Jim Dunn

Four Poems


Trinary number
Three’s a throng
Trinity days
The hidden sinister
Inherent in the shotgun
Of thirteens

Chords of a cursed heart
Strings of a broken ghost

Tremont Three hills
Where the sun nestles
Down in the green of
Their eyes

Numbered daze
With the one and the three
Two begot
The third
One is left swirling

The first third,
The third mind

Assign the soul secret meaning
A badge with a number
On the golden uniform of light

A day that means as much in reverse
As it does going forward

White pope dope smoke day
Latin smoke white dope day

The symmetry of time
Trapped in a million mirrored moon.

Fresh Out

Language ghosts spiral
In cool tornadoes
Of swirling speech

I wish I had some to give you
But I am fresh out

I wish I had sleep to give you
I am fresh out of my mind
Empty veils make dreamy curtains

Sunlight buckshot rays blast
Out of the clouds
Lost signs of ghost children
Wrestling the breeze

Some details are worth dismembering
Etched in sand in the battered wind

A grammatical acrobat I’m not
A tenuous tight rope walker in my eternal fall
Dancing on the rumbling air
Of delirious furious thunder

Salient salesman hurdling numbers
Buttered bathers glistening in the stoplight
Dead soldiers unbottling ferocious wishes

That’s a given

The Silence of Brotherly Love

                  for CA
                        after Houghton Library Reading, 2.12.13

In memory of my failings
You sit like a bruised Buddha
In the company of strange strings
Plucked on an invisible violin

In the crimson silence
True quiet is cut from
The crazy cloth of eternal listening

You emerald crystal ball
Telling the future to fuck off
We have what we need
In these immediate mediations

Sharing dazzling chocolate
In the green room coated with the
Crushed flowers of verdant hills
There’s nothing but forbidden flowers

Nothing between us but
The silence of brotherly love
Broken into holy pieces
Of Acapulco chocolate

Nothing but foggy flowers
Withered in the words
Not spoken between us

What to make of this curious
Green cult in the crimson compound
A wholesale soldier in the service
Of your disarming charm and enthusiastic kindness

Now you run with
The cherished in another meadow
Flying in a feathery missing man formation
Affirmation of the firm grip of gravity

Green demon dragon
Breathing the fires of poetry
Under Dickinson’s desk
And Emerson’s nose

Burning a path
No one dare follow

Beyond burning bridges
The black sun burns the sky

Man, there’s nothin’
But slumbering embers floating in dreams
The heavenly throng climb that bridge
Before beholding its random majesty.

Ashes, ashes,
We all forge

All Lit Up

                    for Willie Alexander
                        on his 70th birthday

Mad dash music in your magic eye
As you look beyond the blue muted melody
Towards the crazy architecture
Of the Oddfellows Hall
Built in the burgeoning era
Of the Beverly shoe

You have an eye for such things
And an exquisite ear for the gathering gulls
Pin-wheeling beyond in ocean time.

Wild Anchor washed ashore
Weathered army wayward anvil
Wishful acrobat wrecked abandon
Weirdness abounds…

From the left hand of God
Fire on every fingertip
All lit up
The holy litter
The golden literature
Pure glow after the snow
Fellow son of the city
Of brotherly love
Points the finger of God
Tickling the keys
To heaven’s trap door

Packed a whiskey wallop
wacked out the holy words
Alexander the Great
You conduct the magic keyholes
All jazzed up
Tall like the soul shining
Under the breaking waves on Niles beach
Gloucester harbor ghostly halo going home

All lit up
Out of a cavalier sense of duty
Make some roughed up beauty
Drown in the gorgeous
Sands of sound

Boogie and woogie
Keep you fit in fine fettle
Under the silver
Tingle-tangle of the stars
All lit up for you

On this
                 such a joyous day.

JIM DUNN's most recent book of poetry is Soft Launch (Bootstrap).  He currently resides in Beverly, Mass.