New York Ouroboros
the forced march of the morning
the sun-wrecked afternoon.
sun makes its low circle,
the office windows
our hour of usefulness.
Lady of Windows
the streets fill
her statue-blank eyes.
the men who sleep in doorways,
leaky ghosts with shredded bowels
from the sound of it all,
half healed by her, and thank her profusely
the hand that hits them, for everything.
the subway concourse,
and cleaning ladies
rosary beads at rush hour,
Mary over and over again
an enormous wheel wobbling.
than my own
through all of it.
New York Ouroboros
a subway, with a face on either end.
they stare each other down
longer than I can watch.
skyline regulates heaven.
is dark and forty stories high.
too late, the city
me back to myself
something inscrutable inserted.
more than science and history.
for poetry to grow up and become worthy.
water in rich lands
chicken and vagina on my hands.
the good side of chaos,
are the souls who play us.
can buy it on the way to work,
slept in the shoeshine chair.
coffee for a perk
later, I bathe in beer.
see the lights of the airplane that flies,
lights of the bridges and the lights of the stars
the windows of buses and the windows of bars,
among infinite dirt and infinite skies,
I am the luckiest pile of atoms so far.
high that we suspect a peak,
pressure is uncertain
direction is uncertain.
whole universe is flirting.
there is breath enough to speak.
Forests Turn to Information
pass through its odd metamorphosis,
train rides down the short, familiar routes
New York to Boston, Philadelphia to Washington,
Jersey to Connecticut.
is hard, the people in the cafe car say.
play by the rules and still you lose.
admire how they fit into the horrible world,
beers past the quarries and backs of factories.
conductor claims a passenger took his seat,
threatens to beat him in the station.
engineer hands down the verdict.
passenger must move. But the conductor will be fired.
one wins. It’s the peace that keeps.
train ride is practice for when you die,
when you turn entirely to information.
time, you loop east, toward the ocean,
of the city, through Queens,
the husks of cars sit in piles
cicada skins in the fulcrum of summer.
at the house,
wind tugs at the garbage on the barbed wire.
answering machine mumbles odd threats.