Nobody there. The vase of cut flowers with which the real is (before us on this page)
                                               permeated—is it a page—look hard—(I try)—this bouquet
                                               in its
vase—tiger dahlias (red and white), orange freesia (three stalks)(floating
                                               out), one
                                               large blue-mauve hydrangea-head, still
                                               wet (this
bending falling heavy with
                                               load) (and yellow
                                               rose)
(wide open head, three just-slitting buds)(also holding drops of rain)
                                               each at
diagonal, urchins in sea-sway, this
                                               from the real, which the real may continue (who can know
                                               this) to
                                               hold, this
                                               of which
                                               the real is
                                               just now
                                               made—or should there be more here?—blue-green glazed
vase on the worn wood table—oak with water stains
                                               from where the rain sweeps sideways
                                               in the wind
                                               though today it is dry
                                               reflected in this mirror hung outdoors,
                                               under a roofed
alcove, the field in it also, the trees so still one imagines as one always
                                               did they are almost
                                               sentient,
                                               and beyond that the steeple,
                                               if you were alive you could put your finger
                                               to the spot on the glass
where the village’s buildings begin, then glide it over to the front-most
                                               salmon rose,
the one with a blot of rain still on the inner lip, in a world where someone else could still
                                               hold you, or hold you in mind,
                                               or be coming to get you soon,
                                               or soon
                                               could be there, the “soon,” the someone
“else,” the instants as they crept upon us, the green beyond the terrace now
                                               also in there—but what
                                               is it that is
                                               in there, in the glass, pocked where the
mercury backing cracks,
                                               yet not being penetrated by
                                               a human gaze, nobody there,
the distant treetops in the evening sky, not there, though flashing,
                                               pierced full of tinny pinprick holes the sky not
                                               there, the present
being elsewhere, you can almost rub elbows with it, you, not there,
                                               this was the day it happened you say
down on your knees
                                               though only in your head
a head not really anywhere as this is happening
                                               after the fact
                                               when nobody is anywhere, not anymore, but of so recent
date, this final absence, that the bouquet—roses, freesia, hydrangea, dahlia—oranges and
pinks and mossy greens, the sun still all soaked up in them, the cells in them of stalks still
                                                sucking water up,
the ends still reaching it to feed, cut
                                                ends, what someone had cut and had
arranged, seen to the placement of, in such a way
                                                as the back and front are simultaneously visible,
because of the mirror,
                                                on this terrace wall,
                                                so things are coming at you as they leave,
and leaving from you as they come,
                                               but there is no one in the glare of day,
is there still day, one of the days, are there still ‘ones’ of
                                               things—vases or days—
you think it is wrong, perhaps, to play this game
                                               when we are all
                                               still here,
then on time, the dawn, piling itself on all the previous dawns, and on your
                                               particular ones,
                                               whether you looked up or not,
                                               on your head on your back on your shut eyes,
one after the other, each with a number and with only
                                               that number—no number
                                               comes again—it lays itself down,
                                               like a load
delivered, an invisible face adding itself to the huge
                                               crowd of faces,
                                               staring at you,
                                               each one your next day,
it makes no difference if the lightning goes crazy if the wind
                                               accomplishes
                                               everything
                                               it wishes to accomplish and you are
afraid—listen—the dogs bark—but where?—
                                               the irregularity of your breath
                                               next to the next person’s
                                               breathing—oh—
we turned away during the parade—
                                               we looked above the heads of the performers to the
                                               “whole” as we called it,
                                               or to the idea it also
                                               was, yes, but
it wanted only to be seen and heard and for you to stand hard
                                               and see the raveling
                                               of the minutes
                                               incarnate
in event—and now, now, all this fidelity
                                               is asked
                                               of you
                                               to the stage-set….
A long period of adjustment must follow.
                                               We must write the history of time.
We must put the children under the tree
                                               again, and in their hearts the wiring, so green.
                                               We must write the history of appearances
that tomorrow be invested
                                               with today
as casually as the conversation drifting in from the next
                                               room,
hard facts being reported in a calm voice,
                                               the world a place we got use out of,
we must write of the use we got
                                                of it—
the meaning not apparent ever, no matter what
you later on find of
                                                our thinking,
                                                but the fourth wall so clear
throughout the whole of human time.
                                                How we came to keep living
                                                but to no longer be
                                                inhabitants.


