Memorizing Rilke, Reciting Mallarme

Pooling together what we know is first order.
We move forward in each others languages
or not at all.

I am memorizing Rilke, not so far up the shore.
You recite Mallarme over my nervous meditation.

Together, we are mincing the obtuseness of our genetics,
while I down a million heartworms. Later,
we can pillage the rent of other fabrics
aside from language, form, semantic obliteration.

Read another passage out loud, I say,
neverminding the words being lost as tickets. I realize
I am only here
to hear

Let’s stop being those people right now
paradies of promise
pioneers steering away from pnemonic pasttime.
It’s time to retire these sinking alphabets and not crumble down with it.

One day, when I am
old enough, rich enough, stable enough
with fame that marks my face another poetic geography
I’ll return these messages to you

And the pooling will no longer be a delusion
but togetherness I’ve founded
that’s easy
and bare.

April [1/15]

“The Lost Hotels of Paris” by Jack Gilbert

The Lord gives everything and charges

by taking it back. What a bargain.

Like being young for a while. We are

allowed to visit hearts of women,

to go into their bodies so we feel

no longer alone. We are permitted

romantic love with its bounty and half-life

of two years. It is right to mourn

for the small hotels of Paris that used to be

when we use to be. My mansard looking

down on Notre Dame every morning is gone,

and me listening to the bell at night.

Venice is no more. The best Greek islands

have drowned in acceleration. But it’s the having

not the keeping that is the treasure.

Ginsberge came to my house one afternoon

and said he was giving up poetry

because it told lies, that language distorts.

I agreed, but asked what we have

that gets it right even that much.

We look up at the stars and they are

not there. We see the memory

of when they were, once upon a time.

And that too is more than enough.

– “The Lost Hotels of Paris” by Jack Gilbert