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IN WALKED BUD WITH A PALETTE, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Take one pompeii-eyed old man
Last Line: Thrower behind the curtain .
Subject(s): Cezanne, Paul (1839-1906); Monk, Thelonious (1917-1982); Paintings & Painters

(Alternate take)

Take one Pompeii-eyed old man
with a brush, poised in midair
near Mont Sainte-Victoire,
take one strange young man
filled with light,
bopping at the piano in Minton's.

Who are you, dull-eyed
mathematical seer?
Who are you --
monsoon-sound maker?

I force the two of you
together -- mix you
in a blue bowl and
you rise like a Blake fantasy --
a vorticism unto yourself,
left-handed with keys and brushes.
I call you Cezmonk.

I hang upside down from
your gut-wrenching rafters.
Birdcalls go out from you
before sunrise, combo-smooth.
They smooch the sky.
Your boats are filled
with labeled gunnysacks
of precise beats, licks, and
uncoiling cubes of careful color.

I'm knee-deep in fidelity
to what you see, to what you hear.
Ruby, my dear.
I'm lost now, T, in your
bright armpits of tangled vines.
I'm lost, lost now, C --
Ruby, my dear,
Ruby my dear.
Yet I linger lost,
mixed -- short of breath,
in your tall darkness,
waiting for your next move.

Tell me --
what's your hidden agenda?
I've made you a tempest
pretending to be
a dog-headed storm.
Surely your agenda is not
the spreading of Greek
creation myths, not
the spreading of grapes of Paradise,
not the churning of bodies
in cotton beds, not the splash
of church bells across the village,
not the smile of a patron
saint of brick buildings.

You say you created me --
you should know my agenda.
I know that light dances
in cubes like bop piano notes
across Lake Annecy,
North Carolina, where half of
you rose from the water.
Oh, Ruby, Ruby, my dear.
I know the smell of a hazy day
of gathering weedy flowers.
I know the sound of flowers.
I know you are anything of life.

I gather myself like flowers.
Your trees look back at me
like hungry animals.
I am a chimp eating termites.
I swim back and forth
between your two shores.

You are Gilgamesh's buttons.
You are toes of a Spanish martyr.
You are teeth of a vestal virgin.
You are purple rocks in a stream.
You are ghost figures in a zoom lens.
You are seeds in sunflowers -- in that vase on Vincent's table.
You are the interior of a dolphin's mouth.
You are the unoiled screws in a new motor.
Your sounds and colors
are my self-portrait --
unlike me, it's
a portrait of
uninterrupted elegance,
an elegance twice that keeps
lifting lifting --
lifting belly to the dice-
thrower behind the curtain.

Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org

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