PREVIOUS NEXT FIRST LEAVEN SIN, In the threadbare brims, hushed...

Matisse's The Music Lesson
In the threadbare brims, hushed
inside the slumbering belly-fulls: Go

Joy's unimpeachable passengers
blunt as Time & beautiful as Never

quietly gathering their breaths, getting ready to explode
with that one sacrificial Scream that will give them away

to the scavengers, to the carnivores...
the gradual beasts of Oblivion

Out there, outside of Life's blazing legends
in that Always (that daylight)...

reservoirs of The Fake, or locked to a lake of the real,
the bodies pile up in the ditch, their penitential palaces

While, drenched in the drama of late
the shopping-peoples pick This, That

--Because's rigid ingredients--

cereals, dog food, soaps & hair-grease
& the other essentials/inessentials &

the ready-mixed Complete

frost chills the Autumn-tinged blood in the flesh (so-much a pound

reflections on themselves--pastures all syrupy
the children ice-skate over The Cold at its conspiracy

of null Sun: whistled stilled
in a wild storm (at its waiting form)

while the parents, those God-mauled gooses
careless to the thin, thin ice

pick down the leaves remaining upon the trees
--Worry's little wrecks--too much a swarm
(those shafts of sheerness, moonlight's rising idols)

so silent as frozen tears suspended from dead limbs
offering Shade to the corpses rotting inside the ditch

above them, down a sweep of Woods, of Nature
at its faint: the spinning top's pedestal

--Below them: at its odors of death,
the foxthoughts trotting through their dancing heads

verb without vigilance's several somethings,

all out-of-kilter circumstances, their cares' shredded darlings,

the rustler rabbits & instinct's insects
& all the other exact models of ambiguity

burrowing & burrowing through the rough,

through the cupping Cold: all while the wolves
hurling themselves upon the innocent madness of the world

in the maddest hunger: picking up the kids
ice-skating This, That, cereals, dog food

--with their powerful jaws or else Laws unbeatable

& yet are beaten off by the fewest hardy folks
those grim comrades who still own courage enough

to jump altogether from their ditch
or out of sheer ditch-digging

for one final & heroic, famous & irrelevant stand
before they fall finally

              --even if magnificent jewels
against the moon, much-admired, they may eclipse

securely straddled between earthfingers
digging them their graves
in the foolish attempt at Freedom!

it is not that the cosmic body of so distant lives
leaves, leaves, is any the lesser as that
O how much, much baser (a scale) is the earthen eye

picking This, That

The supermarket merely is the proposition
like wolves' mission: consumers, customers

pushing what look like wire baby buggies
fathers of famine / mothers of O discontent
reflecting on themselves: the uncaring faces

with blank expressions steal an occasional baby

from the distant & unwatched or lost shelves

stacked with the dust of O too high a cost

& quickly hide them under their bellies
amongst the half-digested cabbages & other junk foods

essentials inessential
barks bittered by the breezes' mockeries,
clumps of the sawdust become such storms!

dross by the ounces, refuse, pinnacles
of peanut brittle, blossoms as swift as
snowflakes, woodprint presentments, the delight-
fully needling rain, the could-be's aborted words,

the sunshine's thick & swollen tragedies,
promises like bulging dwarfs,

the dull redundancy of our urban recipro-
city, the stints of our needs

& then walk around aimlessly, ever so casually
reading the marked-down tags, the signs of half-truth
picking up leaves, leaves, leaves

in order just to throw off Suspicion!
from themselves guilty enough themselves

but always trying to make the attempt
in their ever-retreating rage--at last

always trying to cross the crucial threshold
guarded by The Past that may at last allow them
(navigating over the nods of their groping)

to escape themselves into the Future O themselves
agreeably disguised as newborns

Yet, doubting themselves, ever dithering
in the beards of Instead: weeping twig by twig

custodians of the cucumbers, game-wardens
pickled & sprinkled so many kills like quails,

with their maple lips speaking the absurdest
decorums of what may & wuthering, wuthering
in their withering, mourning in the calm

scullions of excellence--they pause
at disorder's pensive portals:

the ultimate proponents of Law!
cursing their thoughts' casual anarchy,

outsiders to the light, sweating, weeping, cursing,
struggling against their scruples, fears, doubts,
principles, jaws & the laws

      ... of Winter's invisible wolves
lunging over their limited interludes of warmth

ultimately: taking out the hidden goods

& paying their price of admission

self-service, nerveless,
having lost all their courage up-front