V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





     He steel-wools, shakes off, and rinses surfaces,
arranges the light with seasoned pots and casseroles,
     not in the least surprised to hear the closets

     whispering, the cant of referees, voices descending
out of clouds in insulated costumes, attaining
     the weight of exercise, observing the cut and toss,

     the singling out of beverage, and adapting the cuisine,
the courses drawn in an exquisite argument.  So
     the village business dusts itself for clientele, asking

     itself what for?, considers the codes made do
against the crosstown attitudes, even the catchwater
     transformed, and the bent frames, the useless
     gears and handlebars, the trousers drawn to bear
the weight of local products, and the newspapers
     transformed, wrapping the smoking trunks, to pages
     men would have the hearts to read again,
inspiring this weightlessness in him, these dreamscores
     now where circulation matters, fashioning

     designs from scraps, bearing the common wash
and shocks of alphabets, pumping the chef’s warm hand
     for certain recipes.  His old man’s seamaster

    tells him the old time.  And the old men speak of fasts
no one has made in centuries, of confederacies,
     like kinds of music visited, absorbed by hands

     that move from hands to hotter items, building
a silence long enough, snow-view to snow-view,
     so long as this one’s come and shone on company.

     Enough, he thinks, if locomotion ramifies, bringing
the pugilists to kneel, his stories of coastal bison,
     inland shells and wolverines, one bed, one wife,

     one mattress lit with the specific density, exciting
the slants of lust and feast-day gaiety, the spiralling
     sleeves and silks, and sleeves he’s rolled

     at breakfasting, catching the slants
in new commands and sinecure.

© by Robert Lietz



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