Saturday, October 01, 2011


. . . fans
open in the underbrush like a hundred
feathered eyes. . . .

Oh yes, there was a time
when the back of my hand could see Alcor,
when my knees could read an optometrist's chart
down to the smallest line.

Great sad watery eyes in my shoulder blades
looked backwards with regret;
my every knuckle was nobbled with eye clusters
that gave me a wicked return
to a table-tennis serve.

My penis's hooded lens, on its flexible neck,
could see around corners, up skirts:
every bit of me was eating up light –
the soles of my feet had a sidelong glance
at the passing ants on the sidewalk,
and my elbows blinked sentimentally
at moonset over the river.

How did I dwindle to this one minor pair,
huddled on their cheekbone ledges,
peering through a shrubbery of eyebrow,
timid as soft-boiled eggs?

I have offended some great hulking sweating
son of a sea god, maybe, dripped hot oil on Cupid,
stolen a pie that was cooling on Pluto's
vaporous window-sill. I took the tags off a mattress,
undertipped at a fancy restaurant. Who knows?
My offenses are in ranks, they march to heaven.

Now my palms are empty flesh, my ankles
are lumps of bone: my forehead is blank
as an unwritten check. Not even a lash
flutters at my wrist. My body is blind,
blind as Homer, blind as Stevie Wonder.
I blunder and I stagger:
just two tiny bulbs for guides.


Zhoen said...

You are entire, a wide open eye, all aware to such an extent that the particular details are subsumed into global vision.

rbarenblat said...

Oh, oh, oh, wow. This is glorious: poignant and sharp and full of wonderful imagery. I love it.

Lucy said...

Bubbling over with wonders!

marly youmans said...

Like this bountiful mix of fanciful and clever and funny, Dale! And you were like Ezekiel's wheels...

There's a Cieslawski painting with a man covered with eyes in a gorgeous landscape. Shall have to root up a link for you.

marly said...

Grow across four and then down three. He has the most marvelous light and finish on his paintings.

carolee said...

Brilliant: How did I dwindle to this one minor pair,/ huddled on their cheekbone ledges,

Jayne said...

It is a crime our body parts should lose their eyes. I used to be able to see what my kids were up to from the back of my head. Not any more!

Dale. Brilliant. And a giggle, too. ;)

Dick said...

With an acuteness of sensory recall this sharp, vivid and immediate, Dale, I think the poet protesteth - maybe lamenteth - too much! I reckon that somewhere within the eyes still have it.