Archive for the ‘Rondeau’ Category


June 11, 2009


Som natural tears they drop’d, but wip’d them soon
~Milton, Book 12 of Paradise Lost

A flaming sword describes the figure 8
against the calculations on a gate
of metal angels, fiends and seraphim.
Its cycling flare invigorates the dim
and adamant across the silver plate

before the garden’s godlike profligate.
Enlightened as to what might compensate
the primal ash—a death that offers him
a flaming sward

or Paradise hereafter—he’ll await
the play of sleep that holds his mate
between the roots and briars with a grim
and steely animal. Its phantom limb
and foliating tounge manipulate
a flaming sword.

Illustration from R. Crumb’s new The Book of Genesis Illustrated.

Seven Winters

January 16, 2009


These seven winters after (eight years, nine…),
the contrails still appear each night and shine
until the sun rolls over Brooklyn. Pure
stigmata on a gaping aperture.
Perhaps a scar that heals. The curving spine

of palliative crystals is a sign
across the cracking firmament: “Divine
Recalcitrance.” How else could we endure
these seven winters. After

all, it gains us nothing to assign
our stars the form of engines in decline
above a waterway where force majeure
emblazoned the agenda, de rigueur
before the ferry reached the harrow line
these seven winters after.

The Winter Rain

December 17, 2008

The winter rain explodes to heavy flakes
that load our field of vision. Double takes
resolve to halos where electric light
bleeds out into the saturated night
at a reflexive tapping of the brakes.

The Watchung ridge dissolves in teeming lakes
of cold reaction. Drivers make mistakes
behind the veil of shattered dolomite
that winter rain explodes.

The windshield wiper, flailing in its cakes
of knotted crystal, burnishes and rakes
the landscape, tossing Armageddon right
and left, inuring heaven to a bright
hereafter. Every particle it shakes,
the winter rain explodes.