Here is what I know. Ash tree in the yard is frozen again,
Icicles hang as doomed men from the tree, in shapes of black
and crystal against the frost of window. I know that
to make her fall in love with me, I read Cummings. Her hands are always small.
I’m under the tree, noose round my neck, spear in my side.
I close one eye for knowledge, and give myself to myself, for myself,
as she gives herself for me, and I for her.
I can make her eyes close if I slip my fingers light
down the back of her neck. I know her mouth will open slight
if I touch the space behind her ear. In bed, poetry
and music become electric, skin against skin crackles
with peculiar fire.
The tiny pocket notebooks of prose read with mouths curling
into smiles, tongues curling into the slant of the body.
My walls are cracked and hollow, I know there are wires where there
should be nothing, and I know my lights will give way at the
softest of touches, for I live in a house built of chaos
I am the one-eyed man – back stooped – hat tucked low under the
empty socket I traded away. I am the great King,
who cut the head off he who came before, and from his corpse
made my house and the house of the giants and the elves and
the monsters. And Death.
Shakespeare becomes euphemism, the Jackson Pollock of
our bodies, of our bodies, our blankets curl around the
crippled forms of human beings in love after love.
When she says “There are fountains there, you know” Her lips are wet
butterflies on my skin.
When I say “Yes, I’ve seen them run,” I am speaking about ourselves.
My tongue is an orchid behind her ear.
Take two birds, send them out into my universe. They spy
on she I love, they I watch. They my Raven signals, sing
thought and memory in mine ear through cable and sound at
the speed of wireless.
I know she has been crying by the tracks made in tears in
the redness of cheeks. I know how desperate they feel; I know
the tinge of failure digging under fingernails when asking
me to read Whitman in the dark. I feel the digging too.
I can’t, I can’t. I can’t.
When Thought says “There are fountains there, you know,” it is speaking
of my injured side, of the scarlet that slips out from between
the lines of the spaceman on my ribs. When Memory caws
“Yes, I’ve seen them run,” It is speaking of the end of the universe.
Lilacs and Atoms of myself are for sunny times, in
the fields of specimen days and drum beats of sharpened summer grass.
My house that has frozen over, shadow stories on white walls.
I’m the father of all, and I will sleep forever as
my house wraps itself around me. I am hanging myself
for myself, for us all.
Slip Bohemian out from floorboards instead, a house of
dragons in disguise. We lovers who sit in a
house of solitude, letting us alone together.
I read the Letters to the Young to the young and words of
words of words bounce off the walls that hold in the orchestra of our being.
Words paint themselves into the chipped floorboards and curl into
empty Mom’s Korean takeout from down the street.
I know why we reach for words as the heating of dusk break
down and spiders climb through the windows, for I must, I must, I must.
When on the buses there and back again, will ask I read again.
I know I will reach for sad birds and hi-ho because I know, I know, I know.
When we and talk about faraway places, we are lying and
dreaming of the stars.
“There are fountains there, you know.” She is speaking about chocolate.
“Yes, I’ve seen them run,” I am speaking about ourselves.
I am the god of gallows – I am not hanging, and battle
– I am a pacifist and poetry – I am no poet,
the book falls from my hands as I look at the frostbite tree
The world tree is painted on its pages; she is painted on me.
I know there are no gods. I know that everything is real,
and there I am, I am. I am. Ghost Feet tickle the small
of my back as my cold fingers dance across the moon.
I know when I say “There are fountains there,”
I am speaking about ourselves
I know when she answers “Yes, I’ve seen them run,”
she is speaking about chocolate.