• Earl Fowler

Waves: 91-101

Updated: Jan 15

gulls hovering above the stern like toys on invisible wires

Waves suckling, with tremulous cadence slow, on a candy numb.

Dizzy, falling lost, yet unbewailing.

Tottering like a top under a clumsy whip.

rising beneath her tongue where the sea meets the moon-blanch’d land

a green boat

a black sail

her eyes

a black boat

a blue sail

The sea a mirror that cannot close her eyes.

Patches of standing water, the scattering of tall trees.

(They say a drowned man’s shadow was waiting in the water all along.)

the uncontrollable mystery on the bestial floor

All men will be sailors, then, until the sea shall free them.

We must learn to love the universe like drag queens love doorways.

As suspension bridges, stiff and cold, love ravines.

i am torn and transpierced by the sharp rocks below

I’m Spartacus.

Contiguous with the abyss.

Brute dolphins pitch their burdens off.

sailing to byzantium

And I awake and find me here, on the cold hill’s side.

The lost traveller’s dream under the hill.

Waves scatter wheeling in great broken rings upon their clamorous wings.

listen! you hear the grating roar of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling



waves, arabesque signatures of all things

Waves: A male great pestle smashes

a small woman swarming toward

the mortar’s rim in vain.

against the twilight her arms behind her head

Waves: Passageways and doors and high-ceilinged rooms.

Tall windows opening into a vast cinder wheel unblinking in a bath of galaxies.

There’s such a lot of world to see.

i lie under a window bellowing

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each,

pushing the crumpled water up ahead

when the wind blows the water white and black.

her skirt half saturated flops along her flanks

Waves: Harvest moons her hips thighs.

A surface generated by a moving straight line.

An equilibrium of invisible lines of force

that amble and maunder on the petrified fairway


typewritten notes in glove compartments are very uncommon



Waves dressed in suicide smocks loosely fastened as if by Velcro

— no belt, no shoestrings, no elastic waistband —

the sea is calm tonight.

she walks barefoot over curlicues of whelk and tinted wentletrap

Waves start and droop under a thick white fog.

Turns out the universe is as full of holes as a black colander.

A bachelor farmer’s yard of broken hearts and surplus hubcaps.

her veil swirling in long glints her heels brittle and catching her dress

I shall like it here, Pip. Away from the world and all its complications.

With all the letters from a forgotten chest, the paper old and faded.

Breathing, pleasure, darkness.

these lines are swift and fall without diverging

Moods of the keenest appetency in a crazy caucus room

of momentary particle eruptions and annihilations.

Cadaver dogs rummage in the crannies for missing intern mistresses.

she runs out of mirror like a room

The best suicide notes are in lipstick on the backs of grocery lists.

What is Faust’s sin? Restlessness of spirit.

What is Faust’s salvation? Restlessness of spirit.

an almost perfect solipsism

This can only be attributable to human error.

This sort of thing has cropped up before.

It’s worse than a barnyard.

one minute she was standing in the door, the next



rick in the neck hands tense in the mud


The water makes silk dresses out of worms.

The satchel under the arse the back against the wall.

Rhythmically, the spring and rush of the child.

small-mouthed bass break water, gorged with spawn

They rush toward the nets.

Throwing myself on the sand, confronting the waves,

I leave eternity to thee.

call now and get six months free

Blue-skinned sadhus and the black heads of seals

spin on the rim of the Earth.

Spiral in on lateen sails, never to arrive.

waves: saint bonaventure washing the dishes in his convent

I raise my eyes to the moon,

throw back my fierce young head

and voice the wild and terrible cry of my people.

sophocles long ago heard it on the Ægean



it is you the fable is about

You and Carl Solomon!

