The top down, south on Orange Grove,
shimmering rendition of stucco
and gain. Life by any other name,
never too far from roving words
and their silences. A slight footing
to begin with, one after the other
like palms along the boulevard.
The bright foot in time now reduced
to metaphor as we are to illness.
In Italy under strict quarantine,
people sing out from their balconies
to their beloved cities. Vox populi.
Invoking that ancient trust in the voice
risen above the earth to airy nothing.
To grab them by the throat with your joy,
sang Pagliarani too many years ago.
With a sky like this, sunlight and dark clouds,
a letting-go for all those girls and boys
who gave it all away. Why now a blueprint
one seems never to have wanted? Is it age
or the plain stubbornness of carrying on?
And a flock of pigeons in this brilliant
veering gray then silver then gray again.
As below the high cloud and the hill,
a rush of leave-taking or arrival
who can know exactly what or when?
The palm’s hardly at the end of the mind
but outside my second-floor window.
Today the heads on the screen speak
of isolation as the ‘new normal.’
In the lift of a foot, fronds and pink stucco
and the gliding, as I stare at the palm
hoping some bird might land on it.
from “Liquid Prisoner”
Soon her animals are growing wings
along with graffiti to warn us.
Moon or June, a ‘wicked place to remember.’
Wrongly or rightly, as platitudes
are flush with what fuels the grasses of the fields
and opinion, to put it mildly, way
far back from Genesis to David,
Thessalonians through Revelation.
Wings aplenty in these pettiest of times
creation deserves, in somehow hoping
to bring passionate technique and humor
to a notion about as delightful
as drowning sheep. Sleep comes with no end
to clowning about how unfunny it all is.