No 18 - September 2002
The Civil Draw
Nimium ne crede colori
In this public place:
Pearls from Paris delicately scrolled
above her discreet decolletage: sensuality
and reason battle to a civil draw.
Her hair swept
frozen in an arctic wind from which
a diamond winks and on her finger
another array for emphasis.
She visits sundry fantasies
gathering them in that sequin-studded purse
for later view as a child
accretes roundest pebbles on the beach--
Only she, discreet aside,
rather hangs them in the air for her spouse
in mock despair to finger as blind
in Braille tries to figure equations destiny.
In this public place:
Her silver shoes on parquet floors enscribe circles
to Sinatra’s songs--faltered love and
fog nights in the spotlight of her mind,
conceiving subterranean plot in plot
where trysts are dreamt and she controls
the ardent lot as if each dispensation
were offered ... No strings attached.
Indiscretion its own reward:
this trolling in the party sea
--love and lure the same.
Absent mystery, sidelong glances toward
the halo of lithe and long, but holds himself
by the silken rein of a kind of self-abnegation.
Self-design in a pattern he and she agreed upon,
long before the spell had dried like the pages
in a book never read, set aside:
A bookend now:
Holding coats, taking bows, drinking more or less,
as the moment arbitrates, an albatross on the wind
that vacantly takes another ride--or
an old man in a chair.
Gradu diverso, unfa via
In this private place:
Cotton melts, a labyrinthine of tourniquets
discloses a shape of routed vows,
and many promises lie on broken floors.
a tumor vies and seeks impletion
while she dines on cookies, crumbs flake
on randy sheets and she reads the gothic tales.
from the pages folded, ambulatory visits,
arias of Puccini spun from strains of Iron Butterfly,
and the doe sweeps suitors with an eye.
She slips into
metamorphosis, a swan on midnight
lakes on whose quiescence a castle grows,
dust cohering in the pages of convoluted corridors.
In this private place
she hears the stranger who by each step
imparts a coming (Hyde, perhaps), but not he
she knows or, even once, cared about.
barefoot on the wooden floor, stained with floods
of toilet leaks, flees the premonitory sound
from this sinistrous figure now upon the floor.
Surrogate visits by acarpous moon
--sighs ignored. Would the dawn delay?
Abdication, shallow dreams of broken routes,
reconstructing from half-drawn veils;
time regained, winning once, sine qua non.
In a pile of broken glass, abrogated cure,
children at the door, speaking in odd tongues.
Gamboling strangers want to know his name.
A bookend, now:
Hearing in the dark, words to window panes,
a broken hand that will not heal--
The semi rolls, the tiger sighs inside
the ambry of the soul.
- 10th Muse
- Angel Exhaust
- Blithe Spirit
- Brando's hat
- Brittle Star
- Cannon's Mouth, The
- Coffee House, The
- Dream Catcher
- Floating Bear, The
- French Literary Review, The
- Frogmore Papers, The
- Global Tapestry
- Grosseteste Review
- Homeless Diamonds
- Interpreter's House, The
- Journal, The
- Lamport Court
- London Magazine, The
- Modern Poetry in Translation
- Monkey Kettle
- Neon Highway
- New Welsh Review
- North, The
- Obsessed with pipework
- Oxford Poetry
- Painted, spoken
- Paper, The
- Pen Pusher Magazine
- Poetry Cornwall
- Poetry London
- Poetry London (1951)
- Poetry Nation
- Poetry Review, The
- Poetry Salzburg Review
- Poetry Scotland
- Poetry Wales
- Private Tutor
- Purple Patch
- Rain Dog
- Reach Poetry
- Review, The
- Rialto, The
- Second Aeon
- Seventh Quarry, The
- Smiths Knoll
- Strange Faeces
- Tabla Book of New Verse, The
- Tolling Elves
- Ugly Tree, The
- Wolf, The
- Yellow Crane, The