BLACK HOLE FARMING


For Marie Le Lièvre

1/
So shall I hum a wee ditty in praise of uncertainty,
that insulating pink fuzzy blanket of the possible?

The fog transforms the traffic signal’s go into
the floating emerald tablet of Hermes Trimegistus,

while a fine haze and the light in the right way turns
a distant hill suburb of McMansions into ancient Rome.

In the uncertain shadows of anachronistic candlelight
faces are faces are devils are faces are death’s heads.

Leave me this haven for whimsical fancy, let me fall
like an aquatint pūriri flower at every thought

as I plant and glean facets and glints in a place
where space and time break down in a sweeping

disk around an abyss so deep and awful not even
dreams have the strength to escape from it.


2/
The spring hail, lightning like straws in long grass
at an A&P show, on and off like a bloody tap

has plastered the petals of the fruit trees to the
wet frosted glass of the bathroom window

turning the world beyond into a painting of the
garden at Giverny in toilet-paper pinks and whites

but I think we can safely kiss goodbye to the
prospect of peaches and apples.
Pray for the deliverance of the plums.


3/
In the small hours of the morning, wake me Fear
there in the dark make your mark upon me

Remind me I am all alone and that you rule me
even when you hide in the honey of daylight

Bend and break me when you and your army
ascend from the ivory gate in my pillow

and stand around my bed in thunderously silent
darkness, muttering and worsening. Wake me

with one cold hand around my throat and one
clenched tight around my heart.


4/
Writing poetry for public consumption
is like serving up something sacred to be devoured:

not like the earnest priest offering up
the Eucharist; the miracle of transubstantiation,

but like the Hindu kid supporting
himself through school flipping beef burgers.


5/
When it all crushes in under its own weight
the bottom falls out of it and it becomes

infinity and singularity, but that was another universe
and besides, the star is dead, a penny for

the old one. When two galaxies merge in aeonic
slow motion, their dark hearts twirl together

“spin-flip” like two drops of quicksilver seamlessly
into a new black hole that either settles down

in the new galaxy or bounces off out to go bother
and devour other galaxies


6/
My mother likes Chrysanthemums, the ones
like crisply curled hair fashioned out of bronze.

They were liked too by imperial Japan,
blossoming late in the year. Bruised in the hand

they emit a medicinal perfume, but rice paper
and black lacquered oriental interior,

while aesthetically pleasing, is to my taste,
is not as gemütlich as my mother’s house.


7/
The lights are out in the universe and it unsleeping
uncommunicating except for damaged information

Reaching the uttermost limit of strain caved in
but still full of a terrible energy and supressed rage

rushing around the absolute edge of itself
voraciously sucking down the red-shifted spaghetti
of stars, that’s where the shy wild violets grow


8/ De Nerval, El Desdichado
I am the Dark One, the Widower, the Inconsolable
I am the Aquitanian Prince whose tower has fallen

My star is dark, and in the constellation of my lyre
is born the Black Sun of Melancholy.

In the Night of the Tomb you gave me consolation
Return to me Mount Posillipo and the Italian Sea,

the flower that pleased my desolate heart
and the trellised vineyard where grape and rose are one,

Am I Love? Or Phoebus? Biron? Or Lusignan?
My brow is still flushed from the kiss of the Queen.

I dreamt in the grotto where the Siren swims….
And twice victorious crossed the Acheron

playing in turn on my lyre
the sighs of the Saint and the screams of the Fay

[in B-flat 57 octaves below middle-C
for two and a half billion years]


9/
The history of culture is one of fleeing cliché:
eos rhododaktylos rises over the oinops pontos

Lucretius in search of the clinamen, dodging
unpredictably swerving atoms, sideswiping

Cardinals and quince trees, marching on fields
of sidereal force and joy’s tender enduring radiance.

The Apollonian Sun of Transformation has fused

with the Dionysian Black Sun of Night.

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