The Music’s Paid

Breath and brass are familiars
Blending soulful elements

Woods mimic habitat
And voice a common life

All over the world
A percussion is being heard

Strings fuse vibrations
And the earth shudders

Time piecemeals music
To save us from the din

Set in motion
It sways a deafened god

The music’s paid
Let us dance until we love

Neutral Recovery

“Nor it nor no remembrance what it was.”
                                                Shakespeare

Someone sick in neutral recovery I know
Lifts autumn leaves from her eyes,
Dresses in her nakedness,
Walks half the hospital road
Where visitors come and go
Like days through a breathing tube.

You can see the leveling in her face
And at her fourth-floor window,
October mixing with her image,
Branches growing slowly bare,
All her hope appeased and fair,
Lingering like a longer summer.

Someone sick in neutral recovery I know
Gathers all her strength for winter,
Goes more boldly into cold,
Neither well nor worse in her transparency.

Mythic News

How can you kill a Daphne Caruana Galizia?
That’s like killing all flowers,
like killing ourselves
to get at it something already dead.
How can you kill a Daphne Caruana Galizia?
She was made from everything
between non-being and substance.
She was made from the fabric of words.
She takes root in truth.
She branches into the immaterial
like prophecy, like genus, like blood…
How can you kill a Daphne Caruana Galizia?
That’s like killing off trees
expecting light to crown its own shade,
like killing numbers
and seeing plurality die:
Daphne Caruana Galizia, Daphne of Malta,
Daphne transformed.

Bitting Cuts

I’ve dad’s key to the barbershop.
I keep it on my key ring
for its wistful returns.
It opens the barbershop door.

There’s dad, arms frozen in air,
asking me to sweep ancient hair.
I don’t mind but for cinema lines,
in which case I’m still embarrassed—

People looking in, as through time,
at the immigrant kid
swept up in a barber’s dream,
without purpose or ambition.

Watchmaker’s Paradox

I return to the watchmaker
whom I’ve killed before,
dead battery and time capsule,
fixed on this escarpment,
a zombie in love with a dream,
nostalgic for a golden age,
arms heavy with toxic snails,
hands moist with murderous gel
and my nuclear arsenal
and hairspring trigger
for his eternal recurrence.
I return to the watchmaker
whom I’ve killed before,
being of his chronology,
mirroring my own assassin,
deep time running under strata
like gear trains through mind.