Monday, April 4, 2011

5 of 30

"Of his bones are coral made"

In the lightless water of my dreaming,
you, father, are an eyeless totem,
a bagged cadaver papoose,a broken bottle
engineblack and gasoline in water

here is your house, fish in the leafless trees
catfish, barbed, electric and swollen
in tall grass that sways, invisible mover

you do not speak,
and the dead gather in your devi'ls chapel
on the bottom of the muddy lake

how you shook like a puppet last time i saw you
pale and grey as hospitals,
as mornings after terrible things

there are sturgeon, fished for with the hooks of cranes
their bellies filled with glistening black eggs, salt fruit
here are the swollen ditches in the spring,
frogs with pale appendages dangling, useless and poisoned
here is foxfire and lantern light

cloudy ice that blocks the sun, the muddy hole

here is your black book of engines, prospero,
that i never learned, here the fire that ate your rotted curtains,
here the broken shells, the fossils in the limestone driveway,
sea bed broken into gravel road, black tar liquid in the heat

here the black, the cars rusted on their axles
dissolving in the mud, here the eyes of mice in the farmhouse
here is a sea-bottom of wheat, a ghost of a pig,
a chickenhouse smell, a flooded field of rotten cornstalks

flying dutchman, saint's fire, jonah
how it comes behind you, your fury
with it's chrome teeth
to swallow you down to hell, you spoon, you feather
you rusty hook in worm

how the fungus gathers on the oak of you,
lightening struck and hollow
ripe and rotten for the fire,

you are sick with prophecy
a scarecrow stuffed with doom

cuyahoga oilslick, poison water
cracked bells ringing in the lightless towns on the hour
on the lake bottom, iron ingots strewn on the muddy bottom
shipwreck, worlds end,

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