Saturday, May 27, 2017

As a Fool Upon a Bridge

Celebration in Locke, May, 2017
—Poems and Visuals Provided by D.R. Wagner, Locke, CA


House of bones.
House of bones.
Look they make the horses.
Look they make the men.
Look they make the ladies fair.
Look, then look again.

This sparkling darkness.
Silence beating its padded clubs
Upon the room.  We stand
On the highest point.
It is blue.  The night is blue
And the streets are filled
With blue snow.

Aren’t we forgetting something?
A lacework of lights
Said the shape of the village
Below.  It seemed so peaceful
There, but it was not where we were.

The engines of the planes gathered
On the sleeve of the night.
We could hear them coming.
There were many of them.
House of bones.
House of bones.
Silver is the sky with falling bombs.



She got in her car
And drove all the way to suicide.
It looked like a familiar landscape.
Don’t open your mouth.
We are still learning to breathe.
I live in an industrial
Perhaps the cat.
If there were a cat.
I was devoted to curiosity.
I saw so much I stopped breathing.
A terrible mistake.  I had to go home.
Like Lenore, I kept bats and moths
In my hair, more as companions
Than any attempt to do harm.
There wasn’t any room for a heart.
She told me this was a prayer
For me because I was able to think
This way.
I wept.

 If There Were a Cat


Can you call across this distance?
Or is this only my imagination
Once again, My clothing smoldering.

To me this is like learning to breathe
Once again, Learning to feel your
Breath against my own.

A tender moment not understood.
I never quite understand what I am
Being told about love being captured.

Here love bangs against the bowl,
The aquarium seems to bind me.
Perhaps a kiss?  Perhaps just the breath

Of Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff.

 Light of the World


Mostly in twilight, leaning
Toward dreams uncalled for.
This one was once a ballet.

There was one that traded
Only in light.  It had a twisted
Mouth and no skill at privacy.

Their lines were damaged sorely.
“A wind too full of leaves.”
A tribulation from an ancient sea.

I have promised not to show them
To others but a huge sadness occupies
My vision, a great lake headed for Niagara
Falls, determined to destroy all these traces.

So, I spoke.  The words ripped from my threat.
Each one cluttered with the tears of those
Who must dwell there with unspeaking shadows.

 Every Leaf on Every Tree


I am watching the evening insinuate itself
Into the conversation about the day.
Dinner time had no mention of her, there
Were still doves admiring the liquidambar trees.

The weather wanted to see things differently,
Clearing, then a haze and a confusion of cloud
Types culminating in a less than enthusiastic
Fury as the sun relinquished its part in the conversation.

The path went from the beach up a small creek
But as it did, there were lots of trees in the canyon
Holding the creek.  Shadows were setting up
Night camps and small birds sought perches

To watch the show.  We watched the foot
Bridges ease into the landscape like rainbows that
Had lost their color and were waiting for the
Flare that would say evening was indeed here.

I will stand here until it is impossible to tell
One object from another.  There is little hope for
The moon tonight.  The evening begins to cup
The sun in its hands and starts to hide

It from view.  Why even talk about a landscape,
Except that we remember the others who are
Unable to see this evening, who climb to sleep
Without these blessed thresholds to touch them.

Every leaf on every tree closes its lights down
And cries for us to remember it, stores the moment,
Blesses us with change, holds the dark off for a
Final moment and considers the entire world as one thing.

 Chéri Hérouard, 1921—The Honey Goddess


These words walk upon my lips.
From them I can look out
Over whatever city this may be.

I feel them upon your skin as a fool
Upon a bridge, standing at midnight
To understand the cusp of violin music.

The light allows itself across
The tops of those hills.
I prefer to think them, your lips.

A swirl of vision from a moment,
Onto your breath, Lean forward.
Kiss me as you would your life.


Today’s LittleNip:

—D.R. Wagner

Don’t make me remind you
To keep standing up.

I’ve told you many times
Do not lie down with a chain saw.

You’ve wrecked every house
We ever made for you to live in.

Keep floating.  I will say
I’ll try to find more gasoline
For that piece-of-crap saw of yours.


Many thanks to D.R. Wagner for today’s fine poetic and visual delicacies! Folks in our area have three poetry events today, and time-wise, you can attend all three. Start at 10am at Sac. Poetry Center with Writers on the Air, a live radio podcast/broadcast featuring Azin Rametipour. Then, after a quick lunch, drive up to Placerville for Poetic License from 2-4pm at the Placerville Sr. Center. Then from 6-10pm, Rhyme Syndicate’s 4th Annual Showcase takes place at the Ooley Theatre, 2007 28th St. in Sac. Scroll down to the blue column (under the green column at the right) for info about these and other upcoming poetry events in our area—and note that more may be added at the last minute.


 If there were a cat...
Cat Graffiti
Celebrate poetry!

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