Barbara Guest — The collected poems


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The Collected Poems ofBarbara Guest
Wesleyan Poetry
THE
COLLECTED POEMS
OF
BARBARA GUEST
Barbara Guest
Edited by Hadley Haden Guest
Wesleyan University Press
Middletown,Connecticut

www.wesleyan.edu/wespress


by the Estate ofBarbara Guest
Introduction copyright Peter Gizzi,

All rights reserved
Printed in the United States ofAmerica
 
Library ofCongress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Guest,Barbara.
[Poems]
The collected poems ofBarbara Guest / Barbara Guest.
Includes index.
isbn 9780819568601
(cloth :alk.paper)
I.Title
ps3513.u442008
811

.54
dc
222008020147
Frontispiece:
Early photo ofBarbara Guest on a train Fred W.McDarrah
Wesleyan University Press is a member ofthe
Green Press Initiative.The paper used in this book
Publication supported by a grant from the National
Endowment for the Arts.
"Cover illustration by Barbara Guest. Wheel, collage, 1951,
18 12." Photography (c) Thomas Bachand 2007.
Contents
Introduction:Fair Realist by Peter Gizzi
xvii
Timeline
xxi
Works by Barbara Guest
xxvii
Notes and Acknowledgments
xxxi
The Location ofThingsArchaicsThe Open Skies (

)
The Location ofThings
The Location ofThings

Piazzas

All Grey-haired My Sisters

Windy Afternoon

Russians at the Beach

The Hero Leaves His Ship

Les Ralits

In the Middle ofthe Easel

On the Way to Dumbarton Oaks

Cape Canaveral

Sunday Evening

Parachutes,My Love,Could Carry Us Higher

The Crisis

Upside Down

Seeing You O

Safe Flights

Sadness

Ja

a Juce

In Dock

People in Wartime

Landing

History

Oriental Movie

The Crisis


v
vi/
CONTENTS
The Time ofDay

Herioc Stages

In America,the Seasons

Belgravia

In the Alps

The Past ofa Poem

Archaics
Atalanta in Arcadia

From Eyes Blue and Cold

Dido to Aeneas

Green Awnings

Palm Trees

In the Campagna

Who will accept our o

ering at this end ofautumn?

The Open Skies
The Voice Tree

Lights ofMy Eyes

Snow Angel

Santa Fe Trail

Nocturne

The First ofMay

Dardanella

The Brown Studio

All Elegies Are Black and White

The Open Skies

Hurricane

His Jungle

Timor Mortis,Florida

Sand

Wave

Geography

The Blue Stairs (

)
The Blue Stairs

Turkey Villas

Walking Buddha

Colonial Hours

Saving Tallow

The Return ofthe Muses

A Reason

Direction

Barrels

East ofOmsk

CONTENTS
/vii
Parades End

Clouds Near the Windmill

Fan Poems

A Way ofBeing

Four Moroccan Studies


A Handbook ofSurng

I Ching (

)
I Ching

Moscow Mansions (

)
Red Lilies

Illyria

Egypt

Nebraska

On Mt.Snowdon

Rosy Ensconcements

Even Ovid

The Interruptions

Moscow Mansions

Moscow Mansions
 
Knight ofthe Swan

Carmen

Museum

Byrons Signatories


Losing People

The Poem Lying Down

Sassafras

Circassians

Another July

Drawing a Blank

Stupid Physical Pain

Roses

Lights ofMy Eyes

Passage

Hohenzollern

The Stragglers


On the Verge ofthe Path

Gravel

viii/
CONTENTS
Bicycling

Shifting the Iris

Green Revolutions

Poem

Evening

The Old Silk Road

Now

The Countess from Minneapolis (
 
)

 

:

Floors


:Thinking ofYou Prokoef


:River Road Studio


:Portrait ofMary Rood


:Eating Lake Superior Cisco Smoked Fish


:Musings on the Mississippi


:Legends

 


