SOME OCCURRENCES ON THE 7:18 TO PENN
He showed me this book called “Discovering God.” And guys?
I nearly did choke on the swanning spray of insufferable light—
“Some people can only take seconds
of God’s voice,” he said. But for me
it was, like, the rubbery-awake I get after a slap,
or (not that I did that in a while) after I
write a poem, then open the window
to the naval dawn air.
I see a hawk being chased by sparrows.
And I won’t ever again write simply again
‘cause I won’t ever feel
the simplicity of an again bloodthirsty
The guy with the book is gone. Above his seat
there’s a sad moustailed triangle of mist. &
gently, out of it you step—
like a kid with Down’s down a Sunday staircase
and into the golden dinette where her eggs are waiting.
O touch my forehead. Tell me
it’s OK not to be modern.
Or say shit like: “Newsflash! En route to manger
shepherds with canes mistaken for fighters
are shot dead by our boys!” My little
pony, sparrows’r’us, O Philomel, can we sing “clouds” now
like back when the beautiful was beautiful? Please please sing of the shepherds:
“Theirs was a love too perfect.” Ergo, it had to flunk.
And it was shapely to lose all my stuff.
The wallpaper, care bears, the morning star
and the rose of the sea and the rose of the wind. The
I began from. The wooden horse.
A see-saw in the spray of light.
Always the beast has a remote heart.
‘Cross seven seas, beyond two hills as two
Lambs facing each other, in a meadow fine as my lady’s kerchief, a boar
Inside this boar’s a hound.
Inside the hound a rabbit.
Inside the rabbit a grey dove.
Inside the dove
At the end of poetry the poem can no longer be remote
I love jewels. Don’t you just love jewels?
(Oh good, you’re my kind. She-assassin of light.)
And wouldn’t it be cool if Bloomberg was Prez?
Or wait, I know: Trump! (It would be
awesome. Now spit out those feathers—)
Rid your mouth of the sorrowing of the sparrows
I tell you as a friend. In middle school already I knew I couldn’t love
The furry kind. It plowed through unwashed
hydrangea windows & onto where grandma sat in a soiled frock
on sofa-as-dust-compressed, and leafed through a creased
farmer’s almanac— was that
light’s work? She was stuff, spat out into my palm and shrieking,
A turkey glazed with loss—
Ok. Put her back then.
Do it for the men.
Rain falling on ice My hatred of jewels.
Some thing’s preciousness over something else
And the stars go:
THINGS ARE NOT LOOKING GOOD FOR US
MOLESTED BY HAIRCUTS ON LAW AND ORDER AND WHATS GONE WRONG
WITH THE SKYLINE, WHY,
INSTEAD OF READING A BOOK YOU READ STAR OR THE TOOTHPASTE, LOST IN AN ANCIENT ALMANAC
ANNE CARSON IN HEAVEN NERVOUS DESPERATE STUDENT
HER WINDBREAKER FILTHY CLUTCHING THE TRAIN SEAT SO TIGHT WE
SAW HER WRISTPULSE IT WAS
LIKE SEEING HER HEART IN COUNTDOWN
ITS NIGHT. THE ELEPHANT OF POETRY
WE MIGHT BE ON AN INVISIBLE PLANK
ABOVE THE DARKNESS AND IT MIGHT BE
A BLESSING, ANNE WHATS THE WORD FOR
BRANCHES DUMPING THEIR SHINE ON YOUR HEAD, WE THINK OF IT EVERY
TIME WE SEE A BOX. HER NECKS SHADOW
TRANSLUCENT, SHE TURNS TO…
NOTHING TO LOVE: CHEEK CLOUDS, EYEBROW NIGHT
WHAT PASSES FOR EUROPE
BOMBS. JUST LIKE US, PASSING FOR LIGHT
I was riding the train but really when I closed my eyes I saw that
I stood still in the valley’s center. And the guy said:
You can make the valley echo for you like a music hall.
It was tried once by Fitzcarraldo. So I sang long long
five short and one long down. And my voice
connected the various peaks crowding the valley. It was so sweet I
teared up like a sentimental father. But really this is
the same father that hit his son. So I
opened my eyes. The train was moving.
I thought to the words of the valley song:
it said that the child must sing again. I was the child. And inside the
stars was a child. And the soldiers were all children, infinitely valuable.
The shepherds they killed were children.
Their poetry was infinitely valuable.
The poetry of steering by a star— and then the guy said:
You just have to relax a little bit
and go on connecting the valley
Oh Mary you’re as beautiful as disbanded armies.