mini-ode to the awkward heroes
stroking, fucking, tonguing,
And to shepherds!
try to be kind, not bitter.
Sit on the rock with your dog, the watcher
and your tuneless pipes that have no true note
but wobble among microtones of reeds.
Pipe foolish songs of glee
to grumpy, addled sheep
Since every character
in the dream
is part of you: Gestalt, Gestalt.
And some characters resembled your friends.
But why did you see him in a hood and a cloak,
a cartoon glyph of death?
Is it because
another friend had died suddenly, simply
saying he “didn’t feel well.” But he’d “be OK in the morning.”
And since most materials
behave according to their defects and impediments,
one question becomes
how the sheep receive these pretty songs
of lambsy d’ivy,
amid real rocks and tocks and roots and rash-itch vines,
these songs of places they might hardly dream of,
imagining their pastoral knees
deep in juiciest true-green grasses,
while in “reality,” they stand in dusty
sneezy clumps, and pull the roots up with the grass.
New work by Rachel Blau DuPlessis include the chapbook POESIS (Little Red Leaves Textile Series, 2016), Days and Works (Ahsahta, 2017), Around the Day in 80 Worlds (BlazeVOX, forthcoming 2018), the collage-poem Numbers (Materialist Press, forthcoming 2018) and Eurydics (Further Other Book Works, forthcoming 2019). She recently published Interstices (Subpress, 2014), Graphic Novella (Xexoxial Editions, 2015) and is the author of the highly regarded multi-volume long poem Drafts, (1986-2012), from Salt Publishing and Wesleyan. Her collage poems appear in Tupelo Review, Journal of Poetic Research, Diaphanous, Lute & Drum, Alligtorzine, and Dispatches.