Issue 135, Summer 1995
June is a migraine above the eyes,
Strict auras and yellow blots,
green screen and tunnel vision,
Slow ripples of otherworldliness,
Humidity's painfall drop by drop.
Next door, high whine of the pest exterminator's blunt machine.
Down the street, tide-slap of hammer-and-nail,
hammer-and-nail from a neighbor's roof.
I've had these for fony years,
light-prints and shifting screed,
St. John of the Cross, Julian of Norwich, lead me home .
It's good to know certain things:
What's departed, in order to know what's left to come;
That water's immeasurable and incomprehensible
And blows in the air
Where all that's fallen and silent becomes invisible;
That fire's the light our names are carved in.
That shame is a garment of sorrow;
That time is the Adversary, and stays sleepless and wants for
That clouds are unequal and words are .
I sense a certain uncertainty in the pine trees,
Seasonal discontent ,
Pre-solstice jitters, that threatens to rattle our equilibrium.
My friend has lost his larynx,
My friend who in the old days, with a sentence or two,
Would easily set things right,
His glasses light-blanks as he quoted a stanza from Stevens or Yeats
Behind his cigarette smoke.
Life's hard , our mutual third friend says… It is. It is .
Sundays define me.
Born on a back-lit Sunday, like today,
But later, in August,
And elsewhere, in Tennessee, Sundays dismantle me.
There is a solitude about Sunday afternoons
In small towns, surrounded by all that's familiar
And of necessity dear,
That chills us on hot days, like today, unto the grave,
When the sun is a tongued wafer behind the clouds, out of sight,
And wind chords work through the loose-roofed yard sheds,
a celestial music…