Saturday, September 13, 2008

Reginald Shepherd, another poem

from Verse

Reginald Shepherd

One of Their Gods

Was he lightning poured from a smashed flute,
music carved from someone's bones
I know? Qualities absently enter his mouth
where spring and snow are the same, song
-bred, sound-led: frozen in parenthesis.

Warped windows ripple like light
snow (grayed pane a single plane
waves past, wet leaves meander
winter winds), the curtness of his lyric
body, male odalisque with unlit

cigarette: in danger all the time, in winter
falling ice, in summer falling safety
glass, blue-smoke-flowering stars
uncounted as of yet, some illion or another
night obscured by streetlights, head

-lights, an oceanic black with islands
in it, incursions of opaque color
at patterned intervals, contingencies
of trees and buildings blinking out. Club
-headed weeds, wet pebbles, my beloved

is white and muddy: these tattered
bodies sheeted in news as if it were
sleep rub off on the hands,
flowerboats spilled of all cargo.
He will scatter on black waters.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

i.m. Reginald Shepherd, 1963-2008

Reginald Shepherd

Probably Eros

The whole is not his fault, elegy
full of small bird and the light
starting to starve. Gods are sucking off
gods in alleys and I call it spring,

a gap between catasrophies
until the day I am a tree. Afterward
they smoke clove cigarettes. The reigning
bees, the rain he’s been, the present

tense ripples into form: front yard
sunflowers fascinate tomorrow’s August, days
dry grass and filled with old news, new
spores. Dead ladybugs smear windowsills

with laws of wall, good fruit become s fuel
will turn to ash: turn the latch. (Seasons
pass through me like flaws, rattling
rust-worn gates, dried gourds.) Birds

are chirring branches green and the bees
want to have sex with them, all things
are full of monetary gods, world-sick
with ritual outline and poisoned

by too much song. The beautiful
boys ruin my sky, raw meat wrapped
in silk and spoiled milk: boredom’s
ache in the shoulder blades, arms

raised in the epiphany posture.

[originally published in Verse]