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).