godly battle the
Notion of virtue in plagues
And the nameless voice of the low.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tower of Lies, Tower of Bliss

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Oxen of the Sun 386

The body of the day
A communion between love and corruption
The smile of poverty the
Quiet of desperate virgins
We escort our young
These otherwise drunken spawn
These disobedient devils -they were eternal-
Twinning remembrance and burning
Finding their way to this joyful island of flowers
This new sex a mystery
We gave them so much poetry
But left them cursed and hungry.

Oxen of the Sun 387

We old lie
Our kiss an atrocity
We have sins we cannot confess
Secrets we cannot share –you’ll see when you are there
If we return as men who once again
Cannot understand
We are still these bitter strangers
Banished in a nature where death has ended
And life is a plague
A nightmare of birth and light
A stranger in the moon
Where money is illumination
And we dwindle with the mention
And the visit of darkness

Oxen of the Sun 388

Cracked waxy angry summits
Rumblingly heavens slumber against
The cups of hell where some hidden thunderhead
Creeps forward from its cage its
Region of loud and remote uplift
Godly doom and discharge all the least colors
Pluck whatever spikes that drank your heart
No fear takes its place here where
We crouch again in sudden deed and storm of want
Together standing we could not see this vast palace
Hear this pitch and oddly certain order
Behind the shaking beast of all these sad mansions

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


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Oxen of the Sun 385

So came the question of joy
The joy of the angry door
The bitter joy dinged with blemish and eternity
The monkey joy, witless flesh
What we knew of the spirit
The wrinkled trans trans trans substantiation
Your happy tears walking body-less among the worthless times
Your pangs attack without shame
Punching the eternal word to death;
It is what finally kills the sacred bird
Jealous and caught gawking
It was a bigness that escaped the notice of the maker.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In the Black Trees*

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Oxen of the Sun 384

Be like the son,
This man of wondrous art who,
Stricken with truth
Instead chooses desire for
A measure of life and is
Driven with dismay,
Laid down by the jaw the drunken church,
Fears to be alone,
Fears to live in his own body,
Chooses his words,
Departs with the fisherman,
In the midst of winter
Lives in destiny,
And is filled with dark intention.

*from "A Wave" by John Ashbery

Friday, August 13, 2010

Apostasy Light

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Oxen of the Sun 383

Flowers bring with them strange reason
their loveliness is malice
the true engine of colored dying
Laughing creatures witnessing the
coming gloom.

Life grieves life but small price
we pay for religion
which prompts all this hot mirth
the young only slowly realize the limits
of this wondrous beast
this whole other adventure
this life that sang of means and ends.

We go forth, to our patron of brightness.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Happy Destiny

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Oxen of the Sun 382

In passing you said
“let us speak of self and night.”
and where we intended the world
only doubt fell out
it was a small matter but
one that brought the death of mastery
that spoke without wonder
that had scant conscience
for the meekest love.

Saints and counsels and years begin their love
the brothers of goodness imagine
their births and let their judges provide
promised woe and wandering.

In passing you said you believed in night.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Night Fishing 2

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Oxen of the Sun 381

While all the vessels are finally made fast
run to the ground and put to the sand
the magic breath is only possible in this silver air
Made void by some virtuous older child of night.

The serpents and fishes lie
and see themselves in your meanwhile Jesus
who swells to the full size of expectant and marvelous strangeness.
There are mountains beyond mountains.
Desire waits as these boats make fast from the sea.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Paradox of Equilibrium

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Oxen of the Sun 378

Welcome you sick gravity,
welcome to this happy vehicle of distraction
while the surgical citizen attends to this required hour
with wise enquirers and certain women he
takes his beholding seriously
and practices his public work, we scarcely care.
But we are a nation of history
a nation of discrepancies
certainly this experience of sickness
cannot be mistaken for bliss.
When we are done with our prudent terrestrial lie
when we are done with this wayfaring trembling
When we are done with this mother night
will we find possibility?
Will we find our way back to the opulent womb?

Oxen of the Sun 379

The seafloor now keeps
Our sad oil
Forgive us our answers
stolen from the lips of those good angels
Unwilling as we are
to crave the ruined question
we sigh and shrivel
glad to be done
Held in sorrow
the weary word serves
to forgive the moon
for it’s ignorance of heaven.

Oxen of the Sun 380

These travelers come
to the castle of salt
to the house of sleep
to the land of the backward word
to find the breast
they left uncertain
to find the sword of marvel
and work the strings of useless noise.
The harkened voice
the bloodless birth
the home you left
the never merry land
the hand that beats
the hand that feeds
the one false thing
the smitten space
Come, you mother-night!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Miniature Night

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Oxen of the Sun 377

Anyone can see the signs;
Who endowed with consigned offense
who menaces angels and mortals alike
who increases high hope then
neglects his art?
Admonishers tremble in the original light
the nation gradually measures it’s reason
and finds itself outside the surface of circumstance,
it finds itself absent from nature.
How far forward against contrary prophecy
can all this evil lean?