Lanthanum Road 4.24


Indian summer. Passage to midwinter,
secret (iron spring). Under a patchwork
blanket of maple leaves, their petrified arc
of windblown barcaroles. O flimsy splinter,

needling life's flighty, threadbare fabric
Seen in the distance, through your mobile
veil – the labyrinthine line of some elliptical
mandala. Through the vortex (imbricated)

of analogies, one petalled idler wheel –
one mote of water-spider yachts... one
water-lily. Floats up from phoshor bone
of an old man's memories... their buoyant

seal. Their gravity adrift, toward yon
zero Someone (diamond-cleft, earth-
turned, earth-toned agate – absolute
birth-red Rahab-canal) whose well will

be done
. & in a cluster of chrysanthemum
& sea-roses, the old man in the canoe
steps toward the precipice (Narragansett moon-
stone – Cautantowwit – above funerary wigwam) –

shoulders a catenary arc there (in the center
of the earth). It is some Finnish sampan,
or Sea Lord's junk – some Winnie's
lurching seahorse (4 hands clock its perimeter);

with Indian Jade tree mast, & figurehead
of red-fringed forest fiddlehead (or dark-eyed
jay), the flagship Toot-Monde launches (pied
palomino) forth – unknown, remembered...

with fractured idiom of cockney cry
the infant Word reverts to its willow-
rimmed frame; from osier-bow, lips
mime the monastery of a prairie sky.


Lanthanum Road 4.23


& out of the distant starlight-vortex comes
triangulating wingspread-arch, emitting
3rds & octaves in a major see-saw sing-
along – descending & ascending train-hoots

& humming rails framing a honeycomb-braced
biped dome, or home for seemingly-aimless
monarch flights. & this embracing salience
drips with sap from its own mellifluous

milky kingdom – golden-bright refiner's fire
searing the lips; the awkward raznochinets
stumbles across his own articulations –
the burgeoning burble emerges, a spinnaker

carried off by the air (trailing the whole ship
behind by the prow). & as hairshirt St. Louis
(a royal Hen in his last chicken-coop) sighs
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, so the heart skips,

leaps! from its biped grounding, to that hover-
craft aloft beneath the starry arch – one
parched honey-star, upon the breast – & perches
there, burning – a goldfinch in its hermitage.

& so the whole moth-kingdom of creation
grow a microcosmic, ultralight, black-&-yellow
curtain – double-wingèd, double-knit fellow-
traveler for Everyman (where tent was

rent). & whispers, into my kingdom
of the woolly moth, come – into the cedar-
forest of the butterflies – into the radius of
my milk-train way
(its horn, its trumpet-hum).


Lanthanum Road 4.22


The purposes of Providence run
along a straight iron rail through the center
of the earth – aligned with the North Star
floating motionless in night sky. Sun

& planet crossweave an aquamarine design
through pregnant space; primordial rivers
of bottomland clay are shaped & surge
into dome-bubble salience. A wing-span

curve, an upturned keel – fleet smile
in sunlit delta-mouth, harboring infant-
speech (rush-woven basket-boat, light
osier-womb) from blue-green heaven-Nile.

Out of such potter's clay came the gardener,
cumulative, georgic, sedimentary, slow;
rose Ancient of Days & his Maggie Lou,
their rusty plowshare channeling that river

toward an early orchard. & their child
inherits their earth, & the speech thereof;
all the curious rivulets of dialect, survival-
mannerism (borne into quaint parishes, wild

provinces); & when the walls come down
& the shofar blows & the Union emerges
like a bulbous crown on the rugged skin
of rippling slopes a prime oneness at heart

out of every region & clime born of love
& fire when the walls tumble down in
the central welding of mortal good will &
eternal seal (bright forge in dove-embrasure)


Lanthanum Road 4.21


The wide river, and the wide prairie,
the wistful train-hoot carried on the wind.
Hobo, on the old Soo Line; his fiery friend
Pumpkin Man, all black & orange... whee! -

skimming down Heartbreak Trail, toward
Way-Off. Monarchs of mudflats, kings
of milk – their infant, roustabout, mulish
speech rebounds to lowland Indian mound

(breast-work of Pocahontas) half-buried now
in shuttling river-clay. It is the almond Word
a-lit - bedded in the wink of a pumpkin gourd
whose tuneful memoir even a funeral scow

from Minneapolis whistles downstream
(past Resurrection Cemetery, in the snow).
At the end of the line. & now the prow
of barge Bee-of-Good-Cheer slips (I am

Bumble Bee
) unsounded into the flow –
toward St. Louis rendezvous, implicate
(with canoe-spiral) in compassionate
spider-lotos frame. Alms-given, flower-

ribbed – speech folded into delicate
ember-membrane (warm, centripetal)
where it began. & Pumpkin Man (pray tell)
is you Everyman? – so the Word was plotted

for blossoming – unspoke, unspeakable
cascade of sweetness from the root of
streams. Lie down, Hobo – heed the hoot
of your dawn milk-train again (unbreakable).


Lanthanum Road 4.20


The monarch's flown southwest to Mexico
& left behind his colors in the trees;
milkweed Melchizedek, anonymous, he's
only a memory now (from long ago).

The golden-barren limbs lift a craggy vault
like some forlorn cathedral, shivering
with leaf-news – the monarch is leaving,
... the monarch departs... Ochre, cobalt,

a taste of iron; threads of scarlet & purple
interlaced within a labyrinth of rose. So
eerie the soaring gossamer – already zero
gravity (& gone), winging 'twixt twin steeple

prongs (antennae, signalling)... Threads
of a moth-trail, designedly draped across
the Milky Way (the way he went), emboss
a furtive coign of vantage – Magellanic Cloud

of witnesses – O starry Wisdom's dancing
majesty! & joy rides in stupendous coverings
Thou ridest, Monarch-Hurricane! – thy tidings
tolled through tongs of railroad tunes, attunings –

crossed beyond vast milkweed prairies, where
the chosen children of one stutter-clear & loco
vocable – scarred logos-Lincolns (Martins, too)
enunciate, halting, thy rose-enfurlèd, plowshare

silo-smile (deep granary of everlasting victory);
& where thy sevenfold unfoldment once began
sails back again, 77-fold – prodigal origami span
of one entwining grain-bin grin (tall – 57 stories!).


Lanthanum Road 4.19


A desolate mind sailing through desolate space
above a desolate heart, Henry ekes his way
into November. All Souls' Day. Deep clay,
meanwhile, logs its transmissions (lateral

passes, shifting scales... a skittering grace).
& the end is always near, scrapes the fiddling
dogwood leaf – one bare North Star's his riddling
light-equation's standing proof (streaming millrace).

Everywhere the same. Light the middling
mean, all-penetrant... & what is this light?
Henry wears his testimony (ermine eremite)
weaseled into bookish office – his piddling,

flimsy prophet's reed – out of the substance
of his kin & kind, worn out, long-suffering.
Yet wear it he must, it is his witnessing –
out of stark void, quaint remonstrance

of battering faith. It rhymes with what he knows
(a widow's mite) of memory : long heart-lease,
tendered to the bankruptcy of time (a dream-
disease). Where (after Elijah) Elisha goes –

into the cloud of lightning-glory (track
of all the forerunners on up ahead, lighting
his way). Lanthanum road, of faltering
enunciation... Gloucester-sight-gone-black.

Exactly there, in the Star Chamber's cranium
of emptiness... the North Pole still shines.
Not Henry's to trace, these converging lines –
Noman's – very woman very man's. Light-home.


Lanthanum Road 4.18


Walk through the twilight street toward Halloween.
Through twilight light. The starlight, everywhere
the same
– its Einstein-constancy the measure
of a cosmic farmhouse (flame-bright, keen).

A pumpkin-light, a lantern glance, hearth-warm.
Tall Pumpkin Man ambles our twilight streets,
a node of light, a hill of flickering; fond Chartres
rose, Blanche Ochre-Russe, on lightweight arm

the two together make a heartfelt form (dim
shades like folded flying buttresses, tucked
wings) – flame-orange origami-construct, or
Romany barge ('mid scalloped shallop-swarm)

bound for candled Jordan-pond (familiar
constellation... nuptial night, or Jubilee).
& these are magic lantern slides of you
& me, merely (children, draw nigh...) –

from the crown of the brow to the feet
of each soul, Everywoman and Man a temple
of God
, whispers Holy Church, murmurs simple
Maggie – each one an End of History, complete

node of correlating beams of light (& the
centuries surround me with fire
, the soldier
sighed – hum-drum pebble on the shore).
As masqueraders cluster by the wooden

garden gate, creaking in soft reply (upon
its well-worn hinge) to the muttering wind
I am the door of the sheep, at river's end
the lifeboat gently bumps its moorèd crown.


Lanthanum Road 4.17

...yet the meanings of October 28, 1965 continue to radiate
– W. A. Mehrhoff, The Gateway Arch : Fact and Symbol

We've surfed so far through this festal gloom.
We've journeyed a certain way from Milk Street
& the grey slate wings of the parish Paraclete
under the rain (arrayed in black-gold rime

of mountain ash). Sursum corda, sounds
the bronze bell. The bronze bell (lifted up
like a voluble serpent). Near train-stop
in pre-dawn Siberia (way station to mounds

of skulls... symphonic Day of the Dead).
Sursum corda. Lifted up like a cruel 44
in Memphis (inscaped, unescaped martyr's
hour) below the strong brown stream (head

Janus-janitor, draining the wounded woods).
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; & be ye lift
up, ye everlasting doors
; & the King of glory
shall come in. Sursum corda. Here stood

th'embottled farmer-gardener, misunderstood.
Misrecognized. Sursum corda. Where a ghost
looms in the denuded limbs (O Lord of hosts)
like the hollow hoot of a phantom railroad.

