Collected Poems of John Holmes
Holmes, John A., Jr.
Long around a rolled-up postcard from Naples,
Short in needles' eyes, a thrift of thread.
Seven and a fire, among them three guns,
At the cave's mouth a dwindle of partisans.
Too many for the corridor, kicking doorsills,
Obscuring the lettered signs, a lurch of rebels.
Polishing the dulled air until it burns
So we hear the shining, a candor of horns.
Late summer's borne up on low hills
Brimmed and windless night, a lull of bells.
Sway-necked nibblers, twitching off ticks,
Hufflers, blatters, chumpers, a graze of critics.
Old thick leaf, green young, leaf lop-sided,
All full-veined and long-ribbed, a bough of cousins.
Better than heartbeat's kick, track, and knocks
Goes beller and boomer, the patrol of clocks.
Banging it on the table words with words
Hitting himself in the face, a rattle of grammar.
Under the gas-pumps a fort, under that Indians,
Then big bones, then ferns, a shingle of history.