The Fall

And yet another ode to fall and falling,
another tribute to October light,
to bushes burning in defiance of night,
to Monet, Seurat. Ah, but not until

you’ve seen an Ozark autumn, not until
then can you understand the plight of Eve,
can you fathom passion, blasphemy.
Apples red, ready, blur beside the sensuous

leaf about to fall.
Yes, she must have sensed
the beauty of the consequence—else why
bite into shame? The promise of gold obscures
all reason, good intentions, God—luring

us into the daze of earthly glitter,
into the pyre (is that then what it’s all
about—gold and ashes?), into blazing
in a moment of orgasmic fury—

and dying
if only to create fire.

-79-

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Shadows & Supposes: Poems
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • I 1
  • Flag Day at Union Cemetery 3
  • On Hearing That a Potato Costs $70 in Sarajevo 4
  • The Cloverleaf & Other Food for Thought 8
  • Gaetano, Roma, 1955 9
  • Museum of Natural History, Munich 10
  • Vietnam/Burn Imagery Transcript 12
  • Blood Tax 16
  • Desencanto 18
  • On This Day I Think of the Widows 19
  • Wind Chill Factor 20
  • Crossings 22
  • Perennials 23
  • II 25
  • Swallows of Salangan 27
  • Snowflakes 29
  • Martha Belle’s Fingers 30
  • Blanca’s Red Lips 31
  • Noche de Ronda 32
  • Hands 33
  • On First Meeting the Poet 34
  • A Quasi-Saint in Two (or Three) Acts 36
  • Velcro 39
  • Abbott’s Scar 41
  • A Gift from the Poet 42
  • Bach’s Augmented Ninth 44
  • Wizardry 45
  • An Act of Love 46
  • III 49
  • Shadows & Supposes 51
  • Night on the Town 52
  • New Shoes and an Old Flame 55
  • Cardinal Rule 56
  • Visitations 57
  • Fowl Play 58
  • Ode to Your Back 59
  • Smitten 60
  • The Size of Love 61
  • Somapsychosis 62
  • Janus 63
  • Locks- A Cautionary Tale 64
  • Trout Fishing off Captiva Island 65
  • En Route II 67
  • Acrobatics 69
  • The Ghosts of Martha’s Vineyard 70
  • Final Cut 74
  • Reflections 75
  • IV 77
  • The Fall 79
  • In the Crevices of Night 80
  • Lydia’s Phantasmagoria 81
  • Knife 87
  • Mixed Media Event, or Heavy Stuff 89
  • The Falconer Ties His Mate to the Block 90
  • Ronda 91
  • Father’s Day 92
  • Bases Loaded 94
  • Turning Point 95
  • Witness 96
  • Home Free 97
  • Death in Love 98
  • Taking the Long Way Home 100
  • Back to Gotham 101
  • Biographical Note 102
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