Wednesday, July 7, 2010

onion skins


These headlights cleave a moonless night,
and I jolt at the wheel like a lost picasso.
In scattered yards lie corpses of cars,
and the small weary houses simply exist.
On someone's tiny porch a naked bulb
is glowing blue into thick indifference.
This darkness is difficult, it is almost solid,
and above the trees, no moon is symbolic.

Last night's strange dream pulls me down,
submergence again into troubled wonder.
Even now there are traces of wounding
roses occulting that childhood fence.

Soon my friend will speak thoughtfully.
His words will candle flickering hope
as shadows gather like taboo laughter
held in during somber funeral services.

Soon I will feel the release of much time
squeezed too tightly into a sweating knot.
And enough wine will be drunk to bring
that irony making smiles grow crooked.

After incantations and wine-sent visions,
I'll leave the strangeness of his house
and grope back home through darkness,
where no moon is uncovering the roses.


How appropriate that Leonard Cohen
would underwrite a slow apotheosis,
a catharsis of weeping and knowledge.
It is good to know what it is you desire.
It is good to know that groping will end.

Who cares if the object is impossible?
Grapes ripening toward wine don't care
if they are selected or culled by fate.

The swell of juices is a play of liquids.

At last into the lungs of deep breathing
an air so fragrant with subtle fantasias.
At last squeezing out marrow of magic,
before bones are taken into an ossuary,
before clock faces crack and blood dries.

And those old roses that drew into the boy,
that spread into the night's phantasmagoria,
change again into recognition of her as home.

The swell of music is the form of her beauty.


Summer creates dragonflies over roses,
and designs are woven into hushed air.
The plot points of strange attractors
trace the forms of ambiguous feelings.

When nightfall comes, a moving into
layers of translucent unwritten pages
that hang like mirrors reflecting symbols.
The eyes go into such depths for making.

Groping into wanting, then toward making.
Now midnight sings like the odes of Gypsies.
And the surfaces of symbols tilt so drunkenly.
Dragons in flight weave words for a poem.

Paracelsus brooded, long and laborious
with beakers fuming his artful concoctions.
But the miracle of turning lead into gold
is not an alchemy nor a soul's rebuilding.
Rather fingers must peel memory and time,
going deeper into pungency near the core...

to make something old new and fragile,
to filter the soft light of thinning veils.

Copyright 2010, Tim Buck

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