:Prairie Houses


 

:At the Guthrie Theater

 

:Persians in Minneapolis

 

Widsith

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
CONTENTS
/ix

:Crocus Hill

 

:Activities

 

:June

 
 

:Amaryllis

The Trler Losses (
 
)
TheTrler Losses

Biography (

)
One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Quilts (

)
Quilts

Musicality (

)
Musicality

Fair Realism (

)
Wild Gardens Overlooked by Night Lights

La Noche Entra en Calor
 
The View from Kandinskys Window
 
The Thread

Ilex
 
Spring Vine
 
Dora Maar
 
An Emphasis Falls on Reality

Valuable Mrike

x/
CONTENTS
The Rose Marble Table

Shu

ing Light

The Screen ofDistance

 
The Farewell Stairway
 
Words

Twilight Polka Dots

The Nude
 
Western Additives

In Medieval Hollow

Bleat

Ropes Sway

Country Cousins

Savannahs

The Cradle ofCulture

Lawn Bumps

Tessera

Defensive Rapture (

)
I
Paulownia

Dove

Expectation

Geese Blood

Fleet ofWhite
 
Atmospheres
 
The Surface as Object
 
II
Defensive Rapture

Beautiful/Evil
 
Borrowed Mirror,Filmic Rise

Restlessness

Chalk

III
Borderlands

Dissonance Royal Traveller

The Advance ofthe Grizzly

The Glass Mountain

Otranto

Winter Horses

IV
The Altos

from

Stripped Tales (

)
structured / immediacy

/ lottery can guess

the moment / a noun / settles into space

/ germinationbegins

undermining /

opposing ideas /

/ which-away

philosophy / in Norway

moody / adjectivalness

need / to identify

odd / pagination

property / mix-up

/ selfdom

a venetian / pallor

ice / buttons

history / ambushed

klebnikovlootage /

useful / techniques

loose grams / ofnutmeg

typestry /

ghost / aboard

the French woman / beckoned

moment / ofingenuity

antiquity
/

what we say /

empathetic / chimes

law / ofthe ether

Bergsons Law /

magicked /

the position / anarchical

photo / mirage

Quill,Solitary
Apparition
(

)
Finally,to the Italian Girl

Garment

Fell,Darkly

Pallor

Leaving MODERNITY

Cold and Its Demeanour

Quill,Solitary
Apparition

CONTENTS
/xi
IfSo,Tell Me (

)
Valorous Vine

Storytelling

Outside ofThis,That Is

In Slow Motion

Doubleness

a n n u n z i a r e ! Dora Films

Lily


The Lull


Unusual Figures

IfSo,Tell Me

The Luminous

Strings

Deception


Faery Land

The Paris Lectures

The Green Fly

Confession ofMy Images

E

ervescence

The
Strum

Music History

Sideways


)
Overboard

The Tear

The Cough

Trousers for Extras

Nostalgia

The Guerrilla Reporters

Confucius

Color

Nuns

Corelli

The Vanished Library

Lonely Mess

Lubitsch

Noise

Preparedness

xii/
CONTENTS
Moments Before...

The Dream Motion Picture;
a proposal for animation

Nemesis

The Aromas

Falling in Love
 

 
Romance

No Words

Screening Room Notes
 
The Minus Ones
 
Scenario-iste
 
Celluloid

Ars,Longa

Metropolis
 
Enchantment
 
Simultaneity
 
The Spell ofBeauty

The Utmost Unreality

Disappearance

Rocks on a Platter:Notes on Literature (

)
I
Ideas.As they nd themselves...

II

And the words linger,deciding which direction to take...


III
Intimacy oftone...
 
IV
Without shyness or formality...

