Part X  



This will be tricky. Please don't hold your breath.

The vertical carousel was trucked away

A week ago, and all that's left of it

Is litter and written mud; uncertain ice;

A varnished stump with icy lacquerings.

The lake is mottled white; plump bubbles show

In places; here a chunk has fallen through,

There water glints around a floating log;

New lacy failures face the crusty edge.



Part I   Notes I
Part II
Notes II
Part III
Notes III
Part IV
   Notes IV
Part V
   Notes V
Part VI
   Notes VI
Part VII
   Notes VII
   Notes VIII
Part IX
   Notes IX
Part X
   Notes X
Part XI
   Notes XI
Part XII
   Notes XII

©, Acknowledgments
The Author


  690   A slipshod thaw goes on despite the dusk,

Pocketed hands, gray snow, that coated stump;

A glossolalia of icy light

Speaking in slippery tongues of longdead leaf

Reports on change in standard metaphor:

An icicle gives up its blunted point

Drop after drop. Drop. Drop. The doubled path

(A shortcut to the berm, or looked like one)Asterisk

Led me behind a house (fir-scent. New melt,Asterisk

Bright unexpected water flaring sunsAsterisk


Along the runners of a sliding door)

Wherein (its tenant, standing, leaned and scraped

An index card, eraser-worn and smeared)

A duel is being fought, a letter sent,

A secret kept, a lover turned away

[A king, alone, looks through binoculars],

And, "bored with the city's bright variety,"

Eyebrow raised or tines aslant in snow,

A rake is leaning near the rented porch.Asterisk

The fir trees hang with tight-scaled, supple, green


New cones. The patio is wet with ice.

A squirrel plays along a branch's glaze.

The woods are grainy, with a thousand grays.

As shadows flood the glass, reflections loom

And flow the wilderness into the room,

Planting the line of trees upon a bed,

Letting a rocking chair slip like a sled

On outside ice-- --Last flagstone makes me trip.

Thinned ice, transparented, widens the path;

An unlocked molecule unlocks the next,


Until each puddle mirrors twigs and sky

And feared reprisals leak, evaporate;

Brown tattering slips loose from ice: ripe leaf.

SPACERFear-pile. Leaves rot in air; I smell their teeth.

My wristwatch
LCD tells me the time.Asterisk

A catbird skims along, reflected in

Wet glistening wrinkles of a thinning pane--

And step breaks puddle; night takes lawn; wingAsterisk

Vanishes beyond a clustered knob:

A life has ended but its shade goes on,





A dry leaf skittering quickly over ice

Where suddenly there is no Soviet.

SPACERUneven ground supports these peaceful boots.

Following a trail of syllables,

Trying to find a shortcut, I got lost

In what I thought was just a strip of woods.

A highland road led deeper, through the dark,Asterisk

Into a hollow with a crackling brook.

Ice loosened more. Prickly nouns declined

An anagrammar of memoriam





As, midbrook, I availed myself of vines

To balance on the coated, tilting rocks

And saw beyond a  VIVID BALKAN MOOR.Asterisk 

What now? I crossed; climbed up: found barn and pond

(Having described a circle through the woods),

And stood at the winter's softened edge: twigs formed

AVOID RIM. B. N. OVAL. Sure enoug, Asterisk

If you ignored a deckle edge of ice

And took, on faith, a long, slow step out,

Its face was sturdy and its center hard,





A marble tablet still uncut by skates,

Bladed by wind and melt. Shades, sharpening,

Began to scrape its slipping white wet stone.

SPACERAs leaky sun left everything alone

I stood and waited for reflected glow

To highlight runesticks latent in the limbs:

I almost saw  MAD VIM. RIVAL BOOK!Asterisk

Materialize and fade. I looked again,

But all I saw were dulling sunsets throb

On each wet patch. Sky thawing, growing cold.





Horizon canceled by the trunks of trees.

Slash of a slender elm, half-fallen, caught

In the arms of an ampersand. Suns shivered in

Little cedillas on the wet façade

And turned. A brilliant page was turned and there

The dimming landscape, untranslated, grew

Garbled constructions, deep infinitives

In which I searched for cognates but was lost

In chilly flickerings. Red sky. I looked

For crystal inscriptions, immanent displays,





But nothing--save a distant puddle's shape:

Its little tilde glimmered and dissolved

Into a dull, thin--indiscernible.

No English sound resembles what I heard,

A soft slow pull across the ice, and then

Nothing. Unvoiced consonants. I paced

The wet, wind-scripted recto of the ice--

Some gothic grasses struggling in clumps,

And, near the edge, what must have been an oar.

A distant riffling shiver passed across:





Lowercase trees italicized by wind.

SPACERA surging shadow overshadowed me.





     Part IX       Part XI