Love's Philosophy . The fountains mingle with the river And the rivers with the ocean, The winds of Heaven mix for ever With a sweet emotion; Nothing in the world is single, All things by a law divine In one spirit meet and mingle - Why not I with thine?
See the mountains kiss high Heaven And the waves clasp one another; No sister-flower would be forgiven If it disdained its brother; And the sunlight clasps the earth, And the moonbeams kiss the sea - What are all these kissings worth If thou kiss not me?
Colleagues . This book is so heavy, like an anchor Sinking onto resurrectionary interpretations Your face, like the clock on the other shore of the ocean Is unable to be spoken to Words have been floating on seas all night And in the morning suddenly fly high
Laughter falls into an empty bowl The sun revolves on the butcher’s hook The first bus of the day drives toward The post office on the end of the fields O, in the green variations Sits the king of departure
Lightning, the postman of storms Is lost beyond the flowering days I trail you as close as the shadow to the body From the classroom to the playground Under the rapidly growing poplars We get small, one going east, another west
The peace of wild things . When despair grows in me and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting for their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
for A.B. . it’s so hard to believe that once we were even younger than now that our skin was so thin that veins blued through it like lines in school notebooks that the world was a homeless dog that played with us after classes and we were thinking of taking it home but somebody else took it first gave it a name and trained it “stranger” against us
and this is why we wake up late at night and light up the candles of our tv sets and in their warm flame we recognize faces and cities and courageous in the morning we dethrone omelets from frying pans . . .
but our dog grew up on another’s leash our mothers suddenly stopped sleeping with men and looking at them today it’s so easy to believe in the immaculate conception
The Night I Was Going To Die . the night I was going to die I was sweating on the bed and I could hear the crickets and there was a cat fight outside and I could feel my soul dropping down through the mattress and just before it hit the floor I jumped up I was almost too weak to walk but I walked around and turned on all the lights and then I went back to bed and dropped it down again and I was up turning on all the lights I had a 7-year-old daughter and I felt sure she wouldn't want me dead otherwise it wouldn't have mattered but all that night nobody phoned nobody came by with a beer my girlfriend didn't phone all I could hear were the crickets and it was hot and I kept working at it getting up and down until the first of the sun came through the window through the bushes and then I got on the bed and the soul stayed inside at last and I slept. now people come by beating on the doors and windows the phone rings the phone rings again and again I get great letters in the mail hate letters and love letters. everything is the same again
Saigon The Movie . James Bond flies into Phuket, which he pronounces Fukit and this announces the demise of the colonial era. My mother sits on the Left Bank, harvesting rice. The Baron announces his arrival with a slice of lemon between his teeth and Panama with razors embedded in its rim, to wear to restaurants with a view of crossfire.
The iron butterfly folds back her wings, and rests awhile on the pillows of this city. But they are soaked with the formalin of diplomacy and the perfumes of an irresistible corruption.
Finally the old merchants dig up their gold and re-invest in a coat of arms they wire to a security gate. Guard dogs with degrees, and lap-dog breeds that do not bark. Here a childhood made sensitive to bombs, a kindergarten closed down with prayer, American linguists in a helicopter, dropping ration packs of Chiclets and brand new grammar
My mother is lighting candles, I am screaming. She smooths goose oil into my chest as I purple with pneumonia. Poor Fredo, they whisper, and my father watches from the corner. He covers his face. My father asks me to stop at the market. He is selecting fruit, holding it to his lips when the guns ignite. Thrown back he staggers to the curb. I am crawling toward him as the black car retreats. He is bleeding; oranges tumble from his coat. I sit on the curb and cover my face, crying, Papa — And the Angel departed from me.
