Sailing Down the Potomac

Such stories I have heard! You wouldn’t believe:
people who own clear minds containing this one girl
whose name they publish against her wishes.
A girl whose conscious head is daisy-laden & distributed
easily as a pamphlet made of gold leaf.
Then she clears the dishes.
She is the planet malingering in the gravity well of his ceiling fan.
Make a wish upon her: only her memories dead set against convulsions
(as debutantes memories are apt to be). She is effusive
about a few good men
which she forgot to have regretted by someone else.
She has resigned herself
to a coarse and intermittent socialism
of interpretive and dyspeptic apple-sellers,
and her intermedia family—
although it is a family of nuclear engineers on volleyball scholarships
with mothers gaunt and giddy—
hate the New Porous Novel,
and having survived a Depression they cannot recall;
their cobalt battery bones dream
of purchasing bread with eyes as coins,
and a bar of soap to scrub the electric beehive,
and so on:
the following year her body changes thoughts like an old car
while her sophisticated fellow-travelers form a Weekly Tragedy Club,
a union which takes pains to point to its free pink glasses,
and the ignorant prettiness of its peasant children.
This is (of course and once more) Anarchy!
Or Malarkey.
There remains her nervous novenae in July:
the sacred roads lit by candles from army supply,
counting the stars’ pores,
and that western grin
across which coal light fell scorching the wagons;
every plight lights my mind’s small wildrose window,
a tree surrounded
by the clattering robotics
of her August Revolution.
Oh, the blossoms of Revolution frost
upon the pocketbooks
carried to the teashops and parking lots and ruined crops
full of perfumed and later perforated brides
with their stone lace, their capes and white anchors
made from the recast plate of WWII statuary
(broken in an earthquake washed down by a Gibson)
upon the little blue coffee cups
of her sub-aqueous culture spots up and down Broadway
where I once feared personal experience but now am protected
upon the threshed May darkness
punctuated by elite violences
in which her mutated delicacy speaks
in conference rooms
and rhythmically
upon the umbrellas in Honduras
which bop along the yellow roads toward a shed
reminding us that the Renaissance
has become (of late) moody,
sickly and apt to tinkle upon us—
suddenly it’s as if we had called the wrong number
at the wrong time late night in winter,
and as if filling stations and casinos
took care of the poor
so we don’t have to see them in our delicate condition?
And why is Rimbaud so newly listless in his job
as a semi-literate necktie salesboy?
And why those dungheap hotels in debt housings along the Pacific?
And why security cameras disguised as roses
in the Alhambra
where children wear typewriter ribbons in their hair
to celebrate Customer Day
and then the cocaine lawyer forgets to phone the Mayor,
because the profit margin has been fixed (subrosa) at infinity.
And why the laundry full of stains from shrimp boats, cod cakes,
heated egg-white flings, frosted olive squeezies,
tomato massacree, black matter shoegloss,
diamond oil, ashtrays full of warm flesh,
and sausages small as a woman’s cigarette
and just as white.  
Oh Sunday
at the propaganda kiosks
bedecked in red leatherette,
cracked but so fetching at first glance
you do not notice the food & wine
dumped in the shady terrarium
for the Pope’s pet panthers,
and the kerosene stove burning
in the ancient Carmelite convent
as a hundred blessed hands picking at the berries
(or are they sores).
her friends assure her the streets are charming
even in darkness,
and that the lovebirds are only being hanged
because it is washday in Eden,
and that the muddy rivulets now full of tiny mullet tugs & gun boats
are also filling with sugared oranges & comedic orangutans
for the gray babies coming into their majority
in this Blue Decade of vented sensation,
the Decade of the gold chrome deities
and their stalwart companions,
the prudish conversationalists. Who giggle.
And upon the flesh waving at the crossroads like a rag.
And on and on.
And I am sure the driveways have come to accept their own phenomenon,
at least they seem indefatigable and ultimate,
like a youthful Stalin filling his dance card,
and (if we only remember to register)
the Party will blossom beside the outdoor pool,
a lotus surrounded by tall cool drinks and light jazz
and buzzing intellectuals preening.
Her Sunday is always a sweet embolism about to happen,
another miracle always ahead, or a refreshment billboard
advertising mice swimming in hi-ball glasses,
and this is perfectly logical
and we pay.
And (finally) it is her depressing blue eyes
(sub-aqueous culture up and down Broadway),
her mother-of-pearl soul, lithe and spike-haired,
dreaming of a baby smoking a cigarette,
dreaming of the raven trace of our scruples
finger-worked deep into the dimpled and deckled slipcovers,
dreaming of the sun’s genital scarring,
the immortality of labor and value
whose youth was trivial
and whose senility is irrelevant.
And then she clears the dishes.