the kitchen light: dim
night: knife quiet, cereal
all-bleary, milk and cheese
snooze in the refrigerator
pet in basket respires
plant in plant pot respires
just as effortless.
but all my blankets comfortless,
and every open book a drain
to the pastlands:
all the metal gone
seas boiled over
dogs rant mad
wine gone running sour
back to the grape
back to the old days
old mud on the cuffs
of your trousers; knees torn
out in the dust
and digging away the mountains.
sweet india, indian, indiana.
drums are the weapons of royalty
and free speech is a peach – let’s eat!
and the juice will flow through the internet
and out, somewhere in china or north korea
they curled the limbs in a grave circle
laid the jade like good green apples
parted with their best weapons
for a leather-faced man.
all in one! all one!
godlike or godly, a leader of men!
louder! in your body! louder! in your body!
so they raised ramparts,
traded cowries into the harmattan,
to be lost under the bloody desert,
forever and bone dry.
they brought back a tall yellow horse
to the emperor – a horse that ate the tops
of the trees, with a long blue tongue,
a horse that swayed like a heat haze.
distances like a pearl of water
on the palm’s ephemeral geography
to the sun’s arms
and the currents and winds
smiled on the ships and the sailors.
camels and dogs run together in severity
each angel or devil knowing its fellow
a certain degree like a thing astronomical.
my fire and ice is lonely. i flow a liquid mineral
a cloud of sharp sand, my conscience
runs swinging and kicking over little rocks
and my sadness unguent from me,
a low molten rock river singing death to the plains,
midas-fingering in the vanguard of ashes.
In their warm bodies, mammals mete their hierarchies
their heartbeats pulses regulate.
So the brightest stars push on ahead
And are the first to vanish, back to the old days
over shifting ice and sand.