we don't allow for sleep,
we won't hold out for warm food.
we are opposites but together and sound;
quiet but wanting to say something still
much like a person in an old photograph,
where the Sunday best is immortalized
unlike the real human hidden down beneath it all.
I am far away from the fireside,
in a colder and colder forest with colors that
soothe yet also ache and invite mold and rats.
all the yellows and tans and hints of purged green:
these are the colors a timid winter may render.
I wonder if there is something evil coming down
from the places unseen up the river miles away.
I am suspicious of anything that suggests sleep,
things that speak softer than
suffering and more perfectly than
our alarming wanderings out here.
he wants to make the mental realm more than real,
more like Japan's waters where he can dive under
and resurface then with an abalone of a reason
clenched between his strong, desperate teeth.
I want to stop turning from one hard edge to another
and come to rest in the hay and quilts of a ready home;
I want woodsmoke and pound cake in our daily ways.
we pull each other down by chasing each other through
all of the mind's assimilated ideas and faulty concepts
of how two people bring each other back to life.
downed by the known empire
you're the sum of all surfing
the cold-waters repelled you
yet you won't take a soul's help now
and will be strange, must be isolated
will first be nothing of a city
later will be not of the far country
but inhabiting border-lands unseen
insofar as you are truly compact,
I never once would wish you growth
I never once would take from you truth
I never once would talk of better places
your presence would be the emperor
your glance the bite of our tongues talking
your hair the raw materials of chapters unseen
and your knowledge the fifth and final finesse
dream a little dream before I see your face again,
Nick as I and only I knew him, Nick
as the lost pages filled with odd mathematics
as the new music left dead to drift in water
as the sunken cargo vessels gone without a trace
as the spoken claims and unspoken homegrown allegiance
as the fall of dark rain over the forefront ocean, this is Nick.
entrance; just ask for it
entering the dicot, entering the triptych
the crèche of the dialect and I know
you as my librettist, my dialogist:
sing out words asunder in some wonder of me
sing out life stepping from an airplane and
not because I am a stranger to your land
but because my brother of all brothers,
now my sister in heartfelt semblance,
I feel your face and force in this hex
so, upon me, decry me, adjust this:
your anger is funny in its asperity
entrance; stand still for it,
don't laugh in it, don't beg of it, oh!
my lost brother of the cell tides, my
dear soft collective of the youthful side,
you come in flesh when I send for you
you signal homage to the progeny
and honor those left by a hole in the earth
subtle as any monument and as endearing
as a graveyard, stoic in all intellect and
rampant in your pleasantry, banter, and grace:
boy of cherry red bending thoughts, I adore you
sounds still envelope me
lots of rotations, like curtains these words
lots of folds in the fabric they tuck me alone
into the village of your phrases, paragraphs
at last like vespers you merge visible the
vaporous in everything I have seen, have said
no words were pouring from my sounds but
words like dying words, like throwing words
like a swift sudden suffering of two trying
to undergo an appreciative comprehension:
where no intelligent ground was
where no unfrozen river runs
where no etched-out stone stood
where one but could, one but would
be understated as he was understood
Michael Walker can be reached at: MCWalker@hotmail.com
His homepage is: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/1277