My love for you is a stampede of oranges.
Cracked walnuts, sugared cranberries
sounds from my guts and bones
a pile of pared comestibles
soft tissues, scoops and hollows
a rigged nest vestibule. Harpers and TV.
A young man ventures deep into the forest with a
in 17th-century New England.
their audacity marks a short story,
the high wire act the orchestra
reaching a comic diminuendo but
ending – oh!
-with a bang!!!
Two Parisian friends on a fishing expedition
are captured by the enemy
during the Franco-Prussian War.
A genial murderer
is shaken out of his boredom when,
on holiday in Yalta,
he meets a young woman.
A married Moscow banker steps
outside his asylum for a day and finds
rudimentary drawings scratched on the walls of caves.
A young schoolteacher finds
that she enjoys a ruthless killing
in the oral tradition.
Oh beloved america
your paperbacks, your song of the south!
the simpsons on repeat// on repeat!!
Your mock survival lore
compels us – red in tooth and claw – to
acts of tremendous skulduggery
Pontiac, Buick and Chevrolet
– oh frabjous day! calloo! callay!)
A bullying father suddenly starts to doubt himself
as he drives his son to 19th century Wyoming.
Or a wizard. Or a whirlwind.
Love propels us into the house of dangerous enemies
all under drift and over the pack
foxfeet and birdfeet drift
folly slots and outlawed himmel
on repeat//no repeat
snow battles hardest
moon cancelled and stars postponed
the coming up and goingdown of the sun.
in a lotch or a bollow
how many times in your life
will you get married?
ply a cradle?
pigs and fishes dream of it,
and close bonds among thieves
come to nothing.
a child in a bedroom in holland, in spain
drawing long pictures. a bird’s foot
over a fledgling. And the child is scolded for brooding.
As though all eggs are hollow.
We haven’t given out advice
since the 1950s, but like a new bicycle,
it’s not too late to learn.
Be content to be thought foolish and stupid
& your six little helping elves will trail after.
& dedicate your books to the people that read them,
& name your daughters for the ones we lost in the storms
& name your sons for the heros of afghan epics
& if you adopt orphans, do it noiselessly,
only carve two names on the bole of a tree
if you’re to stand any chance of return.
on repeat//on repeat.
the petits ouiseaux in their lime green caps
and chalk yellow trousers
and the lapins suisses, and the tart chocolatiers
unroll their tights around the festivities
and tiny automata mimic a funfare
where two first meet eyes and he helps her
perhaps she dropped something
so that their hands could touch,
perhaps she drank rum enough to be
tough enough for love,
perhaps she lay down earlier than bedtimes.
And meanwhile the ones with red cheeks
and plaited hair
played kiss-chase and bulldog
and were lost in the storm.
true stories are longer, we had better hope.
if they are to drag out we must burst
into the house of dangerous enemies
in a stampede of oranges. carve our names
on repeat// on repeat
raise up the hands of the waiting women
let loose balloons in fallen cities