&

DB-Q

A Star Knot

the very veery
     it veers
          it varies
in flight
and in song
     there is no law
I can discover
the world
    escapes the
word
   but not the tune:
 a day veers a           day veers veers veers

 

MG

Slides from Tolstoy

I. Under Oaks

 

When she tore off a leaf to give to him 
he held it up like a note from her. 
They laughed, and he let her go lightly 
ahead under the oak's green print. 
They walked, for interminable passages
in the Summer Garden that June.
In her silhouettes he saw her elbows 
fly out before her, her bonnet loose 
over her live hair, in her silhouettes
he saw her plural all around. 
Count Levin looked at the leaf 
in his hand—forgive me, but I am happy.
Kitty stopped and posed by one trunk 
that'd surged up the centuries. She was tiny
under its cambers. Well, what do you think?  ‘The Tsarina' by Makovsky? Levin nodded
but was a muzhik when it came to art. 
He stood back and saw only his Kitty 
by the high tree, pressing in his palm 
its warm, strange leaf, a fold from the realm.

DB-Q

“admire me I am a violet!”

This ravished bride, genius—
     she holds out her purple
hands and she will not 
     say how they were stained—
                  Father? Pack all your secrets
                       in the berry and still
                  the button will bloom, and 
                       still the thin red lines
                  seem to describe a map 
                       that cannot be
                  described 
                       in any other way—
                  these thin lines
                        that sting and do not
                  sing, these lines
                        in the tender arm's
skin—her tender arms, yes—
     these sundry harms—
the air vibrates with such harms
     some call bees—
where deep down in the clover—
     never clever—
love in the grass lounges
     his purple-stained feet—

MG

Slides from Tolstoy

II. The Pause
With his bag of snipe he came home
through bulrushes gone to gold. 
His hands were stained with birds
he'd taken in Pokrovskoye. 
Wet peat on his boots, sarafan, visor
and his pointer trailing voices 
with her nose over the morass. 
He must make it back in time 
for Agafea's supper, and his servants'
night address—
                            but reaching a thicket
another wave of birds occurred
in triplets, one, then one, then one.
He raised his fire. And slowly put it down
again at the trees containing them
The Count paused, and sat down quiet 
to hear their overhead passage
like that pianist who stopped his hand
over his white parlour grand
one evening and simply listened
to his own haunted composition
ring out the limits of the room.

DB-Q

A Beauty Obliterated Consideration

          Mind-governed strife, ask her
     there in that
unoccupied corner where thought
          desists
          exactly
     where the wound hurts?
Or ask the snipe, Is it true? The lyric must
          be simple to be
          understood? Mother?
               Ask the worm-
                    bitten, worm-
          ravaged leaf in tatters
          What is the sun? That
               green circle almost
                     glowing on
          the dusky underwing of
          the dusty moth, or is it
               that circle is
                     the moon?—    
          I don't care about being so
          stupid. I don't 
     mean these answers to all be
so mean. Like the dumb brute
     lacking a mouth
          I must find 
     other means: shrug
shoulders, or use a stick to point
     straight at my eye.

MG