Blues for Byzantium

from From Scratch. Black Sparrow Press, 1998.

Clangs of Yeats like blues

Byzantium a stretch-limo
surrounded by
Liberian juju bands of roving infected studs

"dome" a research lab on the Ross Ice Shelf

"starlit" and "moonlit" work for a cruise line

The night-walkers have no song-
they're banged, a mockery of gong

The other night Shade appeared on Jay Leno

"Flames No Faggot Feeds" just cut their first CD

"image" is anything you want it to be

All that cock isa Hadic bobbin' bough
crow moisture mummy seas
the Muse as changeless metal

"scorn[ed]" "common bird and petal"
complexed in midden atmosphere

"dolphins' mire and blood"
Japanese tuna seines

Green dolphin morgue with chordal seams

As if Yeats might now hear
Bud Powell's "Blues for Bouffemont,"

a sanatorium outside Paris, 1963,
a Byzantium abstract

percolating through the changes,
sound-rhymes like winding,
mobile windows, gong and marble,
word-windows facing

walls, images that yet
images beget, scorned, embittered,
Powell in agony of trance, shade more
than man, drunken, abed,

a shape connected to wires
by electro-shock set in motion,
Calder mobile more than shade,
rototilling while reaping, doors

yielding doors, in the yielding
a window intercedes, revolving,
throwing off arousals
compounded of sacrifice and ooze-

Over a sunken Golgonooza,
an eight-winged hermaphroditic cherub,
Blake hovering-

I lit my palm with Lascaux,
saw Caryl drift across
what had become impossible to see:
origin, love, and contemporary fire in any
sense of harmony

I lit my palm, by Lascaux's
bird-headed man, saw the image recede
through Egypt's human-headed bird to
Yeats' "golden handiwork"

-the killed-out image hovering,
archangelic toy in late air.