In the only beginning
There is succulent sweet -
Not the coarseness of this rough and drunken bread
Which leaves a thirst forever.
Through pale streets of cities, long abandoned,
Toward villages, pitiable and beautiful and
Along the troughs of plains
There is a searching
For the silver water and the silver light.
The silver water has the power to
Quench the power of confectioners, they say.
There have I sought the light and water
And exhausted by the frailty of croissants
And in the fever of my oral search
For torte and truffles
I could not yield to healing.
The age I have reached is the modern slot,
The Great Definer.
Therefore, into its flat eye
I feed the silver of my heart
And hear the descending thunder of Dr. Pepper -
That viscous poison, though akin to rum,
Without a demon immediately recognizable
Except for the flatness of its thump
And the electrifying sugar in the brain.
The healing salt: tacte
Occasionalyy in my tears
Is the trace of my bitter
And delicious buoyancy
Lost in the dying mineral of seas.
And so have I lost my savor.
In my diabetic soul
There is a pilgrim
Advocating the stringency of virtue;
I long to wear gardenias in my hair
I long for palms and sweetish waters -
for shores pushed back
To coast along the isles Pacifia
Insulated from and sick for truth:
I long to wear Lamour's sarong
The only truth my body's perfumed youth.
But in this small and suffocating space -
These narrows, long-bridged with great deliberation -
The complicated sugars, acids and other spoils of life
Are coiled like twin serpents in dark knowledge.
Impertinently obedient, they bid me to obey
For on their coils all that is written will come to pass.
It was designed so in my discs from the beginning.
The chips, in short, were stacked against me,
the programmed and the unconsulted.
Soon shall descend
The final spiral of this case
And leave forever the newels of its grace:
A funny valentine, a trace
of Nancy with the smiling face -
Sinatra airs, a sine of angles of despair:
Our day is done!
Surd, the sweet voice seems
Hanging on the word.
"If you are but a dream"
The voiceless voice alone in the Euclidian space
Singing inimitably of loss
Against the fervent velvet of the moss
Against the cool collected stone
A bar that measures, a measure that bars the song -
Stella’s by starlight.
Now, I am a witness for the bitter herb -
the weeds of hope and fatal remembrance;
I do perceive the terrible purity of pain.
If there is a cold slake I am to find it
You understand me!
And every day I chew the bitter rue.
Yet I have stood too long before
the buttered glass of sliding doors
of gold patissseries - for ages
enchanted yet sometimes resisting
for the sake of our Redemption
Remembering last suppers
Eaten by the gathering of the last
There are no walls I have not passed through
Nor any wall through which I would not pass
To see the sugar roses through the glass
To enter Paradise where Anna fed
Sweet miracles to the dying fugitive.
In the beginning, as I have said,
Before this rough and drunken bread,
Before the hasty loaf Eve learned to make -
A swiftly baked and
saltless, yeastless johnny-cake -
I dreamed of sugar wafers dipped in wine.
'I think of him who is the thirst and
is the quencher
of him who is the silver salamander
Who told me all my life in one brief story.
Soon I will wear the silver sandals
The batik dyed to match unfading eyes
And wait beside the wall till he has come
And he calls out to me, "ah, Baba Rum."