By shallow rivers to whose falls

melodious birds sing madrigals.

waves tethered to seabirds at the ends of shattered human ganglia

The homeless, the addicted, the lost, the deracinated, the unstuck-in-time

sprawling on lounge chairs and assailed by the pitiless blue blare of the TV screen

through endless summer days, from inns of molten blue.

new orleans is sinking man and I don’t want to swim

Inebriate of air — am I —

And Debauchee of Dew.

Reeling.

honestly, i should have put more effort into seniors’ aquafitness

Waves: A slow shuffling across the boards of a derelict hotel.

Something in the curtains breathing out of the dark upon my face

patters out its hasty orisons, the eternal note of sadness in.

a great blue heron waits in the rain and is silent

Waves upon tide flats like scratches on the parquetry.

Marks upon the page. Migraine again worse today.

Trembling a little like butterflies hovering a long way off.

just then the stripper stopped in a coughing fit

of gulls passing, posthaste, posthaste, such rough reticulations.

Out to where the trucks are rollin’ slow

to sit down on this bank of sand

and watch the river flow



when rock becomes air, I will be there

A wave plunges into the shadow of the cedars.

Gropes about to learn the shapes of the rocks.

Withdraws by pulling on its gloves, finger by finger.

exeunt deep sighs, impenetrable trills and myriad silences

Like martyrs, waves pour hand in hand into the arena.

Here are the sailors, home from the sea.

Heaving and crepitating in dark banks of fol amour.

lots of curves, you bet. even more, when you get, to the

Waves: Footpaths ascending steep escarpments.

A latticework of speckled shadows and torn silk banners.

Nacreous streams of car lights from a lorgnette held by a lady on a pier in Yalta.

the demons, with their subtle guile, lift up before us when we pass

One after another they massed themselves and fell; the spray tossed itself back with the energy of their fall. The waves were steeped deep-blue save for a pattern of diamond-pointed light on their backs which rippled as the backs of great horses ripple.

burning burning burning burning

O mourner, let’s go down, let’s go down, let’s go down.

O mourner, let’s go down the passage which we did not take.

The waves broke and spread their waters swiftly over the shore.

watchin’ the tide roll away


wave: tamara on tiptoes, pulling down a racemosa branch to pick puckered fruit

Waves: Bumblebees bumping along the ceiling.

Old men before country stores in tilted chairs.

Cursive columns of names and dates on the fly pages of brass-bound Bibles.

long, curvy strips of apple peel like mother used to dangle

Waves: Lurching waiters with trays on passenger trains.

The locks of suitcases reflected in the bank windows,

across which an occasional shadow passes.

leviathan maketh a path to shine after him

Those thoughts that wander through Eternity,

to perish rather, swallow’d up and lost

in the wide womb of uncreated Night.

waves spun on a loom of force fields devoid of sense and motion

Glissandi of falling and rising, absence and presence.

Red mercurochrome sunsets on all that blue entropic drift.

In from the wilderness. Creatures void of form.

ain’t there one damn song that can make me break down and cry

Waves: Milton’s archangels in somnambulistic, sonorous ruin.

Could we have won, Spartacus?

Could we ever have won?

maybe this is why i was never invited to any of diana dors’ adult group parties



Seen from behind on my knees arse bare on the summit of a muckheap clad in a sack bottom burst to let the head through

Waves: Dissolving spires, lingering testators in black silk and lace caps.

Bathing beauties on Father’s pens who stripped if you turned them upside down.

Yards and yards of yellow silk.

buy some for lulu

She too is a rare

Pattern.

White phlox growing in the doors of fusty remembrance.

her dress, lifted a little, blows out, weaving garment into meditation

I and this mystery here we stand.

Skybound was the mind, the body rests in earth.

Puckered elastic being stretched thin.

i got two turntables and a microphone

Waves: The sensation of receding endlessly.

O run slowly, slowly, horses of the night.

The chowkidar tapping his stick on endless rounds.

the audience is invited to clap if they believe in fairies

Waves: Media personalities discussing

why media personalities are discussing

what media personalities are discussing.

moloch, moloch: the yield in relevance is small

The moon does not rise.

