V E T C H
There should be food.
46.† If a man has food
††††††††††† a dream eats it
it was before we learned to say
this is bad
there is no luck in it
luck is what youíre born with
as 47 says
††††††††††† a trick on the road
††††††††††† spills a spinster
††††††††††† into her traveler
this equals sunrise plus a [large kind of cabbage grown in swamps]
so much for fortune.† Luck
(born together, white feather
from a hawk, then a stepping stone
maiden tumbled in the stream
lad fallen in the mire)
luck is half of 18 but twice 9
because we always must remember to divide by time
and mince your sleep
the radical hash
oozes typical cream
It is a new moon in the sky
or none or ribald caravaners
sit around drinking laurel tea
sweetened with persimmon memories
(we never know why we do what we do)
but here are the jokes they tell:
1. Backside of the Moon
2. The Fatherís Water
3. The King of the Cats
or Cates, this is skin theyíre talking, this is soft
as the broad of the back in summer, this is sweat
after this they fall asleep, each dreams
a far away hillside covered with vetch
Vetch is a small pink or mauve or lavender
flower with tenacious roots
planted to stabilize soil and this maintain
sloping highway margins, railway sidings, Vetch,
the thing that holds the earth that holds you.
I see it beside us as you drive
though you have a cold
the coffee must be ready now
 prepared from a berry red
then pale green then roasted
almost black: the colors
of Aphrica the Blest
[53b] we drink what we are
the prophet said
Everything we drink is motherís milk
how could it be otherwise
this is Kansas  by the cottonwoods
Drancy where they wait to die
no place is no place
it all gives milk
Does one feel a slight breeze at this hour
or is it sacred, or is it left to one
to do it all?† Breathing,
Go get the coffee, itís the same as a telephone
Eating is the oldest technology
Everybody does it 
Before that we just lay there waiting to die
which is what we thought the wind was called.
History of the World.
Explore the habit patterns of the rich
whim grows into wish, wish
is perceived as need, outgrows contentment.
Teach need. Sensed need runs the market.
No one must be left unwanting.
Arrogance and itch.† The rest is leather.
I miss you so
when the leaves grow alternate
the berries ripen
so far from my lips
That door leads to another thing.
If you go through it
Only you are not here any more.
But what was the wind called, Daddy?
We called it nothing
it was one more weather
an apple gate
an archaic system of exchange.
If it werenít for the solids in the world
what would shield us from the look of the sun?
The empty gaze that makes us tremble,
our eyes the feeble answers to that scrutiny.
The house helps us.† In its shade
at dawn a structure cherishes the western dew
are you a movie
that you can talk that way
language swaying your hips
and in between each picture nothing waits
coup de grace
the first car (Kipling)
changed the whole world forever
and came close to die
even if a carís not red it goes too fast
four crows on a bare branch system
the elves in twelves unmake the clock
angels?† I donít even believe in the girl
across the street.† Sara?† I was speaking
metaphorically (how dare you?)
but Sara will do ---- 24?
Not yet.† Behind the blue
her eyes are the color of slate
she hides in a spring fed pond her husband dug
when revenuers cringe up the road
sniffing for the telltale
marmalade smell of morning
under the limestone cliffs
how dare they
disguised as numbers
travel up our little roads and nerves and veins
trying to carry everything back to the father?
And you arose then
in your fresh skin
hovering on the meniscus of my mind
 before pronouns were invented
and we were all just anybody else.
But you have been before
in many guises
and it was always the skin that told me
who you really were
cool in summer warm in lilac
where the missing me is buried
safe in your meaning
like a cat answering the telephone
you know your house is still standing
you know the air still moves
shadows of levanting crows brush through locust trees
and all of this is yours (mine)
do† you understand
we met to part and part to meet?
I donít know what it means but I know that itís true
across the street from the cathedral
drinking espresso and watching you
finish the Sachertorte on your little plate
eyes delicate with greed (yours) (mine)
I dieted because two beings need
to negotiate a single, simple, space
 and everyone is homosexual
didnít you know that?
all evidence is contrary
we are alone inside on either side of sleep
hence the World Trade towers had to be trashed
by self-consoling heteros
they thought they were but they were queer as we
they hated how we advertised against the sky
 our structural identity,† our separateness
two tall bodies side by side, not touching Ė
but I digress.† The unity is .
Sara hasnít reached it yet
and Sarah never will.
Seven million years this skull from Tchad.
Avatars of Africa.
Number of life. [cheth yod heh]
And luck is born there
one number among many
as the woman teases half-forgivingly some sleaze
Iíve got your numberÖ
but who has mine?
Who knows the robert rapture white with terror
the wine-soaked counterpanes the barren
mountain full of rain and gulls
and believing everything the ocean says
waves hurl me on to you, you
weíre all just hawaiis scattered on the sea.
What else can the poor sleaze say?
††††††††††† Why did you come into the world if you didnít want me,
††††††††††† into the bar if you were not looking, looking for me?
we live pronouncing every day
the simple script love wrote for us
way back when we were simple
when we were good
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† and we remember
because it wakes inside us when you come in,
because it canít tell you from you.
If you wait just ten minutes more
the bees will get tired of the sun
come home with me and taste
the sacred dew I gathered from your roses
before they grew
before you were you
gathering with more than my usual patience
and unwonted delicacy each lucid drop
I wheedled into this crystal little flask
proposed to you now
break your fast in me
for I have need of your receiving
[number lost] kabbalah,
listening to your husband talk in this sleep
or he cried out with a great sound
as if one crushed him with a stone
but it was only the sun, rising.
Because you own everything
the light and the window it calls through
the apple gates and humble bees
and passing SUVs
you own the plumbing underneath the thought
pale checkmarks on the teacherís roll
the glue that holds the book together
and you arenít even there 
sad multiples of what I mean
one cylinder shy of the adequate machine
so this flower is planted
I think they think the color doesnít count
as long as the dirt stays on the slope
things do their work
and we look at the colors
left behind to sway our eyes
by nobody, the king of trees
only one more faggot for the fire
(unimaginably) big number
your hands canít hold all the zeroes,
terebinths of Uncle Mose
father in law asleep beneath his cherry trees
random numbers of flowers growing here and there
and every number of them organizes
an unmeant history that the flowers tell
because we listen ---- what else can we do
in a silent world?
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† A car door slams
a bird flies away Ė
do you believe me at last?
In this dark dance
there is a thread of touch
follow to the quiet
wall that holds us all,
the forgiven and the living
hushed in the arrogance of air.
You spinsters, get up and follow me.
you bachelors, close your books
and wind your letters round a bobbin
tight until the alphabet falls out
nothing is dependable
except keep moving
I donít say a word and you hear me perfectly well.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 13 July 2002