Social movements accompany music
with repetition. We begin. Then we invert
the sounds, left shoe on right foot.
We rush to the window and shout in a social voice
"Family!" Mother was strict, this is Daddy.
He is in the gentle hold of his imagination.
Still the equidistance maintains
its fantastic symmetry. The door
slams downstairs, toilet flushes,
on the street car engine revs, the radio
blares full of bass, children outside shout
so that every word achieves its peak,
two dogs, one small and one deep
are barking, and the phone rings.
The telephone is a weapon.
New noises in new American rhythms
address the world with strain.
In my sentence only a message. O clipboard
--all aspens are the same tree
The camera is a scissor--wipes the message
from the sentence. The fingers reduce
the surface. The holiday-makers are an audience
at sea. A railroad track
follows the passing waves.
In the waves there are two levels
to which people calmly go: up to their knees
and up to their elbows. At noon, standing there
on the line, in no particular hurry
it feels less like water than like fire.
in The Cold of Poetry
[Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1994]