The Earth falls under it.

Little Nemo in Slumberland.

sleeping, like vishnu, under a canopy of cobra heads

What we call gravity is simply the shortest path through curved space.

An angular, fulvous line of lambency through a door slightly ajar.

I measured the skies, now I measure the shadows.

letting the days go by, water flowing underground

Waves: Elephant caravans exulting in the monsoon rain.

Ash-smeared mystics performing their austerities.

A monolith appears at the foot of the bed.

krishna’s gopis frantic for their lost clothing



a rusty pumping wheel under five Lombardy poplars

Waves: Lame daddy longlegs, dragging immoderate nights behind them.

Bourbon whisky tinkling from keg to decanter, bright as raindrops

on black twigs in imaginary bestiaries of medieval capitals.

impalpable veil of the immediate and the glory of everything

Waves: A scrubbing board with a ridged metal face.

A rainbow bridge joining heaven and Earth on the back of a giant serpent.

A limp fence straggling against the gale in antic dilapidation.

soft shoe shufflers dancing down the sidewalks

Waves: Hooded, anonymous furniture looms shapelessly in dun shrouds.

Figures in crinoline and hooped muslin. Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.

The sudden radiance of a lone lamp where the station square ends.

the boundary condition of the universe is that it has no boundary

O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock,

in the secret places of the stairs,

let me see they countenance, let me hear thy voice.

’cause it’s members only tonight

The white piano. The oval mirror. The chandelier pendants.

The wind moaning through a crack in the window.

The distended ribs of the dreaming shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

will no one tell me what she sings



waves: flashing tiaras, chokers, rings and a gathering of sticks


The widow of Zarephath has a never-failing jar

of flour and cruse of oil that keep replenishing.

The porridge bowl flows and flows and flows.

and since sleep is is-not and rain and wind are was, it is not

Waves: Praedormitary threads drift across the visual field.

Sunlight seeps yellow dissolving bars through latticed blinds.

Grey figures walk among beehives. Possibly Ammonites.

they pisseth in waves against a wall

The daughter of Jephthah weepeth for her virginity.

Sibilant. Her bare feet sibilant on the dark polished floor.

This is a daughter, not a son.

no intervention by an angel on this one


Waves: The mackerel’s moiré back,

The insult that made a man out of Mac.

The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, 20 dynamic hits, 20 original stars.

a string of unsuccessful seductions and dead-end jobs

Ravens bring me bread and flesh in the morning.

Ravens bring me bread and flesh in the evening.

Goodnight nobody.

her mind fists in my hand

The grass was wet

and the earth smelled of fall.

Anne’s sneakers were sopping.

once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away


i am a water colour. i wash off

Odd-gaited water goes through all space for nothingness.

Through coils and crucibles.

Stone doors with freakish mouths.

would you please please please please please please please stop talking

Waves: The people gone that we loved,

the beds lying empty, the couches damp, the chairs unused,

the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart.

i’m in the tub, shrivelled to a peanut, waiting for their calls

Waves: Archivolts of fir needles and crowns of bluebottles.

Wax tapers in mortal hands.

Swimming lights in the open coffin.

any vein in your body

Waves say come live with me, and be my love.

Fling arms of galaxies.

Jemima Puddle-duck said that it was because of her nerves

but she had had always been a bad sitter

Waves: Continuous golden walls of the universe.

Sometimes a horrible marionette

breaks through and smokes a cigarette.

yes, you can radiate everything you are

Waves as if a thousand girls with golden hair

might rise from where they slept and go away

when the long curtains blow into the room.

backwash of expiring being (farewell with a long black shoe)

Waves: Mama’s hand, writing on damp paper.

Immensity with no other setting than itself.

I have wept for you many times.

black rainbow of the night ferry bent over ripples in the heft of cathedral tunes

Waves: Photographs of tilting heads half-extinguished by tabloid flashbulbs.