& so for 40 days & nights the flood rose
in the mouth of the throat of the gorge
of the ring-dove. & the surge
of the wave & the rainbow-haze

curved over the gate that was lifted up
like the line of a length of a labyrinth (or
edge of spark-wrung rose). Cradle me then
strange coracle my almond, Argus-eyed shallop


(unfortunately the text displayed on these blogs doesn't allow for extra spaces between words... this is why the last 2 stanzas above don't appear correctly... there should be extra spaces between some of the words there, but I don't know how to correct this)

Lanthanum Road 4.16


As Halloween draws near, & the phoenix trees
blossom & preen again, like smithery birds,
Henry gathers up his masks (his belabored
pseudonyms) & heads for the river. He's

just a mask himself, now – silky projectile
of shriveled Florida palm (immurèd way
up north, in Resurrection snow). Just a Player
King, on a huckster's raft, on a backward Nile –

cocooned monarch on Romany funeral barge;
led by the nose, by the prow, by the melody
of railroad flute (a rod of iron). Body &
. Toward some theological ménage

à trois
Maximus sketched out (with an ink-
feathered stump). & Roger lived to praise
& sing – Williams, RW, our double-play
sidewinder, he – of Rhody can-do (sink-or-

swim). Depression-era, rigid chap – striding
off the Terrace, bus-sheltered by granite
arch... yea, the figure in the magnet-
bend! Im-mediator of colliding

turbine-turbulence – two violent worlds
of rabid allegiance, cynical insolence
(odd Eden, impaired) – lifting violet fence
of soul freedom, betwixt those fright-hurled

certitude-polarities. Between earth
and sky. On Prospect Street, in Providence,
there is an agèd wrought-iron fence, whose
gravid elegance grounds all my mirth-

inducing solo loops (improvident
improvisation) – like the milky breast or
dome of myriad almond (sunbeam) lenses;
the bend of one Mississippian prong-trident.


Lanthanum Road 4.15


Something smolders deep in Blackstone's heart,
beyond sight, beyond hearing, like a lodestone
of stubborn coal. Reflected in his lone
& wakeful candle; & in the Narragansett

campfire, circled by a band of firelit eyes &
faces etched into the trees (nocturnal
Hagia Sophia's woodburnt cenacle).
Love that would frame in Celtic filigree

& bind in mordant Roman bronze, the seal
of his homing devotion (pensive, pregnant, in
suspense, as in the hum before the hurricane);
love spun far into wilderness, beyond repeal.

One tall holm-oak, the mast of his sunship,
the pivot of his equilibrium –
tether for his bull's-eye seraphim.
E'n la sua volontade... (peaceable playscript).

For the stars are everywhere the same
& shine for homecoming by scything kelson,
ash-braced breeze; that monk's last lesson
(welding nature to the curving seam of

grace) a sloop, wingèd for our thanksgiving;
& in the rust-veined testimony, tolled
perpetually in desert hives, behold
the finish line (green, serpentine, singèd

by flame). So, as an unknown soldier steps
through feral Circus Maximus, one local
soul clinches its focal point – mandorla
splayed in agate hand (its rosy depths).


Lanthanum Road 4.14


Hobo, buried in leaf-drift, late October
assumes the anonymous lineaments
of Everyman. His waxy cerements
are dogwood leaves. Each red-veined oar

folded in windblown fleets of Achaian galleys
is warped across a train-horn's major C
(simple shofar-call)... tenderly,
tenderly travels through the gleaning breeze

of Indian summer. Rudderless incarnation
of all waywardness. The wavering wake
of that warning trumpet will not break
his dream, his prodigal oblation.

The sleepy soul slips into masquerade
(medieval clown) at harvest-time. Loosens
the railroad ties, removes the rusty iron
armature, its cross-woven bridgework

of militant need – shifting, swaying, distending
into seedy player's weeds – a pumpkin field
of bulbous, over-ripened suns (moist yield
of drowsy memory, earth-whispering).

Gray clouds of whistling starlings wheel
beneath white bands in the stratosphere.
The absent carrier pigeon will not appear
(brooding, signaling) at the apex of the real

this time of year – rather, as an ember
glowing in the hobo-fire, where lost farmers
gather. Lost tribes, lost lands... wherever
disoriented pilgrim sails inch into November.


Lanthanum Road 4.13


The architecture Henry can't explain, that is
his joy & consolation every day (conceptual
October sunshine – pale, passible, yet still
there). Like these deepening plum colors

in the descending dogwood leaves – it is
a shade of general rose; as the various shades
merge in a spectrum of clear water-blades
in that city of lakes where Berryman resuscitates

& is himself again, & feeling better about things.
Or as the magnetic attraction of the dusty iron
sketches its mandorla-door, unstoppably – spun
from sleep toward your own unlooked-for springs.

So the form of flute-sound over the heart-void
entrains itself into a fan of harmonies. A scale-
wheel of diminished fifths – purple organ-peals'
surfacing rhumb-bob of the universe – enjoined

in solo heart-burst (single voice & chordal bass).
& then the hobo-rail peels off... around the bend.
Making tracks. Into that spacious empty land
& sky. Vanishing (infinity unveils its face).

So he pursues her, anonymous, into rose's
spectral folds. Drawn from desire toward
innocent joy – that otherworld of renewed
childhood (private in an unknown soldier's

infancy). Where many & one become
a theme with variations, at the apex
of their milky curve (simple, complex) – &
where the rose is rooted in its flower-kingdom.


Lanthanum Road 4.12


As the tremulous old king crawls ruefully toward his
Jerusalem crib, the young prince sets out
on his firefly charge (sans script). & is that
egret-eremite all set (or preterite)? Readiness

is all
, he murmurs (all walled-in). By the four
points of my compass-coccoon, by the bark
of my Lincoln-log pontoon
(sounding at quark-
range)... A winking prairie-schooner pair

of constellations (Big Bear, Wee Bear) fords
the Polaris Theater. In April (thursday
or friday, around noon. Near Milky Way).
The baby mosaic canoe made of little stones

on board, Memphis settles into its Mississippi
regime – booze in the morning, bees
in the afternoon (little lead BBs).
& flies on home – in the chariot (fiery

father). Hallelujah! So it was
with winebibbers of old – like Maximus,
with his hand chopped off, tongue
torn out (for announcing the omnibus

sit-down human-garbage-mankind strike).
Everyman's the sloop of shame-&
, he sings – since
Noah sent the dove adrift toward Pike's

(arid zone, you tar). Since you left
home yourself, Henry – following Falstaff
into his flagship company. Quaff, then,
another, regal bumblebee! All draft-age now.


Lanthanum Road 4.11


The traveling circus of October grackles
swings into town, with happy hectic whoops &
whistles over Henry's head – in the faded circle
(roseate rust) of dogwood branches. Chuckles

& wheeling, swerving hoots are hooped in heaps up
there, as a company of leaves swishes its surf-like
undertone. & Henry fades himself (old tyke)
into his Middle Ages, & beyond... sleeps &

drowses in his mazy dream (uncharted Chartres
hovering like heavy honey – like an alien ship
over the corny heartland). Unexpressive sap
from inexpressible brainstem-tree. . . heart's

labyrinthine amaranth (almond conundrum). &
the last turn comes at the center of the winding,
windy rose – implicate with grief, & knowing
melancholy wastelands (prodigal Hobo-time) –

turning through the winged circus-sounds toward
cloud-shrouded, ripened sun – its ruddy light. &
so this bent fat stiff of an aging Hal – his sight
grown dim – turns out all right (grace be to God);

his edifying dream of midway arch proves
apple-laden (Blackstone-honeycomb – golden,
sweet). For the storm-taut ribs of a mandorla-
canoe rest upright, grounded, still – where wind

moves through clear space : heart's absolute
zero, bull's-eye source : almond keystone (rhodos-
lanthanum, pink with dawn). On pendulous logos-
wing... Vermeer's milkweed monarch (maudit).


Lanthanum Road 4.10


The way the lines of a canoe meet at the prow
& drag its wake into the shifty stream...
so the coiled magnetic Dream
inched toward its heart (Meanderthal crow)

& etched a compass rose in sunburnt iron.
Ev'man's, Ev'woman's. Common wheel
it is – from whence we make way, reel,
sway... (wobbly vinyl, nasal violin).

That figure up ahead in riffling wind –
whorled seed of one acute beak-vertex
(drawn from fiddlehead stump – like Ex
from welded, wedded stone). Tomorrow's

tamarack, no doubt. Away up north.
She's somewhere, man. Someone. Somehow.
Dancing on the parallelorim of Orion (cold
fire, through & through). Near Duluth –

with luthier, methinks. Fiddling around.
A round. & haunts us (as she pokes
through spokes) like a folksong
from a screech-owl (Appalachian

sound). Wisdom's feathery whiz
across branches (somber, green)
with carrier's premise (has-been,
will be). Mourning, morning. Is.

& the gate, a gate, of winding tree-
rings, singing. Leaves, sets out, from
cornice of stone pier... & the plumb
sounds – blares (her owl-hoot harmony).


Lanthanum Road 4.9


The steel prong at the center of the earth
in Henry's dream – coral coracle in the midst
of bobbing painted horses. Its double mast
lifting into one sail, its striding girth

only bright air, vertigo – a spiritual gate
flared high over vernal mound (effaced,
blood-spotted, green). Beneath terraces
of avid gophers (wind-polished, fibrillate,

ephemeral). Dream-lattice, easily
unhinged, undone. Yet the little tree
where the dreams began seems ringed
for me, just for me : a standing melody.

So pity the tired and tremulous old boy
in bleak recovery glare (of smarting snow,
intrusive stares) – your dancing shadow
on a shaken stick, your would-be Irishman;

here in such squalor's where the spirit greets
the real (his skeletal embrace, closer to fire) –
here's where the pipsqueak of a threadbare Eire
soars like Wisdom's Ariadne, fleet to fleet.

The sign of an arch-shade in my muttering
(full of air and emptiness and rain) is
homecoming, is pointing home. Homer's
oar was always there, amidships, staggering

toward life; the calm world is grace
for harrowed soil, for stolid earth.
Black river-clay, old bottomland – berth
for a hurricane (filled with time and space).


Lanthanum Road 4.8


Hobo's ghost (Henry) tracks a negative way.
Don't you be like them, sonny. Of self-
dispersal, man to river-clay. & feels
achy, maybe. O his achy, creaky, drafty

craft! Heads where rivers merge, to plant
a seal (MRG) in the bowl of the bottomland.
Near old St. Louee. Whatever comes to hand
goes to float that thing – rubbish, newsprint...

& he never learns (as Blackstone learns)
how to subtract negative from zero – or
to limn how love's lodestone (the mighty O
in All itself) draws him in four dimensions

(threads). He doesn't need to learn, or speak;
he senses it. That's why he's lying on the river-
bank, dozing (as eddies drift, leaf, quiver)...
(& why he'll never amount to squat, sez Zeke.)

The train-horn hoots again, like Lastest Trumpet
or Henry's yearnful dove, disguised as owl.
To the point that Hobo never will follow
(dim soul) : beyond his own draining sunset.

