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).