Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ghazal 5/23

the electrical chirp of cicadas at 3:00 a m a warm
sky swarming with sparks of stars

a time prior to sleep’s invention in the hollows of an
archtop guitar trembling an A six chord thru the f-holes

a time prior to lilacs & the columbine petals’
violet gentle stare the white eye streaked purple

a glossolalia of crickets amongst holly
leaves in a Virginia backyard dusk August 1984

the cigarette smoke growing moths’ wings the
white web lawn chairs the green air asking for grief

the locus of sleep’s invention amidst a
flurry of spectral butterflies grazing the columbines’

eyes—I’m mostly awake—sparks of stars
scintillate thru crepe myrtles prior to meaning’s invention a

blue & green & gray chord plucked on an archtop
guitar in the purple void—a columbine’s eye

lidded in electric night—always sparks of stars al-
ways a time before time was a time after time

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ghazal 5/16

waxing crescent afloat within a white nimbus—
nothing’s distinct—a tremoloed note on a

mandolin & the willow limbs’ gray resignation—an-
other night amongst visitations convinced I’m really there—

a Virginia cottage house on a street “that
really went no place”—a silence with eyes singing

hysterically & I said Let’s dance taking her hand &
she turned aside— another visitation across pages

of poems singing You must change your life
a walk thru muttering streets thru a white fog—I

keep writing the same poem for how many
nights & years & mornings a streetlight’s white

nimbus beyond an electric typewriter’s midnight hum in a
Virginia cottage house—a tremoloed mandolin a hysterical

silence becoming a blurry nimbus the weeks & years
& hours of the same poem repeated a

visitation becoming dawn’s twilight a
tremolo on a mandolin this whitening morning

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ghazal 5/11

the difference between frail pink quince petals & delicate yellow
pistil & an inability on the part of two young people to

speak their hearts’ desire is a breeze shifting the willow ‘s
delicate boughs on a spring morning when I’m 52 already my

beard streaked gray like a white-crowned sparrow—the
difference between rollicking whitecaps across Lake Champlain past

the causeway toward South Hero & the words in a young
heart saying “there will always be a time” is a yellow headed blackbird’s

harsh trill in cattails surrounding a pond reflecting an un-
clouded sky—the difference between grape vines embracing the cedar

posts in contorted gestures & two chairs in an apartment in a white
building beyond a red door in Burlington, VT is a

young peach tree’s pink blossoms beside a wrought-iron
glass-topped table reflecting blue haze—the difference be-

tween an inability for young quince petal lips to tell the entire story &
the call of sandhill cranes circling becomes a May forenoon scribbled with poems

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Saturday, March 19, 2011

“what can we talk about that will take all night?”

footsteps descending a staircase a cello played pizzicato
a sense of anticipation within the ribs the

blue haze this morning the redwinged blackbirds’
chirp amongst the cherry blossoms an unsettling

silence in an amber apartment a skybluepink porcelain
Blessed Virgin on a knickknack shelf

there was always something left unsaid—
10 years prior footsteps coming down stairs in a blue

Vermont summer evening the damp air off the big lake the
Virginia air spring 1987 was a red rose blossom on a white

pergola an unsettling silence pulsing pizzicato around an em-
brace beside a staircase the unsettling skybluepink

laughter around an embrace the “thin whistled
notes” of white-crowned sparrows’ song within a cottonwood’s

boughs—columbine about to bloom—a room trembling with
anticipation within the ribs—a

sob in the hedge a laugh in the green green streetlamp’s light—
a sigh inside the ribs a mahogany mandocello’s low

C-string tremolo the continual thrill of birdsong in the
cottonwood this morning the echo of unsaid words

(quote from Kenneth Patchen’s Do The Dead Know What Time It Is?)

