I heard them with skiing skunk and raccoon striped moonlike
in the half ghosted twilights, the almost half honk and bark
of the whippoorwill calling their mates
as I unclothed the black plastic sheeting from the dead
squirrels who had gorged on blue poison grains
and lay like the newly drowned pulled from Seine
on the wet marble slabs. Onward above the dried
spire go the whippoorwills plunging lariating and lassooing
laying their eggs the triumph of reptiles of tree-rats
blue embroider green sky to sink their depilatory moss
over the mammals and avian over the wingless dumbed
animals. The squeak and grunt of rodent life
and the loons howling down towards Comfort

The Snow Visitors

Swallows in skies describe their graphs
their descriptive marks on cloud
migrating marks, their quest for
what beyond nothing is the silence of snows
neither man knows what man describes
affinities of afternoons of driftings
bringing the criminals shackled
snow visitors to the hut in the blizzard
to listen to snows judicial sentences
to listen to
to blizzards to dump by trees’ open eyes
the yew hedges grimace, the frost masques
judicial sentences of snows
vanish, these things uttered
silent executants of their grace
judicial sentences of snows
and from brute silences branched
pears and apples sicken spore
mildewed umbers, pigments of desire
seeming to see only the swans bleed
from barbs, cropped even as winter dazzles.
It may be you, snow visitor
who leaves your track marks in the leaves
of frost which take no pattern
growing where they wish, the bull gores its own horn
the oil beast consuming itself,
the visible music: Auf danken wir leibest
Alles ist geschmerzen. Where everything that is pain
is turned to pain.
The delicate flower blanches, browns, to fall
as attar of roses, perfumes of memory
that shrink to the here and now.
The substitute synthetic vitalisms
remade cohere in snows’ unique crystalpattern,
the savage solecisms of stars.


What is it we have learned here?
The wind-shaled post at the clapboard tower
of the church rocks as Atlantic gales come
breaking seas over the surreal comedy
lobsterpots and nets hung up drying
that has left the granite pier wet and driven
the casual tourist, tramp and fisherman
back into the grimy snug; it is our face
replaces the press of the Word with things;
this collection of shells echoing
from purple brown and silver pink
and clashing of a million smiths
as the catch coils itself silver-black to flash
combers to shingle ripples.