Symbiosis (

)
Symbiosis

Originally appeared with artwork by Laura Reid
Miniatures and Other Poems (

)
Miniatures
Shabby Boot

Bird ofArt

CONTENTS
/xiii
Spirit Tree

Turret

Negative Possibility

Camisole

Tiny Foreign Tears

Transcription

Lost Speech

First Prints

Yesterday

Pilgrimage

Finnish Opera

Photographs

Petticoat
 
Blue Arthur
 
Autobiography
 

Fourteenth ofJuly

Chekhovania
 
Coal
 
Colonial Hours

Sound and Structure

Musicianship

Pathos
Blurred Edge
Drer in the Window,Reexions on Art (

)
Lunch at Helen Frankenthalers

On a Painting by Hayden Stubbing

Homage

The Red Gaze (

)

Nostalgia

An Afternoon in Jeopardy

Imagined Room

Loneliness

A Di

erent Honey

A Short Narrative

Freedom

Alteration

xiv/
CONTENTS
A Burst ofLeaves

The Next Floor

Roman Stripes

The Trickster

The Hungry Knight

The Past

Modernism

Green Numbers

Stair ofOur Youth

A Noise ofReturn

Freed Color

The Gold Tap

Minimal Sound

The Brown Vest


The Red Gaze

A Dawn Walk

No Longer Strangers

Hans Hofmann

Vignettes

Echoes

Instructions

Composition

Supposition

New Poems
Elf

Storytelling

Constables Method,Brightening Near the Bridge
 
Beginning ofRain Notes
 
Shelley in the Navy-Colored Chair
 
Hotel Comfort
 
Index
517
CONTENTS
/xv
Introduction:Fair Realist
When Barbara Guest passed away in the winter of

,America lost one ofits
sixty years.One might call her commitment to the art heroicbut her primary
task was rather,in her words,to invoke the unseen,to unmask it.Hers is a po-

s,her work was characterized by an advanced lyricism that must have
seemed already full-blown to her contemporaries.Yet as this volume attests,
with astonishing urgency,complexity,and daring.With only sporadic recogni-
tion along the way,most ofit late,her work remained at the vanguard ofthe
genre throughout her career.
move toward.We nd it reading back through those very works that were
ahead oftheir own time,their readers,and even their authorsin the poems of
Emily Dickinson or William Carlos Wi
lliams,for instance.Ifthis model ofdis-
covery teaches us anything,it is that tradition is,in fact,always just ahead ofus.
It is an occasion we rise to.
In her essay Wounded Joy,Guest writes:The most important act ofa
poem is to reach further than the page so that we are aware ofanother aspect of
delimit
the work ofart,so that it
appears to have
no beginning and no end,so that it overruns the boundaries ofthe
poem on the page
(
Forces ofImagination,

).The Trler Losses,one ofher
most adumbrated and yet literal poems,about the loss ofa wristwatch,sug-
gests the double bind ofkeeping and losing time,and the wonder ofpoems as
timepieces.It is only,it seems,in reiterating temporal markers that one feels
time expand within the poem,extending forward and looping back,incorpo-
rating and re-imagining the relation offuture and pastand the di

cult role
This desire to delimitthe poem spatially
and temporally has characterized
Guests work from the very beginning.Strictly speaking,her poems are not ab-
stract;rather,they locate us always exactly where we already are,at the edge of
meaning in an already impacted,developing world.Her poems begin in the
midst ofaction but their angle ofperception is oblique.In this way,the poem,
like the world,exists phenomenally;it is grasped as it is coming into being,and
she records the outer edges ofthe context ofthis movement,placing the poem
at the horizon ofour understanding.
xvii
Her early poem Parachutes,My Love,Could Carry Us Higheris a classic
example ofGuests facility with paradox in the context ofa complex emotional
clarity.Suspension is the chiefconceit
ofthe poem:the suspension ofdisbelief,
the suspension ofa locatable time and place,the suspension ofa shared
amorous attachment,and the suspense ofnot-knowingnot knowing how to
proceed and not-knowing as a human condition.Its a poem about being adrift
but also about being alert to the elements,the medium oftransport,willing to
reconsider the terms ofperception at each turn,as each line launches us into a
variable reality.
locatability would permeate her work.Guest was born in Wilmington,North
Carolina,in

