Published in Redress, 1983

Published in Redress, 1983


For Janine Pommy-Vega

“Surely all green once, fragile as a truce,
words braiding sun and water,
as on a lake where families sang.
What else would we hope for,
do in the dead miles nothing explains or changes or relieves?”
      – Dave Smith

O why go limping over the earth?
I'm living on Midway Road, who'd say
darkly, my star smoldering in a dream,
like a lodestone in the sky?
Who'd say, over the phone, in a nightmare,
& how could a wrong number reach me
on an old party line?
I'm not on the line.
But please make something warm
like morning's passage looking down
on me, - into the slants & rises
where red & white roses shone
like a gallant & humorous mistake,
as I have made it home, -
this gnostic with lover's nuts,
to live in the colors of the Lord,
just like I never could before,
down Midway Road, outside the town,
in a shelter break of eucalypti
molting their barks in scrolls!
I take some lone rides, do you Janine?
Like Highway 37 down to Marin County,
past Mare Island, Valley of the Moon…
A lighter fluid
sworls peacock eyes
in slack banks & flat bodies of water…
pale jade fire reeds
crush beneath icy winds
on electric blue sloughs…
Titan Kachina skeletons stride far away over tide flats into haze
in the last days
high wires singing thin
white heron
      on one leg all day…
But I come home with El Greco in my hands.
So serve my heart back
Western style: obviously burnt,
but rare at the center.
& bring me my blue Marine
Band harp of beaten tin; -
I want to blow Amazing
Grace real soulfully
to these shaggy eucalypti soughing
around my home…
for I am back breathing
warm like stone fresh
from the fire bath.
Christ risen sends me.
O why go limping over the earth?
I am living on Midway Road,
& who'd say he has seen
a star smoldering in a vacant lot,-
in the darkness of old mammalian politics,
in the darkness of human slot bardo,
as if calumny were a song?
O please lady let me make you
warm, as when my morning light
looked out from where the roses look,
& who sends you?

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