From many places, speaking truth
and making magic happen. Celebrating language.
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BOB HART - Page 3
|Poverty and Mr. Peanut||How Big Tell Me||On Reading Harriet Brown's "Letter From The Country"|
|Champ Elysseť||Invisible is Touched||By a Bare Light Bulb|
|Object Corrupted and Clear||Is There?||Mercurial, Elusive and There|
|millennium||Where They Met||Flight Into Appearance|
|Formal Attempts||Green Within Pale Gray||How Angels Dance|
|Man, Can They!||At the Wrong Table||Imaginary Father|
Go to Page 1 . Page 2
said Poverty one day to Mister Peanut --
and Saint Francis stood up for me.
Made my gray into a halo garment;
By God I know what you mean --
exclaimed Mister Peanut. That
George Washington Carver: what
he did for me! Call me
Chameleon Peanut after he got through:
applied to faces and spread on bread;
I came out smelling like perfume!
I can't remember all the
characters he had me playing --
but they were plenty.
I admire Francis, giving
everything that covered him
to bare-assed show, Poverty, honey,
what wealth you really had --
And, by the Lord, that Georgie
worked as tenderly and
long for me!
Everyone deserved a champion.
You got yours and I got mine.
Let all be as lucky.
How Big Tell Me
How big, tell me, does a
man in a prison imagine the world to be.
If he imagined running
far and far
how far is that?
God, would I -- God, if these
old legs could run
then couldn't I imagine running
across fields, across towns, across the tops
of electric wires (those old
no more existent things) across the
surface of the moon both hot and cold, around
the rim of Saturn where
poor Dazzler sang
when all the earth was eaten, and
God! You don't think you
care about millions but
wouldn't you miss them if
you had only space to sing to -- God!
The father of singing just only to
fill up an empty universe! But how much
different is that in
your lonely room that wants to run
from everything outside it that
you have to go to for
the squeeze of crawling days?
The guy in the prison
hears the train
and that creates his distance; I
see that enticing face
another train shose whistle
makes my longing
distances as it goes away and me
no bird to follow it, no
voice to call.
Oh the good wind -- to run
before storms, play eternal tag; not
needing sleep or breath, to
forget all things in the
forward maneuver and speed of play -- oh
the good height: to
James Bond fall! At the end
of the thrill to rebounce like a ball
on a string to the
snowy top to fall again; to
never think through a million
In innocent intensity
a child can cry
as harsh a pathos as a world of tragedy.
I can try
and only push against
a tearlessness as dry
(not anywhere as wide)
God, to crisscross all these roads that
go through/to these dull somewheres; crisscross push
to places past these bars of roads
to where space isn't lostness but vastness of rarity
person to person exchanging of quality,
and that the action
of being affinity's motion, livingly free.
my wet hair heavy
cries and whimpers groans and shouts
a nasty darkness somewhere below
signs and songs
and personalities without number
On Reading Harriet Brown's "Letter From The Country"
I am dressed in the feel
of animals brushing by me
the warm torso of deer
the brushlike soft raccoon
the featherwhip of wrens crows robins sparrows hawks
hot wolf fur
the trees are walking and I feel them too
the tuft of weeds and the wild turkey
I am dressed in family.
Some places the brown earth is spotted with snow like a fawn
water the snow
will be cold on me
you will see my overcoat of snow.
The lining will be
the hot smoke of black wood and red leaves
are chuckling cooing grumbling.
My overcoat is manifold with mouths and eyes
I am dressed in family.
It was on the Champ Elysseť
of which some have a different memory,
but I was there.
You walked into the fluttering park
or rather you danced
and -- trick of the wind -- you always found a partner.
Of course the fountains were statues
continually made by the leaping water
and also danced.
Scholars suggested they were goddesses and gods
and this water was their nourishment.
Restaurant of the Gods the park was called
for a particular fountain, in special animation,
would seem to favor
a particular pair of partners --
no lovers without a blessing presence.
And this in the sane daylight of spring.
The daylight of France is particularly sane
as any Frenchman, or even Englishwoman will tell you.
