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A Poem a Day to Millennium
17 September 1999


(Envoi for reading in Silver City, New Mexico)

moonrise myopic in a fog of breath
a cataract film that brackets known features
so that focus is shifted into recollection
paging years of this crossing astonished face

hail to thee
blithe kabuki mask

every grimace is a strategy in residence
a countenance for obscure tortures
pains taken and kept in play 
while the spastic ghosts of grievances
ascending scan the zodiac archway
and throughout the given
for retribution proxies

elder moon
this night of the living
looks dead tired
sanguine smashed
so indwelling swaddled in this beholding
it looks to have been born with a caul

it is on a tight schedule
but will have that face-lift anyway
keep climbing the ineffable masquerade

either raise a hand now to turn the glass
or wobble here in stasis while it clears the treetops

it's that time of night when lost kites
once no one is tugging or watching much
will pop their last stitches
at last unass the clinging branch 
in tatters maybe but breaking free

by letting go the bleached out ojo frame
the kite cross in the crossed up branches
the straight grain stranded
like blown out muntins 
the paneless sash to some long gone window
or old bones buried up in the sky

after the crack up
like ashes really
slowly the paperwork fades and abrades
yet some fabric that lofts starts winging it
out of captivity

scraps flap doodle little bat flights to the moon
moth softly brushing up against
old what's his face
the moon mask
one touch innocent of desire
and the expression held in anxious amber
cracks out of ancient crater eyes
upstages streaky theater under glass

in this momentary weaving iteration
wavering in this gauzy outlook

the old man face
is under wraps in a burn ward
his proud flesh scared
sloughing happenstance blisters
has been framed again
but inconclusively
by spider webs that drape the sill and sash

yet surmounting this dusty drek and stranding
escapes the horizon and all its impediments

and at zenith fords the clear air meniscus
bright without warmth
on a skull i keep polishing

like puppet strings its tangled reflections 
alight all night in my white hair

Copyright 08/99 Robert N. Erman

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