On the Afterlife (You know, the thing that comes after the Beforedeath)

Oh there’ll be no forty maidens,
Cloud-clad angels, sainted bliss:
All your Luthers and Bin Ladens
Are just food for worms—or fish;
So relax my anxious faithful
And pursue some truer myth:
“Afterlife”—the thought’s a tangle!
Life always comes before death.

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words

              words
echo with the ghosts
of almost wholly-lost
              worlds
                            but for them
                            nothing remains
                                         at all—nothing
              words hold
though only airily
              the fragile bones
of yesterday
                           loose as breath
                           but holding yet
                                          and tightening

Four Poems (Rhymes in April)

Captive Flux
Who named the days? Tell me who!
What god or beast?
Valhallan? Olympian? Jupiter’s priest?
What lion in what zoo?!

And why label the gloriousness
Of our sun-bound spins?
Our relation to the fire begins
And ends anew each day, nameless.

Haydn
Your music is inside me, Joseph—
The wind in Cretaceous fronds soothing my mammalian mothers,
The pressure forming strings of iron in the earth
Around my burrowing fathers,
The skin under my flesh,
Wind in my chest—
Your notes echo
In marrow,
Bones bored like flutes, mere oaten reeds
To sound your serenades.

To April
Chaucer, Eliot, Millay:
Poets have many things to say
To April. What would I say to it?
Nothing—it is a construct.
Yes, the moon turns,
The earth too (to dust),
The sun burns
Out days, but I distrust
All timeframes, the rigid
Collars of clock time
Dripping days digit by digit,
And the natural, cycling kind
Appearing to repeat, like April,
Like Friday, all coming alive,
But actually being new and making older, a mill
Grinding all things into grime,
Grimmer and gaunter grains
Of being—chains.
And after all
I guess that’s what I have to say to April.

Concerning CERN
Smash it, mash it, bake it in a pie—
White coats, clipboards, standing by;
Crash it, bash it, stand it on its head—
Smaller things are easier said;
Whack it, smack it, give it a thump—
Measure each mote of the insect’s jump.

Two Poems

Nameless, that is what I must be.
But even “I” is a name, and even “be”.
Anything which only is,
I must be as anything which only is.

                                               first thought: “which is like this”

                                               second thought: “which is in this way”

                                               third thought: “which only is”,
                                               might be called the final thought
                                               because it was the chosen one,
                                               but that too is a name.

                                                                       A poem to be called “Final”

Nameless, really,
Slip your name,
                                  the heavy breath of others on your birth,
                                  the heaviness of your own thoughts, of “your” and “own”.
                                  There will always be thoughts,
But let them rise like bubbles from the deep
And free themselves in empty air, leaving the surface calm,
                                                                        the water more fully water.