Wonder

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rare things are growing

the moon is moving , shalom

fly the burning flag of freedom

do you know what it’s like

to be almost swallowed home ?

 

he pours the tea

gold sugar , emotional weight

unfurls her hair

upon dew shoulders , a soul

scratching in the still and quiet

she is scared

and not scared

an amateur actress standing bare

first on center stage fore square.

 

” Mary did you know ”

you have a regal stance ?

all mutate in your presence

the camera clicks

she turns her head

and when she sees she does transfix

her human vanishes

the bleak cold winter

a bountiful banquet

shattering dry in the rain debris.

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Mary don’t dye your hair

wanting to change your wild esprit

I too am thirsty seeing you there

the moon is moving the tall pine tree

over passing Traverse Bay

glory joins utopian pupils

the lake of her eyes my northern stay .

 

a spaceship jolts

Issa is here and

he is calling for you

Mary , do you know what it’s like

to be swallowed home ?

I am scared

and not scared for you alone .

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White

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I loved holding your hand

what piece of that is you ?

there , a white horse loose

and hit by a car on Paradise Road

its a curious land

God allows .

do you recognize me

the red spruce , the snow goose laying in lake sand

the turntable now

an alleluia instrument

sounding swallows to reproduce

and me to the dance band sway .

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Who is that boy

who is he that proclaims

I need to feed my girl ,

not you .

the sky is pushed so far away

is there anything saved for me ?

great fog in our upper peninsula settles down

the snow land to arouse

the symphony of crying voices vows

a cracking chord

ice lies over the Crystal River

love insane a disarray in unison on my brows .

 

I loved holding your hand

until it held me down

and I emerged a white peacock

no more tomb in the middle of my bedroom .

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The Narrator Returns

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Day One :

There a bloom has fallen , laying off the path , red fading  almost grey . She picked it up and buried it . She was a reader of fairytales . The birds left broken shells under their nests and all the fields outside the city were soft and green . Voices , insects digging , wheat grass , musk , rusted gates , warm winds , always the wind , all of it , all of it in that green . She walks here often , the odor of pink painting the tender joy of her life .

Day Two :

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There the white sheets are flapping on the clothesline when he appears . She was sitting on the front steps of her house on the corner of Parmalee Street . She is thin , small breasted and fine in stripped bell bottoms , poet blouse , Moroccan sandals , the leather pale and worn wrapping around her ankles , such beautiful bones . His heart was going like mad . The out of style clothes and the arch of her foot , unusual . He knew he would panic if she moved . She held a baby . The neighborhood lights dimmed . The summer of the year 1983 was ordained . The humming of the lawn sprinklers sang it .

There , under the sky , she  looked at him and looked at him longer and in that pause they both heard the birds screaming on the road above , so resplendent in escape . He would never forget the sound of her voice and she would never forget the sad drooping of his quite lovely left eye or the music he would later play for her . He stalked her with a plea that turned into a gift . His name is Paulo .

Day Three :

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Well , he was young , just out of university . She was older with no education . He slept with ” Abba ” on the wall above his bed , she slept under the long neck of a Modigliani print under glass . Truth has an oblique face , an extraordinary stone the gods hide deep within . The hunt began the day they met , maybe paradise , maybe a nightmare , maybe both . Her name is Mary .

That same week :

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And there , two hundred miles to the north , along the coast of the Great Lake Michigan  where apples hang heavy on the trees , a young man overturns a silver rowboat , pushing it into the waves of an inland lake . His name yet unknown .

The 13th Month

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In the pause

the year of our Lord

with moons soft skin surface

she did remember

ashamed to be on cemetery road

with a wearisome lover , a toxic presenter .

her light lit in strangers

his first underground tantrum

the animals digging demanding ransom .

she did not die

she just went somewhere

the shrill trumpet

one long note , a siren cry .

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in the pause

the lunar month kingdom come November

she did remember

relief to watch the fish swimming shallow

scales of gold leaf a washed in splendour

like spaceships on cathedral wall frescoes ember

with Saints and kings

their cut off heads in glass case transgender

again the drum , again the drum

she did not die , she did not die .

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in the pause

in the headlights of the dark

she did remember

the moon , her body massive

a swell , no bones the cosmic fish anointed

river salmon swim the wrong way

yearning to be back home

the second tantrum

the compass north to abandon .

platinum gifts arranged before her ,

potatoes cooked in caves and grottos

a blind pony , perfect braids , a shiny shell anklet

the Good Harbor passage running

herds with broken heart clefts

a whirlpool startling birds

causing snake movements straight into a tree

where again the drum

booms lyrics now of Vermeer mood to see .

