Hour 16 A CAVERNOUS HAT

To sit is a blessed thing

To sing a song while you sit
And put out your hat while you sing

Wearing dignified clothing
While people fill your
Cavernous hat with silver

To be naked beneath those silken clothes

To grow feathers through your nakedness
Launch into the air singing
Like a meadowlark
Like a chorus of geese
With water in their migratory eyes

To sit on that water wearing your hat
Your hat full of coins jingling merrily
That awful melody that took
Your naked beautiful body away from us

Hour 15 GREAT GRANDMOTHER

Tell me the story of Great Grandmother.

Again? I think you only like the farting part.

It’s funny. Pleeeese. Tell me.

OK. Great Grandmother is very beautiful.
She is not young or old. She is not big or small.
Her clothing is completely made of numbers
and it is see-through.
And even Great Grandmother is see-through.
One day…
One day…

Yes…?

She didn’t do it on purpose.
It just happened.
One day she…

She farted!
Was it loud?

Probably.
You’d have to ask the gods.
They were the only ones around to hear it
because they were in the fart.
And so were all the tiny grains of everything.
The gods started putting all those grains together,
playing with them the way you play with sand and mud.
And they made the stars and planets and Earth and sun,
everything, even the animals.

Even me.

Even you.

Tell it again!

Hour 14 HE WORE BOW TIES

He built the best damn furniture in the world
And he smelled like sawdust. He wore bow ties
At night and let his limbless hair unfurl.
A thousand miles away she saw him in the skies.

Hour 13 PROPRIETY

The shackled place
From where they came
Had nothing to offer
Their daughter but shame

You can’t teach a son
What is good and right
When bullets sing
Him to sleep at night

When drugs and money
Dazzle his eyes
And what is correct
Is violence and lies

It isn’t correct
In a father’s heart
To choose who eats
And who must part

It isn’t right
It isn’t respectable
To raise your girl
In such a receptacle

So that’s why they
Are here tonight
Because this place
Is a little more right

How difficult
Can it be
To show a little
Propriety?

Hour 12 YOU KNOW JOE

you know Joe
a wise old hermit
a sharp cookie
crazy
nuts
homespun

the trouble with living like Joe
is it’s easy

Joe’s beans decided to tromp

tromped up into the hills
thinking

you know Joe
the first thing that went through
Joe’s mind was I bet this
is gonna look really cool

Joe was alone in all the wrong ways
he stood there a minute
then he stuck his arm up in the air

you know Joe
a wise old hermit
a sharp cookie
crazy
nuts
homespun

it’s just too damn easy

Hour 11 CELERY STICK

I love to eat my thelery
In the thenter of my houth
But thertainly not with peanutbutter
That thtickth it to my mouth

 

Hour 10 WORRIED

I’m worried about what happened today;
These people, these catastrophes that slipped
Down the slope toward me that I couldn’t
(Or wouldn’t!) avoid. I’m worried and maybe

I won’t sleep tonight. Maybe I’ll dream
Of those faces, all twisted and wrenched,
Like dried fruit, fanged and hungry for
My soul. Oh yes I’m worried and anguished

And suddenly I know how Satan was conceived;
Where his scythe of retribution, his dagger of
Malice, wrathful horns on my own face,
Poking backwards into my curdling skull, came

Into the universe; a fiction both horrifying and real.
Hell exists. I built it. And I’m worried I’m going there.

Hour 9 COMPLETE WORKS

My tendency is to rewrite every adjective
A dozen different times
To sketch again that eye and then again
To get THAT note perfect before moving on

While the rest of the bird
Waits in the nest
Waits for a worm
Longs for wings

If Nature made the robins thus
The Earth would be a rotten place

Hour 8 WALKING

When grasses grow from black to gray and wet with dew,
The awkward totter of the limping god comes tramping through.
The mocking cackle of the laughing god
And misty eyed Sounds Perfect scurrying too.

Then humans ought to show a little sway;
Like Nudge One Inch growing less immaculate every day,
And Silky Ears and All Over The Place too
Who talk too much with nothing much to say.

“I wonder why I built these beasts?” says Limping God
“These out-of-kilter cocky, smelly clods.
And yet they’re lovely in a slanted way.
I have a thought to thicken up their blood.”

Sounds Perfect wept to see such devastation,
While laughing god fell into furious cachinnation.