Saturday, June 03, 2006


for Robert Creeley

This poetic mood approaches the state in which
what is present appears as present. Do you find it so abstract
and colorless? What an extraordinary idea to say
that immediate consciousness is colorless and abstract!
-- Charles Sanders Peirce

Often I am permitted to return to a meadow
as if it were a given property of mind
that certain bounds hold against chaos,

that is a place of first permission,
everlasting omen of what is.
-- Robert Duncan

The first idea was not our own
-- Wallace Stevens

Return to that field
Bridge going under
A clutter of
Leaves in some fall
Distant falls
Those leaves braid

Whose leaves braid
Time going under
An image of thread
In an open sky
The eye sees contrast
Of branches some
Spaces are not
Meant to be seen

It is this thinking which
Feels instead
Here where
I have no frame yet
There is therefore
No eye yet
No eyelet for
Our imagining

Man with his dog
The bridge that
Small building
Are too much
For the imagination
Not enough leaves
Thickness to braid
Pure image of time

Pure pattern depth
And thickness
Flatness of
Reference deny
Story its place
Historicity neither
Here or before
A now heard
And near

All permitted of
A field draws near
A hooded bird
Near the sky
Eye’s flatness
That close

Here where we
Have no
Frame yet to
Looking for depth
Ground to grasp
Purchase point to line

Finding the roses
Still there in the
Where we
Left them finding
Men with dogs
Cars thru
Branches to

A now-estranged bucolic
No longer pastorals where
They remained
To decay
Eyes are then
This condition of finding
Circling Delaware park
A proper name
For this flatness

Don’t dismay finding
These roses where
We left them
In our flat circling
Of eyes iconoclast
Love braiding
No point of reference
No above or below
This sky

We cry for
This place we
Cry for
Place without
Tearful commons
The view thru
The trees to
This highway
Cutting the park
In half
Perhaps we cry
For this division too

Substitutions permitting
A turn of leaves
Permitted to
Of course thinking of
Duncan’s children
Revenants seeking
Of difference

Sameness striking
An imagination without place
How will one ever
Understand this if they haven’t
Sensed it already
A photograph seems
To ask

*composed Fall 2004.