JOHN MACKER

On A Clear Day You Can See The Grand Canyon

When the cold winds blow another April in
I wear a wreath of condors
Each one mates for life,
Each one avoids holy communion with men
Each one circumnavigates the canyon like
ancient shadow
back from extinction
each one sketches a cartoon
dance architecture on
these
diablo
chinooks.

Hissing, whistling,
grunting,
gregarious, familial
high over the cruelest month
they surround my mind in
                                     a magic ring
Sexy, apocalyptic ashen colored
Hieronymus Bosch birds with faces
any mother could love.
I pray to them,
hunters, gatherers
wing slingers high over Yavapai
in the thick particulate skies
air mailed from Los Angeles
                         & smokestack Mexico.
With a clear mind
you can see the Grand Canyon.
Here, the river is my second language-
I repeat her name three times in silence.
She twists along the bottomland shaving
                                               eons of
gneiss & schist from the cliffs
with nothing but the
patient, unarticulated will to flow
past our
urbane extinction almost to the sea,
today, on Samuel Beckettís birthday,
as the sun sets behind me
on a bed of coals.


To John At 60

They say itís your birthday.
Well, good birthday to you.
Born under the sign of
Kansas crow; the rivers Arcadia & Eldorado
Flow like the history of eroticism
Through your veins.
As I write this, the last
Of the hummingbirds in my yard
Steadies itself in the prairie wind
Sups from the blooming agastache.

In this Lou Reed dream, it rains petite
Baltimoreís of starving sportswriters, altar
Boys & poets who hover in the harvest
Breeze to sup nectars of nuclear free divinity.

In northern New Mexico you taught me to
Listen as rare arrhythmic rain pellets
A tin roof or how the
Muddy Jesus silence of faded crosses
On a plastered wall speaks of wayward
Whisky ministers once upon
A time performing stale Communion
In the last roadhouse
Of the west. I heard you.

You said: letís be wandering rain angels. I
Heard you:
Letís fight the dogs of war if it takes until
Weíre one-hundred & beyond
Letís speak in tongues of Poe
Letís go to Baltimore in a leaky Cadillac
As licensed purveyors of all that dreams
Pierces the blackness
Or spins webs of
Peace on earth.


John Mackerís most recent book is Adventures In The Gun Trade, (Las Vegas: Long Road/Temple of Man,2004).
Previous books include The First Gangster and Burroughs At Santo Domingo. An ďepicĒ poem, Wyoming Arcane
will appear in the pages of mad blood #4 next spring. Lives in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
in northern New Mexico.






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