If you want to write an intellectual work
you sit in the daylight of France
with your pen and paper: that sun on that paper!
This I'm writing on now
is not real, actual paper, merely a sun image
from one of those days.
Summer, of course, is comparatively mad
in any temperate countryside or its byplaces
Take your lover to -- intellectual lover -- or find one
in the Restaurant of the Goddesses.
The pair of you will love those transparent dancers --
and their guardian ways --
that even the curious French ask no questions about.
For those new to this experience, I advise
not having your first park day
be one of heavy rain.
Invisible is Touched
Concerted horns call through the stringful wind
and pioneer a flight agility:
to storm-haunt here but bouquet, by their blend,
the other side of visibility.
A touchness rises from a lake as light,
its fingers podding so that cities glow;
some pods flesh red and sweet, their skins rush bright
and touchness takes in touch so it can know.
To rise and fly past sleep amazed by space,
to look in self alarmed with vertigo
is not the same. The dimness on the face
is not the mirror of the winds below.
A multiple of cherries brims a shelf
and mirror looks, but not to see itself.
By a Bare Light Bulb
Finger tap my head. Here. You see? -
crumbles into a hollow like rotted wood
and ants with teeth craw out.
Talk? Well, sit down to coffee anyway;
you can look at my fifty year old face.
If I'm to be sincere
you have to take the chance
of my not saying anything at all.
Do not read my mind, please -
it's a blank in company.
Leave it alone and it'll porch to an August crowd
out of the tenement of memory
or else right now
in the pregnant present
it'll jump new things
off the strong invisible of your being
you've adopted simply for this conversation.
That's good, but you're lucky
I like your expressions.
So many expressions these days I could do without.
"Each face a whole world" someone said,
an art critic I believe. You see how narrow
my taste is then, how green
or rotten I am to drama
when, though what I see isn't half the story
not a fraction, I find its mobile skin so disposable.
But it has the power to mesmerize.
You pardon my saying this
in my facile and unfeeling way
but that "Ey mother fuckah!"
pasted on that face he carries there
isn't even his own anger, not original, not even primitive.
It's a copy of thousand other angers,
the whole package.
If he wrote it in a novel, you'd say:
I've read this before
but give me more. I'm mesmerized.
kitchen gossip hanging in her ears
and news print on her face: afraid.
And a million more come behind her,
dressed in this century
but like a parade of ages.
They were angry before. And
in worn shoes
here comes one of the
trillion faces of apathy.
Before, they were afraid.
And there are others
with no faces at all.
They go down the same tunnel
ground to the same dust.
They call that gray surface Death,
but it doesn't stop there -
the cloning and the grinding I mean.
Death is like the desert quickpowder
whose firm appearance
hides the sinking beneath.
I say they or youse or we'all
go down the same tunnel
but I feel myself
slipping further down it every day
even while dolled
in the corruption of aging
and others gaberdined in soured youth
or dressed in garbage
Ibsening the streets.
Tunnel or funnel did I say?
Gather how the gravity and abyss keeps its deep agreement.
Coming in swoop down from wider and more varied
it continues in suck to narrower
and all the same.
Did you ever notice in your expansive moods
when you were very you
how well you adventured many people and possibilities
even smacking on the variety of strangeness
but how when hung in quilt stuck in hate
ashamed afraid or dream-failed you become the exile -
modern clone terrorist exile -
you lack anyone, soul to soul, to talk to? -
How knife and dynamite are not enough;
the poison-twisted genitals cannot trust a kiss;
you've become a single sonnet eye in a world of cameras.
Some kind of hell -
but who says the circles end at nine?
The clock has been running a long time:
we times it now we ride it
but in its thickening dive
it doesn't feel what we feel (or fail to).
The clock is not a devil with comic relief
to sit and jump from its own pitchfork
or justly suffer the hollow of lost good,
nor does the condom
of our discarded body
end the journey and possibility
of blindness enclosedness and pain.
