Sonnets in Diaghliev’s Beard

  1. 1.
  2. Before bed in the hotel a boy shot his brother
  3. on cable, prising apart the fence wire in
  4. the opening frames. That I reconstruct it
  5. by heart, or must, is a bafflement, a pleasure
  6. for Diaghilev who cleans his beard like a bird
  7. in the dust of my fund. He feeds and sleeps on me
  8. although the swing of pail and twitch of rifle in
  9. my shoulders, suppressed, builds symphonic
  10. and plays all night so rest awaits the performance
  11. caught in barbs of morning accident my sum
  12. discharges. I unmemorize it. And when then I run
  13. the bath in the deluxe water closet I bathe
  14. instead in chicory and cocoa pure from Port
  15. au Prince. I’m working on a piece called Wattles.
  16. 2.
  17. The tempo of the rain is a better god,
  18. a control, like they say in sciences, the all else
  19. equal I vary in my pulse. I pee a little
  20. in my pants or nearly, and check effects. You know
  21. there are quiet means to scatter and collect
  22. oneself. In that, all others on the flight
  23. mistake the opportunity we have in touch
  24. and tangent. But you, as I, play who-like-me
  25. with faces. Diaghilev will not understand
  26. the air is made of such devotions as
  27. ours. He hears a prattle when we ladder out
  28. each other’s language. The tempo of the rain
  29. is less to him than wets umbrella. I held
  30. the cane of it to my ear to listen, remember.
  31. 3.
  32. It’s popular openly to confide in Seattle,
  33. I wasn’t ready to hear it. It means experience
  34. came later and instructed where counsel
  35. failed. Convertible to dance in the steerage
  36. of the shoulders, the confidence of the wrong
  37. past oversight, then, halted, fill the pause
  38. with a hearse of quiet, belated as a bruise.
  39. I spend the time Diaghilev explains
  40. local custom determining by what
  41. agency the newsprint smudges on the score
  42. he spanks into his open hand and leaves
  43. on the hotel dresser become in me,
  44. to slalom, an archipelago of keys.
  45. The detour pennanted, the piracy.
  46. 4.
  47. He says what passes between us is sortilege,
  48. his word, and he thinks it unnatural, your toss
  49. for instance of the witchhazel bough onto
  50. the hay in our stroll. You will recognize
  51. at Interlaken the gesture I cannot now
  52. resist in his pantomime. As if it would ignite.
  53. I admit I have the atlas open to environs
  54. of my tenderness toward you, and further
  55. I await his tracing interest in the routes
  56. and rail. It will end in love for you, my end,
  57. his clenching speculation turned study
  58. over the stand, when intent positions him
  59. like a carapace the beetle leaves, and
  60. as my animus knows a better area.