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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
Street Seaport Choice Exuberant
Formal Attempts Green Within Pale Gray How Angels Dance
Man, Can They! At the Wrong Table Imaginary Father
Go to Page 1 . Page 2

Poverty and Mister Peanut

Nature stood up for bastards in King Lear --

said Poverty one day to Mister Peanut --

and Saint Francis stood up for me.

Made my gray into a halo garment;

goddessed me.

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 --

or were.

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

daredevil repetitions!

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)

as Arizona.

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

disappearing disappearing

cries and whimpers groans and shouts

disappearing disappearing

a nasty darkness somewhere below

deep perhaps.

Disappearing disappearing

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

the leaves

are chuckling cooing grumbling.

My overcoat is manifold with mouths and eyes

I am dressed in family.

Champ Elysseť

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

even Paris.

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.

That woman

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

money-ripe maturity

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

an opera.

Where have I been? No place.

How long?

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 sound

and position

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

I was...

and you

and you

and you

and you.

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.

Is There?

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.

changing changing

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 questions

except perhaps: who am I?


a pearl of dew: millennium.

this one to come in morningglow

and morningwarm

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

and talked

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

or sunrise

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:

we two


creating allegiance

making vivid the colors of difference

casting forward victories' space

racing past where our past-compass kept-

disappeared into nowhere.

Street Seaport

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 turns

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.

Formal Attempts

Change into a blue sky

then back again into a sea monster:

very acrobatic.

Shift from midget crab to houseroach -

eightlegged logic:

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.

Change to

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:

dissolving clown

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,

loved 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

and everything.

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

we two;

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

only future

and that's how it should be

being here a pair of you and me.

Some say this moment is forever but we

know better:

this moment

however effortlessly it stretches

beauty into a million years or

millions of years a second

this moment

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.

Imaginary Father

If I had two daughters
especially daughters
one would be a dewdrop
another a candlestring flame.
Ephemeral? No.
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
hotly everywhere.
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.