i. down the eaves of the world
what, _you ask
the first crow knew cawing
what later birds will at last mean.
above, the rooftop snow— melting
singing_____ tap tapping down the eaves
anything that would. listen to
the drip of rain_______ of faucet
into the steel ear of a midnight sink
and the silence between
not awkward, but a small prayer
two palms confiding
to each other when they touch:
a dome more holy under your clasp
ii. what smolders
be it the syllables of thunder, small enough
clapped in a flamenco of measured flurries
or the ghost of an autumn leaf
that bled its tannin— a sidewalk tattoo
all one and the same—
what bypasses the word, not yet meaning.
and you—____ the watershed
place where you forget— underground rivulet.
till not remembering reminds you of who you are.
still, you ask:
what is stomped under the dancer's feet?
what seasons us on the sidewalk one boot-step at a time?
what thunders open a tree
on the retina of memory?
not the rhythm we can transcribe
nor the emotion we hammer—
spikes into the ground ____for the railroad
through haphazard biographies.
but fire the earth won't willingly yield
what smoulders in the soul more surely
than under ashes
(still, isn't this to explain poetry by poetry
metaphor by more metaphor?
obscurum per obscurius. the only way
to the morpheme of the world.
notes on the process
version with footnotes