Enfant terrible

After reading the October 2013 issue of Poetry.

What vanity is this? Asks the enfant terrible
His latest work selling in the triple digits

I’m not so different from the butcher’s boy
Bloody apron askew, half-smile on his face
Or the preacher’s grace in desperate ascension
The ladder fixed firmly on the gutter’s curb

So hard to tell the weeping from the laughter
At such an angle; let’s call it even
Mr. Joyce, in his second coming, inventifacted words a-flail
Would smile at such sanity, clean as a whistler’s boy

Sheep or swine, it’s all alike; I see it now for no reason
Not so much the parting of the fog as the clarity of it
Curse the winter if you like; it won’t leave
The Stars by which we swear such oaths

But fizzle in the end of all creation
A-twitch with whimsical eternity

Midsummer, Riga

11 pm in Riga
Windows wide as yawning
Outide it’s as bright as a cloudy day
In St. Louis

Some workmen decide
It’s a fine time to install a kiosk
Across the street
Just because

Drilling, banging, smoking
A marvelous night’s work
No one sleeps
Time enough for that
In winter

I sit up
Banging out poems
With a relentless clatter


Now I think I’d like
To do something different
Now that I’ve ripped out my heart
And presented it to you on a dinner plate
Now that I’ve stuck out my neck
And left it stripped naked as
A discarded dancing pole
Now that I’ve left my fears flapping
Like so many ragged prayers
Now that I’ve strewn my desires
At your feet like bruised rose petals
Now that my darkest self
is common tattle
I think I’d like to try
Something more personal