leonard schwartz



Snow Flake in Sun Beam


A word that unchains from its prior definition is a lock that suddenly clicks.

"Tomorrow", a word so neatly bound. That it shows up today must be acknowledged,
part of a potentially rich phrase that will yet tickle a horizon into form.

To spark, to flower, to think the next shift in a word,  a meaning which neither of us will ever throat.

A poem pens its own openings, but locks itself up fast.

Impossibility of conjuring up that syntax that forms the yolk of speech:
to write as if from one's own exoskeleton.

Not a ditch in the mind, but a ditch in the ur-desert from which our minds spring.

Holding a poem to ones mind only confirms the original process.

Which could be a clue to the combination.

Bony sill of sorrow, dust in shaft of sunlight: snowflake, snowflake.

Only lucid if a star throws off sparks still rich with their own source:
O consort, will you join me to the horizon?

Like a fruit in full ripeness completely focused on itself.

That is torn, turned to nothingness, enters the landscape as writing.






I walk past

and the tangerine unpeels:

I blink and electric-blue waves

inundate the A train. As for

domestic laughter, I've had to

give it up. This inexplicable brain,

all starfish and scissors, a cactus

that disobeys the laws

of its own ecology,

gets tangled in its own tissue.

Yet all night long I experience a radiance,

my retort to it flirtatious and cheeky.

I'm an inventor, quietly mapping

albino doors and pigmented windows;

obliged to beam I best flicker out.

I once saw a bream get a heart transplant;

they put inside him the heat of a star.

Though it is true all those lovely green octopi

pleasuring themselves in the penthouse

eventually were flung from the roof,

the crows grabbing 'em the moment

they hit the sidewalk. Or the Eurasian jackdaws.

Loosening the falcon of your dreams

till it soars as twelve tone music,

balling up all your mistakes

in a new fangled system, what's the difference:

outside of our imaginations

mangos juice us the most.

( I want to eat every mango

there ever was like a small

unemployed carpenter

not Christ, just a small, unemployed carpenter.)

A live hen feels sweaty

but it is for that feel that Ham's bazaar is thronged.

Each bird is pinched, then passed over,

to be pinched all over again several hands later.

Thoughtful lava bubbles over the boughs,

imprisoning the tall, lean trunk;

a lava wonderland, actually your own

magnetic passions, red as hemoglobin.

And just as a persimmons drops into an oasis pool

a little caravan of camels comes marching into view

like ants, like ants or like caramels

stuck at the bottom of a dry well.

Board me up. I no longer have the instinct

to officiate over my mental life.

For no emotion is ever local.



LEONARD SCHWARTZ is the author of Ear And Ethos (October 2005) and The Tower Of Diverse Shores (2003), among other books.