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In April
from Scissor, Paper, Woman


Convalescent stooped and slow
advancing through her muddy yard
she finds sharp shoots
have pierced the melt-drenched loam

& down the road
meadows tremble in the wind
Narcotic greens
narcotic greens

like reeling firmaments disclose
in their appearing randomness
the sweetest means that you or she
or any wandering Thales might
choose to be
wonder-struck with
at the moment
when we die

Remember him in old Miletus?
agape below unscrolling stars
he cartwheeled off a cliff
to his last surprising
death in moon-white seas

& crippled Patchen?
like some Zorba dancing on an empty beach
in his mad calm astonished
at catastrophe
whirled round hard and held
his very death in close embrace

until he shouted in his croaking voice
at sunset one cloud-riven day
'Hallelujah anyway'
the finest phrase that I have ever read

Keats coughed
blood verse

& Takuboku too
scribbled tanka
one for each last
rattling breath

so by a small-town patch of ground
spiked with sharp unfurling tips
in April now she sends you this
grass-stained letter no return address...

on mainstreet¾lamplit
the crown of an ailing elm
stirs all night long


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