But look - digging that the most
spacial mirrors are only material -
look again at that particular bully of minds and bodies
that butcher destroying dreams
that ghost-become-human-garbage shaking his cup
that beaten child
look below my dented brow: There is a mine I think
below the purposes that failed:
there is a climbing I think
even out from the fantasy watts maggoted below
the dim bulbs of deaths
in the inch wide squirm of artificial second sight;
in each, and certainly the strong, each one
below or above or central to
the ruins that weakness made, I think
there is a strength that beauty jumps from
gorgeously dressed as itself.
Soon to Begin
I want your most exquisite -
I mean paint it nicely
with the utmost strength of color
flashing oranges for instance greens and purpling blues
and delicacy of rendered form. After all
if I'm to accept an invitation
it must be -
well something rare.
It's an invitation to an opera?
What is an opera?
What is an invitation?
I can come and see something -
I can come and see something -
I may and I can?
Well something is a thing
I've never seen, much less
Where have I been? No place.
Well we need time for that. Oh -
time will be in the opera.
You've got me interested now.
I'm looking forward to it.
Oh, there's only forward.
Sometime in the opera
I may then look back
to holding this invitation
and cry. What's cry?
Oh, it's something in an opera.
It's starting. Oh my.
I know there were all these -
Hello! Hello! - but not that about them
Hello you! Is that
why you gave me an invitation? - So pretty -
so I could say hello?
Now that I'm here
and I thank you for all this color
and all this wonderful change, and again and change and again
now that I'm here
- so much having happened -
and can know was
I wonder how long
before was was
Object Corrupted and Clear
Termites had bitten the icon wholly.
They like the taste of the wood.
But gold had gone where gold should go:
into the viewer's heart.
Oh but the heart is eaten
by the wormy sight of holes:
little hells drawing it in.
But above the blood (so thirsty for heart's purity)
is what the view viewed with
which endowed the icon's goldness with its heaven.
Yes there may be some connection
between apparition and appearance.
On some choice errands a god will wear green.
Or green will wear godliness in certain illustrated stories.
And a god in a serious mood
or an object of art in its pride
will demand a space polished by
dawning or night; not too large not too small
to well contain the perceivable presence.
A fashion...a sometime fashion...will demand! -
either speaking loudly with
importance and a bell-like voice
or quietly, demurely just not being visible until
it stands in the proper setting.
Gods, goddesses can be more modest
finding his or her solidity flattened by even
an old country barn
or a dining kitchen -
messages of gods being only
some sorrowful or joyful
variation on aesthetics
so at times, of course, a cliffhigh wave a
hellish flame or a stepping through a stone
is on solemn target,
amazement a proper face card for
that special meld of moment.
Comedians and magicians
carry this to ridiculous extreme
reducing the dignity of surprise
and stripping it of grace,
but just to confound these two fools
goddess or god will often appear
as a blazon of nudity
to be covered by perfumed fashion
or comic stink
but always able to vanish, unvanish;
invite eyes to see or to be them.
Mercurial, Elusive and There
Purity is mercurial you know:
sometimes when rain
has dusted and burnished the atmosphere
dressed in the body of that light.
like they say the naked soul changes -
sometimes coming as a melody - plain or blended -
a clarity that penetrates and sings inside.
Not necessarily sparing or spare, its
simplicity (so often a gleam)
might be eons long; the active
colorless changing flame of
a neverending story -
purity so mercurial: crying laughter for surprise.
I have seen purity in a rush
infect a multitude:
though I never swam in Walden Pond
I have oceaned upward in
that many distilled into one.
She, Purity, when so spirited,
evades the forceful grasp, slips from but illuminates
the defacated twilight
and...freely invisible...answers no questions
except perhaps: who am I?
a pearl of dew: millennium.
