the sound of water

(& one lone tone of birdcall:   G#)


I push my lameness before me

                    I prod it with my staff


something beautiful is happening


just inside a gun



from effable                   to effable


would I enchant    would I implore


the whistler behind me

the outdoor people

in their packs & plaid flannels

                           the young couple

who stop for cigarettes

           where the trails meet


I’m not sorry               (for what)



the little hollows, their liquid

bells         (that have no children)


(tho cast above

                       (—a breathing eye)

the dripping margin


styptic, I mean to the soul

(even the other bodies passing

     withhold their deaths)

                             (—their depths)




       (warning sign before descent)


not a dance

not a memory palace

                     (though well-placed)

spiral of woodgrain in decay


the fastidiousness of water

                          its gaps & frets


make of it an aisle, an apse

           or         —no

      transeptal       (but—to what?)


having lost the whistler

      I have gained two

photographers              from China

(I want to photograph them)


o small life

again I call to you—bury me


to have dreams again

(—from the bowl of dreams)


but what caption,          (-soldier)



make another (mask) / (mark)



this          greenwood conservatory

(a legible apse)

(its choreography of drips)


      refine    or          splay

the hemlocks’ ledger-profile


(waiting now

     for the child-bodies to pass

(—their smaller, breathing bodies)


make overhung a verb:

              overhunging, overhung’d

cast back into a perfect present


as far as punctuation goes

I prefer the hunters to the whistler

their sharp reports

            (behind me)  (before me)


I cross to where my student stands

                               nod as I pass

(or is it a pilgrimage?

clockwise, counterclockwise,

      —always before the mechanism


it remains difficult

not to say “God”

                         (tho I am bereft)


my three-legged life        varicose

my own G#, not so pure,

              lame in its single shoulder



—you must not, I wanted to shout







(& then I remembered Brigit

                                how her ghost

held my hand in her hands

      my one hand in both her hands)