Ernie Hilbert



Blundering heft of almanac, solidity of calculation
Detached and exonerated with the difficult page

Summoned away from paradise, final monster of the earth
Wet hillside scattering of battle, choked teeth and rent armor

Lingering pine fragrance of pyres, Roman legions abased to ash
Beneath the eye shapes wash up and are justified

Received with stars and tongues, jealous, searching and lost
Baptized in indenture, sent to death the same

Slowly saying and saying goodbye-
Ripped open to shell out sun and diamond

Sludge lapping lifeless verge
Woken in a hot yellow tube of screaming bees

Windows clack down one and one-the light is close at hand
Delivery and disaster, the mind builds up places of flame

Clasp him firmly against the wind in sleep and fall to sleep yourself
All the wandering and music of a world running out

-inspired by Eva Hesse's sculpture Accession III, 1967-8
The Museum Ludwig, Cologne


Bucket of rusted bayonets in sunless bazaar-
Fictile and immersed

Immolation greets quatrefoil and cuirass
Shingle shaken apart on workman

Illapse (fall like spark) parse cascade of mascara encoffinned
Carbonized, an animal frozen and torn

(So like a god in the dawn and now nothing)
Aquamarine exhale sheen and bay orange, sunset granule

Coral and naval sienna, course and
Emperor smokeless in the measure

Sometime to ask why endure what point there is
Mere silk draw and exhale, bottle tilt into splinter of ice and out


Heraklitus Wanders from the Senior Common Room

St. Catherine's College, Oxford

Why measure the sun's color over vined trellis
Yet wind comes in hot surges and soaks his corduroy jacket

The lecturer of philosophy judges it
Correct and time to extinguish his cigar

Determines that it is a noetic philosophy
Of lost myth and lost battles that compels

Epic poets, tragedians, guarantors of false gods
Napping in the shadow of cathedral and hum of roadway

Backer of Aristotle and classical horizons, sees himself
Tossing in the muggy night, too far from the isle where

Favored young men juggled and grappled in the dust,
Whispered sleeping toward winds, young and lost in the stars