The Fabric of Cultures
When a full tide and night annulls them, and sails
scatter downwind towards the open sea to escape
It might seem that I have given birth prematurely. I
can say that’s how I made my presence felt, on the
first take, with my serene,
to the offspring of my same eyes,
pierced with delicate patience,
in a hereditary heterosexual micro-face,
Excessive eyes: (that hold fast):
cambric, calico, nankeen, muslins, silk gauze and
caterpillar veils. Lo, the raptured
Arithmetician! Easily satisfied he asks no Brussels lace,
nor a coach and six.
Thinking about fashion while thinking in fashion
Leads to puzzles and paradoxes.
But I will pick this darkness mote by mote until the
legacy lasts– sun skids into the turf
Of treetops, a cloud grabs it to form the crepuscule.
There is always a seeming but never a truth.
Her long legs disappear
In the ash of eyebrows to recapture memory that is
like a heart of layered onion.
Within her narrow cage, she stands upright
To look at you, and extends her long, still ear;
she deprives herself of the husks and roots that you
bring her, and cowers,
Seeking the darkest corners.
It is the co-presence of word and image that renders
this so modern; it moves the imagination
And triggers memory,
such that the ideological now wears a newspaper,
printing every air in moon columns and walls of paradox.
The waistline’s sea
Of charming sensibility
Now sports blandishments and mainstream sunsets
over the buoyant murmuring of its estuaries.
I’ve already seen the neutrino,
The neutron, with the photon, the electron,
(in a graphic, schematic display):
with The Pentamerone, with The Esamerone:
The sun, and salt, and cancer, and Patty Pravo:
and Venus, and ashes, with mascarpone
(or maskerpone), with the mascaron,
With the demi-cannon: and the mascarpio (Lat.),
a manus carpere: at the moment of influence,
hems succumb beneath
The stitches of an unreasonable temple,
thorn headbands, Spike bracelets,
so I shower myself with sinister black thread
And make chants of terrified, fabulized phantoms:
They were fastened at the seams of the world.
Their Venus breath blues the panes.
They shake the intermissions, moons
They are the mother of fog.
They now become your eyes.
They glitter under the overcast.
Numbers at funerals.
They are the eternal snow blanketing revelation.
They splinter the ashes of beauty.
Their branches crash discovery.
Objects can scope out fashion when vision fills with
up to our noses in the cresting wallops we find
Too busily what is under our ripped stitches and
what sweeps up a lighthouse,
up the pavilion beyond the park where the beltway
Stays and stays.
I could feel the heat and dust of the market,
the shade thrown by the awning of the shop
into which mothers
Would perhaps go on their way to mass,
penetrating its odor of unbleached calico,
to purchase a handkerchief or something
Which the draper, bowing from the waist,
would order to be shown to her while,
in readiness for shutting up, he went into
The back shop to put on his Sunday coat and to
wash his hands.
Indeed, the sweet death of identity commuted again
To a pleated manuscript.
Knowledge wide and expansive,
transposed to cheaper material:
images with ship lights, texts and their
Annotation, some pregnant in fearful cages,
some indomitable with alchemized outcomes,
some long with our history, fur-rich
some aimed like a new slope that imparts heaviness
to this green suburban byway.
The towers and minarets
At her silky back fall into the blue as he drives up in
a convertible silent as strings,
her fingers perch upon his nape like doves, until
The objects now talk back to us
—like the mother of fog,
Now become your eyes.
— Assembled, generated and edited by James R. Garfield, 2017