,the daughter ofJames Harvey and Ann Pinson.As a child,
she moved to Florida and to California,living at various times with her aunt
and uncle and with a grandmother.Guest wrote,I never really had a home.
and expansiveness ofher voice were an answer to the necessity ofestablishing a
lived space within the work ofart.
Guest attended UCLA,then UC Berkeley,receiving her BA in

.After the
war she moved to New York,marrying Stephen,Lord Haden-Guest in

,
and Trumbull Higgins,a professor ofmilitary history,in

.She raised two
children:Hadley Guest and Jonathan Higgins.She wrote art criticism and was
an editorial associate at
Art News
from

to

.
Her rst book ofpoems was published by the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in

.
It was titled
The Location ofThings,
and,in fact,it located her within the New
her work.In that same year,her Berkeley classmate Donald Allen placed her
among the New York School in his seminal anthology
The New American Poets.
Ofthe

contributors in the periods two major anthologies ofAmerican po-

and the other by Donald Hall in

),she was
one ofonly ve women.
In the coming years she would publish
Poems
(

) and
The Blue Stairs
(

),followed by
Moscow Mansions
(

),
The Countess from Minneapolis
(
 
),and
The Trler Losses
(
 
).Guest also wrote several plays,which were
produced in New York in the Artists Theatre and the American Theatre for
Seeking Air
(
 
).
In a

interview with the
American Poetry Review,
Guest described her
the subject nd itself.Reading her art writing,it becomes clear that her under-
standing ofpainting derived fromand in retrospect serves to elucidateher
own processes ofcomposition.She wrote that Helen Frankenthalers paintings
are landscapes ofthe interiorand positions them on the margin ofher uni-
verse.Disturbing the conventional relations ofsubjects and objects,ofreality
and imagination,is one ofGuests signature gestures.She writes that Franken-
thaler forces Nature to copy Art(
Drer in the Window,

).
xviii/
lost.Her poems more often evoke the joy ofbeing found.There is a tenderness
in Guests ability to view experience as a composition in its own right,taking it
in at a respectful distance as one might view a work ofart;or as lived experi-
ence might be triangulated and compounded
through
a work ofart,as in a
poem like Roses,with its gestures to both Gertrude Stein and Juan Gris or in
her masterful poem The Nude.
Her poems bespeak a long engagement
with literary and artistic tradition,
less by establishing allusive signposts than by exposing and exploring the di
-
culties that acts ofimagination have always presented.She would nd herselfat
home in modernism,inuenced by H.D.s imagism and by other manifesta-
tions ofthe high modern,including surrealism and Dada.Guest drew from
imagism a sense ofthe impacted history ofobjects and ofwords and how they
sion ofimagism into literary abstract expressionism.That is,ifan image is but
a fragment ofa larger eld,it has already become abstract.It bears the traces of
a human context but is not immediately locatable within a specic time or
into polyphony with its own echoes (
FI,

).
She had an integrity that predisposed her for telling the truth as she saw it,
trends.As the womens movement was gaining strength and might have
o

ered her a sense ofcontext,Guest eschewed overtly polemical and political
writing the denitive biography ofher great modernist precursor,H.D.:
Her-
selfDened
(

).
Her later poems were often characterized by the bridging ofantagonistic dual-
ities,as expressed in two ofher most inuential books,
Fair Realism
(

) and
De-
fensive Rapture
(

).Even a title like Wild Gardens Overlooked by Night Lights
In its brilliant control offraming and juxtaposition to build emotional intensity
through narrative compression,the poem exemplies the heights ofcontempo-
are laced with dramatic tensions and an engagement with invisible,imaginary,
phantasmagorical elements,inexplicable turns in the path,and a mysterious sense
ofinevitability.Her most recent poems in
Rocks on a Platter
(

