Litowa Moonlight

Forty years ago in Litowa moonlightI saw myself a naked ape and laughed…Fever of unknown origins had held mefour days in its sweaty embrace and loosed my bowels innumerable times soI staggered from the hut in search of widegreen leaves and staggered weakly back again –this night as I returned I saw outline of my dim shadow in African dust,recognized the naked fellow aliveat the pleasure of chance as my own selfand began to laugh under the full moon alone near the border with Mozambiqueand how I laughed under that huge...

In The Time Of Gaza, 2009

Compromised Land Because promises can’t be relied upon,I’m trying to trade in the Promised Land for compromised land –I know glamor’s lesswith this kind of earth, but we’re so many… I will compromise with most anyoneabout most anything – even in thisI’m less than absolute, but let us nownegotiate night after night while stars that can’t hear bitter biting words progressthrough the heavens and the constellationschange so we can’t be assured where we are –let’s argue until the guns and tanks rust I’m ready to settle compromised land,let a new vocation find my right hand We Should Not Seek We should not seek instruction in crueltyfrom our enemies: they have much to teach,but the greater danger is that our joyis in what avid learners we can be How to turn away from such dread pursuit,how to make peace with needing to make peace,how to grasp how close glory and gorylive to each other, how to find splendor in giving up the magnificent hopesthat have let us feel that we might matter –cruelty and vanity, conspiratorsin glistening armor, old, old allies They urge that what’s slight in us, what’s tender,slights us, so we must be pride’s...

New Year’s Eve 2008

I’m having trouble losing myself inanything at all – books, music, sex, crime,drugs and dreams are of no use, I remain some thing slung about my neck, a presence like an albatross, more faithful eventhan my shadow for I stay with me whenthere is no light, I hug through all the daysand all the nights, I have nothing to say There’s nothing rare in this extremity,I can’t help imagining it’s commoneven if most don’t choose to notice it,how we keep ourselves clinging company It’s New Year’s Eve and the old show rolls onI’m found, this that collars me is no...

Let Me Explain What Evolution Shows

Let me explain what evolution shows:lack of curiosity killed the cat –the hunter must always keep on hunting,pry under each rock, never trust, disdain the obvious, overcome all smugnesswith sheer restless energy that’s mental and physical both; the cat that survivesmust endure appearing foolish not just to others but to himself – let them laughall they want, living’s no laughing matterand when this cat sleeps his dreams do not restbut sort follies in other dimensions cat that’s not curious is goner catthis is exactly the place that we’re...

So Quietly Did Fox Cross Yesterday

So quietly did fox cross yesterdayour path in wet woods, the white dog neverlifted her nose and I thought it was brownsilent apparition from a lost dream But it so beguiled me, this noiseless fox,it appeared over and over again,just one fox become many mind foxes,soft shades of brown, aristocratic tails. Unforeseen encounter, intense pleasure,antidote to the surprise of terror,fox up on his paws, off on an errandthrough fragrant pines in the mid-winter rain. We’re just as likely to be lost as foundWhen dream of fox turns up on waking...

I’m Already Older Than I Can Grasp

I’m already older than I can graspand getting older still, breath by breath andbeat by beat, nothing to be done, but go on going on, try to find melody In the succession of my own moments,how they slip away and take me with them,even as they leave me at once behindand ahead, dazed and dazzled, old and new Yes, there’s the riddle, that though I’m older,I come in each instant alive anew,fresh and free in my own slight company,perhaps more frail but unbroken yet I know my destiny, that not to beis being’s end, soon, too soon – old...