Civics

Say goodbye to Pax
Americana, your youth
and entitlement.

What was freedom for?
Autonomy for those who
had more and did more.

Did it boil down to
guns? An ignorant people,
armed: what could go wrong?

It takes me longer
and longer to calm down, to
resume dialogue

with my simple self.
My cat on my lap, wide-eyed,
seems almost blissful.

Maker

A life devoted
to the poverty of the
image. I do get

it now. It’s always
already about the o-
ther as it says here.

I squint at the page.
I imitate not the thing
itself but the turn

of the work in time
as it turns itself inside
out, showing such love.

Stranger

Afoot in many
places—Berkeley, Princeton, New
York, Boston, Portsmouth—-

‘I have tested the
inane patterns without pre-
judice’(read ‘hyper-

bolic’ for ‘inane’;
read ‘without’ in quotes). DAVID
JONES. Like Dante I

recall finding my-
self (Providence!) not me
but a stranger self.

Mixed

Redlined, gentrified,
this green piece across the ri-
ver our floating world.

‘Bloods and Crips, Crips and
Bloods. You couldn’t have lived here.’
My grizzled cabbie

slams the door and drives
back to the city. We must
share this place or die.

We need hyperboles
like ‘melting pot’ to say what
we mean, but must we

mean what we say? Rain
is part of the mix as this
green place subdues us.

Mimosa

The patio o-
vercast, the mimosa sweats
in its fragile flute,

in the chair beside
me the TLS: ‘utter
fluidity with

absolute resi-
lience’ (Simon Leys on Zhou
Enlai): in a word,

the Dao. Selfless
tyrants and widowers share
the transparency.

Clover

Bright sun, no breeze, a
bee settles on a clover
blossom, covering

it. On my way home
from work, only the small world
holds my attention.

I don’t see the bee
fly away home. The clover
is lost in clover.

Mother

Mother Beautiful
knew how to shop and to say
no no no not that.

She was a Christian
Scientist of firm will and
most colorful faith.

She took us kids
on picnics in the Mojave
full of orange poppies.

You know the type but
she was my mother. Today
the sun shines for her.