AS THE SKY GOES BLACK

by Jerome Rothenberg

THREE POEMS FROM “A FURTHER WITNESS”
          for Anselm Hollo in memoriam

AS THE SKY GOES BLACK

fixed in place
or running
half a man
& half
a crazed
machine

he feels himself
becoming
what he ran from
breaking free
of bones
& skin

a solitary
eye
that looks out
at a street
covered
with tiny birds

yammering
chirping
whose screams
call him
to life
& always birds                    (Han Shan)

my burden
more than
yours

a life
so poor
& pure

succumbing
to their
sounds
their wounds
will raise himself
by inches

sail aloft
the dream
is over
with our hands
we touch
the earth

beneath us
paw it
watch
in wonder
as the sky
goes black