Groves of enormous nameless flowers twisting up from the firegold sand.

The sound of bitter old rain on a road.

from time to time a plowman lifts his hand to passing carriages: whitecaps

Waves: A swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of the lion.

A brimming surface tension in a small glass of alcohol.

Striking though the mask.

but canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook?

Waves: A book of uncut pages.

Skewed humps and concavities that kick all night at bolted doors.

Moral: Never buy shoelaces from a man with no legs.

vertiginous whorls, spiral helices, archimedian intersection points

Stasis is dynamically unstable, a highly unlikely state

for the universe to remain in for long.

With the key of softness unlock the locks.

deposit urine sample here (especially ammonites)

Waves: Formulaic repetition of puja and prayers.

The mollusk, a superannuated old salt, exuding its shell.

Snow-lined cornices on house fronts along residential streets.

aphrodite was born in such conditions; jesus washed the feet of the poor

Waves: Congealed nouns dissolving into verbs.

The bells, I say, the bells break down their tower

and swing to where the silken girls are bringing sherbet.

there is a willow grows aslant the brook


waves: the chink between the white shutters

You get too much at last of everything:

of sunsets, of cabbages, of love.

Of plastic and poison, avarice and indifference.

arch my back, pretty bones, i’m dead at both ends

Waves: Wind coming up the floorboards in a gale.

An old woman jumping in her shoes on the still wet furze.

Ivory turning on lathes amid the tornadoed Atlantic of her being.

take another wag at that hair in the mirror

I remember the sea-faced uncles.

Footfalls echo in the memory.

Skiffs of singsong girls in bright silk dresses

and boatmen selling chestnuts, lotus roots and melon seeds

Waves: Ineradicable black effluvium of false windmills and demented roosters

filled to the brim with the manifold void, debouching into the nagual night

as snake-tailed seawinds coughing and howling.

black figures of birds and torn veils of snug monastic coigns

Waves rip out the connections, tear out the seams, erode the living centre,

petrify the self, scramble the constellation of interwoven narratives

of fecund women in the negative dawn-wash cacophonous with birds.

binoculars sway from horsehide straps around slate-coloured necks

Who next will drop and disappear? Must I, too, creep to the hollow?

You always wear out life before exhausting the possibilities of living.

The change from point to no-point carries a luminosity and an enigma.

passengers will please refrain from flushing toilets while the train

Flying mallard dipping both wings into the surface like skipping stones,

generating perfect mathematical functions the colour of the dappled gloom.

Most likely an interface between one order of things and another.

oleander leaves in the sea breeze syncopating cautiously along a pale wall



waves: be careful. cyanide gas in this bathroom


The sea removes her rings, pours a glass of vodka,

locks herself in the garage and turns on the ignition.

The gas undulates in a serpentine way behind her.


darkness upon the face of the deep

Waves: The horses break, rush with purposeless violence

and huddle again, fluid, phantom, and unceasing.

Eager to tumble some more, to form lower, more solid curves.

classic bohemian hobos with dissipation as their path to art

Waves: A covered wagon drawn by mules; the tail of a paper kite.

The person in the next bed breathing in laboured and hollow groans.

A squall of white linen hospital screens on rubber wheels.

a wave pauses, uncertain as a terrapin in a street of scuttering leaves

Put a quarter in the Magic Fingers machine connected to the mattress.

Oscillations of upstreaming hair and barbershop scissors of the drowned.

Sad trees and streaming marble shapes beneath a dissolving afternoon

sleeping upon the uttermost floor of the windless and tideless sea

Ripples flow in rings, concentric rings.

Apophatic green on radar screens.

The operators call them angels.

scientific delirium madness, drooling at the mouth-hole

The giants walk and walk. The cattle are lowing.

The spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters.

Do not enter. Call paramedics. The baby awakes.

she is god, la de dah




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