ODE TO THE MOUNTAIN BROW
(dedicated to Richard Greene)
Cliff-topped at dawn in a euphoria so high
I Paradise-verily see your wan white Pisa-
Towering street-lights well-tipping utmost fealty
to me, one I electrify back toward
you with this Ode I compose under cadaver-
soullessly blackening clouds — street-lights well-tipping
with dew-new currency of gray-brown fogs and truth-
pellucid allusions to Expressionist movies I adore.
Now, forthwith, I live throughout those movies while I
stroll throughout you till I disremember
your entendres and see I’m new-born-baby tender, stepping
through actuality, through you, not a film-
set, O Mountain Brow, where I’ll never be panorama-
spoiling, nor granted-takingly peripheralizing
you, while I’m here with others; to others I sing
your graces and discuss your day, that I may sing my
soul-eternal ardour for you – for your verve in a time
of dying – so you may over-hear and feel
esteemed, welcome, invited, O Mountain Brow, where I sing
the Scenic mansions you visit in forms of flower-
blended balmy breezes. I whisperingly sing to
your peach-blooms flashback-fast-bursting in the stilling
air. Pilgrimaging you amid the crimsoning
Staghorn Sumacs swaying, I see: you mean
measurelessly more to me than city-views for
which most others come to you…Vultures,
after cliff-side-congregations – seemingly
free-wheeling feelingly — beat their wings in time
to the water-fall’s phantom-eerie hiccuping, to which
anyone may calibrate. O Mountain
Brow, remember those nights, at the Flat Rock, with the San
Boys who hallucinated hundreds of faces
on your Orcus-shadowy crags. How many
first kisses transpire at this look-out — beyond the Ravine-
bounds — where-on I behold the high-wind-blown-stone-for-a-second-
seeming roses, O Mountain Brow, whose Scenic
Drive is never littered as much as other parts
of Hamilton — sometimes Elysium-seemingly
clean? O Mountain Brow, the greying Italian bocce-
ballers playing in the twilight sometimes
soften their footfalls, as though they have concluded
you feel, as you do. O Mountain Brow, I even proposed
to a yes-exclaiming girl upon your north-most Ravine-
opposing bench, one time, O Mountain Brow,
where I kneel in prayer upon the purple-bluing pond-
shore sands, O Mountain Brow, where your back-to-life-
welcoming-warm wind once spoke to me through evening
rustles of the oak-leaves’: “life-long-seeming
kisses will electrify the lilies of
the cliff until they shiver in the fervour
you’ll soon feel in this same place.” O Mountain Brow,
let us share this daybreak before other
Mountain Browers come…crag-magnetized since boyhood,
I so wish to share this dawn with you, alone.
A SONNET TO THE TRINITY
O Violet-Eye-Light-Beaming Trinity,
O how Your Bride of Saints so speed the butterfly-
turning of souls toward You; O how our slavery —
O Star-Far-Eye-Near One — twilights our children to infinity-
incalculably embracing their bondage — to proclaiming
they are free, when, all-the-astral-projection-immeasurable
while, they are slaves who will not free themselves —
slaves who’ll wish to rename constellations;
slaves who’ll wish for numbering to replace naming;
slaves who’ll wish to replace freedom with shaming;
slaves who’ll wish for their own cancellations;
therefore, O Redeemer, in your name I am reclaiming
myself for these slaves’ reclaimants; in your name I’d die as You’ve
in mine; help me die like a lion when time to prove!
When ray-right-rain-fair Judgment Day does break;
when, upon a purple carpet of cloud-bursts — the moon setting —
the Maker nears His aurora Throne in the wake
of Saint-Cecile-conducted Seraphim trumpeting
His every quintessential motion; When He does
sit on air and deem our every thought and action,
whose names among ours will be sung from the slim Book of Life?
How morning star-core-white-and-burning is your faith in the Son?
When the violet-eye-light-beaming Redeemer does
return, on whom among us will He shine his rife
rays? When you wake soon or sleep unto your
deaths — will you suffice for the Paradise of our Creator?
when Shadows will be cast but no sun will beam,
will you ascend in lonely Lord-light gleaming supreme?
A TRANSLATION OF EMILE NELLIGAN’S ‘WINTER SENTIMENTS’
So now I drink the liquors of your eyes!
Don’t soil yourself while gazing at the masses!
A blast from Norway turns the fields to steel!
May hearts turn warm when the cold wind passes!
Like soldiers mourning level sands at Thebes
so let us always court our rancours
and, despising life, with its sophistic song,
Let Death lead us to Orcus, where we belong.
You’ll visit like an icy spectre; we won’t be old,
but already so weary of living we will fold;
O Death, take us out on such an afternoon
when I’m etherized by my lover’s guitars,
whose dreamy motifs and ambient bars
keep time to our ennui on the waltz to the end!
WHILE BEGGING UNDER FEBRUARY STARS
While begging under February stars
that I might be my closest to the beggars
and scatter my soul through the forecasted storm
and brave them on toward the laze and warm
of spring, a stinging wind ascended and engraved
in my ear the whimper of a girl I had saved
from her own hand, inside her freshman dorm;
then nursed, at once, from her childhood wars.
She whispered, “please reverse the weather in my
eyes,” empty as two open sunless graves,
which simply realigned the little troth
I’d sided for the sewing of my wounds
back to the Father and the snow then falling
on the woman in my arms, no longer calling.