AND UT PICTURA POESIS CALLS HER NAME
I think of you, the mistress of ceremonies with your fist held
In a tiger's grin, a bouquet resembling delphinium
Between your teeth. Every man I love becomes a woman.
First, there is the critique of the human subject,
Where "subject" comes out into the open, lights his fingertips,
And disappears a gold-plated elephant, entirely remaining
A free agent unmoved by historical and cultural acrobatics.
Like most battles, many bottles are closed, out of reach,
Never opened. Either way, the laurelled genie knows her way
In. She persuades, sketches, or merely snakes through
The backdoor the audience forgot to spot long before.
Of course, there are many rusty hinges, all with equal access.
Rising, one may move by the tendrilled whispers heard
Within each framework, but pretend concern for open sesame.
Eventually, she approached me about a missing kissó
Mechanics of another kind? Two lips, tender teeth, a tongue
Dewy wet, and still, in a distant neighbor's eyes, we
Could hear the urban decay through some Holiday imitation.
Her voice fell a beat behind mine. Her skill at jazz phrasing,
Variation and vibrato wrenched diamond-cut moods from
My seediest pop songs. Someone should study
The extracting power one has with another: only everything's
A signal when you turn your radar on. Interlocking legs twirl
Voices out of words. The smallest story of two people coming
Together imitates a circus tent in winter holding
Everyone beneath it. The sheer beauty of ten thousand minds
Colliding with seesaws, airborne, trampolines, top hats,
Harmonized buzzsaws, skirts with wax feathers
On phonographs, contortionists, brick-a-brac, eggshell
Statuettes, painted miniatures onto photographs,
A lush Ashberian medley blends discord to dance to,
So that understanding may begin with seclusions,
Ignite collusions, and a body may ask,
Where do you live? And, Why aren't you with me
In this room here tonight? There're a million ways apart
When two or more prayers gather in conjugal thought,
And a painter lifts his pen, arouses the medallion of a kiss
That will gently float always on the air between our lips.
This poem will be included in the forthcoming collection, I'M THE MAN WHO LOVES YOU (Blazevox Books 2007)