The poet’s chest was still closed
Since it still had butterflies in it.
He knew it had only cockroaches.
They were poor smelly creatures
The longest surviving on an earth.
His knowing that was one thing.
His thinking in mind was another.
A chest must always stay closed.
For the butterflies not to fly away
A lid must always be kept closed.
Recalling “Hope Chest” by Max Ritvo (1990-2016)
In the trivial poem the mom sits
On a green bench watching son
Chomp cotton candy like a cloud
Trivial as mom watching a bum
As it lowered down the horizon.
Aren’t we odd and rather trivial
As bums have such a trivial end,
They end up short of a horizon?
A doctor of the native country,
He had fired his shots in arms
And in the soft village buttocks
For fees gentle on hip pockets.
He delivered women of nights
Also noses running on bridges
Sent them city on a village bus
If there was big-size carbuncle.
Now he goes gentle into night,
Not rage against dying of light
Not a word leaves gentle soul.
Night could not ungentle him.
Keyword is a rusted flange in dust.
Take it into your hands and dust it
And its brown shall vanish in blue.
Surrender to confusion of worms
And feel cold iron keys in your fists
That shall pin you down to a place.
My fists hold a bunch of iron keys
For fears of my infinity closing in.
I am still alive clenching my fists,
And sleep holds my dream stuff
I have fears of fists unclenching,
Of my frittering away my dreams.
We are the people who wore out,
The main babble outside station
Lighthouse that lived by the sea
Where train rises every morning
Wearing out thin by the evening.
We do not believe us , others do.
(reading a poem Down by the Station Early In The Morning by John Ashbery who passed last Sunday at ninety)
We are at your cervix, mam,
While you drink your coffee.
They slow talk woman in lift
Breaking darkness bit by bit
Like a mountain for houses,
With the chisel like squirrel.
Lift groans on the first floor
With wheelchairs to biopsies
While fat woman smiles fatly
Into phone her hint of smile.
The body, in hospital corner,
Breaks its darkness bit by bit.
We have used many tubes
For the release of the flatus
From folds of inner snake,
As if it is energy in the belly.
But our victory seems so far.
The body works such a fart.
Moving finger has writ and moves on.
After it is calcined dust inside a vault
It points where empty spaces spread
A dust of written word walking dead.
Finger wonders at old fingers writing,
A dead word embalmed in pure light
Where light is dust like in the skylight,
From a tiled roof with holes in its sky.
Ashbery no more experiences,
Who gave ever so many filters
A mirror to laugh ourselves at,
So convex we see broken lines
Like sparrows in mirror series,
Their pecking serially over time
And of course the geographies.
Ashbery is America geography,
With its coordinates in humans,
His is poetry to feel and touch,
Experiencing to feel experience
And to pat lovingly on its back.
(“Experience” poet John Ashbery passes on 3rd September ,2017 at ninety)