BRETON’S LAST NIGHT Diurnal night of spiritual bathing and Andean calabash where silence does not fit night of paralytic rain in the middle of space foreign night of cancerous light of tamale crumbs between nests of vultures tulle night on a paper vessel's course
Night of air's husk of nap of stars under the weeping of willows night shrouded by clouds in a rosary of bright rebel stars timid night of rosy dawn cheeks and of a doll broken by a mammoth’s blow
Night of jelly on a pewter plate cardboard night between rats’ teeth and of drowned men in the axis of the sea pointless Christmas night among the fumes of epileptic party-goers
Crucified night between a thief of dreams of foam and of truths
It was the nightfall of the iguana from his rainbow-colored crest his tongue like a dart sank into the greenery The monastic ant colony stepped with musical feet through the jungle. The wild llama, as delicate as oxygen in the wide brown high country went walking in his golden boots while the tame llama opened his candid eyes onto the daintiness of a world filled with dew. The monkeys braided an endless erotic thread along the shores of daybreak bringing down walls of pollen and frightening the violet flight of butterflies on the river. It was the night of the alligators the pure, pulsing night of snouts sticking out of slime and from the drowsy swamps the dull noise of scale armor goes back to the origin of the earth. The jaguar touched the leaves with his glowing absence. The puma runs through the thicket like a devouring fire while in him are burning the alcoholic eyes of the jungle. Badgers are scrabbling the banks of the river, sniffing at a nest full of living delicacies which they will attack with red teeth. And in the depth of the great water like the circle of the earth is the giant anaconda covered with ceremonial paint, devouring and religious
JAILS . This ancient domestic ritual of covering the bread well, of seeing there is a tablecloth for the table and that it doesn't lack salt, my hands in such assiduous escape without wanting nor thinking it's already almost an irremediable defect that I can't succeed in curing. In the same way, I carry in my syllables that someone sometime will write, here, in my lukewarm fingertips quick to caress or to extend in a resounding slap in the face that I can't manage to restrain.
In whatever manner, one lives jailed who doesn't wish to escape.
The gate of hell, so gloomy so cold so deep and so far away, opening and closing at the bottom of the dry well Girls dare not bend to look in afraid of a hand pusing from behind
Concubine Zhen died thin. Her husband was an emperor, her mother-in-law the emperor dowager Widowed for many years, the dowager feared the laughter between man and woman, feared that Zhen's graceful steps and her perfume hooked the emperor's eye.
She ordered Zhen to die and the emperor to love another.
Crying she said she didn't want to die or pollute the well. If she died the other person would also perish . . . Before she finished she was pushed into a long distant night
She's been floating ever since
in the news a girl who rebels against an exchange marriage jumps into a well
Uncle John's Band Lyrics By: Robert Hunter Music By: Jerry Garcia Well the first days are the hardest days, don't you worry any more 'Cause when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door Think this through with me, let me know your mind Wo-oh, what I want to know is, are you kind?
It's a buck dancer's choice my friend, better take my advice You know all the rules by now, and the fire from the ice Will you come with me, won't you come with me? Wo-oh, what I want to know, will you come with me?
God damn, well I declare, have you seen the like? Their walls are built of cannon balls Their motto is "don't" tread on me"
Come hear Uncle John's Band, playing to the tide Come with me or go alone He's come to take his children home
It's the same story the crow told me, it's the only one he knows Like the morning sun you come and like the wind you go Ain't no time to hate, barely time to wait Wo-oh, what I want to know, where does the time go?
I live in a silver mine and I call it beggar's tomb I got me a violin and I beg you call the tune Anybody's choice, I can hear your voice Wo-oh, what I want to know, how does the song go?
Come hear Uncle John's Band, by the river side Got some things to talk about Here beside the rising tide
View . Ships fastened to water, A long line of ships this hot Afternoon, stand like homes Abandoned for the day. There are things not in the picture: The tower with its roof askew, A drowned garland. The ships came with the view.
A mill rots, a freighter pulls Away. Hills rise Straight out of Africa; a mandolin sounds. Palms along the coast become A line of leaves above a door, Withered long past welcome. The sea a massive bolt, shot across.