I. Double edged swords
Every evening, spring keeps its marriage
to winter. Twilight is crazily quilt
in orange as purple with scattering grays, sage
stars calmly coalescing and being built
into constellations… The twilight air
imposed winter’s silence. People slit
these pavements as capricious walkers. There
is a squirrel within and out of trees, or cat
eating a rat in a squeaking swallow. Are
the homeless equal to BlackWater’s scrounging what
state alms exists? No…Night’s misery
is never silent, so unseen more---that
is civilization…****** of industry
are its captains. Blood subsidies, ****
ravage and revile Eve and Mary:
our Mothers in regret over humanity. Keep
Palestine’s Olive Tree in heart…
Eastern Star, and Western Constellations, weep
for the nameless and defenseless ramparts
of refugees: Moses again… Here in Queens,
Manhattan’s gaudy skyline rapports
a look of 11th Avenue’s Rahab’s face. Scenes
of red and blue, white broken teeth buildings
from too many *******, and pained spleens
of her here and there, everywhere, “It’s a living…”
Ugliness has a pretty face, it progresses…
Winter’s chill will soon be here, not forgiving
those who are homeless from God, homeless
from being brethren’s keepers. We are quick
winter. Death is us, and we are death, endless
because of our need for a monied physique .
Poems are for poets, sing. As you were silenced,
your song was written in winters oblique
in their endings, its prayers against the NKVD
KGB and un-repenting CIA, a spoken
covenant to the people, and the words rhymed
against the powerful from Stalin to Reagan…
We’re blessed for the verbal and intellectual
knife of verse. We must sing against state’s sin.
As you did scrawling on soap bars habitual,
writing, with burnt matches, ritual.
II. Your Legend
Called ***** and nun, there’s a price
for being a poet: never sequestered
in black and white terms, clerk or captain
king or peasant, Christian or pagan:
our stamps earned in civilization.
By seeing things in gray, a poet intuits
monsters we knew as children are
real as warheads once aimed at one another.
Our hands, their lingering fingers and palms,
can either be nailed on a martyr’s arms,
or holding a scythe or Wesson. Your wishes
were fists wounding your heart---your anguishes.
Why did subtle music bloom from your lips?
Why hadn’t your tongue expressed bitterness
from the Muses of lonely Siberia
or **** bombs---destroying statues of Maria
in Saint Petersburg? Why did your voice remain?
There are only questions about you, for
your pain and joy seemed the same: you cried.
It surely seemed both should have died.
Drinking ***** was surcease from bureaucrats,
to your son’s exile to Siberia, these cruel cascades
of the state. Watch the platoons, and
see their eyes in long ceremonial parades
for the state’s saints: dying from heart attacks before
your mourned demise. Did one shed a tear?
Only posterity knows. As the present can infer,
veterans are always “was” and “were”, never now here…
In here, where the written word was a noose,
and sentences were genocide, thus a paragraph,
a stanza, or even an essay was inconceivable
horror people receiving an order’s end.
In here, where order promulgates,
where time is counted by snowflakes
where space is counted by snowflakes,
why is never asked, it’s just struck with, “Do.”
But, it was when despair was thick withered
winter branches, without hint of leaves or spring,
love needed anguish to show its strength
love needed this psaltery against death.
III. The seen and unseen
Thinking of you Anna, ah this world.
Then, as the world lives and does
as just bearing witness,
the guts to live and bear pain
is in the poet’s voice,
in the saint
the seemingly graceless soldier
******, Matthew, Saul, Romero.
Song found, song lost
Song of Songs,
the poet names the names
of all to give monsters and empires
to be seen and unseen,
with a cold lunar heart,
and to let prayer
come as souls decapitated from this Palestine,
this Armenia, this Navajo nation,
with a left-handed signature, tear written.