Skip to content


I’m reacquiring taste, returning to the natural

Relish for learning how a woman sits, miming her calm,

Associating her with piano, the saints, good dreams,

Refracted light, whatever else that science wants to dull.

I’m tying her to logic, even easily. See, Keats

Was wrong to say that touch of cold philosophy was “mere”—

For me, it charms by making formal jokes. The poets get

Confused about degrees: Millay’s adjoining room is cool,

But iciness invites one to warm up; so Williams tries

to spot the “end” of love just at the edge of Gris’s rose—

its cold, precise, metallic leaf fucks space—but finds his own

enlargement before art (a doctor knows dissection leaves

at least one subject splayed), finds love itself, room temperature.

The butter rests. You don’t hurt it by looking at it, hard.



Oh, never mind—it’s butter’s light that strains the eyes, unscreened.

Now neither leaf nor I will penetrate the body, mind,

or ancient mystery that disenchants. It’s back to faith,

removed from judgement, cast out, metaphorically, to shores

where “like” and “less” are washed away. I mean we are a reef,

a spoiled fresco, eyeless once retouched, a spill. Makes sense?

It’s not the analytic bent that wounds, but normal stuff,

like being least preferred, or feeling lost, or wandering

the halls of past desire, or seeming dumb: it’s time for Frank

O’s ecstasy of always bursting forth. A station bench

with view of coming trains, the doors releasing nobody

you want. One needs an icepack, potholders, short shorts, the sea;

one judged the knife as dull, and missed the axe, et cetera;

Love makes referrals to the great spittoon, which guards the tongue.