Convection Scan for John Ashbery

The red taillights, car & all disappear
by themselves down the long avenue.

Most things take the same amount of time.
The idea behind thought is to make things faster.

No flipping or arranging trays of meaning suffices.
You must try to get it over & over.

An isolated cluster of nation building satisfies some.
There are flashing lights beyond the fence that hold place.

Therefore worthy presentations eclipse reservations,
close all dissent with a warm blanket of contradictions.

Preparing the results goes on for awhile.
Half the caring is drained in rhetoric.

Is that not right? Is there a difference?
It makes for variety. The big family is overcooked.

Thank you for deducing. The flattening
level tipping point arrives.

We are trance-like in song.
And, what you choose, what comes up, continues.

Choices for Rae Armantrout

1.
Vaseline eases some
things along,

even those that
need further resistance.

If we leave all
options on the table

can it hold the “weight?”

What transpires is
action animated

by a lack of seeing where
we could be, i.e.,

r.p.g. & thee,
etc.

2.
Relations age some
explode ask

the Afghans you
never know

what is going on
inside sign

some papers
hope

it plays to last
or outlast

the fragile denouement
on the table.

Your hands are
never still.

Quietly Fall

Pale petals fall
on this autumn day,
curl oblong & blank,
stare at the sky
like feline Asian eyes.

Trails of mist
spray over the soil,
vacant tendrils reach
for the light.

Gradually, the sun coats
the fence with pastel
shadows. Fits of
breeze strike
chairs turned to dusk.

In calamity we find our limits.
Each day we try to wash the same spots.
Over there where the leaves fall
the tree grieves in the quiet.

After the windows are closed,
the heavy trowel put away,
the deer again dodge incoming.
The bus stop & the streetlights enjoy the fog.

Laguna Soulfire Coronations

Here’s a handful of
Fire-echo starheart diadems –
For ghost-framed, leaping Leviathans!
Photonic Ophelia ossifying, sleeping,
Guards my watchwell sweetly –
But what kind of echo has this fire?
When my starheart bursts with such vertiginous
Desire?
The self-framed soul sires this flame, leaping
From untenable windows
Into the unutterable boiler rooms of Time.

The gross yardstick of time, though,
Cannot touch it.
Neither manufactured catastrophes heed
The ripples racing outward from these lands
Like harbor swells.
Where beggar laughs
And tyrant drowns,
TV dies,
And music abounds.

The darkness of the sea
Spoils your whitewashed misery –
Too much in the devil’s pay,
Both sides in black, on the take
Inside the Age of Chaos, cracked.
Swimming in the dry tide of light,
Lost in ancient coves, lovers seeing with
Ocean eyes.
Wind will…surprise.
“I think we get better,” said the sweet
lover, motoring away from The City,
In her happy lover’s ear:
He’s as tall as the horizon –
The sea’s as cold as kicking junk,
With her arms like memories
In the wavy dunes, barren and soft.

We all love
And lose love
And cry for love –
Celebratory love!
Revelatory love!
As candor squeals in mayhem’s arms,
And the aging starlet laughs, unharmed,
Ripe aura flowering, dispensing,
Oraculating light languages,
Afterimage
In the veritable window of the sky
That guards the crawled-over earth,
ruined by blindness.

The catatonic miser rises, blank,
Her heart dead – to face the
Darkened day again
Just like the moon
And all the fish in their ponds
Or how strange tongues speaking
turn the radiant wheel.
Time, the great editor knows
The graceless snows
Of tired Purgatory
And the violet fire that grows
Like a child
In the waiting sun.

Madrigals, laurels –
First ones that claim my heart
Where the blond girls laugh
And the bays all shine
And blue-eyed angels remedy
The ailing earth
And feckless species howling;
Venetian funeral barge
Carries this memory’s lass away
Afar to Barbarian lands,
Or to Heavens superlatively fair.

Fountain of kundalini fire
implants strange desire –
Travels the Golden State,
Stakes a formidable spire
Where Laguna priestesses consecrate
Divine love in multitudinous ways;
Variegated as terns in these coves
Who sup the endless tide that roves,
Engorged by expedited love.

And behind the bloody snake wall,
On the tantric bed,
We aim our energy into the heart
Of the black-beast dread
And make magic reign,
Plucking the blood-eye out of the reptile,
To transmute the lingering poison cabal
Which strikes back with daggers ripping the sky.
Enemy gods, you have no quarter here!
Here by the magic sea there is no fear.
Where pelicans pierce the mellow tide, free
And the sun and sea tantalize us,
Hypnotize us, eternally!
Here, in the light will we forever abide
In the fruited promenade, spoked
With sacred-flame jubilee,
Smoked in Sun-Ra pedigree
Where the coronal visage smiles and disagrees
With the vicious pallor of false
Love & belief.

currently

There are wisps of recurring conversations,
whispers of parents, college friends, favorite movies,
music coming in & out of focus. Favorite cigarette
moments with different women. Ethereal galleons
floating on vagrant winds unseen.

They come back in the dead of night when nothing
is held back & an ancient calliope can he heard.
If I stand in the empty house at night
I hear the voices of some now gone to where
the stories pile up on some mild shore.

As long as they hold their place & allow
this subterfuge to roll on:
the streets & gardens walked through
to stay solid, substantial artifacts,
scenery of an outer life that is only a ripple

on the great ocean’s surface that we traverse,
then I will continue to paddle observing
the flora, fauna, & mixed messages of our prismatic life.
I ask is it getting warmer for you?

The horizon is coming ever closer to a closure
that will resolve all the questions that breathe
in & out with our every breath.

A POSTCARD TO SYLVIA PLATH

I see you
clutching poems to your chest
still and quiet as a monk praying
Alone now-
cold dawn creeping into your flat
footsteps disappearing down dead end streets
the dust accumulating,old scabs and sores,
words of worry building
cubist music of the mind.

Children sleeping, you weeping
the sink leaking, wintering of days-
wearing down hard stone of resolution.
‘I am ugly’ she said
‘Scarred from madness and vanity’s decay.’
had she loved madly and not well?
had not dotted her i’s or crossed her t’s
diverted her path from sane rational discourse
Alone
dogs of death snapping at her heels.

A large woman’ described by one ‘dyed her hair blonde
must be insane’
married Ted Hughes, her Heathcliffe
‘ a banger ‘she said, ‘the mind of a genius’
and her with her shards of poetic mind
Alone
sorting out her poems,looking for a sign.

‘ I am going to die’ she cries out
hammering on her neighbours door,
‘ And who will wash and see that my children are fed’
The old man downstairs moves quietly away
feeling the first shudder of grief.
She hesitates, feeling betrayed, trapped in her own play-
retreats to her kitchen, despairs of her suffering,
turns the lock quietly, opens the oven door-

And the whole world walks in forever more.

Do I…?

Will the proverbial shoe drop
like it always does?
Do I dare to be happy?
I am so filled up with joy
Things seem to FINALLY
be going my way
Do I DARE to believe?
Do I Dare to let out my breath?
Do I STOP looking over my shoulder?

I am so happy
so giddy
I thank my lucky stars
I THANK GOD
for the Blessings
in my life now
but
is it all
a beautiful
but fleeting dream?
Am I going to wake up
and find
it was not real
and
I am really in the usual pain
and struggle?

I pray God
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
Let it NOT be a dream
Let this JOY
this HAPPINESS
this BLISS
be my REALITY now
and the pain, struggle and sadness
behind me
I will not forget it
I will ALWAYS be grateful
and
THANKFUL
to YOU
my Precious Lord
for YOU have made this
wonderful reality
possible…

copyright 20 October 2012 catherine anne hayes