He feels it, though. He feels. He'll never know.
While Blackstone quarries Maximus to find
his formula's hobo-equation (fair, kind,
...) – Henry leads them into signet-snow.

Where he pried loose an agate once, one summer.
Earth-brown, to camouflage itself – at home
(a pleasant peasant spider-thread, flesh-
toned with light) – a circular dance-mummer's

gesture. Inimitable, unlikely wave
goodby – from the bridge of aspirations
(wishing bones). From chest, near station
of trained brooder. Hums there. Wave, wave.


Lanthanum Road 4.7


The dogwood leaves fold inward, recapitulate
their early greenery, in threadbare spines
of old maroon. The book of Henry's
(lazily raftered with his playmate,

Minstrel Minister – big J). From Minnesota.
Prospecting like a tucked-in Finn, ship-bottled
in the volume of himself. Rain shuttles
through October's dangled tails (uncountable

quota). This mottled season is in unison
with the mumbled limitations of his song.
Untranslatable clicks & whistles, overlong
grackle-hubbub, veering south... someone

must save that Henry from himself
! Suspended
railroad-hoot (through distance, river-flow)
transposes into minor key; you hear the low
tootle of mourning dove, close to the ground

(again, again)... & the two of them together
(stark brass of train-trombone,
woodwind of rainbow-throat) command
retreat, retreat... back to the tether

of love's strange Nowhere – its circled square;
back to the genesis of each desire
in the quick yearning of an infant choir
(impatient sparrows, bunkered in despair

of dawn). & testaments of buried men,
& reveille for Berryman, blend in marine
vertex (or submarine) – serene
blueprint from Finnish ark (catamaran).


Lanthanum Road 4.6


O, & that train-horn's plangent testament…
a yawning in the basement of its chord.
Suspended between iron tracks – echoed
by time, space, homesickness. O, Henry's

foolish fundament. Concave to complex...
the womb of fading notes, where we played
hide-&-seek (you, me, brother Bluejay –
a winsome foursome). Into the dome's ex-

doom (only air & light, afloat
on high). & it's not the beautiful Madonna
with chambered sea-blue glance of tesserae,
nor the blunt cruelties of Will-to-Dominate

there... only the geometry of yearning
(Ariadne). Only turn the rosewood handle
90 degrees – until the humiliated sundial-
pinetree lifts to the pole star (ice, burning).

So a bent polarity's natural desire for beauty
leans toward recognition. Supernatural charity –
the childhood of the soul in God – a hobo liberty
bestowed in 2nd berth (long whistle-wail)... O my

Siberious hilaritas, Yurodivy! This your
early birch-tree cry – a sap with honey!
This our business – O, Eternity! Eternity!
Whose pigeon sails past Bosphorus, Marmara...

These implications of Great Northern routes –
when the tree & the forest, the frost
& its each miniature fir-whorl, herringbone &
firmly cleave. Toward one vermilion threadlight.


Lanthanum Road 4.5


Abstract, abstracted Henry ambles west
across a limestone-lit & pastel Providence.
Steep ridges, baby rivers. Confluence
of morning stone & wooden birdnest

paradise. Past Burnside Park, with marble
General. & graybeard homeless private
shaking out his shoes (still alive, yet).
RW from below – his steep immobile

terrace of Inca-set granite (Isaac Hale's
deed – filigreed now in hungry graffiti).
Where his ashes lie – burnt from the tree-
root man-shape swelling his coffin (awhile

back then). To moss-gray, helmet-headed
City Hall (where angular Roger-face peeks
from its crown) he goes, to pay late taxes...
ambles east again. Earth trek she threaded,

once – absent, absented one. Just one,
just once. & Henry felt the L-bow of an arm
hooked into his own, laced, latched. To form
a knot with lurching outline, barely shaded-in –

irregular, in disequilibrium. Systole, diastole...
sys... black stone on white stone – breathing
lips & windy guest. So her road-dislocating
presence lessoned less & less. Yet twas whole

Somewho - beyond departure. In the realm
of the matrix of subtle analogies of light (rays
hula-hoop through rainbow-eyelet). How they
recast your one & lonely profile, Yo-Yo? Hmm?


Lanthanum Road 4.4


That Finnish carpenter, arch arc-welder, will he
ever be finished? & will some beehive grow
out of this footling litterbox, Henry's heave-ho
abbatoir – his slow spiel, his scribbly spelling-bee?

His lean-to stand-ins gather round, his fogged-in
foretop shrouding a flighty figurehead (always
one step ahead). Forthright RW, wise
William B.... wistful Hobo lingering astern.

Blackstone lifts a glass toward Byzantium.
He wants a rose window to shade his apple-
tree – layers of honeyed, leaded light (triple-
dense, Einstein-slow) – a palimpsest. Viridium-

lanthanum-oxide (caffeinated blend). Something
St. Louis might underwrite (if Queen B. signs on).
A lofted boomerang (earthbound, into the sun)
– high-wired for mobile stable (free-floating).

& there, from beyond the effaced curvature
of sea-wave domes, from that poisoned bowl
of empurpled shade – a microscopic smile,
bent by parallactic ray into toadstool square

(dour prophet-frown, immured in martyr-salt).
The angle of his rippling white beard, acute
as his one remaining eye – his humming note
(in surprising major key) only : what Walt

intuited – Whitman
. How the miracle of many-
in-one (e pluribus unum) – its kindly singleness –
disintegrated, disinterred again – arose to bless,
in person, every one. Rose, once – arose, Henry!


Lanthanum Road 4.3


With a rock in her sling, Pocahontas reels
around... is it studious Blackstone, shrouded
in his papery coccoon, his womb-cloud,
raining? And she, the root of all he feels,

the knotty stump, the remnant scrawled all
over with riddles... hoary grandmother of
once-wispy willow? Minor mirroring, by river?
Henry plucks the cat-string of his gutteral

personae (unappeased, rambunctious
Mousketeers). Adieu-longing (that stems
from, ends among ice-locked limestone,
russet railroad bridges) shades his soliloquies,

bends his yew longbow (odd oud). Meanwhile
mind-power of Maximus, in Byzantium
(the other Maximus) cradles the frame
of gopherwood, where Black Sea water riles

around Pontus-point; finds scarlet Rahab-
thread, that can untie, make plain, defend
the knot of human and divine enfoldment
(sans désordre) – what riddle more subtle,

troubling? His spirit lingers near that fortress
at the other end of the remorseless depths
where Theseus manarvels fleece (the labyrinth
will reel him back from Ariadne's wilder nest) –

asking again : who reigns in the almond eye?
The mirrored sun plays like a wistful child
in the rocking sea that girdles triste Istanbul.
A land-bound willow wavers between river, sky.


Lanthanum Road 4.2


The crossweave in the melancholy train-chord,
plangent, distant. Not unison yet, but the one
and the other, making harmony. The oval
red and green leaves of a shuttering dogwood –

one color with the other, calmly aglow now
beneath gray clouds. The curious heart-
signals sleepy Henry tries to interpret –
sign-language, leaf-muttering, slow

autumn breeze... the one and the other –
old question-and-answer, call-and-response...
Martha and Mary, Williams and Blackstone,
listening, doing. Knot of the dreamer

by rose-flecked seashore. Twine of Black Sea
binding Maximus, his hardy, rooted taking-stock
before the Mother of Good Maiden Voyages
(almond prow on New World promontory

– strife-torn turf). The total vision
a triangulation – compass, rudder, mast
afloat upon a void of whispered trust –
still star above wind-wagon ballast (son

and mother and their Magdalen-logos).
The old design whispers to Henry, he gets
the drift of dogwood leaves. His Hobo waits
in river-sand, by a railway bridge, a drifter's

flute-call smoking from his lips. A tuning-
fork in the middle of the country surges
its upward wing; anonymous Pocahontas
reels around, with a rock in her sling.


Lanthanum Road 4.1


Late summer evening, pensive September light.
Persistent mute suspended minor seventh
of distant railroad horn. Amaranth,
. The pussy willow (plucked, worn out).

Autumn is a labyrinth of earthy dreams.
Of prairie earth, grown vaster than the sea.
& Henry huddles with his traveling three –
Hobo, Roger, William B. – where the beams

of his wind-wagon meet the mast (pining).
In the cradle of his longing, the log cabin
of his ghost brought low. Some Sinbad
marathon, spun by Scheherazade (declining

favors – still, persuasive). Here, a ruddy
Irish monarch – there, an Armenian butterfly.
The tale spins by itself, unstoppable top. Why?
It's gravity, at the edge of the bloody

corner, mate. Checkmate. Crossroads.
Where husk of Siberian cicada meets
the tracks, & Theseus blunders blind toward
Chartres... where Berryman hears Beethoven-chords.

Track 132. The jittery greenhouse overhead
like a turtle-sell, translucent... where are we?
Petersburg? Coutances? Minneapolis? Saint
Louee? We're near the Queen of the dead

, the phantom said. Henry's Dove
(Chicago watercolor – gray, with loops).
The bird purrs in the railroad trumpet – whoops
'at's the spirit. & this was only Ariadne's Cove.


Lanthanum 3.24


His head full of booze, regrets, & Shakespeare
& latecomer summer a long way off, when he leapt
across the snowbank path (heart deep in Deptford,
wi' old Sad Sack, Falstaff). He's buried there.

Bury the man in Resurrection Cimetière
th'empurpled writ bespoke, beforehand (counter-
signed by Caesar's notary). & he stepped his contra-
dance into groin of hurricane (contrarian

to the end). & he was turning, he was turning
toward the Chippewater (Hole-in-the-Sky);
whatever they say, he lived before he died.
& then he lived again, crd Mgdln (his burning

almond branch). A possum to the opossums,
she sleeps in the gradient of her unspoked
commonweal. Like the latest Al Freed – Free
at Last
(near St. Louis Park) – in a Scandinavian

electoral smorgasbord (or free-for-Al). Wrasslin'
with temporal gravity, like a gnomic Einstein son.
Downstream a little from that Gateway quaternion.
Servant of servants (Memphis garbage men).

& the curious echoes of the names (in limestone
inscriptions). A sort of mnemonic harmony
of overtones – implicit, understated (gracefully
the glory of the Lord shone round about them, hon).

& the emptiness under the cranial dome (Shakespeare's
last sup of ineffable happiness). Only an emblem
of my Byzantine parallelogram (parabolic theorem) :
that the nature of love = the nature of the Father's

gentle disposition, meek & mild. & so forsaking
everything but Psyche-life, but life itself...
he'll wayfare toward the crossroad (milky surf)
& lift his Hobo-rood. To some'res. (Magdalen?)