 

 

MOTHER AND CHILD (THE ROAD AT THE EDGE OF THE FIELD)

 

The grasses midsummer eve when the stems grow invisible and the
seemingly de-
capitated heads like a flock
that is not in the end departing but is lingering, golden with
buttery flies then also aglow with
orange—gnats
hovering their tiny solar system round—heads
bending this way and that in
unison glowing and not
showing where they
are attached to earth or what path has brought them to their
status; they for whom stasis
when it comes is the huge
inholding of breath by the whole
world as it is seen to be here, horizon to horizon stilling,
down to this corner field of grasses
held, bees all molten
with approach and with-
drawal—though of course there are still stars—albeit now in-
visible—and I look up into the
sky to see
  beyond the foaming of

day’s end the place where all in fact
is, longed-for or over-
looked altogether by the mind,
human, which can,
if it wishes,
ken them into view
by imagination—there is no invention—or not—as long as it
exists, the mind can
do this —
how many are the years you have
say the grass-pointings
which if I follow them up
and up
make of my eyeing large spidery webtrails into
  the galaxy thank

god, and all that outlives
for sure the me in
me—a whirling robe humming with firstness greets you if you eye-up, confess it—
in letters home you would
tell this whole story but
nothing happened—the world opened its robe
  and you

were free to look with
no sense of excitement, no song, it is so simple, your lungs afloat, your
shears still there in your right
hand, the hedgerow wild beside you and how you can—yes—hear it
course up through its million
stalks—and also, closely
now, the single
  skinny stalk—and how it is

true, all is being sucked up by the soil into the sky, and the sky
back down into variegation and
forking and fingery
  elaboration at the core of prior

elaboration—spotted, in-
candescent—each about to be cast off by the one coming
behind—it too shall
contribute
to the
possible—the world of the world—and the shears
  in my right hand grow warm

with the sun they’ve been hanging in, and I talk to myself, I make
  words that follow from other
  words, they push from be-

hind—into the hedge like the
  hedge but not of it—no—not

ever—slippery against it where it
never knows they are pressing, delirious accents trying to reach in, fit
in—phantoms—as the calls
of the disappeared in the stadiums today are in-
audible, the satellite’s announcement
of capture inaudible, the occupation of an
other’s body, taken from its
private life its bed its
window its still half-open
fridge, dragged down the stairs with everyone
screaming—have you visited your
  loved ones

recently says the guard as he lets loose the filamentary
shock of electricity through the body to the
  heart whose words
  will now

cease—what is cruelty—the grasses lean
all one way now under the sway of
difference, which evening’s drop of
temperature brings on,
which the guard and the prisoner feel as one,
grassheads like spume on the thin shanks
of stalk—their until-now right there
beneath them—grass, I say,
grass, and rip a piece to hold out to you
who stand beneath me not yet speaking—everyone awaits
your first word—and I open your hand
and put the heads inside it and close it and I watch
terror spray from you in
colonies of tiny glances—everywhere but where
your hand is, and then

stalk I say, poppy, thorn, hedgerose—I am
not screaming because I am
old enough to hang on hang on
but your small heart beating as of two years now hears the
cannibalizing crossed scream in all
my kindness—the mother
stands beside you and she sees you stare at her and put
your arm down and open your
fist and we both see the seeds drop
down onto the asphalt and the ground-breeze drag them
a little distance to the middle of
the road then stop. It is summer. It is the solstice.
diamond of energy holds us. We
breathe, and what we call the next
moment between us, where I take your empty hand and
we start home, emptied of
attempt and emptied of survival skill, is love.

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