),
Miniatures
(

),
The Red Gaze
(

another,as evidenced in one ofher last poems,Shelley in the Navy-Colored
Chair(dedicated to her editor Suzanna Tamminen).As in Wallace Stevenss late
Guest spoke eloquentlyand defensively in the sense ofShelleys De-
permeates her recent collections ofprose,
Drer in the Window: Reexions on
INTRODUCTION
/xix
Art
(

) and the magisterial
Forces ofImagination: Writing on Writing
(

).
self,is a rsum(
FI,

).The poem should not be programmatic,or didactic,
or show-o

;rather,one should go inside the poem itselfand
be in the dark
at
the beginning ofthe journey(
FI,

(Respect your private language) and,at times,as practical as a survival man-
ual (When in trouble depend upon imagination) (
FI,

,

).Implied always
ityand the understanding that writing was,in many ways,playing with re:
The forces ofthe imagination from which strength is drawn have a disruptive
and capricious power.Ifthe imagination is indulged too freely,it may run wild
and destroy or be destructive to the artist.
...If
not used imagination may shrivel
up.Baudelaire continually reminds us that the magic ofart is inseparable from
its risks....(
FI,

)
She was fearless and,to those who knew her,sagacious and outspoken.
Her last book,
The Red Gaze,
ends with a sentence by Theodor Adorno:In
thus,in their own way,changed our world.
xx/
Timeline

:
Born Barbara Ann Pinson on September

in Wilmington,North
Carolina,to James HarveyPinson and Anna Mae Pinson during a
briefstay in town while Harvey looked for work as a probation
o

cer.



:
West Virginia,and various towns around Miami,Florida,with her
parents.Her mother gave birth to two boys,Jimmy and David,and
two girls,Nancy and Mary Patrice.Barbara was educated in Miami
and backwoodsone-room schoolhouses.She learned to read at
age three.



:
Barbara was sent to live with her aunt,Mary Louise Hetzel Pelzel,
and uncle by marriage,John Pelzel,who were childless and lived in
Los Angeles,at the urging ofher grandmother in West Virginia,
Mary Lilian Cundi

education.She attended Virgil Junior High School and Beverly
Hills High School,both in Los Angeles.

:
Graduated from Beverly Hills High School.

:
Attended the University ofCalifornia,Los Angeles as an English
Literature major.Met her future husband,the sculptor and painter
John Dudley,a roommate ofthe writer Henry Miller,for whom
Barbara was a typist.Barbaras father,Harvey Pinson,dies.
 
:
Unsatised with the English Department at UCLA,Barbara took a
leave ofabsence for a year to attend a junior college where she felt
 
:
Returned to the University ofCalifornia,Los Angeles.
 
:
Transferred to the University ofCalifornia,Berkeley and moved to
 
:
Graduated from the University ofCalifornia,Berkeley with a bach-
elor ofarts degree in English Literature.
 


:
Returned to Los Angeles and took a job as a social worker for the
city.Worked with Air Force yers recuperating from bombing mis-
sions during World War II.Married John Dudley.
xxi

:
After living briey with John Dudleys parents in Kansas,the
couple moved to New York City where they lived in a Greenwich
Village apartment and became friends with several artists,some of
whom would later become members ofwhat John Bernard Myers
called in his

expressionist artists ofthe New York School.Barbara and John
Dudley were divorced later in the year.
 
:
Met Stephen Guest (later known as Lord Stephen Haden Haden-
Guest) who came to New York in the
 
s from London.They
Doolittle).
 
:
Married Stephen Haden Haden-Guest and took the pen name
Barbara Guest.
 
:
Daughter Hadley Haden-Guest born on March

in Pinehurst,
North Carolina,while Barbara visited her sister Mary Patricia Pin-
son Howe.Lived briey in Washington,D.C.,in an apartment with
her mother,brother David,and daughter.
 
s:
along with Edwin Denby,Frank OHara,James (?) Schuyler,Ken-
 
:
Wrote art reviews for the publication
Art News
.
 
