Paul Hoover


Three Poems read by the author [mp3]


Buenos Aires

“They have electricity in the church.” 
—Apollinaire

Shall I fly open wide,
at last relent a heaven?
Pardon submission
& lower still
adore what’s made in pain?
I purchase double far
all good my god can hold.  

This new face,
its borrowed eye beheld.  

The ways of God are men.

Ever clear in outward calm,
the first once warned.
The eye disfigured is all unseen.
Delicious, green, grotesque and wild,
rank shade & evening sun.

Savage and pensive,
they slack delay and course.
Slow brake the sheer within.
Light hunger for the wolf.									

This perverts abuse.
The views in narrow heaven
are through the garden-mould.					
The rapid
earth’s river will not tell how.	

On the hour’s hot field,
the mirror is fringed
with cold names leaning.
Universal flowers 
mantle that thorn.

Eden on the aisle
is a whole day’s rock.
Old living creatures.
Yielded grace.  But not 
beneath wanton.

The delay that drove him
like an undergrowth east.
Sheer within the light,
Hunger’s prey o’erleaped the feast.

Hirelings will climb, restive
and slow.  But fear no assault
from these thin brakes.  The random
access plan eases into folds.									

Cormorants in the stream.
Thick with longing’s
skin, our own edge attests 
to slipstream and riot.  

On horse days, a rogue.  
Then the counter-party.
As long as no men saw,
they toiled to their reward.					

I am hopeful in my way.
How does one know
all the Chinese whispers, 
their epithets and figures?

The primary one and secondary sun 
fill you from within.
Look not upon the dark 
nor take apart the page—

it’s this which rigged
to the grammar of the town.





The Windows (A War in Tawara)



Add “A,”
A nut for a jar of tuna,
A Santa at NASA.  

Borrow or rob,
Boston did not sob.
But sad Eva saved a stub.

Cigar?  Toss it in a can.  It is so tragic.

Don did nod,
“Dogma, I am God;
Devil never even lived.”

Evil Olive, 
Ed is on no side.
Ed is a trader, cast sacred art aside.

Flesh saw Mom wash self.
Flee to me, remote elf!

God lived as an evil dog.
Go, do, dog!

Harass Sarah!

I prefer pi.
I, a man, am regal; a German am I.
If I had a hi-fi . . .

Jar a toga, rag not a raj.
Jar bar crab, raj.

Kayak salad, Alaska yak.
Key lime, Emily—ek! 

Late, fetal,
Leon sees Noel.
Live, devil,
Laid on no dial.

Ma is a nun, as I am,
Mirror rim
Murder for a jar of red rum;
Must sell at tallest sum.

No lemons, no melon,
Never even
Noon.
No sign, in evening, is on.
No slang is a signal, son.
Nurses run—

Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo.
Oh, who was it I saw?  Oh, who?

Poor Dan is in a droop.
Pull up if I pull up.

“Q,” said Dias, “Q.”

Rise to live, sir.
Rats live on no evil star.

Stack cats, 
Solo gigolos. 
Swap paws, 
Step on no pets.
Sexes, exes,

Too hot to hoot,
Tug at a gut.
Tell a ballet
Tulsa night life:  filth, gin, a slut.

U.F.O., tofu,
Vanna, wanna V?

Wow!
Was it a bar or a bat I saw?
Won’t lovers revolt now?
We panic in a pew.

Xerox orex,
Yawn a more Roman way!
You bat one in, resign in evening.  Is Ernie not a buoy?

Zeus was deified, saw Suez.
ZZZZ, Otto, ZZZZ.




The Windows (Senses Are Planets)



I

You’re the sole remaining actor
at the end of your story,

which only you can tell,
which only they can feel.


II

You didn’t create
the story’s beginning—

it belongs to someone else
and the main character says:


III

It’s lonely in this room—
no news comes to me.

But something’s running in
and in once more.


IV

The artifacts are empty,
thought the size of its thinking.

Crumbling up from nothing,
the earth and all its dust.


V

The day seems unending,
a hair in the soup egregious.

Inkling of an angel,
gorilla in the room.

VI

Last night on the ceiling,
the lights at high beam,

some of us slipped under
the lives we had to live.


VII

The pathos of distance
is what the eye bestows,

arriving as if returning,
revealed by what’s disguised. 


VIII

It’s easy to confuse
a story and the world—

clarity is the madman,
mote in a bride’s eye.


IX

Some are not angels,
some are not men.

Some have the power of speech,
one wing caught in a door.


X

Can you point to anything shapeless?
The hissing angel suspicious.

Everything spreads toward its limit.
The blue within the milk.


XI

A shocked, retreating figure, 
blown into the future,

gazing back at the past,
each circumstance a feather.


XII

Where the train doesn’t stop
the world is excessive.

Late angel at the station,
holding a valise.


XIII

The story that continues
through legend and the instant,

each next an obligation,
miming its O’s and E’s.


XIV

Nature, the comedian,
with nothing left to say.

Then there’s the one
whose referent is missing.


XV

Bespeak me, if you will.
Create me with a name.

The naked vowels crying,
who is hearing here?


XVI

For instance, 
the pleasure of naming

this one amnesia
and that one cowl.


XVII

Thing word, man gourd
from sound to deep sound.

Last dance perhaps
for nightmares and fictions.


XVIII

Yearning finds its wall, 
intention is deep in its well.

Death is red willow.
Fallow angel:  field.


XIX

Monstrous music, human garden,
where no two things are different.

Wrinkle in the glass 
where a story might have passed.


XX

The story in the room,
pouring a glass of milk.

The story heavily weaving,
on no particular road.


XXI

Lovely to lie on the car
under a single star, 

something left of life,
world me well and oh . . .


XXII

The television is soft
from being on all day,

quoting again the essential,
well over the edge.


XXIII

Senses are planets.
But the new euphoria weeps.

Only grace finds—
everything’s in the planning.


XXIV

Nothing’s nonsense yet;
she makes of love assent.

The shape of the beloved,
whose body she is of.


XXV

Lucidity of the fragment,
its lamp presently lit.  
 
“Nor had I fallen leaping.”
“One wary of a wrinkle.”


XXVI

The more incomplete,
the closer it is to fate,

but only in language 
and deeper than real.


XXVII

All the light they need
until their senses darken.

The furtive angel worries.
Where is the story now?


XXVIII

Taking a nap, it seems—
too much darkness at noon

and sweetness in the berry.
Even its bones are gray.


XXIX

See, the story is bleeding,
bleeding into our names.

Our meaning is running over.
Now it has gone too far.


XXX

Something within the window
gestures earnestly—

Be careful with that myth,
it has to outlive us.