Waves: 71-80

Updated: Dec 27, 2020

71) waves: smooth prim decorous braids of dead time spaced with bland billboards

Surf scoters stooping in motionless fronds of water-heavy grasses.

A nothing-breath. A ripple in the god.

A wind hypostatizing empty robes of half-satiate maenads and furies.

observer altering observed, the subconscious way waves roll round pebbles on the beach

Waves: Gauzy umbilical loops and murmurous runnels of the sea.

Loose shoe laces, golden labyrinth of a wet grass rope.

Nestling back into the nest-form of sleep.

they lie down together

Waves: Recursive loops, astral resonances, sympathetic homologies.

Judith in the barnlot in a cloud of chickens, her apron cradled about gathered eggs.

The mill in which the gaunt blind horse goes round all day.

that man in Dante roiled by the torrent as angels fight with billhooks for his soul


72) not a sound anywheres

— perfectly still—

just like the whole world was asleep,

only sometimes the bullfrogs a-cluttering, maybe.

one drop fell from a fern, and lo, a ripple

Tethered, digesting, stands the slumbering sea.

Rockweed and kelp, sugar wrack and sea palms in one inexhaustible rumination.

He squats beside her and begins to draw the teats.

waves: slant of brow, contented chewing

Soft, you, a word or two before you go.

Behold but One in all things.

It is the second that leads you astray.

the what is unknowable

I stop somewhere waiting for you

Come, we must be on our way.

I must be locked up with the others.

i want to help you while I still can

Find tongues in trees,

books in the running brooks, sermons in stone,

and good in everything.

some of these days you’re gonna miss me, honey

73) and the devil will drag you under by the fancy tie ’round your wicked throat

The cloaks of Teutonic knights float in a whorl of calyxes.

Hands clutch at flipping ice floes.

Green waters pierce my sticky hull.

the yellow surface dimples monstrously into fading swirls

For once, then, something.

Washing in like ruined monasteries in the mountains.

Static yet fluid, quick, like mirages, rounded arches hewn by monks.

sun rays slanting across windows


Waves: Crusaders creeping townward or homeward in preterite line,

unable to stand on spuming avenues where no horse could have kept its feet.

Towards thee I roll. To the last I grapple with thee. From hell’s heart I stab at thee.


somewhere a humpback is singing

A river between her thighs, light leaping at the ends of fingers and toes.

Slipstream giving way to a few tarnished sequins of wake.

Merry amoretti weaving garlands above windows.

i love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts

Waves: Cataracted holy land stares from under battered hats and caps

by inscrutable old men in battered overalls and broken shoes.

The very place puts toys of desperation, without more motive, into every brain.

the subdued uproar of scuffling feet and mellow witless singsong voices


Ripples like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall.

Desire is death; waves stiffen in a rented house.

Listening outside her door.

dead in the water

74) waves arriving like a Delorean with the gull wing doors open wide

Drifting down indifferent streams,

no longer heeding the haulers

skimmed this morning from the drinking trough.

soft, suffusing seethings; rimless floods, unfettered leewardings

Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens

and shades of death. Rocks, moss, stonecrop, iron, merds.

Smeared with solar lichen and gobs of blue ooze.

headlands wrenched from rock, strange woods half-sodden

Down to the shores of the water,

the path by the swamp

in the dimness to the stone

at the centre of this endlessly elaborating poem that is the sea

Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can.

Old iron, old bones, old rags. That raving slut

who keeps the till

nailed naked to garish stakes

75) the branches that grow out of this stony rubbish

Electric crescent moons viewed through terrycloth.

Only yellow slashes of mote-palpitant moonlight.

The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.

the lunatic is on the grass

A lonely cab-horse steams and stamps.

With no expression, nothing to express.

A man leaning against the bureau, smoking.

beneath the music from a farther room

Waves: Farewell, hello, farewell, hello, strophe and antistrophe.