:
The Ladies Choice
,a play written by Barbara,staged at the Artists
Theater in New York.

:
Barbara and Stephen Haden Haden-Guest were divorced.Barbara
and the World War II historian Trumbull Higgins were married
soon after.

:
Son Jonathan van Lennep Higgins born.
 
:
Received the Yaddo Fellowship.
 
:
The Location ofThings
Myers and featuring a collage by Robert Goodnough,published by
the Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York.
 
:
Moved to a rental house in Washington,D.C.,with her son,daugh-
ter,and husband while Trumbull worked for the Institute for De-
fense Analysis.
xxii/
TIMELINE
 
:
Poems: The Location ofThings,Archaics,The Open Skies
published
by Doubleday in New York.The artist Grace Hartigan created two
lithographs inspired by poems from the book.
 
:
The O

ce: A One Act Play in Three Scenes
produced and directed by
John Bernard Myers;staged at Caf Cino in New York.

:
Port: A Murder in One Act
produced and directed by John Bernard

:
Wrote a play entitled
The Diving Board;
never staged.Friend and
 
:
Wrote a play entitled
Chinese Ghost Restaurant;
never staged.
 
:
The Blue Stairs
published by Corinth Books in New York featuring
cover art by Helen Frankenthaler.Received Longwood Award for
The Location ofThings
.
 
:
I Ching
published by Mourlot Graphics in Paris featuring litho-
graphs by Sheila Isham.
Barbara Guest Reading Her Poems with
Comment in the Recording Laboratory
recorded at the Library of
Congress.

:
Essay Jeanne Reynalpublished in
Craft Horizons
.

:
Moscow Mansions
published by the Viking Press in New York.

:
Served as Editor ofthe
Partisan Review
.Essay Helen Franken-
thalerpublished in
Arts Magazine
.Wrote a play entitled
The Swim-
ming Pool;
never staged.

:
The Countess from Minneapolis
published by Burning Deck in
Providence,Rhode Island.

:
Seeking Air: A Novel
published by Black Sparrow Press in Santa Bar-
bara,California,featuring cover art by Robert Fabian.Received a
Award.



:
Rented the back section ofa house in Long Island for her family in
addition to a cottage behind the main house where Barbara worked
on a biography ofH.D.

:
The Trler Losses
published by Manseld Book Mart Ltd.in Mon-
treal,Canada.

:
Biography
published by Burning Deck in Providence,Rhode
Island.
TIMELINE
/xxiii

:
Quilts
published by Vehicle Editions in New York.

:
Island featured Barbaras poem Tesserawith a painting by Fay
Lansner.

:
two years.

:
HerselfDened: The Poet H.D.and Her World
published by Double-
in
Ironwood
.

:
HerselfDened
published by Collins in Great Britain.Essay Lea-
trice Rosepublished in
Arts Magazine
.Essay June Felter at

Fine Artspublished in
Art in America
.

:
The Nude
,published by The Arts Publisher in New York featuring
How(ever)
.

:
Musicality
published by Kelsey St.Press in Berkeley,California,fea-
turing art by June Felter.

:
Fair Realism
published by Sun & Moon Press in Los Angeles,Cali-
fornia,featuring cover art by Leatrice Rose.A Grace Hartigan litho-
graph entitled The Hero Leaves His Ship,inspired by Barbaras
poem ofthe same name,appeared in
Universal Limited Art Edi-
tions: A History and Catalog
Committee in New York,a position she would hold for the next ten
years.

:
Trumbull Higgins died.Essay The Vuillard ofUspublished in
Denver Quarterly
.Awarded the Lawrence J.Lipton Prize for
Fair
Realism
.

