Take bearing from the sun
from Gloss, p. 6
What to make of the vagaries
Designed to take hold? There was
An opening of the field,
A container filled with color
Of rust and white hot handles
Tight as rubber and hoarse
Like a twist of leather. Hear it
When you say it, roll it around
In your sinuses a minute, feel
The roof of your mouth hum.
At first friction you won’t want to go.
I don’t think this is what I had
In mind. The challenge is to see it
How we like to say things are, but
The ace never trumps up.
Even when the hand is finally revealed
It always looks like it could use some holding.
And it’s headed down that slow road.
I sort of have to laugh at
The pink puffer spitting red
Into a tin cup with footnotes
And a diagram. Memory can be
Spottier than sixteen-year-old skin
And no astringent can help
With the questions. How are you? . . .
Is the most difficult one. Think about it.
How am I what? How am I
Going about being? I like how
Things sound and when
They are what they say, like how
Euphonious is what it means—
It actually sounds nice. Say it,
Euphonious. It could be a name:
Some ancient gadfly or
Maybe a mad old head.
That would make a hell
Of an epitaph. My God!
The situation is very grave. It is so . . .
Try to keep everything separate—
In categories. But no,
Not the old imperative. That idea
Is too hard to understand, and
The payoff is a compulsion to smoke.
But I can’t tell you
My private concerns because then
I’d have to call them something else.