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

“it is night and it is serious”

a full moon’s amber light in indigo void a homestead’s
sodium light floating ghostly against the lower

ridgeline—an amber light in a floor lamp a hard-
cover book laid open across a birdseye maple table the words

were buried—I remember we used to sit together & read—an
amber light upstairs in a restaurant a candlelight’s sharp

blonde gesture inside the larger light & ghost-green
floodlights along Interstate 95 north past Perth Amboy the

green Vermont light thru lace curtains all evening we
used to sit together & read
—a petrified silence the printed

words’ black gestures in amber light the full moon in
indigo void a Virginia indigo evening in a hilarious restaurant the

hennaed manic laughter “like dice shook”—the tailights’ red
shift fading along Interstate 81 south thru purple shadows

& printed words in a full moon’s amber light in a void—
the Vermont living room’s pine paneling a hennaed

page a ride thru ghost green light & serious words
I remember we used to sit together & read

(quote from Kenneth Fearing’s Green)

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ghazal 5/9

two green morning stars phosphoresce above Indian Mountain
5:30 a m & finches & sparrows’ staccato outcry in willows’

arms & gray sky melting to whiteness a two story white
house & two green morning stars phosphoresce in a once up-

on a time whitewashed morning July 1978 & gray white air beyond the
screen window beyond a blue green orange batik—it could have been a

river—there aren’t any poems about this there’s 1 photo snapped
sometime later—red door & six steps—two green morning stars phos-

phorescing in a once upon a time distance amongst deep green
leaves & pungent white morning I didn’t have words for this

phosphorescence & you had few enough we were green
morning stars phosphorescing this morning & distant beyond a

screen window & sparrows call greenly to mates re-
peated patterns thru the weeping willow’s yellow empty arms
Jack Hayes
© 2010

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

song my father taught me

a Vermont May dusk so gray it turned green a 
mallow leaf afloat on a black glass beaver pond

dad sank it a wrist-flick a gulp the stone gone
too amongst trilliums & ferns & jack-in-the-pulpit the

deep green & the grape vines gone native—a green
rowboat a caged white lightbulb dangling on a freight elevator in a

paper mill the dark air sinks more deeply in the light 

a metallic fish presence dad’s black lunchbox

dented & heavy he fished in black pools
where perch swirled yellow the sawdust’s choking sweetness

in his workshop under the bandsaw’s gray evening whirr a
Black Ghost fly trawled in black bitter glacier lakes for

rainbow trout a metallic fish presence I think a-
mongst the silver birches & black glassy rocks the birches

grasped in roots my dad’s ruined black glass memory a 

landscape without a definite article to its name

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Saturday, March 5, 2011

“don’t think twice”

a yellow headed blackbird’s trilled caw a gaudy 
orange tritone atop a cottonwood tree—I used the

word plangent in a poem once—primary colors mingling to- 

ward orange green & purple is this all 1 big party—

what larks— a goldfinch dandelion riot across the lawn the 

honeybees mounting the yellow fringe an oval mirror

in a garden a peach blush daffodil it could be some-
body I once knew her dogwood petal flurry of adjectives in

rose-pink twilight her verbs meantime compulsed thru amber air
I want to sing something devastatingly simple not

do re mi in a C# labial frenzy—it’s just what happened—
it ain’t no use etc. a pink & blue porcelain Blessed

Virgin morning sky across the harmonic convergence a 

white sundress a yellow rose bouquet a secret passage a

yellow headed blackbird strutting in yellow sunlight pecking 

cracked corn a Nuestra Señora statue praying a faded

rainbow palette beside a well       an image I ought to 

transmit to someone I don’t recall the name

(title with apologies to Bob Dylan)

Jack Hayes
© 2010

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ghazal 5/4

an opera’s snowfall in a wooden music box 
a silhouette at a harpsichord pet-

rified between chords—white gloves caressing Easter 

weekend the Canadian bare silver birches 1982 a

north wind barging thru hopper windows the peri- 

winkle blue crocuses hold out their periwinkle blue

hands in the lemon Easter morning the daffodils spreading 

butter along the garden’s edge you can practically

see this in the oval mirror in a library an oval mirror
in an orange swoon the orange tulips the lipstick crimson

tulips after an evening of laughter & unbearable 

youth the trumpeter swans in the neighbor’s pasture

a landscape whitewashed in an opera’s snowfall—
white gloves folded across bare ground in a love act

the mourning doves on a power line cooing A minor nine 

while daybreak returns to the present

Jack Hayes
© 2010