What B.B. sought to calibrate on the train
–was it from, or to Utrecht?–
might have been a wolf note:
the jute sack with the brass suppressors
slouched forgotten on platform 2,
a stop trick, and it was gone:
as if drawn through a fantascope of melodeon air
less than a sheng hoot away!
I never could say sphygmomanometer
quick enough to work the magic spell;
the diamond mirror turned on yourself,
to free you from Armide's
the witch's g-string hummed, alright:
a mad flash of panties
and Clorinda was as if long forgotten:
caught up between love itself
and a sort of seasonal pitch shift
in the atria of the heart.
What if your rope were wound with tarred hemp?
Paid out from the barque,
from The Wash to The OltrePo'
there's not much knicker in Delacroix,
but there are boats; in Dieppe, for instance,
where the waves' dark pleats
are like ruffled coal.
A mooring hitch; a rough-hewn cleat,
pack your astrolabe
and stuff the hold with Heinz:
one tin for each navigational star,
sit back and sense
the ocean's swell,
where serpent stars fade
tangled into day.
Dawn said Charlie Chestnut Is the crack between worlds.
And if we dropped the rope right there?
The copper core feeding uploaded Pistols
onto the sharp rim
of earth's perceptible curve.
You can't cull lunes from accessory fruit,
but you can make rhubarb crumble,
or lace the cornstarch base
with local hooch
to put hairs back on your shirt.
Slipping down through these hills can be imperceptible,
or like getting out of bed on an achy morning;
oncoming cars hurl themselves into bends
in a massive display of serial wanking
and poppies cheat last light
at the road's edge:
crimson shadow-hearted folds
clutch the sun's cruel retainer.
End of June/beginning of July – Valverde/Milan