Steve Dalachinsky

CONSTELLATION (a collage for Joseph Cornell )

                 sew  me         
                                   as     you    would                                  
                                                                     corn   husk    into morning

                        flower        rawchop   dogstar      capillary   scorpion
                             by    angel
                                                    storm present   with fire in my loins

                 listen with ear of corn       maiden’s dress      born   & spun
                                                                                          stitched     executed

         deliver the cash to the people
         they will wave their chapeaus in approval
                               the white meat        chosen
            warm  breast
                                                 no leg   to   stand     on


oh child,
               lift us,  hats waving in salute,
   we      crowd     trapped like riot inside a podium
                                                                                         as age grabs you

blow on the wings of butterflies less  & make more phone calls to strangers.

my spoon eye
in glass of
i see thru       stomach    
    dissolved   hairline     
                  capt.   mix the drink well

     utopia parkway crow

                                 a stain spread over the threatening sky
       fly,     dark
                                             or fingers’   silhouette
unmasked     emerging
                     stoic   unbubbling               kettle                                       on   its   way
                                                               cathartic                                   to
                                                               columned                                         utopia


                                       a pyramid of #’s
                                       on flat car          of  freight train
                                       i sit      the perfect    lady
                                      direction of  wing       in heaven   of   beak
                                                                    in heart.


wake me in the morning, bold cock,
with your singing,
i am your maiden now
i will continue to float beside you
like a fish of gold leaf, i will rise 
& sew holes into your long johns  


ride little saint
oh serious viceroy
while the wind hugs your chest
with your scarf
                                       hold high      your banner of clouds   high      on this carousel.


      i  play my lute     only birds & bricks   to listen


the dancers got on their knees
& held it up
but as the days dropped like rags
so too, finally, 
the giant red star
plummeted into the depths of the earth
                                                                     became  tomato  in  plain red  can


             she braids her hair
             in a golden mirror
             this quiet autumnal
                                                as baskets of birds           call for worms
                                                on the moon’s                   pale    surface


           i know you
                                  i gave you this bouquet
                  squeeze me                               tie me into a pile of knots
                                        i am old string   /   i sag
                                                                                 & untangle   easily


               sting me again    bee   i’m lost in the tall grasses -----    discarded  fruit.

14.  how many miles to baylon?

take me to your garden.
i’ll play for you.
dog to dog   resting.
deer to deer reclining.
nurse me      my childhood   nurse
i’ve lost all the pictures of my youth
only pain & discomfort  remain
tell me,
                 how many miles  to babylon ?

she barks
                       & lies on my fan   to keep cool
you are too battered & hidden to undress
even your face  (tho i see only your eyes)
     play for me
                          use your fan as a bow
                                                your bouquet  as  strings
in my backyard one lost carousel horse        dislodged    dismounted

we are a doll     with its dress   half torn. 


love in the trenches    among tall grasses
i am a laborer  of hours
a miner of coal
& sound
take this hummingbird    i have here    beneath my coat
i’ve worked below the savage highroads
all my long short life
my lungs fill with dark love & dust
undo my loose knit pale blue scarf
suck in your breath.


                      it is    night                         on the street
       lamplight   illuminates  the newly replaced                    cobblestones
                              we walk cautiously in the wet                        it casts
        you look at him                                               then look away                 toward me

                     i fly back to the top of the mt.  where these cobbles were first born
                             your image    in   stone   &   light      awaits        me.


                   beside the china blue vase
                     you stand
                                          with a bouquet
                                                                            child  waiting
                       to become
                                              a phone call
                                              an angel
                                              a pigeon on a wet street
                                              a star
                                              a constellation
                                              a perfect song to irritate my nerves
                                              a clear day
                                              a ghost to inhabit sea shells
                                              a breath of air escaped from the now opened  box  -

                  my present to you this old year.


                             lizardsnailwinglute - daring young man

Poet/collagist Steve Dalachinsky was born in Brooklyn after the last big war and has managed to survive lots of little wars. His book The Final Nite (Ugly Duckling Presse) won the PEN Oakland National Book Award. His most recent books are Fools Gold (2014 feral press), a superintendent's eyes (revised and expanded 2013 - unbearable/ autonomedia) and flying home, a collaboration with German visual artist Sig Bang Schmidt (Paris Lit Up Press 2015). His latest cd is The Fallout of Dreams with Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach (Roguart 2014). His poem “Particle Fever” was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize. Forthcoming from Overpass Press The Invisible Ray, with artwork by Shalom Neuman.
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home