Night Train for the Bardo of Auvers

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Drawbridges over the Seine      steam up and down

levitating      over long fly-boats that ply the flashing

waters     which all day transport oil slicks of guilt

and all night      spin black whirlpools of doubt.

The approach in a glass-ceilinged boat is      looking up

toward yellow frames      of passing window lights

and then I am      there aboard the rail coach, looking out.

The milky whorl of night      folds its arm

over its face      in the heart of the sky, its hurt

palm curled in, crucified      with the hard sharp spike

of a single white church spire.      Boiling clouds

mass      along the horizon, climbing its stair

of blue mountain.      A bottle-green cypress twists

in its struggle against the pull      of burning stars

that wheel not      far above in the cloudy sky. Breathing

smoke      and black as coal, the heavy locomotive

has broken from the dark      to drag its cars

along      through roiling mists so thick and quick

the train appears      to rush backwards

and I am given to know      my suitcase has been 

left on the platform      back at the sad eternal station

and though I am now      amazingly returned

for one like me      who has tried to slice off his own

head      I have been electrified with color

and among so many      rows upon rows of drab lifeless bags

I can no longer say      which one is my own. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015