this one to come in morningglow
for beings' growth within it;
the multiplying rainbows link
yet find their space -
your own rings
ringing out into infinity
Where They Met
There was a dream world where they met and talked
in spite of fighting in their waking world
Intimate awake was flesh erect or
blade into slippery flesh
Armor was there in the waking world
hard and patterned to points
Its gleaming had a different meaning
taken into dream
where they talked
In the wake-a-day world night was exotic
but blood smelled in places
you didn't want to go
and every object was armor and mechanical
There was a met and talked
I was banked on a cloud as
large as a universe
There were banks in the dream world
which dazzled its day
was a spite of fighting in their waking world
met and talked
was a there and there a pretty-minded boy
wrote the dances for the waking world
where skies were dreams he was the smoothest lake
to ripple to a ripple to a rhythm -
brightfinger rise to touch silver's face -
a Mercury to fill the skies he flew in
Slipped on charm in wake and dream
Dived but never skimmed the twilight
Bring a shivering pennant from Hell
they told him
to prove that you've been there
He brought a freezing wind
which played like a child
a demented minor thing
Though it howled darkly around the stones
its face was the face of a child
there was a dream world where they met
in spite of fighting in the waking world
Flight Into Appearance
You held your standard as you ran
I running beside you holding mine
Discovery quicktouched under our feet
nobody told us there was nothing behind us
no existence to measure
not even stars to prick our backward fall.
We ran field like airplanes
rising without memory refreshed with vapor
knowing only sky.
Violet was a reason to run; purple
was a deepening wind to Florida.
Sunset was an Indian skin
whichever came first -- upward
on whatever feathers
smelling blood or gold or
whatever would standardly come.
No sooner an arc than a circle;
no sooner a center
than angle lines widening away into number:
making vivid the colors of difference
casting forward victories' space
racing past where our past-compass kept-
disappeared into nowhere.
South seascraper cobblestone flood
who love hate gray and color space and street
roll onto these planks and see.
Work's just the bottom rung of creation.
Good to have it here.
Though I fret
when I rub wrong against you
good to have you all here.
Mister Modern Age Painter
painted a light bulb
painted the letters of gasoline
on a canvas
jazz on a summer's day.
They were a trio
on planks by the water -
black on electric guitar
caucasian on drums
Japanese on bass -
mellow to multiple downtown wall
to dingy smooth river
to casually gathering worklunch crowd.
Mellow tune without a name -
they'll play to a specific time or place -
in their American way
they'll play to April next time.
a lighter April
the same people
but not the same
the loving and hating
maybe more loving than hating:
the vigorous lunchtime games.
When this woman chooses pin to pierce her hair
widen your window
notice how wind-trees increase
how seawaves slow
slow almost to jewel -
the dignity of air
where she must move
an ornament ornate at head
as wind embracing wind
wave entangling wave
is her ready servile devil
resting in first clarity
an angel smooth simplicity
rarity must breathe in silence
its bosom must be woman
solemn through the window
to tallest places smallest to the eye
I want to show myself so dark
that you'll be dazzled by my blackness,
incandesced to wonder by my yellow spots.
Crack-crackle in your excitement I want to!-
be a fury to embrace your bravery.
I want to dance as naked as a sword;
am a swing and want
to sing a spurt-purge out past Sirius
multiplied back by deep purple night
- the distances of its gleaming points -
and you rung vivid in the splash between
my heart and stars.
my tap shoes
my merry-go-rounds are on:
I am. I want.
I am clowns of explosion all smiling out
of their supernova;
when I laugh it is
me! me! me!
here for you! you! you!
Chase me brighter as I run away;
burst me with brightness if you can.
It's worth all of my being
to cause you wonder,
to trip you into the undamnable rhythm of I am.
Change into a blue sky
then back again into a sea monster:
Shift from midget crab to houseroach -
a four-hugging-morons' running escape.
Change into a sweetheart then into an enemy
before you change into an English coat
before you sprout into a mixwinged angel.
flame and then a stone:
"I'm not stoned - I'm just a stone;
when I hear hot music I really rock."
Lakebed lie as water, asking:
Can you read me?
Become new truth confused between
a network of spiral nebulae and
a jelly lace of frogseggs, so
becoming both at once and wondering
about the immensity betwen you and you.
Chase a minute and become it.
For art's sake become a century.
For cosmic motion become an eon.
For the sake of a soul become forever.
For the sake of romance become the rain:
crowning the lovers as brilliant blue.
Green within Pale Gray
This hill's height is a cup
turned down and spilling green
upward over itself.