Lanthanum 3.23


So Hobo, the lousy shepherd, wanders onward
through his wintry Bruegel-pantomime. And
Blackstone, the dreamer-wasp, his January
alter-ox – his white bull's eye (from Hvd Yd?)

a moving target for the Lords Ecclesiastical
both of them seemingly wrong-way-mazed.
Taking the scenic route (a bit crazed
by foot-in-mouth, no doubt – looseliptical)...

but neither here nor there. En route.
Toward an encounter. With the bulliest bully
of them all – bearish half-man, half-animal –
in a funhouse glass, miroir funèbre. C'est tout.

Les jeux sont faits. All face cards up.
The Jack of Hearts, the Queen of Spades...
eh? The little lady's got it made.
In Petersburg we'll sup once more, and tip

the cabby from his sunlit round, my dear

(in the back seat). Persephone stirs
in her ice-locked palace... the sun-disk whirrs...
Hobo-Blackstone's snowy way (somehow) is clear.

If but the Greeks could see... Troy, the arena.
Dancing butterflies, hummingbirds. A blazing
funnel of dust-mote fireflies, grazing
sunset - restless caper to the last crane-

leap (bareback, bare-breasted, bull-defying).
So they rise from slumber, by the tents of
Mamre, Mammy – to gam with an angel (Glint).
By the pool, by the lake. Like a mirror. Flying.


Lanthanum 3.22


Under the moon, O changeling moon, truth
flickers fitfully, in milky Troy-town light.
Meanders furrowing our 7-year blight
are desiccated by a cursive X, forsooth –

Joseph's admonishment, a screwed-up Jubilee.
The ruddy month of harvest, already whitened
by sickly mold (cold, cold)... & the writing
on the wall is always there, a promissory

note (for AWOL understanding). Meanwhile
the plane of time and history drones overhead,
relentless flywheel – each local tribal forehead
marked with a familiar V (for viper-trail)

& the moon wavers through lampshade clouds...
all human sighs whorled in a single, tidal cry
for rest, nocturnal crest – the shoreline's
hushed I am, I am (systole, diastole) through

bent shrouds of night-branches (creak
of olive, almond, gopher-wood, ash, oak).
Remorse for every Ariadne turns the fork
of the plow back on itself (my widow's peak

by flattened y-axis) – ineluctable recursion
of Theseus-dance become one wooden sound,
one whole demand, one human wound... one
Hopi thumb-print (Hopewell river-immersion).

& you will be led along by the gravity
of a greater love, overshadowing... turn
after turn, tide after tide, in the quern
of the Queen's long-yearning (unrushed levity).


Lanthanum 3.21


A hint of fall now in the restless breeze.
The monarchs gather at the milkweed pods
out on the prairie. A wave of goldenrod
will see them off, on their prodigal progress

toward Mexico hemlocks. Psyche, the shy
white cabbage-moth, will watch them go.
Ariadne, holding her empty thread, will know.
Her prince (a premonition in the summer sky).

& summer ghosts will reunite, in a mossy jar
of myrrh. As if the chronicle of last year's book
turned green, a metamorphosis... the crooked
bull-char in the concrete floor suddenly

stood sheer (ellipsis of a morris dance
or Avon puzzle-ring) & beamed a rude circle
like cartwheels of Vladimir – sailor-seal
of Abram's petrel Hen (his Gateway trance).

The lake in the dry pool, like a late romance...
the water from the sky... the reign of some
magnanimous Prospero... Ariel's crumb-
path, out of peculiar woods... the leaning lance,

the a-historical nonsense, the anachronism
of stubborn, infantile, unremitting love
(that will not relent)... Shrove-
tide will bring him to the honeycomb

of Everyman's cell – the ghost of his father's
father's father; his mother's white hair (one
stray thread). Such flimsy evidence! Where
is the grave, now? Where my B-mine gardener?


Lanthanum 3.20


The lover's honey and the scholar's fire
merge in glimmers from a gray wasp's nest –
a bee-forsaken palace in the wilderness,
where Hobo, Blackstone circle round the lair

of their Blue Ox (a Minnesota Minotaur).
Where's Ariadne? In Rhode Island?
With ball of yellow pollen in her hand
like shining honeycomb, or jar of myrrh...

Honey, come home! Come on home, honey!
– my pied pair murmurs, through a subtle
shaft of harness-corridors... a shuttle-
basket, ply on ply. They're history –

a way of stating what cannot be said
(like dream of statehood for the 51st;
somebody's doom-collateral, anonymous;
a sleepy soldier in the garden bed).

But what suits a pedestrian in the Appalachians
is moonshine, home-brewed. That moon road
made of lanthanum, clear across cold
(bull's-eye) Lake Baikal – where a tipsy-

chatterin' sparrow from spare hills
dove once into milky-branching river-light.
Dame Kind refracted in her smile might
lift my water buffalo from Yokum ills –

turn on an Elsie dime, pirhouette gracefully
as Daisy Mae stands beckoning by Abner's Gate.
Rye parish in her gypsy gravity, she'll wait
for that monsoon-pleroma (chartered, Mandalay).


Lanthanum 3.19


All's figures, I figure, augured August, last
of summer's breezy guests. As the phantom
of Hobo's tandem friend, shadow of his random
meandering through primal Providence (Fox Pt.) –

through the Warren-like warren of clapboard
back alleys, and the dapple-sieve of afternoon
sunlight, that slips through Portuguese vine-
trellises, down the backest of ordinary

back streets, the swept-clean simple poverty
of Dove Street (hardly a street at all), where
he dawdled with his flighty Josephine (fair-
dark radiant for circled square – old hoopoe,

he) – lifts his labyrinthine alleyed allegory
(alley-alley-in-free!) toward the unspeakable
unspoken whisper-sense, the wind's own labile
vocable : a sleepy child's soft felt-tip memory

(drawn deep). There, in the mind, like a ruined
concrete cave, it quickens to the unstanched cry
of an old complaint – family quarrel : Bye & Bye,
in the neglected garden; Spy vs. Spy, sustained

by mutual darkness (opportune missed cues
long gone). Across the street, a rose of Sharon
sets its white mandorla in the grass (bloom-rain).
Muttering Hobo's figuring things out. Sez

We cycled through all 50 states, but I ain't seen
nothing like old San Juan for oil & wine – garlic
& jujubees, 2nd-hand bookstores – believe you me

(hic!) as his W wedged in her shadow (pine-green).


Lanthanum 3.18


& Hobo was a Giant in his sleep. Humongous
human, Everyman. Shot-putter of dreams
the length of 50 football fields, he teems,
all tied up in the 9th – filled with resinous

pine-sleep (since that chestnut in his heart
is now all almond, out of hayseed season –
wintering in Florida). Dream beyond reason.
The blue-green needles cling like straw, smart.

& she riddles him with griffin-lore, and tugs
his beard of Samsonite (his bully bulletin-
board, for tool-&-die) and dares him into
a mazy weird (beside the sluggish river Slugs)

eluding him until sundown (& then
she's gone). It was like this every Sunday
50 weeks of years : thinking of Jubilee
he gave away the store (& bought a hen).

You & I, honey – our own sheepish mandorla
door. A guilty thesis wrapped like a trowel
around my droopy hero, while wolves howled
& I's buried in muh work, ma'am. We wore

shin-guards, hoping to redeem our shins –
useful precautions, prognostications, nostrums
up our weary nostrils, endless strums on
tuneless, dog-eared mandolins – rin-tin-din...

The simplest skills seem to leap from our hands.
Technical wizards at burnt rubber, we drove
our first parents (home-made) to the grave –
over here, in Babylon. A ragged willow rings, bands.


Lanthanum 3.17


Beneath tropic downpours of waterlogged July
Hobo, like an ancient landbound sailor-man,
reviews the silver sounding of his evening
tattoos, their curious curlicues. Why

thread them again with sticky stitches, guy?
Those spiracles and smudgy syrinxes,
those sphinxes in pre-war Cyrillic (Brink's
truckloads-full of Scythian bird's-eyes,

golden marzipan out of Byzantium, out of
an old green sea-chest)? His reveries
of broken marriages, unbroken memories
tug one painful, imperious thread into Sunset

Cove (near Elbow Beach, along the southern arm
of Blind Man's Reach), and Ariadne's absence
from pinched pound-foolish Theseus's dense
Rhode Island Phd. sets off an ouragan-alarm

across the tendril-web of Hobo's outré Outre-Mer
something in those future tension-wires, old guy?
Somebody coming home? His melancholy
black sails fluff the pillowy horizon of her hair

and Abba, Abba, he cries out, groinward,
in a sheepish, neverending sleep (lotus-
position – fetal-fatal always). Leda's
ducklings never looked so lubber-awkward

as that tapped-out three-toed stool pigeon,
awash in imaginary Sheba-rain. Her questions
were too difficult – her clues too cozy-cozening
for this lax bos'n (alas, alack). Labyrinthine.


Lanthanum 3.16


It looks like a greenhouse planted on the moon.
Their hovercraft-capsule (Buzz A. & Bros.).
Their mission, to bring back some cheese
coagulated from the Milky Way. Done.

A-o.k. Forty years of meteor showers later
a little karaoke is in order. Sing me that one
(Moon River, wider than a mile...). Croon,
my jejune, moony minstrel... soon. Très

charmante. I heard it on the radio
in white and black (a generation or two
ago). Surfing rocks. But you have to
set trowel to soil, Tin Man, in Silverado –

and pan to stream – if you want to find
Goldie the streamfed gold-digger. Your
riverine Sheba (wise guy) : sure-whistlin'
willow thing. Guitars in the distance;

the sultry scent of lilacs, memories...
lost memories. All that weedy, wayward
humble wordlessness. Those awkward
Ariadne-nobodies, castaways in a leeward

breeze (lethal bull-snort of a Cockaigne-
sport). Silence is the frame for speech
and the rustling of an almond branch
fosters our governmental Gopher-drone,

Al Frankenstein (comedian and Common
Man). Six moons ago he won the crown
– now we have set this Archimedean
angle to the ring (he will not play buffoon).

500 and 10 and 5... the riddle of the moon
still plays across our solar plexus (rational-
irrational) like some black-hearted melancholy
poem... Jubilee the Founders' mean (procession).


