In the church of the world
Some are guiding the long leashes
Of the animals
Caged in thought
Some are guiding the cages
With antique keys
Hanging on leather loops
Around their heads
Some guide the long night forward
Leading it with crosses
And the oxcarts’ aching axels
Grinding forward
In the loam
Behind the straining steps
Of bullocks
The mute procession of the animals
Marks the earth with holes
The sky is the end of the wind
The wind is the shadow of heaven moving
Over the vast stretches
Where the bodies lie
Where the animals sit down mutely
And mew their final song of servitude
To the night they draw
Over the church of the world

In the church of the world
You are one of many cages moving
An hour of ice in an hour of glass
Your wet eyes and your heart wetter
Wrongs piled filings on the bottom of the cage
Rightness a key whittled from molded metal

Is right
In the altar

The altar shaking
On the planks
Of the oxcart

Dikirion and trikirion flameless
The candles continuously extinguished
Tilting in their brass candelabra
Smoke leading night over loam
Priests nodding the exhausted refrain
To the bullocks’ pace–

“They did not like it here”

for Peter Golub

night tavarish in the Central commode
bubbling in chasms of alabaster
sheltered from endless twilight
the color of putrefaction and dew

night in the reaches of television towers
alien baubles of Hasdrubal grey against sky
one-sided barbells fastened to earth
under-reaches slight-arched
graceful as nenuphar

night in dandelion glades sewn with garbage and cars
planted trackless in wild grass under the plantation of masts
reaching for Heaven

night under lamps in wallpaper and cherries
kissing the words Ejaculation and Hemorrhoid
in ash spilled among papers that slip from the upholstered divan

night sprawled in talk in quiet in kissing in ashes
in the night at the foot of the door
balcony to the weird sky
flat as the world of tramways and bridges
Iofan ziggurats
rivers wending among fractals

night in the zoo
of thighs smooth under blankets
drowsy in innocent wishes and smells
stunned tired to mind’s quiet
ceiling a wild quiet
fit for thoughts
lost in Dream

night tavarish on the alien actual globe among stars
brevity of cars hushing through actual air
ichor and surprises of desire’s plantations
with the lights out the lights out there

night automatic in Heaven’s bough
greased with the unending sun

night in bed’s pollen tamped out with ashes
on the patina
on skis fixed to the tarantass

night in the crook of an arm
waking to breath
and the lamp shining on plastic and alphabets

night’s coffer
plain with wires–
black gauges
among fruit

night tavarish in the web of stations nearer to home

[The previous poems first appeared in Zone.]


Your Avanti parked in the garden &
The '69 Charger emblazoned (let alone the bronzed Venus
You parked in the pool in the nide of her bronzed horde)
w/ three or four decimeter large white beths
for Beth I presume

I hate your garden
I wander with my doctor to the riverside pub
And drown him
Then I drown myself in two pints pink gin
How else can I convey the absurdities of Columbus?
The man was a dove
Who shat poison
Remember the dream of revenge?
We snatched him in the armpit of night
From under the painted eyebrows of his slowpoke Venetian concierge
Daubed the nostrils with ether
Cinched to a chair doused honey thick as narrative
And as useless
What came next? To transfer from mind to mind
The burst of one wonder to another
Always a prerogative
Alas where's the balloons
Where's the cauldron of almíbar
The dunes salt hard in the moon shine
Fire on psilocybin like a plastic fire
Good old snow like a bandage
On the used to be innocent world
But of course you're on to that
In your Heimat Hinterhaus with Gluwin Alpenstock
and Butterbrot conspiring
With vaults of golden incisors and plated watches
Your velvet sack of diamonds spilling stone champagne
A red car for Thursday a black limousine
For the whims of straightaway escapades
I know you built the cracked jewel cubic sightline horizon cipher getaway
You tried to bury the secret in a pile of shells
And blonds who never stop talking you tried to mum
The little trick we knew you had all along up your sleeve
Look at it there over the water
Dull as the skull of a whale
Inching in cuneiform from prow to stern
Long as a gunnel
You and your hive locked down dumb in the pool
Freebasing by rubber gloves full the chlorine of suburbia
Tan as a god
Full of smoothies and hatred
Every pore is a jewel her eyes are your eyes
Your clit is her clit and it's a prawn measured in carats
We found the cat in the driveway after arduous searches
Pinched at the waist into two kitties
We consumed equal quarts of Strega
In the back of your Marmon
Tipping the nacreous syrup up to the light
Shining in Jezebel's single eye
Cush on the rumble seat
Chattering fiscal reform & total asset ratio
Until poof that poof from the Argentine
Nude as Bucephalus
In chestnut polo boots
Tapped his whip on the car and had us all out
For a cigarette by the pool
Danny was over fresh from the Rotterdam-Montevideo line
His colon hung out like a glove
Maria Theresa sat in a lacquered swing
We watched baboons hissing and fucking
And two chimpanzees danced a tango
While Roberto jigged to the piccolo
The girls were bored and they absently strutted
With boring asses that emerged like mortician's clay
From bikinis drenched in the pool house lights
I scoffed at the Diva whose sequins floated
In the pool in the bath on the skin of everyone
Who dared lounge on the Naugahyde
You adjourned to the basement
And came up with a swan
A girl fell off the roof into the bushes
Barry explained polygraphite performance
Or at least tried before the twins
Pushed a piano into the pool
By then I was mugged-dumb knackered
And the honey-slow knuckles of Juan Dawei
Rapped rapped rapped on my noggin listen
He said nothing what I mean I mean listen
Nothing's in there

Andrew Haley's poems, translations and short stories have appeared in or are forthcoming from Western Humanities Review, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Zone, Quarterly West, The Smoking Poet, Stop Smiling, Girls With Insurance and The Sugar House Review.