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she did not die

she just went somewhere

the shrilling trumpet hallows

its final note , Michigani’s brutal storm

her throne to sail on rising confessions possession

again the drum , again the drum

she did not die , she did not die .

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Last photo by Rosemary Alpert Photography

Poem for my soldier

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decades three times gone by with tides descent

silvers sliver

mark liquid light upon her skin so white

the warriors sword cuts gold the blues deep sleep

a memory weeping

nocturnals curse a fragile stain

at choirs of gulls positioning

Shakespeare’s lover listening

I love you her breath glistening

there it is he said , there it is .

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her body multiplied

mirrors of eternity that wouldn’t die

began that summer in the Falklands burning

the footlocker laying still , laying long

medals looking from the wall

the soldier and his conquest quickening

pictures of her there inside unfolding in their christening

anywhere with you , anywhere with you

I love you her breath glistening

there it is he said , there it is .

 

Aria of the Lake

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There goes myself along Lake Michigan

naked back walking before me

there goes an uprising

a piling of stones so sorrowful

a ritual of calm tumbling

gusting god out of our heads .

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There goes the sky

compressed into a moment

there goes an uprising , a murder

a bewilderment , bewitching

the sound of sunrise

of which nothing can be said

and when this happens

there goes poison in the forests

and all those hiding

want to escape the immense of this world.

 

She sleeps in the cinema of muck

the trauma of stones rebellion

haunting the howls strangling

off the South Manatou Island .

it is everything at the same time

in the same place

trembling from a tiny hand opening .

 

There goes myself along the shoreline

the Great North Lake my courier

naked back walking before me

no mirror needed

brown nipples uncensored

lustful flight voluptuous

the souls , our flesh drowning

the beauty is blinding .

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There goes the Sandhill crane

over Pyramid Point

writing the ending first where

tonight at dusk

the moon will lay in our arms

the moon will lay in our arms .

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Lament

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the everywhere

the moment somewhere

when nightshade laid its

iris black

my lonely figure

astonished

in loud serenade .

 

the everywhere

oozing blisters

upon sore feet

deserts old from clouded heart

bleached bones stark

from faces brocade

the everywhere startling

almost afraid .

 

the everywhere

black shadows

of celestial beings

flower and fly

whose eyes wide open

have their silence

an endangered species

the iris nigricans .

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the everywhere

blooming from stream side

meadow , forest margin

the everywhere

sky becoming lake

the everywhere

black snakes with no limbs

swarm into soft luscious wounds

the everywhere

the nightshade of the earth I ate

the everywhere

the black mole on my face displayed

and the fragrance , an oasis

that one night

when tulips

they died so beautifully

the everywhere

the everywhere

my son beloved everywhere .

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the everywhere

of nightshade

the poets weep , the sheep graze

next to uncovered embalmed corpse

the everywhere

bodies a thousand with eyes

the everywhere

blue iris like lightning

open to the sun

the everywhere

music calling music

the everywhere

spectral tenderness

beautiful , beautiful

and beautiful again

something more than human

the everywhere here laid

the everywhere .

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For my son ….

 

Paragraph : Blue

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The sky was blue on April 16 at one minute before noon . It was to be my debut onto Avenue Magdalena , one street over from Clover Drive , the pale blue singing me into life , a life we are all born to die , the blue pushing me through onto earths keyboard , the blue stealing my heart , the blue separating the land and the sea by only a membrane . I’ve been watching , always watching , looking into a hued haze of violet swirling my days in New Mexico now , vast this country , nostalgic , old , fragile , faint with dark blue veins connecting canyons , cottonwood , cattle , antelope , crevices , plateau , juniper , tumbleweed ¬†and the breath of sage sighing like dust clouds , moving ghosts over dry land , land the color of my body . Nothing is hidden here , here where melodies of wind bring forth imagination as if tears dropping from blue , drop compassion upon these hills of ivory skulls and bones .

I have been alive for sixty-five years today , today with the blue sky a circle . Those holes blue , drawn by the clouds becoming navels , the dark purple of the night are my east and west , the rising and falling of my nipples erect and exposed , the north and the south are my womb and stomach swallowed by the moon . I wish I could have another baby . I wish I could dance the flamingo . I wish I could hold onto my mother once more or play the accordion ( the green one I always write about ) or live at an ashram or walk the Camino de Santiago or fly like birds do . But I am a ” poem painter “. I was born in the bosom of Mother Earth , in a place beyond the horizon , a place whose residents have an inclination for precipitating miracles , a place under the bright blue sky of 1951 . Who stole my heart ? I’m always looking so far for it . I wish I could have back the round black mole that was once burned off my cheek bone . It came with me , an onyx from somewhere before , the day the sky was blue .

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Photos by D. Cook Photography