Ten Poems For Neil

1.
Oh
So I am
Falling in lobe
With Neil?
According to
Whom---
Washing
My hands now
Brings all
Sorts of connotations
Alone
And passing shadows
Are the
Soft smell of
Hand-soap each startling
Movement
Of itself nothing
In
Stalling
Cars.
There is nothing about here
But what
Is different

Neil,
Apparently

Ah. Fortune


2.
I
Am adjusting
The brim of
My cap, poised above
The
Formica table

He
Is haloed. That
Is a bad way
Of saying:

There was
Light but heat
And the inside of
His hands,
The nape of his
Neck

I look
Down. The
Table is streaked
And clean


3.
It is
Exactly
Like sobbing because
At
Some point
Every-
Body and some-
One
Wish just a
Bit too much. He is
Washing his
Hands and that
Should have
No
Meaning to me
In the
Back-room there is a translation
Of Rilke: he
Does not
Know about
That and as inconsequential
As today
Or tomorrow the
Small
Beginnings of a smile.

I wait.
I shall


4.
Love
Has become
European cities
And piano
Melodies. He is
Not dancing nor
Sobbing but
Hectic: as
The remainder of us
Around mid-day,
Late-
Day. All he does for
Me is
What I do not ask
And that which
I do ask directs only
Towards three black
Bird-outlines on a telephone
Wire
As I sweep off
Tables

He is
Here and
That is
Hardest
To
Understand


5.
(a collection of haikus)

i.
assuming his name
wearing green not darkish red
looking thru' cleaned glass

ii.
marking down hours
time spent hurt and half maddened
time spent beside him

iii.
moments of hot light
wet rags and the spill of salt
he is tired too

iv.
spaces under his eyes
intimate from far away
has he a lover?

v.
There is enough time
And shadows of silver-red
He among the gulls and heat


6.
July 28th
There is a letter
To be written and sweat,
Wiped away to
The sharpness of
Taste close now:
To hear
And see
Double-jointed, this
Line ahead. Cutting thru'
Solid sky

A general
Hum of
Noise. Tinny
Music as
Well

He is saying
Some thing and to hear
That, it
Would not be
Said by
Him

His face
Flushes,
From the heat pressing
On glass


7.
Patterning of something
Dark and unusual:
Which is
The shadow of
Trees, and
Familiar things:
The corner
Of roof seen thru' the
Window

(I would
more than
believe in
him)

there is little to be said
for time-and-place:
counting to eight from
eleven and
when in the
last
afternoon he drove up
in a black
car

the clock
stopped for
shadow


8.
sharp:
slipping on the
wet spaces and
slamming into
reflective metal

"I am fine"

but for him: I cannot
see out of one eye
and the
ice slips to the floor

the people
are waiting. He is
as tired as the others as
I am: this
Is not
Exhaustion

I am memorizing the way the bones
Of his face fit together: how his eyes look
When he blinks


9.
It is
Not that
I am
Smiling
For them: it is that
He wills
Me to
Do so. There
Is only self
When more than
I, he
Becomes me.
Then
I shall pack
My things up for home, white
Cars waiting
In cloak of heat

He is
More than
All I
Am. He is
All and
What
Shall


10.
There was never
Anything extending towards
Importance because
That would
Amplify
Nothing more:
Messy
Scrawl of
Handwriting scrawled on
Receipts

It is like
Turning around
And finding
Him
Filling paper cups
For me
Watching the stray pieces of ice
Slip and
Break, mirroring
For a few

Moments before
Melting.

He shall leave,
too