Moon Poem
rating: +14+x





"[…]

…. the Cambridge ladies do not care, above

Cambridge if sometimes in its box of

sky lavender and cornerless, the

moon rattles like a fragment of angry candy"

— E.E. Cummings









Falling Song



January

sky's skin

crisp and dark,

mottled and lain out

over artemisia and yarrow

leather left to dry. While it caught light

with a flare ascending, ascending too long whose

flame menaced all with ruination. This sudden fear

of falling by the atom nearly killed us anyway, but one shaded woman

singing over in the alley, muddy-shoed, …ain't got long

to stay here. My feet start goin' down and I got to follow.

I clutched to your forearms.

And then the fire left gravity altogether.


February

sky whose baled

clouds scuttled quickly

stale smoke coming down over

drowning cattails, thirty-nine degrees inclined, bodies

molten lead and gas alight. A great wreck;

we hoped it came from out,

way out, Leonids or the moon landing.

Not just from January. Just ask the ladies

in the rec center, they dream of being

unmoored. Only astronauts know to be

weightless is to be falling without end.

To see men fly, thinking

they're moths; they've seen

Icarus and thought how kind to be

the one that falls.

His old man hears

the sound of

weight,

impact—

but not the fool boy,

his slight body sprawled.


Even in downfall, at Pappy's,

as birds circle, hungry

and men outside document wreckage

under moonlight, a chorus rises,

…bound a-way, bound a-way,

'cross the wide Missouri
















i. New Moon No Fear



If I wake up I itch with little Vs of cactus hair. Then should I smell like cowboy cologne, You are looking at me, I notice only Then you are awake, and looking at me. If I wake up, the sun is out And I cannot see It is beaming into my window with blue and solar noise World is moving. Then where is my bed? where If I wake up, I am made of fire. Surely this means I'm less than one person, maybe now a caloric bomb. How many is a fire? If I wake up the street fire beating And there is a suspension of parade outside. Then a man walks Into Through me he is blind is a long-haired cat on his shoulder And a folded hat says watch it Kid. If I wake up and watch where fire the dutch door is open Then everyone can see me unshaven in bed. Watch for suspension of shame. Float If I wake up. The world is dark but there are still stars, If I look up they wink on or off under moving branches. I know where the moon but there are only stars there too. I must have found it beautiful once Now there is a cork stopping the sky. If I look down where beating moon breaks fire and a black disc splits my optic nerve, Then watch a shadow play of your hair dance on Mare Imibrium and watch. If I wake up the screen is bright beating fire, drafted essay about poetry suspended on the stomach and about lightning and flashlights and watch for bed Then I don't know how to see If I wake up, Then If car window is hot, Then there is a truck on fire on the freeway bed. If it is close to the dead rancher's golden grasses, in Random range Hark, California, how much is a fire? Then we could trade it for a stormcloud. Listen If I wake up my fingers beating, on piano keys If I look like shit and smell like dried spittle fire. Then I thought it was a movie soundtrack, says a girl from the collapsing dorms in bed If I wake up in the haunted arms of fire you told me not to love And she loathes me to touch her Choice Then I think it must have started like this in bed You need good care, not easy care If I wake up you remember who I am. And if I am not just her? Had you not concussed beating when you flew like a bullet off the motorbike crashing Then you should have told me to love you instead Where words short If I wake up I have run out of the sacred suspension; the needle in my leg is Socket only pumping air. Then my breasts are sprouting hairs. If my nipples look too young. I am waking up While the plane is turning. Then my eyes stay closed. If cable is severed. And window is frosting. Then the air is cool. If Moon is shut. Then Sky is null.
















ii. Waxing



At NYU I was seated at a Q-and-A with Anne Carson speaking. She had just published Red Doc>. Machine-myth sequel to the early novel; once her work was hungry, sprawling red. Something had changed. Some student asked her that evening What did you feel when you wrote, so she said Nothing. and so vividly a nothing. This the woman once writing tangos of the husband: It was not like therapy. It was lingual exercise. The student of fire wilted, diminished, said So it was all a simple game?

I do not think of games as simple.

I recounted this to you, on the phone, we were scattered on the picnic field eating roasted garlic. You crudely joked about that Carson going on testosterone, meanwhile I was looking at the moon in the blue sky, which was like a chalice; or a cherub testing at my mettle. But you weren't really there? And she didn't really say that?

No, I agreed. She did not.
















iii. Waning



We were in the desert

of a cool desert

mind


saw the boys turn it glass,

shook off the last sand and we moved

cityways,


saw the men

in business skins


would polish the moon

to a mirror should it

shine more.


Every slab is

clean and each brick

machine-meant and


they rise and shine. Righting about canyons like the weight

of law.


I feel it coursing ice

behind steeple

and office


with herring clouds

and a-swingin behind


them a thrown stone,

No it don't rattle, but it chides,


Once you fell upon me like rain.

Will it be the last of the

world to go? Carson,


If all we've got of stone is brick and beam

what to do with the moon?
















iv. Full Moon DX



In the last days of the internet we broke

the law of sound. My room once a chatroom

opened like a tunnel unto other air. My bed was your bed

was no walls between us my voice straight to yours

via window via cable via long Atlantic via telegram. (This was IRC.)

In the last days of the internet we blithely followed the law

of seeing. Meta so sweet kept our words museum-winged

we dropped plainly into like archives or yellowed office cabinets.

Discord a place no place on the earth but dis-

embodied, like a whiteboard itching bread! milk!

trash goes out on monday! and who should need to be so present

for a nagging?


:


Moon she

keeps no notes.

Carson, you best be listening,

I should tell a story, if you could hear my voice,


like we're back in the same room like old,

my words gone out in the water as if bottled. Something

rattles me tippy-toe against this antenna, tilt wide on

the sea-hands toward the sky, moon mine


a dish of candy. It demands a perfect night. My boat rocks

slow now stilling, whose plastic shifts and braces;

all day I watched the big wave coming, a fortress

broken against the horizon, and waited anxiously with ladyfish


dashed, under transceiver-hummer, under the deck.

The water is composing a perfect form. Now if I can

beat its curve, I was gonna tell of myself a hammer

on your guitar in Mojave Moon! Mooon!


and moonrise looked like we

in blue rock were up there, as in common

with comets. That the time you saw me fall asleep grasping

at the forearms of a cactus, looking up and hoping


to glimpse your lamp spark in the mirror.

You watching me breathe wide with spikes,

the yucca moth land between us

in moonlight. I'd sing you


Prine and Welch and you

could sing along—and you won't have died or

turned your receiver away? Towards manifold stars

their whorled fingerprints in scuds of fog. You must keep the antenna


spun fast; hold till impact, the two seconds till you hear me,

the time for words to meet the moon, orbit

and turn back, to fall upon long and severed cables

in hot gas and blood rain. I will have left the sea; The math is so easy.


All that once was distance. All this radio was once

sound. If in these moments after signals sent

my throat is spilled across the sky Then

in these moments we win the space race


cuz how they call it moon bounce

it was once a game.

Once romance was a good

pastime.








Published as part of Anthology 2023.

XVIII: The Moon.


the_moon.jpg






Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License