When the warmth is moist go
into and round its rising spill;
turning you discover
no two silences the same.
When one uncovers you you're not ashamed
of your withinness with the rocks,
your polished edge that finds the leafblade points,
that you drink the tops of trees
going down the height, that solitude
looks deep in you
and distance kisses.
A Graceful Space
She kept it clean so good in that;
they found her good and loved her well
and carefully played
in the space she kept:
keeps it and loves it -
green worn for dancing gracefully in it -
purple for making
things to be in it -
cherry red and white for that good being.
She made herself but never thought it
keeping it clean;
busy, but still she
never saw the space grow in her hand.
A world itself: look
at the picture of her hand he drew;
when he brushed in color
it glowed outside the page.
He was her page but he made the space
that would enfold
the watery clarity that kept it,
simplified her beauty to it.
How Angels Dance
Fountain into future time
I jump from now to now -
but if I miss the universe
where am I? thought an angel watching
and flying tandem with
a featherblack sun-iridescent bird.
He heartbeats - the angel felt -
he lights branch to branch
over cellular moment to moment
that keeps the field green.
Between tick and tock
I a fallable thing tightwire my flight:
enchanted or breathless for
tock after tick
I must stretch time tight for my spring
or I miss the next moment
Dropped out of sight
between things seen
(a name-lost me with no place to be)
through what void would call
to guide my flight
any wishvoiced or birdvoiced airbase of Time?
Can I be still so quick
having slipped this tick
I could tag that tock
from anywhere in infinity?
Say we dance
I desire your face
I desire the pace of the music
I watch you move and I move
I smell your smell;
I can tell the time by your perfume
by the change of the light
on your dress on your hair;
we beat so fast there is no past
and that's how it should be
being here a pair of you and me.
Some say this moment is forever but we
however effortlessly it stretches
beauty into a million years or
millions of years a second
quick to quick
our moved timed well
is always now.
Our checkerboard racing for the
substances holds us
here and here
but if we fell between
without the heat for signal would we
find each other?
would we need to?
Man, Can They!
Man those girls can laugh!
I mean they really splatter cheer into the air.
They let go. Oh boy they let go
Can their chairs hold them; tables contain them?
They should ride horses
jump cloudhigh fences; they should, they should
run beside the running deer; do
Phoenician somersault on bulls, then
leap amid spectators in the stands.
Make way for those laughing girls -
wave banners for them; fly the flags.
Spare no colors. Spare no winds. Let the light
burst its sides with brightness.
Let the heavy turtles of the galaxies
declare a rabbit holiday.
It's catching. Help me hold my sides.
This is too lively for
the likes of any gravity-coherent solid thng.
At the Wrong Table
Wit on a page is only wit.
Print does it best. Sometimes suceeds.
But did you ever
lunching at your table, solo or in stupid company
spot that table just some feet away
hear the suavest of voices
thicksimmering the broth of wittiness
then, in coolest murmur, another, another
humorous toe touching humorous heel
sliplessly agile, aloofly alert in a
wit-tuned tennis play of spontaneity?
Surely the funniest words in the world
were bubbling into birth and cheerfully dying;
seasons of cultures, coming, cresting
never to be seen again;
ivoried zones of wilful wit: exquisite, ephemeral
like South Sea sunrise-sunsets you'll never see -
left out of the party; dull and anonymous
envying brilliant banter so seamlessly a continuum
that unlaughed laughs must make a quick escape
to ribs which wait some other side of time.
If I had two daughters
one would be a dewdrop
another a candlestring flame.
How many mornings
one sees the one daughter
on grasscurl budheart mossclump
or else in the guise of a snowflake.
The other from
a cool womb of oxygen
There to smile, not embrace;
enticing to look on, Lear's winter-spring offspring
never fleshed so luxuriously.
Whether child or woman
soul of the life
like a star in
the sphere of the eye
the being there.
A memory of infant smell
the later fierceness of perfume:
classically to be like marbles met
cool-eyed in world's historied halls
all their portraits temperate in the encounter
as I stumble on
strange frozen stairs in Hell
or doomdark brimstone caves.