Three Poems

Michael S. Hennessey

a minimal downbeat palimpsest
ghosted with sour decibels
returns to no return,
a wraparound dependent
this subconscious slumber
is unsentimental toil—
the filament burns up upon use,
and is extinguished instantly
there is no subway concourse
in which one might seek shelter
from this pencil-dark rainy din,
this elephant-colored afternoon—
mottled sky sure to implode at any instant
lie prone, covered in shipbuilding blueprints,
too soaked to focus, and calculate chances,
uncertain of a humid audience, waiting:
a whistle-clean tone announces it’s over
today, I am a buoy:
yester-data without zipcode,
carbon trace without melody,
a typo in the traditional mode.
like plaid when it was jazz,
a different kind of wooden tomb-
stone, some kissing wonder,
and a singing stain to remember.
[no mistakes to draw upon]
renumbering your presence,
a precise umbrella waits
at second street, the gate-
way to the city, reading, grazing
she lies back upon clean sheets,
another sighing song, all coin
but no salt, no england, no
viable angle by which to escape
or no year’s eve, a semblance
of balance, temporary fugitives.
the weight will pass in time,
wiser in small, clean apartments
[forgot to add a pause there]
these alleyways, these austere
streets, a roiling blessing of
stresses, this unending unfolding—
everything has a place in this life.
all momentum stolen by the blackout
now, no typeface looks familiar, no voice
        to be found among the fallen leaves
                                   (a yellow study,
spare) intrusion splits sadnesses, a magnet
        with spiraling polarities (the center shifts)
                          late arrival at the blanket
        bookstore—a closed door beside the river
        in the inevitable stretch of hours,
solitary communication by way of
a monitored band (non-operational) suddenly
        becomes an attractive option
                          (no one receiving)
silent, ambient,
                                   within and without
        invisible stirrings amidst the yellow—
                bad news in the sterling twilight
(already an ending)
        precision fingers tire in time, the sky
                                   blue sky needled;
undiscerning reminiscence of a former age—
                the technicians make sense of it
                                   on our behalf:
        dichromatic explorers of the belted flash
(the bedroom haze) (steel-eyed spine)
                saved by the pilot’s strike, the plastic
        muse moves on to new horizons