Let thought become your beautiful lover
For then thought will be as noiseless as a mellowing pear, or it will lope out like a
wind-wild unbridled horse, or pause with you on your balcony,
taking in the sea smell, not hearing the words of the poet saying love is an
ornate piano, love is a seismic pulse, love is never anything a poet says it is.
It will be as enchanting as a wandering orphic singer in her little boat surrounded by
attentive birds. Indeed, were I not now furling my sails and
hastening to turn my prow toward land, I might hold forth further on the topic.
And you might think me beautiful.
Drawn by a team of three-legged fish-tailed horses
The road to death is crooked, even for a god. Your
three-legged fish-tailed horses never want to pull in the
same direction so the chariot lurches and jerks forward
in a confused motion, driving the charioteer to curse, to
use the whip, sometimes to crash against crusty underwater
cliffs or plummet into sudden drop-offs in the sea floor.
How much more difficult for poor humans caught between
the names of things and the iridescences of perceptions—
one minute walking alone and in love on a mountain path,
the next waking up on a clinic’s cot face to face with
different pastures—out of this moment something suddenly
expressing itself in a poem, and out of that moment another
plummeting. Meanwhile herds of shapeless enormous seals
pasture in the sea above hidden flowerbeds. I live in a kind of
lurching and jerking amid shimmers, glimpses, and recognitions,
between the day and its passing. Last night I stood beneath
a coral tree whose black branches were full of snowy egrets
squawking and shifting before settling down for sleep. It was
a picture for a Roman tapestry! Almost an image for a poem!
And then I felt another plummeting. It had something to do
with beauty; something to do with the dogged willfulness of
specificity and its opposite, all the alienated noncommittal
wavering of the sea. The beautiful sea. What could be more
Wild beasts and fish, cattle and colored birds
I would not have lain in the grave of this body so long
were it not for the enticements of animal life
were it not for tigers (oh there aren’t any left
you say just skins and masks and inconsolable
monks) were it not for creatures without
narcissism or fetishes. Human desire is
avaricious. Human desire aspires on wings
says gather it to symmetry and form and fear
but here we go again with spectator and voyeur.
Not wanting to be either I suppose I would rather
cling to a little long-haired lamb with whom
curl by curl I could enumerate the forests of the night
burning more or less unremittingly.