ancient explorers of unknown seas
stood on the deck of the Arctic Princess -
Jarrett rhapsodizing from a boombox on the table;
looming before us like massive white bears -
glasses of Kir.
saw Jarrett at the Vanguard,"
told me, "When we were in college."
was a time when desire enveloped the world
mist drifting over water -
our life's a meditation," I mused,
the contours of our despair.
at last, humbled, impotent, and abused,
inherit, from someplace we never visited,
tattered remnants of a concept
once imagined we could share."
is the shameless self-indoctrination
those who cannot hope or think
of places half-hidden behind
blistered, raw edges of our mind.
poured myself another drink.
seagulls squalling victory
our evanescent dreams,
the girl I never kissed
the prom I never went to,
chided me, once again
being so severe.
At three o'clock
swarm of phlegmatic rhinoceros
and chugging, they slowly made their way
a house once occupied by Bugsy Siegel,
one of their members had recently expired.
was there. I heard their deafening laments.
knew first-hand there was no justice
those who, like Frank Sinatra or Shirley MacLaine
there you were – there, too –
a large canvas by Roberto Matta.
summarizes," you sermonized –
if I needed another drubbing –
destitution of those who refuse
bow before the god of dirt and shit."
usual, you were right.
much was clear as day.
looked out through whitewashed French doors
a cloud creeping across the livid sky.
was not of our world, and yet it was.
then at a caterpillar,
than the branch it crawled upon
blind as a bottomless well,
its way toward the bending sprig's termination.
down to the smooth-cut, verdant lawn
stretched out toward the redwood deck
the fashionably tiled swimming pool.
eyes followed mine.
on a cue that neither of us understood,
turned our gazes back toward each other,
irises wide like the tiled pool.
in a while,
the feeling grabs you,
pull off your alpaca cardigan
Your lace-up boots
tie-dyed T-shirt and your jeans and all the rest
dance a slow pavane in the town square.
despite the numerous wounds –
lacerations and bullet-holes and burn marks –
cover your body like a second skin.
and others have suggested to you
such impulsive hoofings may appear immodest
the uninitiated –
considerable group of souls, you must admit,
takes in just about everyone,
me, and probably you yourself.
shrug off my concerns – a horse twitching away flies.
isn't that decorum and restraint mean nothing to you –
fact, you're rather the prude.
you have your obligations, and I have mine.
body is a messenger.
are wounds for which there is no balm
depths of suffering for which there is no name.
is not an infinitely flexible balloon.
boundaries can only be stretched so far.
about had it with yours
you've about had it with mine
we will keep having it for the foreseeable future.
is evening in the facilities:
day shift cleaning up;
night shift about to begin their labors.
here, alone in the crepuscule,
ask myself, yet again,
we permit a disloyal God
relentlessly to enslave