What Time

These are the times when April as the cruelest month
has been forgotten like that bad memory from years
ago pushed aside to worship the altar of the new.

And yet, and yet

temporal succession cannot be
denied, self cannot be denied, as denial of the
astronomical universe flowing through human veins
is frightful, hidden consolations, desperations toward
rejection of destiny, time’s river irreversible, inflexibly
certain, sweeping all along; time is the substance of which
we are molded—we are time measured out by every
relationship, every sip of morning coffee, each glance at
day’s red end, riding the raging Cronos river knowing
the end is planted in our bellies like a pregnant seed, we
terrestrial beasts hiding beneath the skin’s thin civilization
veneer denying nature as well.

And yet, and yet

we instinctively know even with the rejection of talking
stone, tongued trees, rising sap silenced only by refusal to
hear that we are the fire, fecund flame consumed second
by second & the world is real: catastrophes vociferous of
flood & fire, wars & pandemics, hate & horror on a general
scale, where on the personal we close the bedroom door &
descend into private privilege to the paradox of individual
pain become one single with the general multiplied out in a
grand gallery of illusory mirrors.

And yet, and yet

the paradox of matter & space, continuities, once negated,
spirit driven away by humming machines and measured
cadences reaching out to the very stars beep back materialistic
messages from the void, for when space & time, matter & energy
are no more than Pandora’s empty box, time itself an illusion
couched in the present moment, even the orbiting planets
groan back to us our folly.

And yet, and yet

those who have not forgotten—-those who understand
the combination of the earth, the weather, the people…the roots
who feel the strong raw energy where now the elements choose
only a few

go seek wild places, glaciers & fiords & mountains & deep
forests & the wild brute.
The truth is always just beyond the next hill.

Sol Invictus

The sun, the existential desert brightness
not fit for an owl let alone a man.
How do they endure in Norse countries
the midnight sun?
Maddening that photonic rush
the nuclear hot particles, blood
invasion more bitter than the gritty
taste of Roman sands.
O Lord! Why do you push this flaring
eye illumination upon us?
This lesser god among an infinity
of stellar firepricks that the day
cannot conceal the emptiness beneath the
Earth, the void without a name,
moving at unimaginable speed,
rock & tree & river & air
all falling like Milton’s dream through
centerless realm sprung eons past from
some wall of unknowing.
Take away the fiery radiance that we might


An Aztec priest holding a ritual on a tomato
in the salad. The central pink veins make
up that extinct figure like some Spanish
Conquistador’s sketch. Only thing missing
is the blade slicing down & through the rib
cage in sun honor to make the cosmos run.

The happy lunchers do not see history
walking through their meals as they slurp
soup, munch sizzled meat, devour dessert like
Christmas carnivores.

There are desert prophets in that woman’s beans,
popping champagne corks in the cheese as the
Titanic goes down, black hole in the center of the
brie where grapes orbit caught in a bowl’s gravity.

In the southern sweet tea a Mozart symphony
tinkles out a Roman rhapsody.
Alice dances among the mushrooms sautéed,
Next door Wordsworth in eggs easy over
finds consciousness in far setting suns and
Jack sees spot run.

Finale the meal, history ingested, back to
cars and work the past usurped, all of that
one forgotten burp.

Go Ask Alice

If I would know the kiss in spring,
summer’s stroll with you as Greek
myth walking beside me.
Fall’s embrace before winter’s
ice, the long soundless slumber
& you on the trail as I followed
where you walked barefoot in a
white dress among pointed
acorns, green moss as a rug
& it would be there in that self-
made enchantment
that you would ask me if I
know love’s meaning like
Whitman’s marveling child
puzzled by grass.

For answer go deeper into the
Hawthorne wood, find Alice, engaged in
dance with the Red Queen where
their movements are linked interrogatives,
fractured glaciers carving out, from pole to
pole hieroglyphics fat for interpretation.

Or by the still pool where Narcissus
drowned, one god-given flower only in
remembrance, pluck the bud as a
compass to Sleeping Beauty, let the
aroma wake her reposed with silk
Cherokee hair, skin like a charwoman’s
evening cream—to spit forth the apple
bite from that crystal sepulcher, say,
I don’t know what you mean.
I don’t know at all.

Neither did Juliet, Heloise, or Lady
Macbeth when they blew forth
love’s hyperbole across the minds of
men & drew myth for their dinner.

It is then that the path ends, the
wood with roses & thorns that
pierce the fingers of men &
women where lace is a filament
laid down to be woken by
knowing hands.

The Stag

Strangest thing, just before the switchback an
enormous white blur shot across the trail &
crashed into a thicket of wild mountain laurel
fifty feet down the side of the mountain. Thrashing
among the limbs & brambles like some ghost
locomotive, I thought it must be a dog, like a
St. Bernard. Moving closer it was a ghost deer,
albino fur rain-slicked with a black, burgundy
red streaming over its side. A twelve pointed stag &
as I took in the bizarre scene I saw the life-light
flicker & go out of one earth-brown staring eye as it
snorted a final time.

In its side, an arrow, struck deep to the heart. I
walked carefully closer, looking back, all around
for the hunter. Nothing. A grave-shrouded calm in
the forest, the jade hemlocks dripped rain on its
body offering final absolution.

I bent & pulled the arrow from its frame, expecting a
death lance of machined metal, honed steel razor tip.
Instead, the arrow was made of level-straight sourwood,
crow feathers wound with thin leather strips about the
split end to make it fly true. And the arrow tip. A microlithic
flaked flint that when I ran my thumb across its
edge it sliced like a surgeon’s scalpel & berry-red
droplets dripped from my thumb onto its side.
How could this be? Then, I heard the shaman’s
drums, whether in my own head or pounding
through the forest did not matter. I was one
of them, a Neolithic clothed in furs musing
over the painted deer on the cave walls of Chauvet,
pierced by spears in real life through the weaving of
sympathetic magic.

This was the savage call to life, to death, to mate
with the Venus of Willendorf on deep furs &
engender strong sons & daughters—demigods for
the tribe, the hunt on frozen plains for the mastodon, the
tusk-curved wooly mammoth, the great godlike cave bear.
A journey to the underworld & live with the extinct, the
quickened dead & left the modern world behind, the
machined illusion.

Thus it is that I scalped the stag, placed the bloodied hide
like a crown upon my head, the horns pointing upward, 12
tips matching the 12 zodiac animal spirits heaven perched,
then bowed & said prayers for the animal essence, the deer’s
soul, sliced open the steel chest, reached into that wild
cavity & took the still warm heart, held it toward the
naples yellow west where the sun had dipped below the
ridge & knew my purpose.

I ate. Blood like a wine-dark sea, flesh kin to a cross. This
world dropped away like that setting sun.
I was the Sorcerer of Trois-Frères.
Rhythmic drums sounded through the forest as though the
stag’s heart had again taken up beat.
The procession came in line, two-a-breast, three on either
side carrying a travois. On it, two bodies side by side,
surely a Prince & Princess. Hair long & smooth & dark as
charcoal. They wore copper breastplates, necklaces of bits
of mammoth bone, bear teeth, drilled obsidian & jade & onyx.
The female clothed in a long white dress of worked hide, the
male in shirt & pants the color of fall grass.

They all nodded to me. I took up my place at the head &
led the funeral procession for the royal past the switchback,
into the deep forest toward the sunken sun.
We marched in silence save for the throbbing drums
measuring out the heartbeats of life, walked as two
versions of the same earth come together as shadow
& flesh, bone & bitumen pitch in the red torch light,
numinous bonded psychopomps with the dead, for the
dead, of the dead.