Larry Kearney

 

Pearl

                    for Jack Spicer

the pearl in the air
in the gloss of all head.

thunder a shape in the sun
lit street, the sunlit blue

sky in abandoned

heaven down [for real]

falling long
ether-fall

blessedness.


what do you want now? you had enough.

put your head on the desk and peek.
the glowing trees. let out your measured
forsythia.                                                                                         [for Cynthia]

in the hand is a brass doorknob. in the mind is the snake.
in the air is the dim the hallway.

in the hinge is the swing of the door at the door

is a fatal Scot in an overcoat. But itís so good,
you know? It is

too

is not,
is too.



this street in the sunlight with.

everything happens at once
but the particles. do your tricks

(the tricks open their eyes) (the ether
clangs).

so have I been

in-formed.
a wooden bead slides on a wire. chock.

you want mysteries?


I had all the good will in the world.                                                    [for  effort]


the heart of the flower Begonia and prance
of the grass in the angles. mush

you huskies! feel the snow
blowing on the grid. thwup, says Dr. Johnson, this for that.

the Irish think otherwise.


who knew? maybe Sweet Betsy from Pike.


I made a machine in the arctic rolled
miles high, the planet made it roll it lives

wherever I am, wherever
I go, remembering

more than ever happened.


these are presents. the ragged
fringe the bolstering empty hands make. East

Coasting. Memories of You.

the sun was out and the shadows ran
like tipped shovels. Iím on the beach in the body of

the water, considering

looking back this way with very good
misplaced heart.                                                                                    [for Father]


we went to the caverns in Virginia. we went to the cherry trees by the pool. we
went to the bluish smoke of the Appalachians. we went to the heart
where I spent

my whole perception every minute wanting
so desperately to be competent
and well.

I worked it through torrid
humiliations expense                                                                              [for life]

of spirit etc.

and now I want
a bit of toasted cheese, perhaps,
of spiralled apple.

ducks donít go quick,
quack is how they go,

praying.



look at the air. slap the carpet and look at the air. roll
on your back. find the edges of the light.

heís a handful, they say. death is all right, death is okay,
rock back and forth.


thereís a Queen waiting there. in the alley the plaintiveness, the accordion.
the sun goes down and Blackie

the dog hits the chain fence running showing
teeth. one here, one there.

a history of the working classes.                                                              [for the silvery hair]



a prayer from of by the poor who only know

how to do things.


there are those who only know
how to move currency,

and their extended medium
is the misery of children.


concommitantly,
the entire criminal history of the working classes fades next to the simple,

offhand savagery of the gentry. ah, but there is
that final drop when the mind

streams and whatís                                                                                    [for the dark]
it worth then,

big boy?

with nothing in spirit falling
nowhere. Hey, Rube,

wanna buy a past?



Major Amberson, best of his breed, sits by the fire, adjusting. load a shotgun
with star-light. blam the clothesline of night and milky way
holes in the night trees. Iíve never felt I had a right to live.

is this odd? is this planetary?
is this how fortunes get made?                                                                  [for consequence]


itís enough though to sit in one place, sick as a dog,
and know it as place,

as right horse, dead rider.

Red Ryder. as place. as bene-

diction. as local color.
as swirl of embarrassment comes

to rest homely-like,

takes the armchair,

giggles and fades.



my whole life I waited to say what?
a couple of facts, a cut rose, a cut head,

hello?


my vanity takes some odd turns
with hands in cold places.

Iím a human being, I need a haircut and I say stupid things.

a South Bend lathe in a frozen, walled garden. only the birds come,

and over the moor the faces enter
lit on magic                                                                                                     [for Mother]

lantern wheels,
turning sky turning earth.


sludge sits hinself down. the garden turns and the birds fly and there
are dead things in the ground, bits of lace,

whale-bone-chassis-voices.


the human attention

is not what it needs to be.
doesnít float. adequately

stiff as a board in the air turning slowly
the feet. looking through the soles,

through the head. lightning at the solar
plexus. light kneeling

at the dead eye. dipping down to curtsey
                                                                                                                         [for grace]
courtesy

of slow matters, binoculars.



my left eye closes itself the doctor
wants to know which I

is the proper size. did the right
expand or the left shrink?

I know,
heh heh.



see the pyramids along the Nile,

see the sunrise
on a crocodile,

but remember darling                                                                                       [for the temple]

all the while,


how the rain was on the empty

planet,


hollow,

booming.



got to breathe here.

on the first floor the waterís like china, the light
a stacking space. 1 arch 2 arch 3 arch

high, 4 5 6 7 slip step
8. you can stand on stand on

the breathing arches the ozone
escalates. no words, sadly, okay,                                                                      [for dreams]

okay I have
a heaven

Iíve been trying
to homestead.



pick-up-sticks words, pointed, difficult
to move. here are my feet and hereís the attic. floating my heart

cries out to you
Perfidia,                                                                                                                 [for the flowers]

on the balcony,

on the climbing fretwork.



take a sentence a row
of ordinary apartments furnished

this way and that.
from here to there on smooth rails.

up the stairs and down the stairs
and in my ladyís chamber.

ah my ladyís
chamber. oh

how we danced. behind the walls

was space enough for jazz.



I take the mound in the empty park. the twilight.
of crickets and images.

I throw what I like because Iím the one
goes after the ball. throw it get it

back take

the mound                                                                                                                [for twilight]

and put it through his ear,

to the backstop.

the bodies are infinite
but the number of souls
isnít.

thatís right, Lon.



forget about life, forget about death
take the corner for your own

where the birds come. forget what you know
forget

what you donít know. forget

nothing. both
rubbings.

the quality of mercy in
the well of the disappeared                                                                                     [for twins]




never never never
point it out,

lullaby.


these paths through the chamber are un-
marked. with a different time sense.

all trail out eventually
in the fine, pale mist,

what


a sweet treat mist, particles, given here,
cool water donít
give up.

fuck it.

some is illusion and some
is water and anyway

I live my life from point                                                                                                [for scar tissue]


to point of flooded ecstasy.

and only a couple have been
sexual so donít

presume.


when the sky makes sounds
itís like a game

daemonic
again.


Pearl, honey,
quiet down now.


I watch the skies
for reason

and per
sonality

bounces on my hip like a dead
canteen.



itís a common mistake to assume that the socially

maladroit are naive                                                                                                     [for the chatter]



not necessarily, not no-

how.



not a day passes. not a particle forms.
not a time is aware of its plate doesnít

leave me here wrongly.

too late now. so be it.

too late now.

there are no other
formulations. god is not

a timekeeper.

so what?

live in creation
but keep your feet.


the Irish dance with their feet but oh

the head, the nerves.

you know how I act out poems and the actions
donít appear? one arm up slow to forearm over                                                       [for solitude]

the head. lifted and falling.

too late now. it is

slow.


compressed to a plane at the face of the movement.

itís safe to say movement
created forms of life but not

that forms of life created
movement.


anyway,


Too Late Now,

an easy beat with doubled
pulse.


the beauty of things
is everywhere in the one

street I never leave. how

blood spreads.


the space between beauty and torn
flesh pointsó blasť, relaxed, full-stop

radiance.                                                                                                                          [for the cloud]



Goodbye Pork-Pie Hat.

Too Late Now.

Clementine.

These Foolish Things.*






*The winds of march that make my heart a dancer.