Lanthanum 3.15


A persistent sun keeps trying to penetrate
the cathedral gloom of these gray-granite clouds;
the plexiglass transparency of universal goods
slowly makes plain their normative template;

and thus the clarified commonweal sails on...
while Hobo (with his broody Blackstone-pal)
sets off again on some obscurer trail.
Milk-train, or river-path – toward early origin.

An unknown parallelogram. Convergent rays
of wordy genesis, replicated in a palimpsest
of baby talk... riverbank lanthanum-ellipse.
Or tuning-fork, upended, smiling... Memory's

own secret adamantine road (toward
morning glory). And where rays merge
a rose in the center rose and bloomed –
on a vert verge of dappled almond shade

(sursum corda). Folded in the blaze
of a sunlit mirror, the systole-diastole
of eros-agape – their playful folderol –
renewed yon Hobo's derelict soul (maze

for hide-&-seek). So the white dove
retreats behind gray curtain, then descends
as lowly pigeon, rainbow-throated – bends
wings of enigmas overhead – lovers'

puzzles, passwords (crosswords to solve).
In the heart of the heart of the country
(avocado, artichoke), eyes, tears...
sunlight (your Saint-Chapelle alcove).


Lanthanum 3.14


So we roll through the 4th, toward mid-July
past thundery rain, clouds, uneasy weather.
This ball of sod our bent frame (tether-
ellipse). As it was in the Middle Ages (sty

in the modern eye). Where the unknown soldier
(Corporal Everyman) rudely confronts one private
grappler-interlude, with cantilever-magnitude
of unknown origin (imaginary sister-

dove). She's waiting for him in the shade.
A little tree, mistreated by mankind, hidden
beneath her own scraped boughs (behind
your own eyelid). Before the ground was laid.

She could have danced all night. She was
innocent on countless counts. And they
were innocent once too : like the seal
of great Saint Louis, with the fleur-de-lys,

they leapt, honey-shot, before the throne
of old King Dagobert. Those were the days
of chopping off fingers, hounding the Jews
out of sight, out of mind (pinched monotone).

It's this seething summer-world... even ice
seems alien. Like my dream of the Gateway Arch
(tin from nowhere). So Noah's rain-angel parsed
a lurching earth. So his dove tacked once, twice

before she let that twig sail from her beak.
Your imaginary friend... the unknown soldier;
the witness (with the new identity); the volunteer.
Your neighbor with the limping limb (creak, creak).


Lanthanum 3.13


... but there is no way I, Hobo, yakking
out of the side of my mouth, got up
in trickster-clown duds (borrowed fop's
Mod-mop, from Bluejay) could approximate

an adequate emblem of the actual measure.
Though maybe that subtle stone portrait,
life-size, in the round, of the winter patriot
standing calmly now in warm downpour... or

just a round marble (cat's-eye) – some boy's
favorite toy – the kid who grows up to go
over there (battling, dying). Who can
say. Not put here to destroy,

but save. Ourselves (peasant oafs we are,
weighted, borne down). But we must turn
(while we can) from the natural sunburn
of a shark domain, toward that evening star –

the dove-star (the supernal one, between
eagle and owl). In the eloquent dusk.
Afloat there, far off, before the fireflies –
day's husk gently set down (slow evening).

The war in the heart thus laid to rest.
Who was born in bloody furrows and
bright winding sheets of lyings-in now
lifts himself to stand, answer (present,

yes) – and go, eyes open, toward Shiloh.
And if only they knew the ways that make
for peace
, he said – even as they undertake
this vernal ritual of my farewell
. Go, go...


Lanthanum 3.12


The dark red lines of the flag (undulating
at 44o from a windy, sky-blue porch)
are a symbol, more or less. Perch
of Bluejay, stealing blueberries (monarchic

regal-eagle thing). I am coming like a thief.
The Founders burrowed liberally themselves
into 1689 : writs of Englishmen &
Elves (under the sod, forgotten) – Chief

Template of the native realm (our worthy
Head-rest). Heroes, inaugurate Verbs
(mumbling) – all the way back, warbling
in the dark. Scared (sideways from history).

And the history of your well-worn icons
is just as foreign to my own
as is the distance between a brune
hypotenuse and its algebraic approximation

(blurred by summer rains). The Boy Scouts
decided to take on the whole weight of the war
in squadrons knit by broody whore-
logistics. Uncle Wilhelm was nervous

in his undershorts. So we went over there
to fight the bloody Crusades (Mother
said OK). Kilroy was here
and all that (us part of nature,

corroded). & brought back trophies
(death's heads, iron iron). Back,
Johnny, to jealous switchbacks
of the share-plow (stars, all fifty).


Lanthanum 3.11


A single dark red rosebloom opens
in the center of the old backyard. Rhodos,
Rhode Island – little city-state, microcosmos –
Blackstone's, Williams' hopeful Providence.

Under an arch of Westerly granite, the schema
of an early settler stands facing west, toward
distant plains. On his shoulders, word
of renewing gospel, manifest – pleroma

of the seeking soul – its end, its day –
imprinted as with graceful characters
reflecting steadfast light. Beyond all powers,
overweening lords of seasonal round (their clay

glory). Active sponsor of intelligible freedom –
image of the Maker, come to break and bless
and be amongst us. . . lift us to the nest
of everlastingness. And this same kingdom

(at the font of Time) imparts equality
as principle of human justice – the law
of freedom rooted in a sense of awe
and gratitude, kinship and mutuality.

So this married pair of principles –
the sacred cherishing of limitless grace
and secular chartering of liberty – formed
this place, this Providence – municipal

refuge for an ancient light. Old rose
that balances on thorny stem, opens
to summer's radiance... dark ruby lens
to gather more light (unto summer's close).


Lanthanum 3.10


Hobo, with his halting heart, inches toward summer.
Lonely (without his little tree of Jesse
planted in mind) he looks to the peony's
lush purple sphere, in its backyard cloister.

His rusty railroad ties, his crown, askew...
a derelict King Dave, without a Shulamith.
Mumbling his way to happiness – a river-myth
swollen with sighs. When the singer threw

himself from the gilt-woven bridge, into
the stream of Ocean – it was a baptism
in reverse (a divination of the salty womb).
I woke from a St. Louis dream, not long ago :

the Gateway Arch (lanthanum highway-brow).
Hobo would understand. His hungry song
for Helen hale and whole (or Mom) flung
harmonies like peonies from distaff soil. Pow-

wow of primal mundus-mound – cathedral pile –
ultra-calibrated (Finnish) tail-spun steel – O
vain little man (with humming hammer-wheel)
triangulate your clover now – and stay awhile!

The heart's bleak poverty consigns its prairie
prayer. My love will have an answer (O
) – the fateful rhythm of the river-
flow (an exhalation of the soul's

glory, Hobo). By the gate of mourning,
morning. On the ridge of the plateau
of Providence, where grows the pennyroyal
monarch's mint (square root). A kingly thing.


Lanthanum 3.9


A beautiful Memorial Day. In the shade
of the old patio, the root-beer scent
of spindly purple irises, a lure
meant for butterfly, or little girl. And cradled

in the wayward garden, a light breeze. Light.
Let memory go wayward too (that monarch
wavering to Mexico). I remember the dark
gray granite of the Middle Ages, the white

dust of a road into Wyoming heights.
I remember leaping for joy alone on a highway
in Vermont. I remember the battle of Monterey,
near the pine mountain where the monarch lights.

And the vanishing point where memories go.
Your furtive history, elusive Psyche-
soul. Limestone and river, slant lichen-
covered slab – epitaph for one veteran shadow

felled abruptly in the midst of an engagement
(labor-pangs). Where the little flags quiver
like would-be monarch-wings; mosquitoes hover
by compliant willows (mourning weeds). Bent

over his shovel, blackened by sun, invisible
as the lattice of a chain-link fence, the gardener
(or gravedigger), unnoticed, shoots a tender
glance, unseen, toward disconsolate Psyche-soul –

all the memoirs of Memorial Day are mingled there.
Where cypresses curvet toward a single point
on high, above the trembling soil, expectant – as
that groundskeeper extrapolates the angle (into air).


Lanthanum 3.8


Sunday in Providence, blue sky
and rain. Thunder. Sunlight refracted
through shifting gray. The dogwood's deflected
petals are scattered notes, leaf-glossolalia

unglued from the spine of a broken horse, or
windblown from an open walnut chest... Blackstone's
lost epistle, whistled down the lee – mere bones
of some departed breath (alluvial, leftover).

Someone shuffles through the dregs of memories,
Memorial Day. Not Blackstone exactly, not Hobo –
their shadow, secretarial – amanuensis, echo.
Ghost of a breeze, ruffling the dogwood screed.

Leaves lean against each other, fold on fold,
fumbling to compost, finally. So these thick tomes
of parallactic palimpsest – loom into loam-
kingdom (castles of one lake-love, long retold).

So Hobo's longing to disperse like rain in wheat
meets Blackstone's willing solitude, his Lenten eye;
and in mute lack-love (cantering mutually)
they frame a lean-to for vast vanishment.

As if the longing for unbroken mother-love
and memory of freedom's fatherhood
met in one transient's dogwood record-
log – an old rose raftered in a pine alcove.

As if their memoir (mounded with the Indian)
reached back through every lattice of held
pain – a metamorphosis, instilled
now, molten, universal. Monarch's van.


Lanthanum 3.7


In mid-May Minneapolis, the lilacs reign.
Enveloping roads and lakes, an ever-present
scented empire, theirs (invisible, innocent).
In late dusk-glow we drove the river road again,

my father and I. He showed me the old apartment
(Kearsarge, 15th St.) his diffident Uncle Shelley
was donated, to keep him straight. Told me
about his grandmother, Jessie Ophelia – opulent

Cleopatra Desdemona, her sister – daughters
of St. Louis riverboat captain. I remember
my gr-grandmother (known simply as Mom) –
blind, close to 100, at the head of the dinner

table, under that jolly panorama (Washington
and Lafayette, dancing). Going to see her
at the nursing home, with a curious fear
of the blind python (Tiresias) – soon

displaced by gentleness (hers) and childish
boredom (mine). Jessie Ophelia, the river-
girl. Now somewhere far, with the Ojibwa
(Sunset Land). Back of my mind (a wish,

a river-wash, a whisper-flow). These
celebrated names – out of Poe, Shakespeare,
vernacular hotels, recitals... float there,
fondly – Psyche, Ligeia (sprites in a frieze

across a Petersburg ceiling). Begins
in the shallows, then runs deep. These
ladies of the lilac barge will ride the breeze
magnetic, magnetized (your river-twins).


