early March, 2003: A Poem

say sheaths. Perhaps Narcissus.
I go to pick up my typewriter, the smell
of clean oil, it’s raining,
a few intermittent drops
a Sidney Greenstreet
could walk between. Yesterday
I drove the Interstate to see
Beulah, in the Lutheran
rest home: "They’re
driving me bananas."

What enigma–
dame, woman, babe,
lady, commuter, brave
shotgun rider
through yuck and carbon
monoxide — Hanging her head
"like a dawg," she says,
out the window,
"like a dawg" on Peoria
antiquated on/off ramp

I slap-tap her
‘tween spine
and shoulderblade:
"Luv ya, kid…."

Drive, she sd.

Go ahead, shake like a tuning fork
to the vibrato of a voice
whose agent may or may not blow
hot beauty to cool like glass
installation swinging over
a weedy, fishy Venice canal.
You have the facility; I’ve
lost control. The papyrus, the
pen, the press, the engine
(font characters : blood) inexorable,
my students bury my shoulds with
is and does and definitely will be,
our lights flashing
off and on, nightline maps,
nova without end, not
withstanding–entropy’s
not all bad, this old Fudd for
one (au contraire, Bob Dole–)

Bananas, we drive
off the Interstate a few blocks.

Waltz with moon shadow,
not puking, across
dry crackling leaves
to the door thinking
it’s life and life only–I’m
alive, alive,

I ask foolish questions.

Like a gargoyle, a stone dog,
a pyramid glyph, a
walleyed gryphon–

"Yes. Of course."

She laughs. Tinkerbell,
without a sound.

Stupider than the gladiola,
redder than rhubarb,
turgid with objectless passion–

i took her to the facility.

Rain has stopped.
A badger scuttles across wet asphalt.

I drop Beulah off.
She rings for the buzz
that unlocks
the antiseptic stench.

The facility.

The care guardian.
I can drive home.

Spring break.

Since I left
my driveway–
I ask–Which
appearances "have" being
or non-being?

The jonquils?
Have they the nerve
to pop out? Bare buds?

Telling the faint green
from the green.
Faintly yellow.

I do not say sheaths.

maybe narcissus.

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