Distorted rogue in thunder
and the sound stalks off—
so too, iffily, the cumuli.
The famous run all over
this island in their paper
dresses painted purple and Stanley Kubrick,
it snowed on the desert
the day he was born.
—Whilst ferrying the brass band
—During a long stay in the quarter
—After all silkscreens were spent
His murder a mystery full of red herrings
recorded on a dressing-room wall.
No more handjobs on the house.
The rest have only reverb now.





  A tugboat tugging nothing
troubles the river on both sides,

the cleansing rain
is no such thing. Clumped and egregious,

excess reveals itself in the vale—
a tease of unending,
the desert another expression of déjà vu.
We should have stayed on the bus
with our rocket, ramps
and fiddleheads and what
we knew reduced to miniature.
O monocot. O brainstem home and home.
The strolling violinist drooped
in sympathy, a ploy to hide
a different depth of air.
Home in three streets
he’s a wealth of invitations,
toes a leg during a dalliance,
I’m floored by such tender displays.
Didn’t I say the jitney’d keep us pure?
We had enough of backseat intrigue—
two together, two apart,
a third just waits to seize what comes.
Everyone worked on the premise
that numbers were magic,
were wrong.






I just heard about a drug that induces
immortality and causes a terrible rash—
as Giacometti said of suicide by fire,
that would be something.
Another enumerates ways to improve
his medicine then folds
me in half and spirits me off.  Our
reputation exceeds us—word comes down
from hills somewhere near the Black Forest
and I dash with him across
the Autobahn when he says go.
At the bar he orders shark
extract in glass ampoules
and assures me no sharks were
harmed to obtain it, but seduced
and milked over a period
of one hundred years.  After a series
of trains we step into a new
city.  I tell him he looks
translucent, he laughs and runs away.
He comes back with fistfuls of pills
and says, Come on, we’re going
to Cuba where like everywhere else
mansions fall deeper into disrepair
even as I am telling you about it now.
I’ll show you: birds
and urchins cling to rafters,
no one would look for us there.
Yes vines dangle from the trees.
Yes the tiles are coming loose.
Open wide your throat, he says,
the turning world





  Before he left but after he let
me undo the snaps he looked
at me through a porthole said
I forgive you put this light
in your mouth and maybe I’d have
taken that from Lou Reed at 21
down by the piers the Hudson gone red
as the boat up against which
he’d crush me and pull
the river over my head.