Steve Dalachinsky

EMPIRE   (for Kamau  Brathwaite)

the rain has stopped for us 

the sun comes out at

the wind brays sweetly
thru the now-pale 
onion flowers
                             open to a new diversity

the sounds of equivalence  &     rhyme

but it is still  and
always will be
                                  Columbus     never     stopped       here..

lost letters  & mores

my wife does tai chi in the cramped space 
of the living room
shamisen reeling on the
radio     humanity  reeling along with it
  to feel that much of it penetrate the skin
pierce the very soul
as if i myself were the guilty party
party perhaps
doctors displeased with the test  results
never know    the   singers   in a kind of
howl   kabuki  ensemble
frenzy of sort controlled     historical  drama
clappers   clacking away  
distorting industrialism down to its very very
mad  foundations

   why the cruel heart unaware of reproaches
hovers like a walking stick on a branch
       above me 
is beyond my feeble 
                                     senses  to figure
   she  manuevering between bags                & chairs  & glossy shadows
         flute & drum as foreground      as this    border-on-grace pantomime
                 continues                              for the sake of love for the sake of love 
i the husband  no less dutiful   no more  filled   yet  “obsessed with death & the abiding
                              sadness of human beings”  their blood   their insanity 
   & insane needs                       their                    sunsets         & rich full       moons
she’s left the room when i was unawares       a slow sweeping gesture still remains where
                                                           last   she    touched         air.  

every day is a good day, John Donne

6 days rain    few breaks
dormant rain sticks   piled in corner 
of seldom used damp porch

     empty coat rack  painted deep gold 

surrounded by screens
   cold porch    keeps rain out
while enclosing deep smell of pine     & other  green

blue bordered broken stained glass adds to list

     faded pink frame on chair
covered by grungy multi-colored macremame
holds the words   diagonally
in japanese beneath 
filthy glass :   EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY
black rich brush painted   running horse 

it is not that the sound of rain is unpleasant  -
on the contrary
but other than voice of human, dog, ocassional bird,
vehicle, phone, me
there has been no other
almost constant
with residue dripping thru trees
during brief respites

though historically & poetically ignorant
lumbered thru John Donne  today
who sayeth that
“ houres, days” & “monthes”  are but  “rags of time”

“what is metaphysical poetry?” - she asks..... rain
      increasing      itself  the answer     betrothed to our insecure souls
the way rain sticks animated by a sudden jolt  were once some promising limb

the wind jostles the branch of a young tree

what is the physical ?    what is ladder   &   door   & suitcase
shabby attire    wicker box   &  cardboard
                                                                            6  days  of   rain
           sticking to the leaves       dripping from faded green shingles
                             from the roof                    of           the        world

what is house ?   dry carved cracked ritual statue
                            eyes closed
                            mouth wondering
                            hands on belly                once alive......

        “Busy  old foole”     where are  you          
                                                                      we need your light to creep inside 
                               & warm us
                                                      “Busy old foole

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