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Another Night Alone With the Moon | Poem

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A Poem a Day to Millennium
17 September 1999


(Envoi for readingin Silver City, New Mexico)

moonrise myopic in a fog of breath
a cataract film that bracketsknown features
so that focus is shifted intorecollection
paging years of this crossingastonished face

hail to thee
blithe kabuki mask

every grimace is a strategy inresidence
a countenance for obscure tortures
pains taken and kept in play 
while the spastic ghosts of grievances
ascending scan the zodiac archway
and throughout the given
for retribution proxies

elder moon
this night of the living
looks dead tired
sanguine smashed
so indwelling swaddled in thisbeholding
it looks to have been born witha caul

it is on a tight schedule
but will have that face-liftanyway
keep climbing the ineffable masquerade

either raise a hand now to turnthe glass
or wobble here in stasis whileit clears the treetops

it's that time of night when lostkites
once no one is tugging or watchingmuch
will pop their last stitches
at last unass the clinging branch 
in tatters maybe but breakingfree

by letting go the bleached outojo frame
the kite cross in the crossedup branches
the straight grain stranded
like blown out muntins 
the paneless sash to some longgone window
or old bones buried up in thesky

after the crack up
like ashes really
slowly the paperwork fades andabrades
yet some fabric that lofts startswinging it
out of captivity

scraps flap doodle little batflights to the moon
moth softly brushing up against
old what's his face
the moon mask
one touch innocent of desire
and the expression held in anxiousamber
cracks out of ancient cratereyes
upstages streaky theater underglass

in this momentary weaving iteration
wavering in this gauzy outlook

the old man face
is under wraps in a burn ward
his proud flesh scared
sloughing happenstance blisters
has been framed again
but inconclusively
by spider webs that drape thesill and sash

yet surmounting this dusty drekand stranding
escapes the horizon and all itsimpediments

and at zenith fords the clearair meniscus
bright without warmth
on a skull i keep polishing

like puppet strings its tangledreflections 
alight all night in my whitehair

Copyright 08/99Robert N. Erman

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