1. 305 HONDA ("listening to the wind...")
for Gary Snyder
Leaving a forest of bikes,
leaving the university, headed for San Francisco.
[After watching the wistful look
at a different set of handlebars, a wider grip,
a deeper control.]
Leaning into the curve, sliding along the arm
settling into the traffic, edging around it,
headed for San Francisco.
Move forward, hold onto me, not the bike.
Find the center
of gravity, the Buddhist
oneness & uniqueness.
Leaning against the arm of the curve.
Two poets, personal perceptions
one rider, multi-armed, -legged.
Point of intimacy:
from the first tools, crafts,
metals & men laboring, hot, sweat
wetted, laboring with flesh & minds.
Fires & dreams, fires & gradually the machines.
The long sight.
The whole technology, a series
of carefully timed openings, man with his fire
manipulating the frozen rhythms
of road surfaces,
the intricate network of wind-rivers, the falls,
lurches, sudden eddies.
A line of intended movement.
Be loose & heavy
against the movement's changes.
The changes -
we throw our movements out, read them
Along a bay shore highway,
wind falling loose, snapping tight with a whipped
crack at my ear, past drift-wood sculptures
on mud-flats - a sailing ship, a
locomotive, a huge & angry Indian -
movie sets, but with a looser texture, allowing
the different movements of sea & sky to show thru.
Past - leaning to the curve, headed for the tollgate
& the rise of the bridge.
A quarter given, a brief touch of a stranger's
hand, shoulders moving in front of me
& the bike jumping up over the bay, drawing
the winds into the center -
the bay, like any sea, the lands rushing into the center,
the carefully timed movements of man & his fire.
The other poet calling
over his shoulder,
the voice cut loose, drawn thin,
wavering, snapping past my ear.
A strange wind-eel, wavering, curious, vanished.
The silent wind-eels crawling like ropes
over my forehead, thru my hair, down my neck.
Wind-eels edging around my glasses, pulling
at them. Testing my vision.
Crawling into my eye-sockets, changing the shape
of things seen -
the shape-changers, the wind-flowing
& sounds of rice-paddy girls
The bridge supports reach up,
drop back, & the wind rushes down, pushes at us,
keeps up its peculiar chants & animal cries, comes
out of the void & sings of the invisible planets,
suns, distances; & the changed landscape sits
in its new perspectives, indifferent
to the wind-rivers, silver & muted violets, the poems
at the edges of the bay
large shapes at the edges of the bay, chiseled
out of light
the rough sketches, reaching out of
sight, nature's poems & the clumsy rectangles
& silent windows of man's,
the edges of the grounds carefully surveyed, the hours
of construction computed, paid for.
The cathedral chants of the wind; we lean to the curve,
falling into the shadow
of the city. Our sound louder, now, than the wind-rivers'.
Words coming back,
& a heaviness, & the old geometries carrying us over
falling into the shadow & headed
for a vodka martini.