Tim Keane lives in New York City. His book of poems Alphabets of Elsewhere
is forthcoming in 2007 from Cinnamon Press. He has recently translated poems
by Rene Char, Henri Michaux and Francis Ponge, one of which just appeared at
Cipher Journal. Tim maintains a site devoted to his writing here.
feeling's awe-full, each instant's
a surfeit & existence means
moving unconfined by frames--
lovers know love's the deluded effort
to make a dry point that cracks
by its very naming: life's liquid as this
confluence of goldfish that breaks in
auburn & russet, explodes into ocher,
burnishes red pixies, brown shards,
curls the sea-greens & imperial plaque
all swimming loosed by cyclical blues
& making air of a viscous tempura
that will not sustain containment:
beyond herself, the ivory muse
stares back at us, aware "love" is
a silly fiction--a hybrid-fetish
phrase of cowards & scholars:
she grins, shows how the future's
No overwhelms the present--Yes
& she shows how seeing displaces
reason & confuses what you hoped
you'd be with what you merely are
facing the painted miasma that scatters
your sense & makes a mockery of your body's force.
The Kick Inside
ballerina & fisher,
a schooled savage
she links sea cords
to the garden walls
& dresses up dawn
in the daisy-chains
a resurgent Ophelia
turns ogres to satyrs
& personae to invent
An unpredictable clime
& honor the sense
of coming undone;
she finds direction
by driving rain,
in ripping, holy riffs;
the hounds of love
are loosed; the risk
of innocence returns
you to the very purpose
of your lust--
leave the Enlightenment
to the losers--
let the beautiful reign
exile the dim & the ugly-dumb
replace the real with anthems
on the unreal & let the unreal
tuck melody under the liminal
dissolve "God," lay seed,
& fore-play, generate texture,
& layer & praise delusion,
for the lover embodies illusion
& seeks what isn't & seeking, loves
& loving, loses & in the losing
becomes, strangely, her self.
Queen of the Aire
I bet the literal fool you went and married
Never encouraged the odd and never invited
you to unmask your self in a new disguise.
I bet he never suggested you try black-trim
boots and that Miss May mink hat which, in
wearing, inspired you to pen yourself "Queen
of the Aire." I guess that lawfully wedded sport
never peeled off the dense sheath, pair by pair,
exposing l'espoir & each god's different gifts.
And I sense your realist knows no words beyond
some stale reachable diction. How ignorant is he
of seapeach and dockwhite? And of the conchpink
clematis sprig & small-flowered soaproots?
Does he know the body's skin is a metaphor
for the more-in-less? And will he be a witness
when a painter kneels forward to face the futility
of Logos and savors the bounty of your palette?
The New York Collection
Come, morning, come hard-hatted
fashionistas to pin silver leggings
into an island's granite & come map
fifty-eight floors of sequin and raise a towering gown.
Wake up where the morning ground robes sycamores
in mottled tan & damp, leafed accessories, measure,
cut & stitch a warehouse worth of hot green
onto gray shapeless acres, stitch yellow
to the river's blue & silver boa
& seam azure to the afternoon.
Follow the evening, with its dusky
thigh-robe, sleeves swirling in pink
nimbus, follow windy chiffon with dolphins
at the breakers, besting the clownfish
that leap in orange at the cuffs.
At the shore, netted magicians
draw bracelets from the river,
stones painted in Oaxacan palettes
& roped by Chinese string, making wrists
something more than merely American:
foreign-born-glamour & native-driven-kinks,
like an earth-toned treacle dress for a mountain terrace.
Later a trapeze top & black flounce skirt that surrenders
to the moon & whitens night under your black gauze.
By midnight, it's become a city-ensemble
to unveil in the plush-red comfort of the opera box.
The next-day it's a memory-vest
& the outback hat for a Losaida brunch
& torn Levis with tattered windows
revealing garden-bossed hose, white
as gods, white as communion
weaves tinged to off-yellow,
white to remind autumn its
lingerie was always summer.
To fashion time
& laugh like this
is to clear the toxic debris
piled by imploded hopes
& live out a lust dressed by love
where the fall never
takes its choke hold
to the long day, here
among seers, artists & doers,
dreams walk in broad daylight
& we are the stanzas, the racks of accents
& we are spring metaphors that magnify a miracle of bodies.
Back to Front.