Why He Hasn’t Seen The New James Bond Flick
He really wanted to go today,
but didn’t. Now the man reclines
in his recliner, watching on his wall
to wall flatscreen images of the most
recent apocalyptic carnage flash
one after another, specters there
then not there, entanglements
of grief and sorrow, anger, and relief
that he is here and not there. Here,
the man rubs his hot crotch, rubs up
and down, each rub aligned to wave
lengths of photons streaming in
and out of his flatscreen. He rubs
and rubs, and nothing happens,
nothing here and nothing there,
rubs, comforted that at least he still
has them. That he hasn’t lost them.
Even if only shaken and not stirred.
Money! Money! Money! Ugly, isn’t it?
Ugly to have to ask for money, right?
Don’t you believe it! Just like roses,
money, as beautiful as roses, Emerson said.
And we believe it. That’s why we’re asking,
George, that’s why we’re asking you.
Just a little. Fifty bucks will do,
a hundred better. Two hundred a coup!
Please, George. Won’t you, won’t you, please?
Your tax-deductible support would be
a blessing, truly nice, so nice of you.
And, George, we’ve rejected you only twice.
The Word Apocalypse
After the earthquake came the fire.
In the beginning it was the slap of saddles,
campfires, coffee bubbling through the night,
dirty jokes, and laughter rising like a creek.
It was biscuits and molasses, candy bars,
burned bacon and eggs. It was cigarettes.
It was fox hounds and hunting horns.
It was cypress trees lit by the full moon
to a spooky platoon of unstoppable prophets.
California had earthquakes, Florida hurricanes,
but it was the sun, its unflagging fire
scorching the delta sky that drove him north
to forests of hemlock, spruce and pine,
all the while shadowing him like the hawk—
the bubbling blue silence of Daddy’s eyes
affixing him, gloved fists a black apocalypse.
Above the streetlight there is black sky.
Below it the ground is white with snow.
It is January. It is snowing again,
but the flakes turn the ground no whiter.
The sky is no blacker. The light is the only one.
It is sputtering like someone so angry he is
inarticulate. Will the light make it
through the night? That is one question.
But the light is inarticulate. It does not answer.
Snow continues piling up. The light will last
or it won’t. It does not matter any more
than if the snow stops now or in an hour.
Either way the snow is white, the sky black.
Somehow this matters. He would understand.
After A Political Conversa- tion In Millinocket, Maine
On a day like this, the first of spring,
when the skies are so blue they chase
away the blues and the temp’s in the thirties
and the wind is giving the hemlocks hell,
I want to believe the wolves I imagine
and the more than imaginary moose
just out of sight in the trees
edging the bog will stay exactly as they are.
I want to, I try to, think the hawk I saw
banking low over the spruces in the field
across the road from Sandy Johnson’s house
will bank forever, its wings spread to whatever
breezes come its way, but I know for sure we’re
already fighting over forests north of here.