&

TORCH SONG: BIOGRAPHY OF H

she waits & is told & the news is bad

so rending the maternal breast cries

AI EI OI MOI & comes to four ends

a. as a slave b. as a dog c. she blinds

& murders d. a human but barking

Queen on her throne of snow globes

& moth-eaten kaftan Oma always

said ‘budget for death’ but freeing

the elk & saving the coal for her eyes

Oma never said hers’d be worth it

 

TORCH SONG: LANDSCAPE

your body in my head you god

or animal beloved rabbit queen

in a winter garden the fire path

you raged unbridled will beech

silver shot past me & flashing

Diet of sweat & red corn for a year

hunting geese occasional black-billed

canvasbacks you’d lose your taste too

for pignolis french brogues camapri

until you can’t even afford to labour

TORCH SONG: NICKEL TOUR

No longer 12 traitors to maim

in the knotwood my birthday

I’ll waste in her pink & gold

bathtwater it’s mother’s liquer

that’s pickling me for the blight

Gone past the tower the river

the roofs & in my slackest hand

the foam the world the depths

to the fire-pits summoned I burn

one work to displace another

TORCH SONG: OLD BALLAST

Was he nothing our founder

at all like his statue the fool

of a village he built on her sill

and sold to the trout raiders

for a shot-up handful of beads

One more history strapped

to the back of a hero & I’ve no

place for greatness the city

its congress of towers & some

break money some break stones

TORCH SONG: OVER THE ATLANTIC

Hi from nowhere in miniature I spy

one fight scene two men in two films

at grand brown desks a mealy kiss

in orange streetlight & I & the 200

others washed in gray & yellow

Rarely you’re worth the beauty I say

to myself but when I’m waiting for

my enemy to join my table and my

enemy is waiting for me to join his

resistance it’s me who’s the abomination

TORCH SONG: PORK BELLY

Called me a waste of a church-going

man & said god show me an infant

who’d want to get born with your

crest on his rump I’ll show you a child

who’d rather be raised on hayseed

 Two eyes & one tongue piss poor

in light of all the witness the man

has in mind for himself says give me

all your names & the answer’s go fish

in the garbage-glut sea he’s a baron

TORCH SONG: RED BRONTIDE

Your face the face of a woman

authored in waste its runnels

from the day the fight & fuck of it

the city shimmers now what’s

sacked & who’s the vanquishers

A death in the ward last night

the guards in my life each one

is a gaslamp & in order to save

money for milk thistle & licorice

the law bids I turn them all low

TORCH SONG: THATCH

Black ice in his beard & crossing

the gangway when he passes

himself (he’s aware without

cussing) it’s hard to decide which

one of himself gets the maul

North so north it’s a boast

about blankness the mythic

past / the curious past quote

the stones & vowed to silence

the traveller quotes his dead