Daylilies At Night etc.

Daylilies At Night

Lilies which open half-sullen pods in the night
As if lightning bugs, the torso’s involuntary
Lucent flash, and then the equally deep, abrupt
If transient absence: a pink or tangerine
Blush, then a full, fresh, unfurled nude
In a swirl of loosened complacency:
Beauty, per Coleridge; the cast of the dice
Which eliminates chance, pace Mallarm .
And so the chaos of the body takes its fiction,
Its instrument, its consolation, the soul
“Down the avenue, into the lost bayou…” *
And loses it there for fun, glad to shuffle off
At last its mortal coil, each blossom’s
Mute gasp an acme which defines

Insolence and modesty fused and anew.
Stereo means stone, of all things,
But also duplicity, or like an ass, in Slavic
And mimetic tongues, cloven noise, for a rock’s
Mockery of the real, and these rolling parabolas,
Their fugues of paradox and pun
Vitiating referential meaning, assuaging
Its losses and consequent terrors, madness
And freedom, with relentless momentum
And an opening of the bottom which taunts
Dread of the rhapsode, dervish and queen
In everyone, a candid travesty imposing
With strict articulate delirium its formulae
Of pleasure: imitate me feigning

To imitate you with insincere mimicry
Of your inner minstrel falsetto
Until the larynx and the lynx, equally hairy
And mercurial, open like flowers for our
Tunnel-of-love heroics and more, the maenad’s
Revenge for wasting her time, the epicene’s
Repellent hilarity, each petal a dog’s tongue
And red flag flapping, “Wish you all were there!
Hope we meet again!”** a shouted lisp,
Its insinuations compulsory and obscenely
Smelly as phosphorescent fish scales
When the fish is gutted and clean
As an orange daylily at night, gently nodding
Or philosophically still and bright.

* “She Was Hot,” The Rolling Stones
** Ibid



Hazardous Waste

That day the stars allowed
How the sun took its rouse in Cancer,
Crab and moon, and in the White Mountains
Of New Hampshire, a fool concealed
Himself in the waste pool of a women’s
Outhouse to subdue with the tattoo
Of the taboo, to ravage the itch
Of irreparable ignorance and insane
Fascination with the rainbow’s
Fatuous promises, pot of gold,

Root vegetable harvest and fruit
Of the enigma of a woman’s micturition,
Self-evident truth of her evacuation
Throughout this subterranean bunker
Of hunger’s consequences. This time
A girl took a peek into hell before
Settling her buttocks’ naked cheeks
On the wooden button hole, saw beneath
The board a filth-encrusted anti-Christ
And cried in all languages “Eek!”

Which signaled patrolling county police,
Who queried,* summoned,** hosed him
Down and arraigned him, this Moody
From Maine, descended from wild
Evangelical Presbyters, Scottish Covenenters,
And Reverend Joseph “Handkerchief” Moody
Of Hawthorne fame, before a merely
Human judge. Oval stones, pocked, dimpled
And smooth, crowd the Kancamagus
Riverbed, whose waters, home to bugs,

Tadpoles and trout, are frigid and fast.
A sensible girl always takes a peek
Into hell before settling her buttocks’
Naked cheeks on the glory hole on either
A porcelain or pioneer throne. Don’t scorn
Poor Moody of Maine for being deranged
With greed and forlorn, but be grateful
Satanic life never bids you seek this acme
And zenith of unholy truth in a tine
Of the flesh, the divine’s ubiquitous horn.

* “What are you doing?”
** “Come out!”


Edward, The Later Lear

The filthy eponymous owl, of course,
Chose unwisely among his daughters,

Old fools and young ones preferring
Form over content, arched crescents

That ache like the glowing moon,
A perfumed Hitler’s moustache

Bedizening an oracle’s cruel confection,
Hence the much de-constructed,

Pursued and eschewed MALE GAZE,
The Lear, our Edward a less

Notorious descendent and rumpled
World-traveler, Abstract Expressionist

Stains on his trousers and shirt,
Besotted with hopelessly proud women,

Watercolor scenes, religious schemes,
Gone to sea in a pea-green boat singing,

“What a beautiful pussy, you are, you are,
What a beautiful pussy you are!”

And what a beautiful centuryv
Of consensus, to ignore blithely

The impolite and preserve for all
The darker pleasures of decorum,

Our fevers of desirous adoration
Taking the shape of a picture or word.



Angel Food

Missing from the public pool like a tooth,
That half-naked fairy girl

Who swims as if running for her life
In the high prairie, swinging her head

Side to side to keep going,
See where, breathe better,

Her belly tenderly doughy, nearly
Marsupial, the rest hairlessly smooth

Angel food cupcakes spilling
From the ramekins of her loose top,

Imaginary mushrooms in the inadequate
Cul de sac of her cloth bottom.

Shy lamb, fearful of the world’s
Interest in her unseen fleece,

Marching from the women’s
Locker room already wearing

Her swim goggles and rubber cap,
To avoid eye-contact, to see

Who’s staring, perhaps puzzled pleasantly
By a wolf’s fascination

In her absence in the water,
By the presence of her gap. Don’t

Pee on me, I plead, meaning please,
Already breathless and dizzy

From reaching for what’s missing,
Swimming in this oblong box

As if its wet frame held a portrait
Of the universe, over my head

In the clear, slippery, poisonous,
Potentially deadly, my portion

Of earth’s stupidity for a nymph’s
Jellyfish silk, rubbery ivory and pearls.


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