Jerome Rothenberg

from A Book of Concealments

A Deep Romantic Chasm

                                                for Michael McClure


A deep romantic chasm

beckons him   it leaves no time

to hide from light

in spite of circumstances,

& the way the street

flows like a stream

from no source,

nowhere.    This season

with its birds

newly arrived,

the first one on a fence,

mortal as you,

a harbinger of days to come.

Another word,

a false return,

the spoken still unspoken

carries us off.

The cavern of the universe

widens each morning.

My head fills up with dew,

the father writes,

having no home but where

his shadow leads him.

In greasy shirtsleeves, heavy

lids, blotched faces,

the men pursue

a trail of tears,

unbuttoned    captive

to a dream,

a starless galaxy,

the deeper sky

a field of images

measureless & mindless,

absent their god.

[step back to issue 3]