dirt blowing in from afar
children scented of love
and sacrifice
commingle with the feet of soldiers as
laughter sounds among monuments of death
voices congeal with pigeon droppings
and canopies of shade hover
over hungry visitors
with black shoes rich with dust
longing to be French
if only for a time


Ode To Robert Bly

As hostages ate Polow in Tehran
I listened in a small room in Sausalito
among beaded skirts, patchouli oil
and fading peace signs

Music boiling under water
words cut from men dead
re-animated with the plucked strings
of a flat wooden dulcimer


Like a prized swordfish he caught
Rilke’s words iridescent and fighting
he gutted and cleaned, held them out
undeniably “my feeling sinks, as if standing on fishes.”

Always in salty fog shifting past windows
sea mammals and beaches, particularly
The Dead Seal Near McClure’s Beach
he feels “as if a wall of my room had fallen away.”

Geoducks grew large, priapic
through displaced sand large enough
for soup boiled over in Los Angeles
for video secrets and renegade sheriffs

Surfacing again, a far-off periscope
clanging drums and moving men up mountains
harnessing wild men back, banging them
into shape like so many harriers, fitting the shoe tight

Now the girls are better off plucking
the strings of the lute while
lapping the loins of Neruda and Lorca
as they whisper their delight into their hands alone