Henry Gould: Eight poems

  Henry Gould

  Eight poems



That poet in Ravenna caught
a cold in Rimini,
or Venice. Passed away
to Beatrice, Juliet.

Love’s adamant majesty, a sign
strong as death, cruel
as the grave. Well
from the heartsprings, evergreen.

Out of salt pine-swamps (north, south)
a chastening, straight-
ening… hero-fate
an odd Sioux stratagem (mouth-

harp buffalo). The reediness
is all. On a cliff
near the harbor, stiff
WPA Roger-Osiris

lifts one granite hand in blessing
& for what?The dignity
of an old pine tree.
Tell me how God made everything,

demands the little hopping child
whose dancing illustrates
the answer (pirhouettes
toward Paris now). One wild

akimbo-leap — Puerto Rican
hip, maybe? She’s
learning fast. Trees
watch, cast shadows (almost human).

  Royal Flush

Bald eagles wheel over Marshall Ave.
Bridge. The clouds drift
north. Lakota shift
west, into Dakotas. Have

Black Elk, will travel (Wild West
Show). In a circle.
Until the icicle
of White Bear Lake’s a poltergeist

in the story (frozen Minnehaha).
Carry her over the water,
Hiawatha, Longfellow
(this is the forest primeval). Eh,

sighed my father, c’est la guerre.
He bears it all, with grace
before each meal (Minneapolis
Falcon-Ace); now I live in his eyrie-

lair. It’s a strange situation (home
to his mother’s house
quiet return’d). Oedipus
& the royal flush (a kingly game,

poker). Every Hamlet plays
the odds (instinctual
evolution, hell
to grail)… Alla Mistakeo, sez

Poe. But he’s wrong (as usual).
The water from the creek
whispers my father… speak.
He’s earned that urn. Mississippi, roll.

  Henry’s Adam

This backyard dogwood blooming now
with strange maroon nail-holes
at the cruciform petals’
4 corners, keeps a chronicle too —

ringed with ragged pale-grey bark
over tombs of cicada husks.
Her inscrutable codex
marks the plots of folded peacock-

fans… slow-diminishing pulse
of a certain father’s deathbed
childhood-sigh (old
John’s apple, at the grave matrix).

Each local anecdote of global
Providence springs
scraggly lightning rings
in some such way. Calder mobile

or Statue of Liberty — Apollonian Sophie’s
purple plastic wading
poolful of Bangladeshing
Roma genes… remnant refugees

sketching poppy fields of Paradise.
Grafted by wilderness,
the archaic ravenous
vernacular grows foreign lives —

yet still your father’s face peeks out
between waves of metal sleet.
Incorruptible, complete
now (serious dog-star Scout).


Flowering white cherries, dogwoods
flank pock-marked by-ways
of Summit neighborhood. Maze
for decrepit spars, tackle. Gould’s

Island, a mirage of peeling shades.
Keeled over on the sidewalk,
somebody said. Just a block
from here. Cataracts cascade

from flimsy eyesores — Providence
is where you are, blind king.
A shroud from Sheep’s Clothing
rivets Ariadne in RI. Nonsense-

crock, or Monarch sepulcher?
Mutual web, or recipe
for ferocity? Quipu,
mayhap. Counting-house, your

Gothic hoard… your Sutton Hoo,
owl-bard. Whose buried ark
is here, in Theseus Park?
Timbered differentials, fluted blue,

blister to red, white, gray…
a black sail nears the shore.
Golden forsythia, for fair
Pen’s breaker-circlet — like an eye

through the thicket of a rusted coin.
A moss-beard face peers out
from angled whorls — green coot
in green coat (sunlit through rain).

4. 28. 14
  Beyond Trebizond

In gaol, Boethius beats out
a Greek-Byzantine tune
set to old Roman
type. Hand spans a lute

now, in his memory (that’s all,
folks). Curtains flare
down like swan wings air.
Les jeux sont faits, Apollodorus,

mon ami. Waves (medium-
grey OK-fingertips)
remind him of those lips,
O Wisdom… salt over tedium!

Beyond Trebizond. Outa sight,
Detroit. The chariot’s
invisibilità (thought’s
light portion of your sweet

anti-Octavian proportion)
— prelude to the mangy
grand finale (strange
unsnarl of trench-contortion).

In a lamb’s cat’s-cradle (ojo
de Dios) the golden wool
ravels every spill,
for carrots! Stubby fir-iron boho —

him Assisi grapejay giveaway!
Such humiliated gold
still shine from sheepfold…
um daily bread. Him loco honey.

9. 12. 14
  Nicked Mirror

62-yr-old Providence Man
Lost in Late-Summer
Sunlight. Beachcomber?
Like Big Rabbit in Rabbit Clan

or hidden Hiawatha-wannabe
he snoozes in ripe shade
(old mini-aha Corn Maid
fan). A tiny, gilded, bee-

like fly rides light upon his knee.
He nobody — only
this calm tranquility
of crystalline transparency.

The Day itself, he mumble, it
might be like so, someday.
Dressed in garden togs, hey.
Vacating the rites of Ugotit

& Wegrabit, of Big Cat Fear
& Hard-Heart Recipe
(brune soup). Black Sea
of caustic raven-ink, draw near —

engrave your lettuce-wave across
the sky’s nicked mirror.
Something strange is here.
Beyond pre-Stonehenge Way-Back, toss

your diamond octopus right through
the cosmic gauze. One
grave, brave moon-
gaze harbors you (hail, Manitou).

9. 12. 14
  Wrinkled Heights

Summer’s last gold, in these weeds
burnished by constant crickets.
Jasper, rose, the violets.
Drowsy Apollinaire proceeds

through thunder-blooms (repetitions
of a dated jealousy)
toward his Texas Annie-
Ariadne (chanteuse convolutions,

Cherson harbor-sound). The rites
of autumn’s Oklahoma
oak. Dusky Jonah
twinkles over wrinkled heights

out west. Margarita in Mexico,
Procurator & Monarch-
mast — one syrinx-irenic arc
for sleepy sun. Monsieur, les jeux

sont faits. A Petersburg, hélàs.
Bees hover, dive into
late clematis… you bowline
one poor wreath for your Francesca

under Frisco sun. From Mendelssohn
to Providence, from shanty-
town to Olneyville, from Anti-
Christ to Chosen One, the molten

haze gets fluted into unison. Low song
welds tungsten hammers
into infant stammers…
calumet marine (peace-prong).

9. 15. 14
  Lightweight Pendentive

The raven in a land of shades
is caustic ink. Remains.
Inca child in mountain
sacrifice — there’s gold in spades.

This raincloud looms in purple-grey.
For everyone. & then
one hunted black-orange sign
skips over fence — hey-yo, ey-hey.

Sole monarch is a butterfly.
En route to Mexico
Kedron (ground zero) —
grey-green needles, blue bull’s-eye.

Soul monarch. Psyche-melody,
tangential, tentative.
Lightweight pendentive
shepherd in mosaic (friendly

rabbi-lamb, in ferrous wheel
of morpho blue). Not far
from Ursiana cedar —
Route 56 (exit for Israel).

This king bears all. Ursus is us :
service stations, Rus
to U. S. The humble ass
shoulders each blow, does not resist,

does not concede. Smolak or Bruno,
eye on the sky, burning —
dove-star, yearning, turning
soil. Barefoot basilica (fresco).

9. 16. 14



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