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POETRY

 

Man on the Shores of Kent

When I am in love my feet touch the ground

And my hands

Touch the cool air

Like white flowers, every tendon


Wraps my love, like every leaf

Wraps the stem

Of the blossom.

O war like a riot of youth.


But now my hands tied and

My mouth covered

I still smell salt-air


And blood returns

To my thighs

To my broad bones.

Motion

(Translations of Rimbaud)

The motion of the masthead rig on the bank beside the falls

               of the river,

The womb-pit at the sternpost,

The celerity of the incline,

The great thrust of the current

Led through the lights unheard

And the New Chemistry

The travellers encircled from the cyclone of the valley

And of the river’s-song.


These are the conquerors of the world

Seeking her personality of chemical fortune;

The sport and the comfort embark with them;

They take the education

Of the races, the classes and the beasts, on this vessel

Repose and vertigo

To the light diluvial

To the terrible evenings of study.


For of the chatter amid the apparatus, the blood, the

               flowers, the fire, the ornaments

Of the account of agitations at that fleeing border

—One sees, turbined like a breakwater beyond

               the hydraulic railways,

Monstrous, lit from within without end, —their stock

               of studies;

Those driven in harmonic ecstasy

And the heroism of discovery.


To the atmospheric accidents, those most unusual,

A couple in youth insulate themselves on the arch,

—Is it that naïve savagery we pardon—

And sing and take the post.




H

(Translations of Rimbaud)

All of them violently disfigured the gestures of war-crimes of The Gardener, of Hortense. The

machine of arousal is her solitude; her listlessness the conversation of love. Under the surveillance

 of a childhood, she has summer, numbered by the ages, the burning hygiene of the races. Her door

is open to the misery. The morality of things-in-being comes apart in her passion, or by her action.

- O the terrible excitement of beginners' love under-the-blood-red sun and in the hydrogen lamp-

lights! For The Gardener. For Hortense.

From Love Songs


I

The hairs on her legs

Were as long as eyelashes

When the habit came off,

That’s the way Czechs call


Seaweed, although moist

Most never taste salt-water

In their life

               Lashes of the Sea


II

Mother, the world is sick with your sight.

I will tear out your eyes, place them in a basket

And throw them into the Sea,

               I will teach you to cry again.


Father, the world is sick with your sound.

I will cut off your ears, place them in a basket

And throw them into the Fire,

               I will teach you to cry again.


Strip off your clothes and roll in the

Mud of Brownsea Island.

There’s blood on your thighs. Play in the daffodils

With the children,

               Kiss the peacocks and sing to the ants.

From Limericks on U.S. Zip Codes (A Masque)

          30309 & 21875 & 19940 & 48207


Laura, covered in black oil

               her dry hair matted in seed

               walking barefoot on the rails—

                                                                           A crane

               through the nettles. I have been wandering

               and you are the earth. I saw Tyre playing a harp,


On a corner by Cannon Street Station

               near the Costa Coffee. “It is closer to the EAT.”

               “it’s closer to the EAT., sweetheart”

                                                                           In, Out, In, Out, In, Out

               “but it’s not far from the Costa”.


In, Out, the birds fly in and out of Barclays,

Morgan Stanley, Halifax, and Bloomberg’s

                                                                           In, Out, In, Out, In, Out

And they perch in blood mixed with sugar

               like little meringue nests.

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