Lanthanum 3.6


The lilacs already out now, like miniature pines
of Istanbul fragrance... I think Maximus
would have had a word for them – his
constancy of apperception finding the parallel

lines. For me, only a memory.
Lilac Lanes (St. Louis Park, near Minneapolis).
A shopping center. Where I took my first
guitar lessons (the highway nestled in those flowery

passages). The teacher not much older than me
(but wiser). Emerson to my Whitman (spontaneous
rambunction is the key). Young Dylan surfaces
from the Iron Range, a Tin Pan melody

of golden haze. Works the trouble, trebles
the pain into perfect synchronyms (those
offhand chords). And the world is fizz.
It works. The music magnifies, with bubbles.

And then somehow the calliope ran off
the circus rails. The old harmonium
sounds flat. Henry Hobo-bum
is left holding his kit-bag (cough, cough).

Only a memory. If every lilac bloom
could last forever... well, they wouldn't.
Be lilacs. And David's Shulamith, Solomon's
Sheba... every rose repaints their plangent,

transient gloom. A hobo spring. Of shades.
Oasis for stragglers, nomads. You
and I, old friend, tzigane. By the willows
of Babylon. Arose, shalom, shalom. Out of Sheol.


Lanthanum 3.5


Cloud and sun, an April wind. Limestone
lanthanum-radiance – shy, secretive, behind
slow-roving grey. He marks his rubicund
Rose Island diary (weather's wayward

son). Lanthanum, somewhere (polished
to a mirror-bend) signals a glint of raven-
shadowed jay, or plummeting halcyon – or
eagle in a child's great gouache...? Might be.

Might be your ever-present absent friend,
Hobo – one flicker of a dark eyelash.
Plunging to earth and silence (wash of
wave – those heart-burst tears – land's end).

Where the light-road leads, one April morning.
There are these women, who accompany the bier
of Lazarus, with limping step
... near, near.
You their song's burden, Hobo (mourning's air).

A lone dove in the pussy-willow paces
my tootling, marking slow time. My mother's
gray hair, gone all white
. Lanthanum's where
the final flame burns clear – it simplifies

the simple word (more than enough for me,
that dove intones). Toward the old limestone
shaping her steadfast stream, onward and on.
Toward the milky eye (a-brim, spontaneously)

that seems to penetrate all things – beginning
with the bees' domain (yon honeyed hexagon
hung from an almond limb). Hobo's dear one,
inhabiting his song. Their light-flung road.


Lanthanum 3.4


It rains all day across the sleepy town
on Holy Saturday. Between Passover,
Easter. Hobo twirls a green clover
between his fingertips. He's on his own.

The hollow gray of absent almond J
seems to stand for an ancient enmity, still
unreconciled... though we have indeed all
drunk from the everlasting well. Amen. Selah.

And Hobo and his ne'er-do-wells (lightweight
poets, dreamers, Beats) figure a familiar
impasse. What to make of Adam's labor
in the dust, and property – of all sedate

hard-purchased husbandry – beside their trilling
Eden-visions? Perhaps, somehow, these two
knots are entangled, under Babylon willows...
the road to Paradise spun through their mingling.

Blackstone, Maximus make Lenten offerings
for wayward prodigality. A service
of remembering, only (and charity). It is
an emblematic echo – icon of that singular

surrendering (inimitable and complete).
Gift of God-in-God, and God-in-Man –
of God-with-us, in us
. Redemption
(it is finished). Now the Paraclete

breathes fire behind stray roving clouds,
slow-rambling spring rain; the otherness
of an outcast almond tree is still with us –
its wavering hobo-stem (rooted) still sings.


Lanthanum 3.3


That river of milk, that torrent out of Africa.
A royal stream, through infinite sand. Up Nile
to Memphis delta, mapped like some Old Faithful
(or a brainstem beech). And that Moses-fella,

lifting Pharaoh's serpent-rod against itself
on behalf of the slaves (home folk). Stand
of the common law – say, Coke against Bacon
(that Crown man's bland yet supercilious craft)

for rights of Englishmen (trailing back
and back to the shepherd's shack. . . the local
plowman's heavy bullock's heart). And withal,
Blackstone. Williams. Pungent square-root

(stalk of dusty mint). O the infant whisper
of those meticulous sapphire spheres! Silence
rounds the word with knotted wool (deep, dense).
Love's entrance, lighter than linden-leaf (there,

there... my child, my dear). & if I were Cézanne
I would sketch those interlacing needle-swords
of pine branches, across the street – beside
the old Episcopalian (Tudor-style) church. Then

outline my clumsy figure of a man. On a balcony,
in Memphis, one gray morning (near Palm Sunday).
Yesterday. Only the final rude display
of evil-hearted impotence. To take away

our Prince, with violence? You cannot take away
the orbiting bridegroom, beaming bride (they
have shaken the dust from their feet). O Milky
Way... light, light. Time's wedding day.


Lanthanum 3.2


A cloudy April day. These pewter skies
of early spring, moving like a mirror
over the gray concrete town – where you're
not near. Gone. Pining Hobo sighs and sighs.

There's the Milky Way (a silver ring, remote,
mysterious, magnificent) and then
there's a mulberry tree by a wooden
fence, on Milk Street (London, long ago).

A cozy room looks out where Thomas More
(by window-light) writes his last will and
testament (familiar, private, un-Utopian) –
walks in mind toward that peaceful hour

he must meet scaffold and Maker. Fatal
crux of his faithful devotion – London's
famous vanishing point (bleak Tyburn,
by the stream, in Marylebone). We all

must meet there, ponders Everyman –
on the scaffold-stage. You can hear music
of the weak pipe
, when they consecrate
unhallowed ground with an undertone

then turn together (hobbling round) to bring
new brightness from the grave, a flowering.
And O further back and further back, sing
the holy beggars and Franciscans, mewling

at the breast of Jordan-spring – there where
a grey blur hovers between blue and green
and further back and back again... light air
for shepherd's flute – blind man's bluff tune.


Lanthanum, bk. 3


An April morning, cloaked in grey fog.
I walk to work up Morris Avenue
past yellow-domed Temple Emanu-el,
that beehive-prototype (hexagonal)

of every temple on the earth. Almond
flower, mother of the church, gold
sun-kissed breast, all sunlight – hold me
now, enfold me in your warmth

Magdalen, all-round). Like some Cézanne
I would exude slow sappy color-oils
rapt away in my vision quatrefoil...
faint distant hubbub of a Bruegel-scene

flickering beneath a wintry raven-brush;
slow Flemish-Netherlandish woolen-flesh
within the weighty, sleepy stone, awash
with suffering blood, Burgundian. Shshsh...

– hear ice boom in the waking stream.
One mellow Anglican, walking a middle way
might stand for remote medieval memory.
Blackstone the arborist, with his rude beam

stakes up an ancient rose. And it is not
vanity, it is not sentiment, it is not
Romance sets him like a lantern (pivoting
through crooked night). It is the owl's note

skimming through the dark, it is the raven's
signet ring, it is the shuddering cedar mast
that would outride the hurricane. Ballast
and anchor, incarnate gravity... flesh-haven.

The proud, irascible mind returns eventually
to its motherland. And the lantern gleams –
a miniature sun above cascading streams.
Mountain laurel (jade forest memory).


Lanthanum 2.24


The Providence day warms into Provençal
birdsong, all around. Promise of the sun :
another year. And solitary Blackstone
sets out his seedlings, readies his medieval

plow (rough palms at rest – a festal
Palm Sunday). Midnight in St. Petersburg
sun saturates the yellowish bridgework
and Palladian facades – delicate, gradual –

inevitable as Bach, Stravinsky, summer.
The universal weight, the atomic number
of a single secret element (a snowdrop
buried in burnt umber soil). Homer's

lodestone Ithaka. Everyman's home.
The weather in spring (a certain cosmic
inconstant)... this the modest matrix
of your psychological backyard (Jerusalem).

My mother loves bright Minnesota snow.
But long ago (with some Cézanne plein-air
panache) she saved (in oils) two elderly,
drab-coated dames, gathering early

flowers in a threadbare, gloomy yard.
I wish John Berryman had seen them too.
He lies not far away, across the Mile-
Long Bridge
, in Resurrection Cemetery –

waits there with Yeats & with Villon,
with Mandelstam, Akhmatova & Whitman
too. He sleeps like a medieval mason
under the milky, evanescent, limestone

smile he raised – arched with paradoxical
unlikely strength, of muttering lips
and river-flow – until the long ellipse
of history replays their sheepfold madrigal.


Lanthanum 2.23

for my parents
on their (58th) anniversary

So Hobo, carrying his heavy heartache,
tried hard to find his bearings, listening
to silvery flute sounds, haunted, emanating
from a screen of Russian willows, by a lake...

and his longing lengthened like an endless Volga
circling the universe, his absent little almond
tree resembling someone further off – a blue-
green pine, perhaps (near Lake Itasca).

And the shoulders of the shades gathered round
his droopy shoulders – Blackstone, Maximus.
Low voices, muttering a kind of peace
which passeth understanding
(brooding sound

of rock dove, mourning dove). They said :
your anxious anguish that will not depart
is evidence
(scored limestone) of a greater
heart – some deeper matrix, mingled and

conjoined with all that is
. All-penetrating
milk of human kindness, like a morning
mist that slowly lifts – first radiance
of spring. And then they led him, singing,

to the crest of Providence, her ancient town :
near her mother's grave, and the tree-root home
of Roger Williams (that empty tomb) : come,
, they said... and Hobo (that weary clown)

finally opened his eyes, and understood.
His patient limestone, like the milky pages
of a long-lost book, shone forth the meaning
of slow-beaten time – her eyes (blue-emerald).


Lanthanum 2.22


And Hobo in his lonesomeness needs Blackstone
in his solitude, on Study Hill, under the Cumberland
stars, beside the quiet river. A friend
to Narragansetts, Wampanoags. & all alone.

