Bowered In Silence, I Too Am Stilled
(for Jim Carroll)
Bowered in silence, I too am stilled
The all white storm cocoons me
And the frantic world around me
The blizzard has come
Manhattan lies at peace
The snow flakes fall
slow fat white baby hands
that clench and unclench
and heavy wet
quiet over all.
Poetry is itself a blizzard that whites out ones mind
As the shadows
Stand out in the light.
Walt Whiman is out and Jim Carroll too
Those hardy types they like to stroll, no endlessly walk
Like all poets do, if only in their minds.
No destination but what perchance appears
Leading, the GPS of the heart coaxes and seduces
Step by step in an ancient unknown tongue
You to move to your true north.
In Inwood Park now
in life the once frail wraith
as sturdy as when he was a boy
No hat, his smile broad and broad stride
It is a poets day, a holiday of emptiness
save for floating.
The kind of day, a holy day
that poets treasure above all
The world both close and far
a maze of white and shadow
all bright now
No more the one, the two,
but three dimensional
Walt Whitman is by the shore crossing
Brooklyn to Manhattan
He is wrapped in a cloak of snow,
a halo of light shadows
his great head and he breathes
great gulps of snow fresh air
catches snowflake on his tongue
from time to time in ecstasy
the lightning rod of beauty pierces him from out to in
Oh Walt Whitman see him stride the long road
his great coat flung open
Each step imprints the echo of his
of then to now
The swirl of snow around him
a funnel of reverie
Jim Carroll crosses Inwood Park
imagining himself inside a snow globe
inside a snowfall
Inside a snowfall intact worlds
like stacked Russian dolls
smaller and smaller into infinity.
Now dusk and no light save the snow
the purple translucence of eventide and again the shadows
are freed from their mooring of light
to ply their way
sheer movement against the windy coming night.
oh snow! oh snow! oh holy thing!
Come back again to make the world right
Come to bring the poets out to stride.
Tonight is the perfect night for a poets memorial.
Oh Jim, the red haired boy
Rough handed like Rimbaud
who knew the road from Charleville
from Inwood it is the same
Tonight the poets are in attendance
the listeners too for one of their own
That tribe so giddy and so fair
Tonight the lamp glow outside St Mark’s
the ritual now again for one of our own
The lights on 2nd ave are dim
the snow falls
on the church yard, hushed and still
But pulsing as it does on holy days
Dead poets gather there
Jim Brody, Creely, Allen, and the rest
A beer , a joint , a cigarette their first in months
we the living gather from the fours ways
The streaming to St Marks
In my mind I hear
John Giorno say
“when you wake up
and the world is white
Snow falling like fat baby hands dispensing peace
You know a poet is free”
A blessing on us all.