scholars and rogues

Scholars (& Poets) & Rogues

Well, Robert has shamed me into it. Of course, it’s National Poetry Month, a festival that’s celebrated by literally dozens of versionados across America. And here I am, an actual poet (and you thought I was only a scholar and rogue), and I’ve said nothing.

The folks over at Poetry Daily have been running a series of “poem of the day” features, where a noted poet offers up and comments on one of his or her favorite poems. Sadly I was not invited to contribute, nor were any of my poems celebrated. Such is the price of obscurity.

Anyway, before it slips away from us, let me honor the month of poetry with a few lines of my own:

High Country Wireless (Imbolc, 2000)
– for Angela

The spirit country is too vast to string with wire,
to arc into a blade-sharp wind
and stand tar-soaked poles across the bottomless miles.

Clouds curve white along the peaks,
sift down through the back country
beyond the boundaries. Night climbs up,
carves itself into the valley floor.

Cathedrals of commerce
interrupt the sky.

But lapping on the shores of sleep,
dreampop pools –

rainbowfish dancing in silvery tides.

Sweat freezes on our faces,
our breath like angels flying back to Heaven.

We bind ourselves with ice and darkening sky,
we are blood music lingering in a booth at the back of the bar,
we fumble for wavelength on an antique dial….

We are the disconnected generation:

our fathers and mothers, broken on the Christian Wheel
our unborn, more circuitry than flesh

our brothers and sisters and friends and lovers,
whose anesthetic memories of us are dust motes
floating in a stained glass haze….

But you shimmer,
vermillion gash ripping the afterdark,
haunting the dollhouses in Daddy’s little dreams.

Shine it on
burn it down
scream until the night sky shatters

raining shards of star and borealis
caught, like glitterpits

black and sparkle in the laughter of your eyes.

3 replies »

  1. Trouble
    (June 7, 1978)

    Dirty green work pants,
    Worn leather key caddy,
    Dusty shirt, suspenders —

    The man left the bank with
    A fistful of payment booklets and a
    Plaintive woman.

    He threw the booklets into his car,
    Then stooped and shook his head in his hands,
    Leaning on his elbows on the car’s roof.

    He did not move in the time it took
    My friend and me to pass.
    The woman attempted to console him.

    We walked past them again a half-hour later.
    The woman was crying and walking away.
    They were quarreling over money.