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Unfinished Poem


A ball of wire supplants a body
Body of tangled knots of wire
The shirt ripped open to show
The street inside.

The dog that ran those streets
Still runs above the salt caverns,
Past cupolas and porches, rotundas—
And somewhere a river.

And somewhere a train, a track,
And somewhere tears.  Numbness.
Custer’s horse died.  The piano
Player died, and the elevated train

Clattered above crowded streets.
Across the city the time-lapsed storm
Compressed and unloosed itself,
With wings extended, talons drawn.



With wings extended, talons drawn
A splayed, eroded bird lies flattened
On a distant island, primaries reaching
For currents to carry its screech

And soar, but now all flesh
And stench are scoured
Away.  Essence of vanishing, etched
Almost like a fern on stone.

You poke, touch with tiny tongs
The bottle caps, flip-top cans, multi-
Colored string and fibers that refuse
Decay. Think treasure:  trove un-

Covered, miscellaneous swag to adorn
an assemblage of flags, emblems
and bones the saw grass spikes have grown
Up and through and around.



Up and through and around
the forest with fingering wings
the eagle flew… you caught
the feathers’ silhouette

breathless, as if you had ridden
with him, crossed the crags
or tumbled his fierce falls down.
Sign, or circumstance?

Niche or not, think who earlier
trod here, silent, slippered
through the grass at the bottom
of the valley floor

and you somewhere, midway between
the(m)(n) and now, sky and soil,
memory and erasure, the hu(man)
(doc)ument unearthing.



Document.  Unearthing
past paths and phrases allows fugitive
materials to make their way
inside the frame.  Ash. Clay.

Your life is happening
Without you now, raising a new
Surround of sound.  Rust,
inherently transitional, slides

in under the guise of stillness.
Wannabe escapee from this city
of tomorrow, do you struggle
to maintain a pose?  Your photograph

will go on forever, drooping,
but then oddly resuming its position
in the abandoned car park
under matted leaves and stems.



Under matted leaves and stems
Afloat on the surface, the fathoms
Sound.  Whitewash what you can,
Instructions nevertheless remain.

It is wet here, and dark.  Yield, then.
It is important to listen: thrumming
Strings, incessant hum, each step
Bringing you closer to the city,

The ball, the bird and its outspread wings.




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