On Times Square


On Times Square
 
high skirted hookers
strut as hawkers hustle
big nippled cards in doorways,
 
"Check it out! Check it out!"
 
Speeding yellow bulbs circle
THE LOVE SISTERS
on a movie marquee
and in the box office window
a mustachioed lady
embroiders little red flowers
on a small white cloth.

Dream


Dream
 
I drove the State Secretary
in my dream taxi through Times Square
as he chunked down clumps of South America
and belched up cities of smoke.
 
Outside strange Johns in platinum shoes
watched the tanks of Army naked in peepshows.
 
A pushcart hawker
sold me an asphalt pretzel
salted with dead animals
and high‑kicking Rockette pedestrians
made formations in the street
which were adored from atop the Empire.
 
I stepped on it
and my cab flew high beyond the mind's New Jersey
where the trees were filled with cackling birds,
where a little kid began to cry,
so I laid my hand upon his head
but the brat bastard kicked my leg.
 
Then I knew. "It's you! It's you!"
 
I kicked his naughty little ass
and he became a deer
but I became the Archer Queen
chasing him down the path shooting arrows
each becoming rabid teeth chewing down the forest.
 
I chased him hard. I chased him hard.
He became a bird
and Lugosi laughter split my face
as I became a fighter jet blasting the brat with lead.
 
The audience cried, "Mean Jet!"
So I swung from the screen
and doused the mob with napalm
turning their furs into animals chewing at their necks.
 
He became a monkey and leaped into the trees.
So I became the Ape-man and chased him hard again
and there above the African Plains
where pastoral zebras chewing on grass
are a reflected delicacy on the lion's eye,
I caught my little pet.
 
In the arms of lullaby,
I held the monkey's head wet with terror sweat
and he changed another thousand times
from dry iguanas to wriggling fish
scaled round with eyes.
 
I rocked him and sang to him
and looked into his eye
till he smiled and blessed me
and the dream of dreams was mine;
 
Wet and cool and naked in morning sunrise,
windy grasses brushed my thighs wet and
cool and raising arms to the sun all shine,
 
first sun I'd ever seen.

In The Library


In The Library
 
every footfall comes back
marble grained, even the shadows
are veiled in light.
 
Beneath green lamps wrinkled faces
poke through ancient texts,
 
while high above the mural men
make treaties, drive spikes
and spill the cornucopia.
 
In a glass case
there's a lock of Whitman's hair.
 
It's all blonde and silvery!
The guards got nothing to do, he looks
at his watch and down at his shoes.

You can’t imagine


You can't imagine
your face,
so peel it off
to see
what people see.
 
Hold
your face at arm's
length,
  turn it
 
and see the wound in your head
filling the sky with blood.