Thoreau Etude
(Lake Merritt)

Ghosts of commerce,
of loneliness, buildings
embark in the waves

of the lake in a wake
of lights where
insurance—its lit silver

insubstantial—
promises nothing
but neon

in triplicate : crest,
trough, fat signature
listless in flat-water.

What you thought
was promised
wasn’t. Downtown

flares, fulminous
acetylene
crash and ashen sky-

line asymptote : gull
wing and gasoline,
hunger cry and truck

-67-

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Sight Map: Poems
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • 40:57:54 N 76:54:35 W 1
  • Emerson Susquehanna 3
  • To Be Two 10
  • Lent Prayer 16
  • As If from Letters of Surveyor Samuel Maclay (Spring, 1790) 19
  • To Take the House out of Doors 24
  • 42:53:6 N 71:57:17 W 27
  • Embodiment (White Birch) 29
  • Morphology (Field Guide to the Ferns) 30
  • Theory of Trees (White Birch) 38
  • Spirit Photograph (White Birch) 40
  • The Word from His Mouth, It Is Perfect 42
  • Long after Hopkins 44
  • Pilgrim 47
  • The Ravine a Canoe 49
  • Errant 50
  • A Type of Spine 51
  • Ash, Birch, Beech, Pine 52
  • Errant - Reply 53
  • As Being Is to Begin 54
  • West to Dust 55
  • To Drag about, to Torment, to Wallow 56
  • Devotion 57
  • 37:48:9 N 122:15:4 W 59
  • Sanctuary, Its Root Sanctus (Lake Merritt) 61
  • Thoreau Etude (Lake Merritt) 67
  • Genius Loci (Oakland) 69
  • Abandoned Palinode for the Twenty Suitors of June (18th & Sanchez) 76
  • An Essay to End Pleasure 80
  • Notes 83
  • Acknowledgments 85
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