The son-poem continues

by these pastoral lines ,

in my ears put

by father , as

words of the mouth of

                                        the poem ‘ s

father , on a short morning


                    he set out on alone /


A firkin of first thoughts

at my hip ,

                    starting out for Dawn ,

a firkin of oxen skin

cut from the finest ox ,

a firkin I hand-made

cutting the hind of the finest ox ,

                    who one day walked / blindly

                    into the Northern Lights .


A firkin , a sip from , a supper ;

crossing a crest under multiple gulls ,

                    a smaller voice from my lips

                                        spilling :

“ the pink fallen petals’ shape

in the tree’s shade

is as shadow ,

                    is as still and blank ,

as Divine Rear shadow

whispers , as it passes

the mountain .

                    The prophet asks ,

                                        ‘ Is there a movement ,

a movement of something ,

/  in darkness ? ’ ”

Then , suddenly , a deer passes by ,

                    but I cannot believe

                    it has left :

                                        in darkness ,

                    because of stillness ,

                    the senses sustain

                    all glimpses

                    as glimpses

                    of the Rear .


                                        The rain starts ,

as on the day of the great rain .

The wind in the rain

tropes my tongue

without relent , arcing

                    me and me

into the Father .


Sauntering endlessly to wherever / at last ,

                    an old firkin

of first thoughts at hip-bone swings ,

leaking whatever it holds  :

                    “ I am the future son

                    of all my sons

                    but nothing now

                    of this to the turning gale ;

                    my mouth ! , full of silence ,

                    tongue a foreign thing . ”


“ I address myself to myself and

punctuate my speech with controlling figures

of aversive sonhood , puncturing

my tongue by pronouncing sons at all ,

and giving them improper names .

I know what this is with certainty :

a chant of the wandering father

                    who loses his tongue ,

[ a chant of the glossal lump , ]

a chant of who saunters against Boreas ,

                    because instructed by the God to go ,

                    as an Aeolian harp is heard

by none but the former oxen ,

is unheard by even me . “


This word is the beginning

of the end ; but it is not the end .

I begin the word in this cave

                    at night ,

                                        with a firkin

of oxen skin under head

to prop up my swollen tongue ,

                    by the wind

                    and some ladder-dream

                    split :


“ The silence of the thin split shore

by the hard-rocking sea sat ,

arose over the sea-side dune wandering

along the sea shore blind wandering  ,

at the heaped-up Atlantic split shore ,

where all the waves come ,

words where all come in ,

the son-poem comes in to firkin ;

the son-poem stands on a white beach at night  /

at the line of whatever , between blank and blank .

It has already stepped past the jamb .

The son-poem stands on a beach at night ,

nightly expressing literal words , and erect ,

addressing the gods from that split

open place , and the Son

at the same time , singing :


                    ‘ The world is so loud /

                    the air so it and there /

                    The world is so loud /

                    wherever it is /

                    is far beyond repair /

                    I know it is so so /

                    and knows it to be is /

                    is so so forever /

                    but father is home /

                    and he would hate to know /

                    I sing these things forever / ’ ”


The firkin talking to the mouth ,

as I step past the jamb of cave .

                    The firkin slung from hip-bone

                    prattles below the belt .

The wasted sounds settle ,

as sand from the sea shore settles ,

having come to the bottom

after many years wandering ,

                    abiding ,

as old flesh abides in the body

and cunningly steals what is

                                        still alive :

the father tongue ,

that unspent silent tongue .

Starting out for Dawn , now ,

starting for [ God ] whatever / home ,

                    unsettled ,

                    bowels unsettled ,

surveying the land

with my two eyes

for what I have left

and what has left me in time ,

                    tracking the deer’s


                    like a dog ,

inviting the many sensations

of the forest and the sky and the sea

to my unraveling loins ,

catching what would come

                    in the firkin at my loins ,

                    to sup upon in time

or to feed to the son rising

                    as I speak , as oxen rise

                    with the morning [ light ]

                    and summit the many peaks ,

I ask the poem , this old son-poem I sing ,

what he posed to me once ,

                    in song ,

when I [ an infant ] was :


                    “ What son remains when I cease to speak /

                    What song he says in my stop /

                    Could the last word ever be said /

                    Or would it be only a yawp /


                    Could the last word ever be said /

                    Could I ever disappear /

                    Could I persist in son though already dead /

                    Breathing secrets into his ear /


                    ‘ Listen to what the Father said /

                    Listen to him , My Deer /

                    Listen to him though already dead /

                    He is speaking ; he is near /


                    “ Bless your sons before your breath has left “ /

                    But what if the tongue is gone /

                    “ Bless your sons before your tongue has left “ /

                    But it is already Dawn / ’ ”

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