Variation 47

                                     Remembering de Chirico

Afternoon of heat the village asleep

Lovers drifting through as though

                                         A dreaming

     I have seen how geometry shapes

                                         The light

           Footsteps making pale shadows a

                                       breaching a negotiation

                       It took us forever to reach there

                                       A plaza straight out in

                                                     Its blaze of sun

                     The journey unrehearsed


                     There is no haven signaling through

                                              0nly a heaviness of air

                                                                           Guarding itself

      I have seen how moments carve

                                                How they break apart

                                                The quiltings of memory

            0f the lovers I have asked

                What of the spaces through which you travel

                                   What promise in the words across

                                                                                     A desert of

                                                                                         Unmoving sand. 

                              Variation 52

                                    Human perception is a saga of created reality

Don DeLillo, Point 0mega

                      Seeing then. A bringing to bear           

                                        Innocence of world exposed to

                                                              A rapacity of gaze

           I am one of them. Sightseers all parading our guilt

                                                                         As what there becomes

                                                                                                       What believed

          I remember our talks deep into thickness  of nighttime

                                                                      Earth reclaiming its primal

                                                                                 In unseeingness of dark

                  How you said to perceive is to seduce the otherness

                                                                      Into comfort of the familiar

                                                                Is to dress the naked in clothing

                                                                                                     Of your choice

                                                                                              Your unspoken need

                     How you said there are times when a degree of blindness

                                                                                                         Gets us closer

                                       How Magritte is the best of us

                     How a looker morphs into a knower claiming rights

                                                                                                  Of ownership

                                      And the knower, the one who loves the known

                                                                                       Wanting only acceptance

                                                                                                         Of such love,

                                                                                 A meekness in the transaction

                                                                                                                       A surrender

                                      I remember the mirage In its glisten its promises

                                      I think again of Narcissus capturing his beloved in

                                                                                                     unresisting water   

                                                                 How he imagined what he saw

                                      How I stare and stare at this pond wind mashed,

                                                                                                                   Offering nothing.

                                                                          Variation 54

Rather the flight of the bird passing and

                                                                                  Leaving no trace, Fernando Pessoa

                                                                                  The Keeper of Sheep XL!!!

                                   A shoreline a sea lashing as moon zooms in a seagull

                                                      Swiftly from west to east and onward

                                   I the human alone here with only mind and impedimenta

                                                                                                                           Of memories

                                                        So much baggage so fierce the will

                                                                                               To control what lies

                                                                                                     Unowned unbought


                                                         Bird will have none of it

                                                         Great flapping wings in a swirl

                                                                                                            Of fast feathering

                                                         The words I call my own rush skyward

                                                                                                             To claim a victim

                                                                                    A snaring as though the talons

                                                                                               Of grammar can prevail

                                                        And already the failure

                                                        Already the blur where beak and brazen eyes

                                                                                                             Had told their story

                               There is a dizziness to these moments

                               World and its messenger saying only calm can save you

                                                                              Attend to the mysterium               

                                                                                            Of presence & loss,

                                                                                                             A cousinage.

Doug Bolling’s poems have appeared in Posit, Indefinite Space, Streetcake, Juked, Basalt, Literary Heist and Swamp Ape among others. He has received Pushcart and Best of the Net  nominations and several awards and lives in the environs of Chicago while working on a collection of experimental work.