Plants an orchard, nurtures earliest American apple.
Blackstone's Yellow Sweeting (yellow and black,
the colors of Petersburg, Jerusalem). Off
the beaten track, riding his pet bull

into exile. Blackstone, a kind of Livingstone
to Roger's Stanley (hidden in the jungle).
The one who goes before – tangles
with wilderness – pioneer avant

la lettre
. Marries, in old age, a young widow
with teenage son. Fills copious notebooks.
Shaded by Catholic Oak, preaches unstinting
brave & heartfelt charity, good works. . . and so

lost years flow by. When Blackstone sleeps
the dream vines infiltrate his hair. He grows
more tree-like, oak-like – motionless almost
in a morning Paradise of limpid river-steeps

under an emerald almond eye-canoe
that hovers curiously abaft the pyramids.
It is the dream-light of an early love (kids
know it – gaze all-trusting toward their true

heart's anchor – Indian Guide). It is
the stone that Jesus rested in his hand;
old Peter's crown, the hair of Magdalen;
dawn limestone river-cave for Berryman.


Lanthanum 2.21


Hobo lounges on the bench at Prospect Terrace,
hobo and bench both moldering down toward
moss-veined ruin. He shuffles 57 cards,
a fresco-painter with astigmatism – places

the figures of twelve Kings, Queens, Jacks
against the backdrop of a stable scene
(all memorized). His bench a Levantine
galley or desert ark – his course a parallax

off the western hook of Roger's stone eyebrows
(emergent from that brooding Roman brow
of cliff over Providence). How
halting, tentative his fable grows!

At the brow of reality... some early world...
a graying pidgin-pigeon captain's hobble-wobble
step. Shy self-revolving iteration (mumble-
throat, rain-circlet). A mason's swirling

river-catacomb, cupped in the palm
of his hand. One flowering almond eye
of a loving universe... or loving YHWH
of the Way (mint-savor of a child-kingdom).

It was the will informing Williams, copestone
servant at the crown of Blackstone's emerald hill;
a risky dove-dive toward the incomprehensible
mourning-morn of time itself... Thy will be done.

So that the kid may gallivant again
in her basilica & clover kibbutz, barefoot,
unafraid... the peaceful taproot rise anew
from limestone spring, toward the sun.


Lanthanum 2.20


Spring colors the ground with crocus-crayon.
The way a silent Cézanne anchors his canvas
with heavy apples, a phalanx of blue-green pine-
branches. Where nothing was, a piñon-canyon.

In some such way, the whole cosmos pivots
on a melted snowflake, stilled in memory.
Oscillates like a see-saw – children at play
between brush and color, things and thoughts...

Maximus too (long-bearded, thin-fading) held
that snowflake in his mind, like a North Star –
one honey-character, indelibly imprinted there.
A brooding dove-hen, sharing out its world

of warmth and sufferance... the seal
of Solomon, its wisdom-sign. Yellow-
gold, sewn into wheatfield. Glow
of sunset, sinking into earth. Doom-bell's

iron farewell. Blackstone's only candle.
Til he walks out the door of his lonely shack
and wanders (like Hobo) down out back... lifts
his eyes to the dark sky, with its ice-mantle

of myriad arctic points (all aflame in their places).
Magnanimous feeling wells up toward those signalling
night-pickets – guarding the watch on high, pacing
the sleepy ground with their airy pantomime –

as if the pivot of the universe were projected,
mapped onto an infinite field of blue sparks.
Pure mercurial frost-beams (parked
aloft, above the cemetery – resurrected).


Lanthanum 2.19


Whatever it is that sustains this constant stream
of Blackstone River into Narragansett Bay,
it must be near, and hidden, and silver-grey,

muttered Hobo to himself. Some dove-trireme,

some Argo-baton, with whirring, rowing wings
And the river flowed between steep limestone banks
golden by day and ghostly-gray by night (thanks
to triangulating light-rays, sped through rings

of floating cloud-armadas); rippled around
the spiny ridge of Providence, below
that six-sided, gold-acorned, yet sweetly-
modest Temple Emanu-el (trombone profound)

lit to bright chrome by every morning ray.
Must be a kind of invisible milk, a Milky Way,
the old collapsed Franciscan murmured; say,
God's breast – we're nursing it secretly all day

(White Russians, maybe)... so he hobbled a-hum
down hardscrabble streets, by the piloting palm
of rugged Roger, at his fo'c'sle. In the sky-realm
overhead, angelic Maximus, of old Byzantium,

aboard an emerald Argo, gazed upon Hobo
like an icon carved in silver-blue mosaic –
with beams of kindliness. For this one's sake
the King of kings indeed made himself Hobo

of hobos
, he declared. And Hobo, glancing up
saw two rose-emerald islands, almond-shaped,
meld in one catamaran : each held the other
cupped in clouds, swaying – like a gyroscope...


Lanthanum 2.18


The ides of March. First crocuses appear
in Caesar's royal purple, with a red-gold cap.
Julius returning from the grave, as Corporal
Bloom – the ruler of this world dispersed,

spread wide in little javelins of green.
Hobo, too, would be scattered into seedy
vacancy. His mind withdrawn, gone
weedy, scarce... a sleepy wind-sown

has-been. Here involuted flowers grow
beneath a milky, mist-ringed moon
and the silver-gray of his turpentine pining
brushes across a curving spray-wrought prow

near Meganom. Longing is the royal seal
(his father's seal) of Providence. How long,
how long
? The timbre of his hobo-song, gone
stealing (toward his own far 57th parallel).

He'll find his friend there, in the netherworld
by the tree of bird-souls, with Persephone
– the one who balanced heavy gravity and
tender grace (orbiting twin roses, whorled

into one). And that Blackstone-Maximus
who celebrates with plumbline and with rule
an equilibrium of Man and God (beneath calm
wings of a grey dove, hovering in suspense

over the dome of human and divine wisdom).
An amassing confluence of silver trumpets
spreads like opening sunlit clouds... so Hobo's
impetuous dream unfolds. His wayward freedom.


Lanthanum 2.17


The muffled rattling of willow branches, silver-
grey and green, beginning to bud beneath
gray skies. The pussy willows like small fleets
of green-grey galleys (Black Sea water-spiders)

or the faded wool of some mandorla-Magdalen,
head bowed (eyes laughing, lips starting to smile).
Rabbi, I haven't seen you in a while.
I thought you were the nursery man – old Ben.

Words spill from shocked, exhausted lips.
Wan lips of children punished for too long.
Silent melody beaten out of them. Innocent
song (by snarling envy) almost utterly eclipsed.

And my silence is the No of William Blackstone
and the Nay of Roger Williams. The Nein
of the White Rose worn by grey-eyed children
crushed beneath dull footwear of a futile dungeon.

And this noise of mine the woolly nonsense of thin
willow branches, shuttling like a weaver's hand
with a willful air – as when a child's mind,
sleepy, slips into moonlit pond (some quiet lane

in Corot's oueil). So the silver underside
of Russian olive leaves, the whisper of infinite
beseeching ghosts. Earth grips them – rooted
tight. Globed in its golden winecup (blood-red

now). We'll shun the words that kill.
Thou shalt not kill. Walk back into the forest
until we reach the tallest pine (dove-nest
of lovebirds, after the flood). Be done, sd Will.


Lanthanum 2.16


This milky end-of-winter light, so meek
and mild. Rhymes with the tentative cheeps
of a stray goldfinch – with the moderate steeps
of yellow limestone banks, the calm, hop-along-

arches of St. Anthony bridge (Minneapolis).
Memorial Day. A picnic, for my birthday, by
Minnehaha. Hunting arrowheads, feathered away
between Permian shale fossil-shards...

Now, in wavering weather, when bashful shoots
bend up from shambles of old glacier-ground,
like drowsy Hobo or nocturnal Blackstone
I'd sound shy backwaters, shady roots –

everything muffled under thunderous day.
Follow along some disused railroad line
past snow-patch, junk-sprawl, bantam pine
– the haywired-hopeful backyard disarray

of each untutored spring (lank anthem).
Down the forsaken track to far Byzantium
(phantom freight-train, hooting hesychasm)
where an old monk with Blackstone-problem

formulates apt measure for the whole
concord. A child's accordion, wheezing
and piping like a sunny froth of sparrows...
each flighty, light-quickened, franciscan soul

floats tethered to the milky limestone floor.
A lingering, hovering breeze from the ravine
upholds the slant wings of an unknown falcon-
dove (signalling mercy-seat in semaphore)

and Hobo's somehow grateful for the destitution
of his empty station. The tremulous light
is enough for him, on the old wooden boards
and down the tracks. Freedom is light. Light.


Lanthanum 2.15


Orpheus, on board the Argo, en route toward
snowy Lazicum across the sea, sang not
of Jason's golden fleece, but of his unforgot
Eurydice – with sighing wind assuaged his troubled

mind. Atop the leaning mast, he seemed to see
one star more brilliant than the rest – its spectral
shimmer hovered round that pinnace-pinnacle as if
one helical snowflake chambered an astral honeybee.

Meanwhile, in Lazicum (the real, not fabulous
domain – a cell of morbid, frigid stone) lay dove-
grey Maximus (master of theological flute-play);
he saw the same star wink to him, beyond the walls.

And in Jerusalem, by the Damascus Gate,
the graceful master of mosaic (with a wave
of coral pebble-wand) resurrects King Dave
as Orpheus – throned with lyre amid intricate

acanthus leaves, gazelles and lions, bears
and partridges (entranced, becalmed). Time
effaces even David's face – but not his rhyme;
longings of lazy Orpheus, Lazicum's prisoners

become the same long sigh (cicada-drone);
and the lingering candle of lonely Blackstone,
looking out across his empty arbor (after the
sun goes down) echoes that lamp above Cherson.

In the grey kingdom of Persephone, Eurydice
waits patiently beside the grave of cousin
Lazarus. Orpheus unwinds his shroud. One heart-
wrung Magdalen looks up... sees who
? I see, I see!


Lanthanum 2.14


Blackstone. His homemade farm, his Study Hill
in Cumberland, by Narragansett river –
fruitful, skewed meteor of hermit-scholar
(Anglican, without portfolio). Friend of Rog. Will.

Here the cyclorama of a mental universe
framed birdfoot notebooks, parallel lines.
And like a hunter collaring his falcons
Blackstone wondered at stars, immersed

in their orchestrations... their ink-blue field.
The Southern Cross lifted its mast (orthogonal,
aslant) from his horizon. Slate-grey hymnal,
Common Prayer... here history is sealed

within a sliver-sacrifice. Number our days.
Blackstone uncorked a flimsy scroll (Greek-Latin-
Hebrew, Orthodox). Maximus the Eremite –
whose constant gaze wed contraries (on Earth

as it is in Paradise). Wherein the scrawny
one-pawed martyr scribbled out a simple letter
to his friends, disciples, enemies... (a better
formula for self-surrender). And the

only one. Where indeterminate pervasive
(limestone) surface rhymes with single snow-
flake. Where the solidarity of general woe
meets one commanding apostolic call (to give)

and the 50 stars of the Jubilee join the six-
sided honeycomb of her design (in a bell's
aye) – the heavy yoke of slaving centuries
repealed (beside yon Magdalen-mediatrix).