The slow-planting and plopping suck of each deliberate cloven mud-spreading hoof

scrambling up the further bank with a sudden and surprising celerity.

it is possible the old business of grace in this sewer

Waves: Disorienting temporal rhythms and mantric hums.

Illusory perceptions determined by individual propensities.

There are heroes in the seaweed.

and then one day I saw a footprint in the sand


76) sleep, big baby, sleep your fill

The waves arrive as a bouquet of chrysanthemums

in brown paper pressed to her breast.

Unscrew the locks from the doors!

unscrew the doors from their jambs!

Waves: Lean, shining existential spindleshanks.

Swing of a long-limbed gait.

Byron’s lady’s mouths.

ach, du …

From what source such links perceived arrive?

Each mad fuse, each wave its own cancellation.

Under the wooden bridge.

the bats flying madly below

Spring moths float in through the open window.

Gaudy bits of crockery and broken glass on graves on the lone prairie.

Diaphanous texture of inanition.

the waste remains, the waste remains and kills


77) caution: dripping from above

The Dormouse awakens with a bolt to tell a tale.

Twirl follows twirl, antithesis thesis, synthesis voluted corollary.

Pedestals and effigies lichenous with seasons of rain and sun.

if you seek a monument, look around

Against time and the damages of the brain

one must sharpen and calibrate. I can’t be sure.

New York Magazine never did report my measurements.

waves leave tracks pointed backward when they reverse their shoes

And I am fog, parked on an early-morning field.

That depression of mind which enfolds the faculties.

Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

waves: so many ingots of fabulous metal lying in the sun

78) waves: the gleam of the gilt key in the lock of the closet door

I, too, am like a piece of translucent glass touched by light,

given a momentary radiance, not actual, not lasting.

The empty little swing that swings and then

the underside of the weave

Waves: My sleeping bag rolled up and stashed behind your couch.

Cliffs of fall. Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed.

The occasional violent barking of some dog on shipboard.

the decanter clinking until finally t.p. had to pour it for him

Empyreal pits, lagoons, atolls, estuaries, coasts and river deltas

where shuddering leaves pour down profound sleep.

The moon rains out her beams, heaven is overflowed.

if you shook it, the snow would rise up in the rounded space

Dearest, I feel certain I am going mad again.

Trellises swinging their creepers.

The slug track shining on the stones

down where all the ladders start

O I see now that life cannot exhibit all to me, as the day cannot.

I see that I am to wait for what will be exhibited by death.

We are not, nor we were not, heard at all.

i sail with sealed orders, and cold my wrinkled feet



79) untaken voyages, lethean cold, o all but unendured arrivals

Manderson, we learn in the next chapter, is indeed dead,

found murdered in the grounds of his English country house.

Debbie Travis is escorted from the premises, holding a trowel.

i am rolled round in earth’s diurnal course with rocks, and stones, and trees

Above the ceaseless surface they stand — trees, cane, vines — rootless.

The moving waters at their priestlike task of pure ablution round Earth’s human shores.

The prattle of poured water, the vain stippling of leaf shadows.

the swimmer’s clothes neatly folded on the beach

At the climax, Leonard Bast dies, crushed under a falling bookcase.

Deceived by the false azure of the windowpane.

Destroyed by the very culture he so ardently etc. etc.

zenith and nadir, torah and talmud, shruti and smriti waves


80) with fra angelico lighting, reality seeps in

Waves lick at a crust of Post-it notes

and fucked-up flumes of Japanese erotica,

blank misgivings of a creature moving about in worlds not realized.

clouds of unknowing

Waves: A mirage of suspended gardens.

No trace of any ultimate atavistic egg by which to reckon their commencing.

Waves empty our pockets and disappear.

renew their beauty morn by morn

Waves exchange sagacious confidences.

Somewhat of nods, somewhat of portentous inference.

Shining corrugation, luminous nictitation, antiphonal calling of the ocean.

we cannot hold these visible shapes, my knaves

Well, at any rate it’s great comfort,

after being so hot, to get into the — into the —

into what?

hey, you’re little with your shoes off

22 views1 comment