Appearance and reality are never one in a world where nothing is certain beyond
the secret violence that makes sure there no cessation of action

no     break       in the one unabated occurrence we can count on,

change, which attends the continual violence in volcanic cones
scotches   what chance    our dreams of release

from the inexorable trembling, sheer and anxious       fact     of existence—

stable source for trembling if there ever was one,

something firm and stable, that we can count on;
and to count on ruin is as a stream diverted from its course—

as was this dialogue when you wished to take it out

of doors, putting a body block on time flowing on in the opposite direction
of the river, which we set out for, the everywhere river, I thought

life enhancer, winding through dried up culverts

and decimated dry stream beds and creeks
towards the desert, deserted from high noon to nightfall,

whose sands unerringly erase every trace of the footsteps

no one on earth will see, not here, not in this
life, not on the planet that has taken so much

unwitting, thoughtless abuse—so painless to inflict,
on earth, done in by its own inhabitants, threatened

with rapid changes deemed in advance

inconceivable, which is almost true, almost blue,
changes whose eruptions are as close as it gets

for a warning spelled out—in the sky in February
where the few who look up see no color

whatsoever, and can't tell what havoc

cirrus clouds, compacted, in formation,
cause, this time, any plane but this one to be mauled, storm

I wished would not end, adhere to its timetables, functions, and…

so that the weak and superstitious panic and go
rather than gather and strategize surviving the catastrophe

arriving as we speak—but I know no day when the world has not awakened

a new world, each step (linked to breathing, the pace and narrowness
of the space you and I are asked to squeeze through with no,

not one, guarantee…) the way, as I walked, unaware of awareness

until it hit how long it took to get from one end
of one of those apartment houses, not beige, not gray,

and do I have to call its other color, reserved for angular shapes

an architect snuck in so that when the light is right
for a glance away from street level, up, up, and up,

lengthening in the process, architects, the real ones, can

concretize the gaps math and science can't resolve,
and nothing less than paradigm will do, the problem

scarcely fungible, but unresolved, open,

but not to one who shies from the morning sun in mid-March,
and the rise of desire, and wonder; and I wonder how far a kiss will

take us where we want to be, signs riot, signaling ways in and in,

not       around      some      portion   of Central Park,
which as a little boy I took for granted was the way it was—…

just because—nothing unnatural jolted my conviction

that they built apartments on Fifth and Central Park West
around   the spaces designated by what the park had left the surround;

if Olmstead could hack that I don't have a word to define

what it is he managed, relying   on the impossible      more real to some
that our lives inside what men call practical, practical being enough—for who?

in the direction of that which I can       make    out      if  I go on walking   the world

revealing what was not until now       New

York City will   be shaken, torn, or strangled with imperious slowness by vines
who live to use up our time, and the rest, swallowed,

gullet clutched reflexively in less than the blink you can't bring back

into focus before you turn around to face what Naples holds
in the stacked deck that sweats with the reverse fervor of
people, like you and you know who

and who else, who else, who who who who
the owl who blinks for eternity now at 3:11 a.m. while fog swirled in random,

which is how it goes, when every constellation speck and human

body were all part of the same sound
reasoning I offered; but did I, did Lucretius claim the way of all things

had a claim on art and truth as well…?


PS, A Retake

I kept to the venerable meter and tried to keep Parmenides straight in my head.
And if I did that's why it's with such relief that those who've gone by

when the future passed and the present, only, alone, remained,

in exile, where the savage dissonance, waves like cymbals
clashing, crashing, approaching my refuge my hut the all purpose gnarl of hard wood,

on which I copy at night to the dim yet flickering enchantment

cast by the torches a child on Tomis, not yet ten, still
stands higher and straighter and leaner than these witless

captives who don't lament the lashing of the wind from the west

lifted to exponential nightmares not far from my own cruelest
inventions; but I can put it all in these letters I address

to you, my love, as long as I can convince Naso and Ovid

that my return waits for the signal that the capricious insensate porn
addicted Eros numbed Augustus, Lord of Misrule,

like an idiot who bet that he could set Rome on a downhill

course that would undo all the near miraculous innovations
that given the way water has of jumping to the next potential

plane once the basic structure was thought up by a few men

and carried out by workers with the exhilaration
our race still thrives on more the baubles the superfluous rulers

give whatever worth they wish to the coins whose valuable

in the marketplace fetched more inessential stuff
while the workers, not needing to be whipped to do all

in hope of the next waterfall       lava lake    
spurting    erupting from cisterns

once all aspects of the aqueducts anxious to channel water

in ways that will beg little improvement for indefinite
hundreds and thousands of years.  Ovid was exiled so his eye and mind,

which miss next to nothing, would not witness the absence

of the higher ranking opportunists in whose    m i n d  s   work is for
the common who they gravely mistake for coarse

and possess no trace of the higher ambition that created

a city that greed and genocidal fervor neglected because without imagination
no one can envision the quest for more, more, more, more, more, Sutpen, strain in

monomania and the worm, and the gnawing unseen

the power drive is devoured from the inside:

while glugging wine from helmets, pausing to brag
while gagging on the excess which piles on negative numbers until,

they dissipated what they had because to kill in crueler ways

than "had been done on a large scale," not even grasping the key
drawbacks to greed, like the impotence that created the homicidal looks,

that took out the Etruscans, caught in the moment's gaiety.

And soldiers in state of the art armor and weaponry,
whose unaddressed problem was the heaviness, the heaviness

that beset the hearts of the Roman soldiers, who knew

that the siege at Volterra marked the date the empire ended,
even if it took another hundred years—

So much for the same old fantasy…"world domination." …