Lanthanum 2.13


Three days from now, the curious Kepler spacecraft
sheers away – to waltz three years around the sun.
An array of (57 or so) sensitive lenses (spun
with lanthanum oxhide) will zero in on shafts

of thread-thin shadow, infinitely microcosmic
absences of light. Tracks of possible companion
planets – tiny blue dots of rain and ocean
signifying life-nest (heimlich – nigh-human picnics).

Meanwhile Hobo, Blackstone, old King Dave, all
zero in on one dank limestone river-cave,
where Mississippi light pings upward from a grave.
Love's unquenched anguish permeates each wave,

propels each searching heartbeat. Sunk beneath
the West Bank surf, a cavern-archive hives
his poems (buried Berryman). What survives
that plaintive blizzard of spent pipesmoke – wraiths

of ashes, loosened from the bridge? Resurrection
Cemetery keeps his bones for Jubilee (through
an eternity of snow). He saw it coming too –
after the seared straw, the drowned vermin

skip from his guttered, quavering soul. So
they gather by the river there, those three –
three musky Minnesota tears. They also see.
Bill folds his memoir into slate notebooks. O

dove-wing bookend, dovethroat-rain-bowstring
King Dave unbends one taut-suspended 7th toward
his poisonous bull's-eye. And Hobo (orphan-ward of
almond glance) croons a farewell... (like a bee-sting).


Lanthanum 2.12


Sunshine passing through a golden bee's eye.
Some hexagonal Byzantine honeycomb home.
Or simple winter light through hippodrome-
shaped snowflake – it glows like the sky

through that cyclopean octagonal rose
in Paris. And you're alone like a snowdrop
Solomon's seal – trembling like a bellhop
under the gauze of Caesar's dog-day gaze.

Tout le monde (in one almond eye) await
the Merovingian return. Those golden bees
out of their sacred cryptogram... a frieze
of martyrs still betrays – obscures your fate.

Lost kings for a lost people. In Siberia
snow congeals into a solid plate of glass.
Between the Twin Cities, a blurry walkway
bridges the Mississippi – Berryman's era

ended here
. Specific gravity compels each fall;
the spinning vortex of his vertigo
a rude awakening for old Hobo,
who put his shadow up against a limestone

wall. This sickly-yellow cavern-light
that ricochets up from the riverbank –
it's omnipresent, everywhere. In the wink
of a pigeon's eye, in the slate-gray flight

of ubiquitous bourgeois cobblestone flocks...
and somewhere a frostbitten musician fans
a palm across a six-stringed lyre. Begins
to strum. Ice thunders in the river-locks.


Lanthanum 2.11


March marches in, a feral feline – the sturdy
little spruce is covered with snow. Still spruce,
though. Little spruce, let's say your sturdiness
is representative. Of Hobo's steadfast adoration

for his wayward friend. She's gone not-gone;
her dark hair tangled like a Tatar's out of Taurida
thaws a reed beneath his frozen sea-chest. Ahh...
my doe, ray me... direct my vulgar boat-song

toward your distant Zuyder Zee
... he mumbles
in his sleep. A drowsy Orpheus, lost in Taigetos.
He sees a winter sunlamp, whose hex-vertices
converge upon a vortex-pinnacle – and melting,

tumble up into a delta-spout (as if four rivers
mingled in one Nile). Now all the rusty oars
of every rower rustle their tremulous tremolos
together, vibrate in unison : as water-spiders

dart and dance upon a pond, the fleet
on swift feet speeds across the sea.
They behold your dark crown, Medea –
your spectrum-collar (Paraclete) –

and round the promontory, into the sunlit wind.
On the crest of that thundering cliff, a modest
monastery dome presides, abides. Maximus
the martyr's bones are buried there. So send

this message to the coastlands, far and wide :
the one who went before (that minor miner
in the gloomy tombs – your mother, father) still
remains, still stands (a spruce-tree in a snowslide).


Lanthanum 2.10


This was your town; your mother's buried here.
And every town's like every other town
in its unlikeness. Strange root of your own
soul, in solitude. Utter loneliness. The pioneer

of your own life. Amid infinite, intricate depths
of an inland sea – where flowers grow,
Grandfather listened to Puccini (RCA
Victor). Wrote to his cousin, on the steppes

of Nebraska (long ago, across the wide prairie).
And all of these things disappear toward evening
going to join your mother there (it's snowing
in Swan Point tonight). A heavy mystery.

Like that hieroglyphic Founder fixed on the terrace
I want to lay the hidden limestone cornerstone.
I want to build the wall of a lasting Zion-
replica, another city on a hill (your emerald necklace,

evergreen). What he meant by liberty
when he named it Providence (peace, security
– born out of fairness, kindness). Solidarity.
Civilization (planted, rooted – fed with equality).

We're all caught up in this same snow that falls,
shaping inimitable patterns on the forlorn streets
(the waiting streets). Those ancient fleets
that sailed across a Black Sea rimmed with exiles

saw the same stars hang like heavy candelabras
overhead. And that woman in the graveyard,
near the massive stone rolled back, whispered
the same word that your mother spoke. (Rabbi...)


Lanthanum 2.9


Winter gradually withdraws, lento for Lent
(White Army in retreat from Kiev). Hobo
shambles along his pockmarked avenue
chasing a fey silhouette. He's forgotten

the source of her first quickening – just
misses her. Quick quick now (here, gone)
tell me the name of that bird, my son.
His flashlight memory (low batteries, rust).

In Pipestone they make flutes out of soft rock.
Lazy smoke threads up through the mild air.
Premonition of spring, you signal everywhere.
Even here, in this cobwebbed antique-

shop of a town, everything rewinds (prescient,
instinctual) – ice cracks, the streams
plunge between ancient limestone seams
again, at will... a soft light filters through

the fundament. Where from? Wherefore?
A yearning, searchful soul seeks out its source
(strong blind flow deflected from its course)
and morning, opulent and calm, still pours

her slowly-circling reply; on the Terrace
the local pioneer still shoulders the timber
of yesterday, the whole forgotten lumber-
room of history – it will not be erased.

Hobo's heart lifts (remembering her).
The slow, slow panorama sails – wheels
from the horizon's rim. A Kievan bell peals.
And we rise at the sound like a drowsy choir.


Lanthanum 2.8


Rubbish of late winter. Unburied contraptions,
rusted wheels. Plunged, askew, sunk deep
in mud. Rasp of iron hinges on a windblown
reaper. Frenetic epileptic conniptions

of a febrile collagiste (things pile up).
A nervous colonial, forever glancing back
over his shoulder – looks for an echoing look
(some sign, some figure). An empty cup

points toward processional waterfalls
of stars – geste of a people, under siege.
Angels circuiting with molten swords, my Liege
History's junk shop – you get lost there, fellas.

Remorseful morning is another story, now.
Tentative sunrise through pastel clouds
mingles a girlish gouache with later moods
– shakes out her hair (a wave-splashed brow)

across dew-lit fields (where mowers mow).
These early adventures sink into a crowd
of happenstance... life slows into mold.
So the gods withdraw (over the rainbow...).

On a plain flat plane, a wooden oval, Cézanne
mixes his oils, contrives an evergreen.
A pear, a mountain, someone's eye. Seen
once, in the heart of things (his master plan).

The crossweave of his clumsy, delicate brush-
stroke makes shadows linger, colors harbor
(clear, deep, warm). Now you are somewhere
in the south of France (don't run, don't rush).

Minneapolis and Providence, Jerusalem
and Petersburg (Byzantium). One russet
blood-mandala glows, endures (Mount Olivet).
She waits by a tomb – hears a plowman hum.


Lanthanm 2.7


Old ash tree in a world of ash, my mast,
you plant a smudge-seed (like a third eye)
on the brow of Guillem Blackstone, aye. The
President of Vice abides – but sniffs his last

ahead. He'll melt like an ancient wicked witch
when springtime comes, for good. It is
foretold. Meanwhile, the world roils in its
man-made dust. Oppression, violence, rich

against the poor. Guillem huddles by his candle-
tree, his crystal ball (of melted snow and tears);
hears eager cheeping of the early birds, their
hopeful tidings – welcome, garden-year! Handle

With Care
. St. Francis feeds them in his ecstasy.
No form, no comeliness, no tailored suit, no one
desires him, notices at all. A trilling monotone
under his breath, an oddball humming (Abba-sigh).

And Hobo? Hungover Hobo makes a collage
from dumpster scraps, presses dirt to his brow
to forestall the rain. Somewhere, aloft now,
tender, elliptical lips shape a mirror-mirage –

ship like a dome, like a green-eyed almond, afloat.
As if the crown of a scraggly hillside tree
were a glass trained on Sirius, magnifying
the sun. In the form of a man. See? (Mote

in your eye. Beam.) Meanwhile good Guillem
and goodly Will cross paths, over and over –
crosshatch a kindly kingdom (freedom's rovers).
Their world is yours – a providential garden. (Hmm)...


Lanthanmu 2.6


Hobo, en masque, stumbles through an endless
Mardi Gras – a dizzy sailor, on the last leg
of his last legs. Missing his lass, Peg-
in-a-Hole, by a mile (signalling General

Distress). Shipped aboard the glistening
Argo, as she whispered toward Colchis –
or was it a Byzantine corvette (hiss
of prow of prison-ship) hastening

Maximus to his grave? Displaced here,
like Indians in New Orleans? The squalor
of yesterday's waterlog (history) – the garbled
lore of a Noah (drowning in his cups)? Where?

Yet that live-oak tree, bearded with hanging green...
creaks in the stormwind, mutters (cling to the mast,
cling to me
). Climbs from the swamp, everlasting,
evergreen (amid mortified collapsing leanness,

moss). You will set aside the heavy costumes
tomorrow, all these elaborate silken veils.
The jealousy that wrings your heart, impaled
upon its broken mast, will depart (assume

another guise). Lent's emptiness begins.
The rough candelabra of a northern pine
reaches up for starlight, over Blackstone's
house. His loneliness flames there, brightens;

under the shadow of those craggy branches
lovelorn solitude finds passing peace.
High charity folds arms of golden fleece
around his shoulders. Homeward Argo skims.