for allen


                            that summer in the mansion on the hill: 

                        you & Peter in spacious kitchen

                                    fretting over chicken soup, seaweed, Tibetan tea,

                        the nightly readings—Chris Ide & I dashing thru

                        halls & rooms upstairs in our underwear, chasing each other

                            giggling rowdies rolling across beds

                        or wandering in the basement perusing huge library,

                        singing old Kerouacky Catullus Kit Smart

                            & Shakespeare’s sonnets aloud together—

                            you upstairs all night answering mail yakking long

                        distance scribbling surprised by visitors

                            as I lay in the next room & watched the million stars

                                    fill the night over the flatirons, singing myself to sleep—


                        or that time in your apartment twelfth street I come

                            to read in your Brooklyn series—

                        racing to work to class to plane Laguardia taxi-dash

                        downtown in bright springtime exhausted—Steve showing

                            videos you at wailing wall & old Reznikoff

                                    our shared love introduced by George Oppen,

                            steely-voiced compassion my reentry

                        into New York—gefilte fish, Peter & the Wolf

                        after everybody cleared out, you & I soft reunion,

                            both drained in crazed worklives, both sleeping

                        20 hours, waking together Saturday evening going out

                            bite to eat at Christine’s:  NY Times, cabbage soup,

                        chocolate cake—a Danish family recognized you,

                        sent their kid over for autograph, you yakking

                            & drawing elaborate skull & stars & flowers personal

                        greeting with final pen flourish for their bright eyes—

                        friendly, welcoming the parents their first time in America—


                        or that summer where you’d injured thigh, lay naked

                            on floor your apartment Boulder as

                        young girl massaged pain spots, relaxed nerves

                           & we sprawled around you,

                                    singing Campion & Dowland,

                        Steve as director who

                        gave us parts bass baritone tenor singing

                                    again & again crooning to find

                                                the shared voices in the dream—

                            poets coming & going, staying a time,

                        alreadys singing, singing deep into the Elizabethan night

                                    as Boulder’s sirens shrieked

                                                & traffic flashed beyond—


                        & in later years, both too busy, yet your call sped me to

                                    buddhist retreat Yankee Springs

                            only 20 minutes from my home—

                        two afternoons scribbling notes together in lodge

                            as Gelek spun the word thru Gun Lake sunset—

                        or meeting backstage after Howl  & Kaddish Ann Arbor,

                        too tired to speak, no need to yakk,

                        comfortable merely to sit an hour

                            in each other’s silent presence as

                                    stage hands gathered props & instruments—

                        your kiss disappearing into the night your hand waving

                                    pulling away—

                        & now, calling each of us before the press releases go out

                            generous gesture even dying

                        passing burden & light from Walt thru Williams you & Jack

                            thru those who remain

                                    to new nippled generations

                        struggling even now to be born.