The morning’s horn extended a palmful of
   sand. I felt a dry sprig on my face, frozen
 moment, moment’s omen, sleep’s curtain
                                                                  kicked
   on top. I’d forgotten more about time than
     I could know I got up knowing, Cold Duck
 time the time I knew best, head bad beyond
                                                                       all
   hope. Hand spread, sand uncupped, hand
extended . . . In the hollow of the morning’s horn
 I felt empty, crook of an arm around my back,
                                                                            I
couldn’t say whose, wishing it was my father,
   someone I knew at least, again I was the  
 abandoned one. Hand extended, fingers flat,
                                                                          sand
     falling, the morning’s horn’s hollow abiding,
 unbeknown, something inside it unbound . . .
   Whatever I thought I knew gone by the way-
side, what I knew about time I got up knowing
                                                                             bet-
   ter. There’d been a fight between Robert and
Mary was all I knew, names more echo than
 ever, names meaning late not meaning to. It
                                                                          was
actually I was only pretending, what I knew so
   simple I’d gotten weary. Make-believe made it
 more real . . . We sat on the couch eating crab
                                                                          re-
   membering Robert and Mary, snug in the cul-
de-sac, Duck weathering well, real, we wanted
 to say, beyond compare. Beyond repair I heard,
                                                                               mis-
     heard, we sat on the couch, copacetic, nothing
 such occurring to us . . . “Down at the café,” we
   made fun of the eldren, “down on Fourth by
                                                                             Bris-
 tol, tore
up”

                   •

   “Ripped,” I’d say later, newly Dogon, calling
them the dead dying of thirst . . . Ripped word-
 skirt, altar cloth, tears enough to drown in.
                                                                       Twin-
     ship, tearing, read it, wept . . . The morning’s
 horn’s hollow so had me I sewed with Crab light,
   “Stitch, rhapsodic stitch,” I apostrophized. So
it was and so it went, blocked-out intaglio back
                                                                           with
     a vengeance, Lone Coast imbroglio south of
 Lone Coast, they who’d only of late fallen in
   with our crew, Robert and Mary’s breakup all
we knew . . . Not since Peter and Melissa had it
                                                                         been
     so, names less address than echo, insides lost,
 would-be more than were. Names less than nomina-
   tion, they were the kids Huff and Sophia would
                                                                               ’ve
 had had they had
kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The morning’s horn’s nasal pitch awakening
   memory. I was wondering why was it so.
“Mighty fine” I remembered reading on a
                                                                   rock
     outside Vancouver, far from the waterless
 river I grew up near, with or without import
   I couldn’t say . . . It was less an epiphany
than a footnote, quick reticence gone on by,
                                                                       pent
     synonymy, loath to relate. Reflected sun,
 stark light, cement banks, would-be water . . .
   Back but only an instant . . . Blinded me, so
                                                                        soon
 gone
                   •

 The more I thought it metaphoric the more
   real it was again. Recollected sun, hard
light, cement conduit, nominal water. River
                                                                       so
   dry we rode our bikes across . . . The morn-
ing’s horn let sand run thru our fingers, hollow
 whatever would-be name, nomination, time
                                                                          hav-
ing in on it we saw but were none the wiser.
   It wasn’t we were being mystical. It wasn’t
 we were meaning to be . . . It wasn’t we were
                                                                       be-
     ing anything that would frame it, frame’s
 unflow our nemesis, nominal wet’s reign
   undone we’d have had it, name name some-
thing we saw. So went our song to the Santa
                                                                          Ana
   River, ode less than entreaty, water we’d
beg it to be . . . Later we laughed at the waterless
 river, sipping Duck, crab-claw sweetness as
                                                                         good
as it got, parched, liquorless ghosts. We were
   dry, the same drinkless dead, their complaint,
 threw back many for none if not them, death
                                                                         by
   thirst what recourse, death by thirst what re-
pair . . . The more I thought it metaphoric the
 more real it was. A subtle something, a subtle
                                                                            beat                                                                        
     snuck up on me, a sudden subtle pulse, ab-
 stract bossa nova. The morning’s horn’s hollow
   drifted over into static, sand in our palms on
                                                                           our
 faces, rub’s would-be wash’s raw strain . . . We
   were trying to get home, home gone, was all
I knew. We patted the heels of our hands together
                                                                                  like
     Muddy said, we got operatic, ribcage theater’s
 wayfare recruits, backstage, Cold Duck time . . .
   We were in heaven without knowing it, trying
                                                                              to
make heaven home. Messed up, made it, memory
                                                                               the-
   ater’s ribcage
 twin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Mighty fine I felt. I stumbled, fell. I figured
my foot hit a crack. What I wanted now bor-
 dered on quack, duck sonance. I lay there, I
                                                                        took
     the pledge . . . Machine furtherance went on
 above my head, a grinding sound. I gnawed
   along the edges of thought, gear met gear, the
                                                                              morn-
 ing’s horn’s hollow my resort . . . Gear met con-
   venient gear, sand in the works no matter, mesh
the horn’s hollow exhumed . . . I took the horn’s
                                                                           hol-
     low’s pledge, fell but got back up . . . Cement
   river. Would-be water’s enablement. All my
                                                                          refu-
     gee worry took
 wing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The erstwhile river tilted our glasses. Con-
   crete reverie it was we were in. The erst-
while river swelled our feet, little oedipuses
                                                                       we
   joked. Crab claws dangling from the sky
overhead, the erstwhile river took away the
 floor . . . Duck sonance made us bray like
                                                                   don-
     keys, in a key the dead alone could hear.
 Less an epiphany than a crack, more like
   a discrepancy, duck sonance dub sonance,
                                                                     sound
     an extrinsic sip, dub an acoustic mask put  
 on crooked, well the would-be river dipped
                                                                         us
in