I too speak of the rose


Apollo is no one I know
shanghaied

abaft an invisible chariot
watching darkness descend
an impatient hundredth time
above a Cheshire Cat, nighttime
chameleon grin bebop piano teeth,
white as enamel
black lacquered smooth
who

becomes another baglady
of independent means
smile again and hop across vast waters
painted on long planks where red, brown,
yellow leaves fall unnoticed, softly.

Struck by lightning,
the backstage johnny believes a lie
that he is God of light,
yanks taut his reins,
waves skyward,
and nods at his teacher,

suddenly appeared wearing
Catwoman spectacles
cast-iron ruler held in her right hand,
a metronome becoming
an ontological poisoned arrow

shot through sfumato,
sinking deep
past flesh, skull, brain, soul
drawing blood
like the prick from the thorn
of a rose which

Alice B. Toklas,
maternal, nagging
bandages, murmuring
sweet semiological nothings until
Gertrude decides her rose
is a rose is the rose,
demanding impossible perfection
from imperfect repetitive cadence.

So much for the tautology
of things yet to happen

And Apollo is no one I know
cried to release imprisoned youth
whose mothers as usual weep in vain
for their children.

Time to go home,

the streetlamps
have come on.