The Sky Hook

He’s an old lion
She’s his oasis in this callous,
hot, beachy, astringent sand—
his refuge from the damage
cool and subtle
No one could stand the imposter
in any capacity other than leader
He was aloof, enclosed, controlled
But he lets them believe in his sky hook dreams
He hoists them happily up, they think
Be like that fish hunter bird
Not much of this world gets to her
For awhile she floats with the intensity
of wind gusts, supremely observant—
and at that perfect time she drops
from the sky, her sharp beak like cut stone
He wouldn’t talk about it, not then,
there was too much to say
That false election was all about appearances anyway, and
angry, blood stained, streaks

The water drifts from right to left
Sunshine sprinkles the tips of the wake
This is how “we” becomes “I”
She goes ponderously, cautiously past
the prickles of sheen in gray water
He makes them all feel important
But I saw him run out of his office more than once
to avoid unwanted visitors
The camera terrifies him and he can’t abide
the idea that his recorded voice might survive
He knew he couldn’t make a living
from this kind of music
An honest, upright, honorable man
No offers of sky hooks, no illusory gifts,
nothing much  popular from him
He commuted from Poughkeepsie to New York City
then up to New Haven four times a week
No problem, he said, but we had good trains then
I seek for her like some seek to see the illusive white leopard
I believe in this “us” and our disparate pleasures

He intimidated some and really didn’t care
what anyone said
He never neglected anything, he was balanced
Today, although we are so trusting,
not one of us is trustworthy
If his dream is destroyed his life goes too
The press was not invited so none of it was staged
A tendency to secrecy and camouflage
We come out of nothing and then disappear
No happiness that year, no giving of thanks
He could no longer see layer upon layer
depth upon depth
It was all flat confusion now
A wave that comes only to you will tell you
what to do about it, but listen
He had a couch in his office because
he used to get these heart attacks
He liked sports, as a student, Greek, Latin and mathematics
Treatment left his head heavy and feverish
Delirium lifts him up, he towers above us


-September 9, 2011-