Why do you play
that long beautiful adagio,
that archaic air,
Will it never end?
Or is it the beginning,
some prelude you seek?
Is it a tale you strum?
Have you no more for us?
There is nor hope
The Lord’s terrifying kindness has come to me.
It was only a small silvery thing—say a piece of silver cloth, or a thousand spider webs woven together, or a small handful of aspen leaves, with their silver backs shimmering. And it came leaping out of the closed coffin; it flew into the air, it danced snappingly around the church rafters; it vanished through the ceiling.
I spoke their, briefly, of the loved one gone. I gazed at the people in the pews, some of them weeping. I knew I must, someday, write this down.
On this voyage into the deep communion of solitude
I’ve casually come to know
the old and withered costumes of the sea;
I’ve walked carefully through the colors of copper
when the dusk has already conjured the last prayer of the day;
Through seasonal doorways
I’ve called upon the twilight ghosts
arched in the corners of the narrow cobblestone streets;
I’ve let my lips evade the necessary verses
to find the ending phrase for the afternoon;
I’ve disarmed the elusive equity of the night
to conceive an intimate verse from its fortified mysteries;
I’ve cast aside the grieving songs of my twilight
as the sky envelops the enamored vestments of the night;
so many things
in search of you…
Centroamérica en el corazón
Por este viaje a las profundas unidades de la soledad
he conocido sin planearlo
a la vieja vestimenta del mar;
he caminado con cuidado por los colores del cobre
cuando el ocaso ya ha lanzado el último suspiro del día;
he llamado por estacionales puertas
a los fantasmas del poniente
en las esquinas de las calles angostas;
he permitido a mi boca eludir los versos necesarios
para encontrar la frase terminante del atardecer;
he desarmado la equidad profunda de la noche
para concebir un verso íntimo de su faz amurallada;
he desechado los duelos del ocaso
cuando el cielo se cierne sobre el manto enamorado del crepúsculo:
In white pleated trousers, peering through green
sunshades, looking for the way the sun is red
noise, how locusts hiss to replicate the sun.
What is the visual equivalent
of syncopation? Rows of seared palms wrinkle
in the heat waves through green glass. Sprinklers
tick, tick, tick. The Watts Towers aim to split
the sky into chroma, spires tiled with rubble
nothing less than aspiration. I’ve left
minarets for sun and syncopation,
sixty-seven shades of green which I have
counted, beginning: palm leaves, front and back,
luncheon pickle, bottle glass, etcetera.
One day I will comprehend the different
grades of red. On that day I will comprehend
these people, rhythms, jazz, Simon Rodia,
Watts, Los Angeles, aspiration.