Psychebabble (or, When I die I want to be made into a nice chest of drawers; or, There’s no man speaks better Latin)

Nothing is speaking to human consciousness:
not the gusts of Olympus blustering our brains;
not the gush of the Ganges bubbling our bodies;
not the snowflake stars dusting the black, or the silences between them, no—
we are just talking to ourselves—

Mother: What, Dan?
Me: Nuthin, I was just talkin to meself.
Mother: Well shur ya couldn’t talk to a nicer fella.
(Well, mothers are supposed to love their sons,
and I suppose most of them do.)

No—we are just talking to ourselves,
our brains rustling: crown of thoughts
a crown of leaves, branches spreading in our heads,
rooting down in the dumb limbs,
spine-trunk, root-nerve, sap-blood, leaves
greening and browning and new buds blooming,
fruits and seeds,
breezes the branches make themselves
by growing (a flung violin makes music too),
and “Timmmmburrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr”!—

Ah the mouths we all are
Tongue-soft and tooth-hard
Spit-shined and enamelled
But red raw and rotten
Suckling and snapping
Laughing and grinding
Talking to ourselves
(Fill it and fill it—
I’m teaching myself Latin!
But there’s always a hole in the middle)

Bucolic I

Tityrus lounges in the shade,
Bees lullaby the sleepy glade,
The reed sings soft, soft as the grass—
Then Meliboeus comes to pass,
Sour Meliboeus and his goats,
Their grumblings putting ends to oats.
         Thus always when one feels pastoral
         Comes some exile with his quarrel.

Couplets (“By protean means propinquity/Inspires not range but unity”)

Though you draw first by chemotaxis,
Perfume is not all your praxis:
Boundless breathings enter me,
And other atoms splinter me,
And rustlings nestle in my ear
Before hair pricks my atmosphere,
And twin eyes spool me up like twine
Till magnet motion moors the spine
And thorns of being stop each pore—
My skin says there is room for more,
And reeling with each fresh impact
Our two expanding worlds contract.

Bits for a Hot and Cold July

All the chocolate in my father’s shop
Melted that Irish heat-wave week into
Small-scale magmatic floods the window
Pelted with heat in unrelenting drop
Drop by softening drop they unformed all
Into ruination and my father pelted
Windowless-wrappered bars into the small
Shop fridge to be newly unmelted

The ice desires to flow and be
Water again (the cold remains);
It’s frozen still, though almost in
That shape it had when lately free

On Reading the Classics

I read Homer and have a thought
Perhaps that Plato also had,
Marvel at Horatian odes
That Marvell loved centuries ago,
Admire a line as did Augustus,
Thinking Virgil did him justice,
Esteem some sentiment in Ovid
Which that same Caesar lamented,
Laugh at Shakespeare like the rabble
In Elizabethan taverns,
Smile at Sappho like a slave
Who hears her singing from a grove,
Commune with minds famous and lost,
And add my echo to the host.