Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,
Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.
“The Idea of Order at Key West”
He does it wrong, but not as we do,
in little gaffs and fumblings, but so it stuns,
astonishes, so that the head of bungle
swallows the tail of catastrophe:
a chase as rounded as a villanelle
sucks in half of Paris
as it builds toward closure,
where it meets itself, erupting a rosette
of patrol cars, fire trucks, sopranos,
kitchen sinks, and leaving the Chief
minus another digit. Think of it:
to have a genius so magnetic. Who wouldn’t
take the lumps and contusions
to have the world always tumbling at our feet,
its darkness crystallized; who would balk
at saying “Minkey” and “Beump” if we could change
the muddle into measurements of light,
gems in a lush kaleidoscope.
first appeared in Tar River Poetry
NEW NEW FORMALIST
The giveaway’s the eyes: no real elan,
apologetic, the focus out of whack
as I pedal onto the wire to show I can
compose a villanelle, like anyone
who, through with nets and tethers, has the knack,
whose eyes should wellneigh radiate elan
despite the skimpy audience’s deadpan
stare, who’s finally able to attack
the line the uninitiated doubt they can.
“There’s better music in a broken fan,”
I hear old timers sigh, jarring me back
to where my eyes bleared from low elan,
when I lost balance and a quarter of my tan.
I’m breathing hard, confronted with my lack
of poise on the wire, trying to show I can
prevail when shit’s inquiring after fan.
I’m almost there, dear friend; don’t turn your back:
just look at them film me now, pumping with elan,
wired on closure, this beauty in the can.
first appeared in Artful Dodge.