January 26, 2008


The idea is to throw out a net of words
to catch the poem

a net such as Vulcan makes
at the ocean's depths
in a fiery cave
                           a net of fire in water
                           forged by one
                           cast out
                                          cuckold of Venus
                                          lame joke of the gods

whose hairy blacksmith hands
can make a net such as Neptune wields
to hold the waves

                               a net of words
                               arching back on itself
                               to contain the exploded universe

a net of light cast into a galactic sea
of dancing stars

              a choreography of answers
              in a dark chamber
              where the soul
              is revealed

as a net of questions
in a net of breath

—Paul Pines

Posted by dwaber at 01:30 PM

January 25, 2008


The interior
is an Arucanian tree
roots pushing into earth
in search of that
            which is also
             the source of desire.

There are no politics
apart from this.

What blossoms from it
turns us into lovers
with the hearts
of tigers
              (even in old clothes
                even with gray hair
even in the uncertainty
that moves us forward
into uncertainty)
                            there is only this left
                            after everything else
                            falls away
she who waits
apart from ourselves
that part of
                  we have missed
                  without realizing it
she who has searched for us
where we canít
be found
                  and finding us
                  wraps us in her shawl
and sings
with the voice of our voice
a lullabye
                  in which a fledgling
                  rawness beats its wings

—Paul Pines

Posted by dwaber at 03:02 PM

January 24, 2008


All things are on fire
 even the moon. See
    how it puckers
       around every
We burn at different rates.

Most poets go mad
   of discover
        others fixing dinner
              who will share
                 what they

the conversion of matter into energy

             our hearts strive for
                at a ratio of 2:1
                     but its
         never as easy as
                                      Dick & Jane
              or anyone

      it was Spot
              they watched run

                       who ran away
                              and set them both
                                      in motion

—Paul Pines

Posted by dwaber at 01:53 PM

January 22, 2008


                     He died
         on Independence Day
            of a heart attack
      carrying too much weight
            and cigarette
               in his beard

            At his Memorial
               in St. Markís
        Sanders likened him
            to Blackburn
                  and Millay
             while Padgett
       couldnít find words
      to describe his friend
       of twenty-four years

             After Hollo
       expressed surprise
    Ted beat him to the grave
        painting of the poet
                    in a chair
                          which moved
                     a wino
             to leap from
       the Ottendorfer Library steps

                     Praise Him!
                          Praise the Lord!

—Paul Pines

Posted by dwaber at 04:44 PM

January 21, 2008


I hear
your voice again

as light
trapped in ale
at the lips of old men

a net
for words in
the low grass of my throat...

                                             Pablo, see

playing Kung Fu
on the roof below

two Newyorikan kids in black giis
and a blond Ukranian girl in toe-shoes

the boys
are showing her
how to kick like a grasshopper
how to move her arms like a praying mantis

September sun
is flooding the western sky

                         and wind
                         is cool

slipping down
my comprehension
like a ghost I thought had abandoned

its old routes between my sleep and the outer air

—Paul Pines

Posted by dwaber at 01:48 PM

January 20, 2008


What I like most about Cavafy
is that he can't stop moralizing.

Growing old he sees he also grows
warmer to the barbarian in himself,
the Persian among Greeks,
the would-be voluptuary.

He spends days in cafes
by the sea,
drinking ouzel and wondering
if the whole world is destined to
become as small and seedy
as Alexandria.

The bodies of young men excite him.
He watches them from
his Garden of Missed Opportunities
until it resembles Gesthsemene
where he turns part Christian,
almost anti-Hellene

while the Greek in him
continues to weep
at the tomb of Patroklos,
insisting there is a grace in us
more magnificent than the god
it reflects.

—Paul Pines

Posted by dwaber at 03:39 PM

January 19, 2008


You want to be Orpheus,
make trees dance, grass sing,
water a sustaining melody:
you refer to yourself
in the third person, saying
"Antonych moves" or "Antonych breathes";
you give the moon animal reflexes,
the sun a grace, like your own,
that looks for its intelligence
in everything it lights upon,
wants to grasp it where
it grows invisibly
from seed.

I see you in Lviv
holding your ears as almonds burst
or late at night Mercury rains
marine concerti
          on stones
that will rise and weep
at Judgment,
          when all things confess
they'd been distracted,
couldn't keep their meanings clear.

At 28, nearing the end,
you rush to keep pace
with your ghostly dictation:

in my mind
you're all ears,
listening to silverfish
eat your books
like a whole band of Carpathian tubas.

—Paul Pines

Posted by dwaber at 02:29 PM

January 18, 2008


Herbert, my friend, I hear you've taken out the fiddle
What can I say?
I once knew a man who shaved his head and went to live
     with Cajuns
     because they fiddle in bogs.

I fiddle also,
     with myself.
My fantasies hang like Spanish moss
     outside my window and are always in my light.
My dreams swim like alligators
     around my home,
                    reptile minds
     of merciless clarity.
I look out my doorway
     squared against the impeccable mitre of
     and am moved to say,

                              "I lie."
I do.
I fondle my prick
     and slobber over the lady in my mind
     bending to my anger and my need,
     wringing her hands,
     salt air whipping her thighs.
I tell her:
               "Take me!
               Make an honest man of me!"

I look for her everywhere.
In bars. In banks.
And everything I think is cheap,
     is worthless
without her, if she isn't there, with her naked eyes.

—Paul Pines

Posted by dwaber at 02:49 PM