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from Death in the World

At last you're here, at last you leave
us a hollow in the heart of the bitter jungle,
at last you lie stiff between walls
that you won't breach. And every day
the flowers, ike a river of perfume,
joined the river of the dead.
The flowers untouched by life
fell on the hollow that you left.
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from To Envy

The heavy wind of age
brought in its flight
dust, food,
seeds split off from love,
petals wound with snakes,
cruel ash of dead hatred,
and everything
flourished in the wounded mouth.
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from Beyond Your Lands, America

From the blood Stalingrad surges
like an orchestra of water, stone, and iron,
and bread's reborn in the bakeries,
springtime in the schools,
it raises new scaffolds, new trees,
while the old iron Volga pulses on.
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from From My Journey

Why, instead, did this borderland choose me;
and what does this haven offer
but a wind that whips at my face
and flowers blackened and beaten down
by the long winter?
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from Someone

He was so afraid, he found a woman.
She was like a hedgehog, like a chestnut.
She was an edible being,
but man needed her.
The two were unique,
reborn from the earth
and fated for love or destruction.
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XI - Epitaph

This was the wounded lover:
during the night, woven with pathways,
she dreamed of victory,
she embraced the grief.
Her lover was a sword.
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from I Recall the Sea

I recall the sea, the pocked iron coasts
of Coquimbo, the imperious waters of Tralea,
the solitary waves of the South, that formed me.
I recal in Purerto Montt or in the islands, at night,
or returning along the beach, the boat waiting,
and our feet left fire in their tracks,
the mysterious flames of a phosphorescent god.
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from The Long Day Called Thursday

That womb
kept me curled up,
waiting to be born, still and liquid,
a flabby substance
enmeshed in nonexistence,
and I put off getting out
for hours on end,
stirring m legs deliciously,
in the underwater warmth.
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The Bull

The oldest bull crossed the day,
His legs scratched the planet.he continued, traveling to where the sea lives,
He reached the shore, the oldest bull.
On the edge of time, the ocean.
He closed his eyes and grass covered him.
He breathed the whole green distance.
And silence built the rest.
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from Autumn Testament

I'm adaptable as the wind is,
with the yellowest leaves,
with the fallen histories
in the eyes of statues,
and if I come to rest anywhere,
it's in the nub of the fire,
the throbbing crackling part
that flies off to nowhere.
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From Ode to Walt Whitman

But not just earth by itself
was brought into the light
by the work of his shovel:
he disinterred humanity.
And the slaves who were abased
along with him, balancing
the black dignity of their stature,
went on to conquer happiness.
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From Ode to Criticism (iii)

Like a white ship,
half open
like a new rose,
it was
to my eyes
a mill,
from each page
of my book
sprouted the flower of bread;
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from Ode to Ironing

Poetry is white:
it comes from water swathed in drops,
it wrinkles and gathers,
this planet's skin has to spread out,
the sea's whiteness has to be ironed out,
and the hands keep moving,
the sacred surfaces get smoothed,
and things are done this way:
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from The Man With the Saxophone

I've had it all and lost it
and I never want it back,
only give me this morning to keep,
the city asleep
and there on the corner of Thirty-fourth and Fifth,
the man with the saxophone,
his fingerless gloves caked with grime,
his face also,
the layers of clothes welded to his skin.
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from Jack Ruby on Ice

Imagine. A man stands trial among gentiles,
who regard him as the enemy,
a Jew they think will steal the pennies
off a dead man's eyes:
therefore, no one comes to his rescue.
Promises are broken.
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Day 8:
We smile at each other
and I lean back against the wicker couch.
How does it feel to be dead? I say.
You tough my knees with your blue fingers..
And when you open your mouth,
a ball of yellow light falls to the floor
and burns a hole through it.


Day 9:
Death, Bobby, hit me
like the flat of a hand.
Imagine you are made of crystal
and someone ice picks you
and you shatter,
all your cells coming
almost to despair
it is so good.


Day 10:
Now when he hears the sound of voices,
he growls, covers the bones quickly
and hides beneath the burned-out shell of a car
until they fade
like all the voices that once made us family,
but could not save us from our destiny.


Day 11:
Come on, baby, lay me down on my back.
Pretend you don't owe me a thing
and maybe we'll roll out of here,
leaving the past stacked up behind us;
old newspapers nobody's ever got to read again.


Day 12:
I enter your room,with my purple face moist from excitement.
The black straw basket I carry
in my yellow arms cracks softly,
in tune with the brittle snap of my blue legs,
as I sneak to your bed.


Day 13:
Beside the river, I stop the wagon,
loaded with the plague dead
and have a drink.
I fill my mouth and swallow slowly,
then climb back into my seat.
The old horse drops one turd, another.
Corpses, I give you these flowers.


Day 14:
I move off toward the street.
My feet press down in it,
familiar with the hot soft asphalt
that caresses them.
The sun slips down into its cradle behind the mountains
and it is hot, hotter than ever
and I like it.
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Day 1:
We tear ourselves down atom by atom,
til electron and positron,
we become our own transcendent annihilation.


Day 2:
A nightlight in the shape of a bear
burns in the center of my darkness.
It's clear acrylic and inside, a blue bulb
casts a pale blue light in the room,
where I lie awake,
my twelve-year-old insomnia,
a warning of future sleepless nights.


Day 3:
The wharf has a tight deep vagina of water
and I'm going to fuck it until it novas,
just to let everybody see
how I cut through life like a diamond
in a sack of glass, with no regrets


Day 4:
I'm burning from the bottom up,
a bottle of flesh,
kicked across the hardwood years.
I pass gin and excuses from hand to mouth,
but it's me. It's me.
I'm the one dirty habit
I just can't break.


Day 5:
Dawn had come to the village
with more killing on its mind.
I heard screams and pleas for mercy,
then I realized those sounds were inside me.
They would never leave.
Now I am always talking to the dead.


Day 6:
I always say
it aint a shame;
it's crime
and thank God somebody elese
is paying.
This time.


Day 7:
If I'm anywhere, I'm still trapped
in the palace of lies,
where I'm clothed in illusion
and fed confusion with a spoon.
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from The Hitchhiker

I move off toward the street.
My feet press down in it,
familiar with the hot soft asphalt
that caresses them.
The sun slips down into its cradle behind the mountains
and it is hot, hotter than ever
and I like it.
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The Corpse Hauler's Elegy

Beside the river, I stop the wagon,
loaded with the plague dead
and have a drink.
I fill my mouth and swallow slowly,
then climb back into my seat.
The old horse drops one turd, another.
Corpses, I give you these flowers.
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from The Color Thief

I enter your room,with my purple face moist from excitement.
The black straw basket I carry
in my yellow arms cracks softly,
in tune with the brittle snap of my blue legs,
as I sneak to your bed.

July 2016

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