Three Poems by Thomas Mooseker





"—and some, I assume, are good people,"
      but one I eschew, argued purple
    undone in a blue orchid pupil

undressed, as a cold apple orchard,
      a list unspooled from the record
    to rest on the shore by the breakers

The rest you discuss over breakfast:
      the nests constructed in the birches,
    the eggs, corrupt, still hatching
      and peacocks lurch to their lekking








Might the trees have lent to the blast
as I see it, the rod arcing up
slick with the oils of your brain
a sweet maple scent, a saturated green

huddled close to the fresh track
to examine the moment
as a jury might lean and squint
at grainy footage on a screen—

What can we know after this?
Which trees still grow in Cavendish?
flakes of cranium there, gray bitumen
hardened over the tamped scene.


Here is business enough for you,
to put Phineas together again.
The one-winged seed twirls down.
You were awake. That is said.

But no longer Gage?—what prevenience
ruptured as the organ split
and swollen in the being made
Phineas, did you formulate

in one small crop of sentences
Harlow pressed, then annealed?
For a penny one could touch the spot
where blood pulsed as you thought

lecherous things, or so they say.
But there are no animal propensities.
There is us, there is Gage
and there is the blue-veined wall.


What is unknown is Valparaiso: 
the bay approaches in unkempt light
the hand for employment.
We are lashed and in terrible rigging

wrung this way, that. Such gray
and ponderous hills nudging
the road from its tarpaulin page
where the routes are written.

Let us be hidden from view
or at least: the narrow ranges
of Phineas, the driver,
box coat sloughing the water

into our hoofprints. Daily
we drive, are driven, as gases
perform their light in various cages—
When did they arrive?








Now at last you slope to goose
Having plodded mulcted down
To find no river by the reeds
No bed below the scree
Honks the ferry equably

As honks the ferryman also goose
Who turning slowly on a dial
Recites pinch unpinch
Of light against the pale reeds
Goose-necks bending faintly in the breeze

And inside the breeze
Is music goosewinds wince
As ligatures grip the stalks
And honk from husk of ruddy head
That dusk elides

The flock has opened on the sky
Goose honks to goose
Where goose-wings hasp on night
To pass through night to come
Dear stranger in the reeds

To goose accede
Before the dark is currency
And buried in the tongue
The chalkdash down
Loosens from the tilting sun