love itself have rest

We'll go no more a-roving
by George Gordon Byron

SO, we'll go no more a-roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.

No sweet thing left to savour, no sad thing left to fear

We'll Go No More a-Roving
by William Ernest Henley

We'll go no more a-roving by the light of the moon.
November glooms are barren beside the dusk of June.
The summer flowers are faded, the summer thoughts are sere.
We'll go no more a-roving, lest worse befall, my dear.

We'll go no more a-roving by the light of the moon.
The song we sang rings hollow, and heavy runs the tune.
Glad ways and words remembered would shame the wretched year.
We'll go no more a-roving, nor dream we did, my dear.

We'll go no more a-roving by the light of the moon.
If yet we walk together, we need not shun the moon.
No sweet thing left to savour, no sad thing left to fear,
We'll go no more a-roving, but weep at home, my dear.


close the door


lakehurst, new jersey

everyone talks about disaster
in retrospect
a spine tingle tine spingle
i knew it was coming
my grandmother knew it was coming
her grandmother knew it was coming
and yet
we sleep but never soundly
and forget our dreams, a sphere walking with
dreams dead to silence.

the great eye of history never closes
blazing as it does above every quiet town
and the skies continue to pour fire
while the bodies of the earth turn
restlessly underneath,
radiant light flickering on our eyelids.

the tide comes in, the tide goes away

destroyer-bay of pigs

i think about you often
off in the desert
laughing your head off
in the forest of the night;
say a prayer for the



Hang a bottle behind a canvas. Place the canvas where the west light comes in. The painting will exist when the bottle creates a shadow on the canvas, or it does not have to exist. The bottle may contain liquor, water, grasshoppers, ants, or singing insects, or it does not have to contain.

Yoko Ono, from Some Instruction Pieces


i don't know where she's livin
all i got is this card
a picture of her at the pyramids
a knife held to her heart

go betweens-was there anything i could do

cold blooded old

i thought about everything,
i said.
as if thinking were a virtue.

as if trying-really-were a
pure act,
unselfish in its work.

i am remembering
the little white honda,
stick shift,
with all of us in it,
rolling backward
an accident
down the incline of our driveway
my mother trying to stop it all,
sailing into the neighbor's lawn

the last moments are calm.
i remember the supernatural lawn grass,
every blade sculpted.
the panic of my brother-
his tiny, fat, white hands
wet with fear.

the sound of the bushes
cracking, giving way,
a thousand offerings.
we emerge stunned,
blinking in the mid day sun,
a lawnmower coughing and
starting again through the humid air,
sounds from another world.

i remember everything
as if memory
were the bitter core of a golden peach

i eat when i am not hungry.

i put a bayleaf under my pillow,
for dreams.

i dream of you
in a forest-
they always look the same.
the jumble of vegetation
the lines of endless trees,
closing in like a construct.
i remember
your shining hair, in a v on the forehead.
your eyes dark when recalling something painful
and faraway,
another woman's face,
her scent,
the words of your mother,
the way night closes in quickly in the desert,
the stars seeming cold and empty,

i will never know.

i wish, now
all of those days,
i had remembered the forest,
the temperature of light
falling on the peeling bark of birches,
the names of the ferns my father taught me,
the season of green falling
from above-
the sound of water falling
from the creekbed.
all of it vast and inalienable,
so much.
so i dream you-
discrete and particular.
as if knowing
were possible.
as if you were any smaller, realer,
the trees, the soil, the living, the dead, all

this is the poverty of memory,
ringing the bell for its supper
of solitary riches--

eat your heart out,
eat you heart out,
i said.


faint music

Maybe you need to write a poem about grace.

When everything broken is broken,
and everything dead is dead,
and the hero has looked into the mirror with complete contempt,
and the heroine has studied her face and its defects
remorselessly, and the pain they thought might,
as a token of their earnestness, release them from themselves
has lost its novelty and not released them,
and they have begun to think, kindly and distantly,
watching the others go about their days—
likes and dislikes, reasons, habits, fears—
that self-love is the one weedy stalk
of every human blossoming, and understood,
therefore, why they had been, all their lives,
in such a fury to defend it, and that no one—
except some almost inconceivable saint in his pool
of poverty and silence—can escape this violent, automatic
life’s companion ever, maybe then, ordinary light,
faint music under things, a hovering like grace appears.

As in the story a friend told once about the time
he tried to kill himself. His girl had left him.
Bees in the heart, then scorpions, maggots, and then ash.
He climbed onto the jumping girder of the bridge,
the bay side, a blue, lucid afternoon.
And in the salt air he thought about the word “seafood,”
that there was something faintly ridiculous about it.
No one said “landfood.” He thought it was degrading to the rainbow perch
he’d reeled in gleaming from the cliffs, the black rockbass,
scales like polished carbon, in beds of kelp
along the coast—and he realized that the reason for the word
was crabs, or mussels, clams. Otherwise
the restaurants could just put “fish” up on their signs,
and when he woke—he’d slept for hours, curled up
on the girder like a child—the sun was going down
and he felt a little better, and afraid. He put on the jacket
he’d used for a pillow, climbed over the railing
carefully, and drove home to an empty house.

There was a pair of her lemon yellow panties
hanging on a doorknob. He studied them. Much-washed.
A faint russet in the crotch that made him sick
with rage and grief. He knew more or less
where she was. A flat somewhere on Russian Hill.
They’d have just finished making love. She’d have tears
in her eyes and touch his jawbone gratefully. “God,”
she’d say, “you are so good for me.” Winking lights,
a foggy view downhill toward the harbor and the bay.
“You’re sad,” he’d say. “Yes.” “Thinking about Nick?”
“Yes,” she’d say and cry. “I tried so hard,” sobbing now,
“I really tried so hard.” And then he’d hold her for a while—
Guatemalan weavings from his fieldwork on the wall—
and then they’d fuck again, and she would cry some more,
and go to sleep.
And he, he would play that scene
once only, once and a half, and tell himself
that he was going to carry it for a very long time
and that there was nothing he could do
but carry it. He went out onto the porch, and listened
to the forest in the summer dark, madrone bark
cracking and curling as the cold came up.

It’s not the story though, not the friend
leaning toward you, saying “And then I realized—,”
which is the part of stories one never quite believes.
I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain
it must sometimes make a kind of singing.
And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps—
First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing.

-Robert Hass, from Sun Under Wood