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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