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   p i e r    o f    s a l t,    w o r l d 's    e l e a n o r

--- G .  C .  W A L D R E P

Pan on a frying surface, a chartreuse glow,
an eggshell blow, any homage tethered to a gilded dais
would do as well, any icthyoid presence—
hake, halibut, gar-slick gutted wager, slapdash concern,
even the sky gets into the act, snow rollers
on the clotted fields all working in one direction
as am I, my visa, my Zimbabwe, my bedizened esplanade
vanishing in decrements as the air rakes
down beneath your puckered gaze, selenium, oxygen,
xenon, quark, this is the aloe of a perfervid exhortation,

this is the Alamo of my bedside tale

so cue the troubadors, let them unleash
their zydeco, their acid jazz, Le cygne est bien paisible
as Max Ernst affirmed, ogled by cherubs,
in this cold they beat their delicate wings for warmth,
they let their milk-teeth chatter, if this were a Russian novel
I'd go on at greater length,
I'd bribe the Red Army, I'd greenmail the serfs,
my left wrist is fluent in the estrangement of willows
but it profits nothing, here in the orangerie of my affections
only light breaks the pane of a ferial day.

© crossconnect, inc 1995-2004 |
published in association with the |
university of pennsylvania's kelly writers house |