Mistress of Juxtaposition

Mistress of juxtaposition, I am

a colony of beings

an edifice a beehive a collection

a devotee of deadpan

a zoologist cross-examined by apes

Body trapped in transience mind soaring above

a remembered city of plans and diagrams

one banana peel away from Kafka’s dreams


Whether adrift in baleful London or

amid the trim dementia of Japan

countless language orphans replace

stability of logic with fluidity of paradox

the bridge of the moment’s time constantly departing

a teeming womb of incalculable possibility

The shape of a city can change

more swiftly than a human heart


And always, even in the stagnant

atmosphere preceding revolution

there is contradiction, frenetic binges

Dancing as best I can


Thanks to the corpus collosum

the brittle ephemera, the layers of

signals noises devices and habits

we put between us and the natural world

poetry, which requires deep attention, is doomed.


Where presence is all mirage

and absence a valuable commodity

unrelated components behave synergistically

plot fragments skitter, what fits fits

shards of artifact turn resonant, upstream

consciousness as modus vivendi


In the rheumatic lingo of shake spear

the curmudgeon’s lament:

Attention is patterned by world-view

Anarchism, the well-disposed blank,

theorizes the compatibility of chaos and order

The line is slim

between the recognizable and the predictable

Blindness a float in the weirdness parade

more resonant than any interval


In what form will Quetzalxoatl materialize

when hunter-gatherers become sedentary

Apply my inclinations to

infiltrate not obliterate the pagan pantheon

Pyramids seem to erupt from the green

as if lit from within

natural and macabre monuments

quetzal = bird, coatl = snake

sky and earth in the Nahua language

History as cycle rather than line

at fifty-two year intervals

the Aztec plumed serpent

metaphor for rebirth after death

re-enters the world


Dionysus however

a stream that surrounds us

sovereign of all that is liquid

Not helping

to weave or knot things together

but one who loosens and unties

as if the present/normal state of things

were but a brief parenthesis

Strip away the curtain

nature weaves about its forces

there’s something autistic about Olympus

Apollo Artemis Athena

custodians of the unique


The globe as vast self-reflexive brain

embedded here when bits of

a swirling disk of solar leftovers

coalesced into this beloved chunk

Matter as great vibrating nerve

in a breathless point of time


Town being stadt in German shtot in Yiddish

the diminutive gives us shtetl (little town)


Unless we plead on our knees with History

we are done for, lost

There is the cauldron and the boiling pot

where time folds and twists

and years pass in a day

Step sidewise into that country

where space plaits and knots

in delicious strange immediacy

Conserve the frail elegances of a dying age

the wisdom you’ll need when all is spent

beyond the rim

outcomes are seldom controllable


During the feasts of Tet

it was the custom to imitate death

in order to banish it


Accustomed to surfeit, rebuke, ridicule

but not devastation


The weight we have accumulated

absorbed despite adversity

sinuous muscles of memory

smiling disguises

With seven floors of corridors between us

what does it matter that sandstone is soft?


Passion organizes the self more completely

than any calculation ever can


In our land happiness

is a kind of authority

ferocious and daft

The luntics may run the asylum

but they don’t know

that metaphor in Greek

is moving van


Find music in the common misery

that is our lot

This delicate coalition.