:
The Countess from Minneapolis
,second edition,published by Burn-
ing Deck in Providence,Rhode Island.Essay Shifting Personas
published in
Poetics Journal
.
The Altos
published by Hank Hine Editions in San Francisco,Cali-
fornia,featuring art by Richard Tuttle.Received the Jerome J.Shes-
The American Poetry Re-
view
.Recorded
Barbara Guest Reading Selections from Her Poetry

alo,New York.

:
Defensive Rapture
published by Sun & Moon Press in Los Angeles,
xxiv/
TIMELINE

:
Festchrift held at Brown University to honor Barbara.Received the
Motion Pictures,appearing in
The American Poetry Review
.Bar-
bara and daughter Hadley moved to Berkeley,California.

:
Stripped Tales
published by Kelsey St.Press in Berkeley,California,
featuring art by Anne Dunn.
Selected Poems
published by Sun &
Moon Press in Los Angeles,California,featuring a

collage by
Fair Realism
,paperback
edition,published by Sun & Moon Press in Los Angeles,California.
Award for
Defensive Rapture
and the America Awards for Literature
Selected Poems
.

:
Selected Poems
Quill,
Solitary
Apparition
,published by The Post-Apollo Press in Sau-
salito,California.Served as Judge for the America Awards and the
Columbia Book Award.Received the Josephine Miles Award for Po-
Selected Poems;
Quill,Soli-
tary
Apparition
.Gave the Gertrude Clarke Whitthall Lecture at
the Library ofCongress.Recorded
Barbara Guest Recording Her
Poems in the Mumford Room
at the Library ofCongress and
Bar-
bara Guest Reading Her Poems
for the Lannan Foundation.

:
Seeking Air: A Novel
is reissued by Sun & Moon Press in Los Ange-
les,California,featuring cover paintings by Robert Fabian.Played
the sister ofClaus von Bulow in
Island ofLost Souls
,a play written
and directed by Kevin Killian,staged at The Lab in San Francisco,
California.

:
Etruscan Reader VI
(with Robin Blaser,Lee Harwood,Barbara
Guest) published by Etruscan Books in South Devonshire,Eng-
land.Two poem-cartoons by Barbara and Joe Brainard exhibited at
Foundation Award.

:
Outside ofThis,That Is
published by Z
Press in Vermont,featuring art by Trevor Winkeld.
IfSo,Tell Me
cover art by Anne Dunn.
Rocks on a Platter: Notes on Literature
cut,featuring a

collage by Barbara entitled Awakening.
The
Confetti Trees
published by Sun & Moon Press in Los Angeles,Cali-
fornia,featuring art by Max Beckman and June Felter.
Strings
,
fteen copies handmade by artist Ann Slacik.
TIMELINE
/xxv

:
Symbiosis
published by Kelsey St.Press in Berkeley,California,fea-
turing art by Laurie Reid.
Often
,a play co-written by Barbara and
Kevin Killian,and
Three Plays by Barbara Guest
produced by Small
Press Tra

c and directed by Kevin Killian and Wayne Smith;both
staged at the California College ofthe Arts and Crafts in San Fran-
cisco,California.Served as Judge for the Frances Ja

er Award of
Kelsey St.Press and for the Jessica Nobel Maxwell Memorial Prize
ofthe
American Poetry Review
.

:
Often
published by Kenning in Bu

alo,New York.

:
Miniatures and Other Poems
published by Wesleyan University

collage by Bar-

:
HerselfDened
reissued by Scha

ner Press in Tucson,Arizona.
Forces ofImagination: Writing on Writing
published by Kelsey St.
Press in Berkeley,California,featuring art by Laurie Reid.
Drer in
the Window,Reexions on Art
published by RoofBooks in New
York featuring the poem-painting Honey or Wine?by Barbara
and Mary Abbott.

:
The Red Gaze: Poems
published by Wesleyan University Press in

:
Died on February

in Berkeley,California.
xxvi/
TIMELINE
Works by Barbara Guest
Poetry:
The Location ofThings.
New York:Tibor de Nagy,

.
Poems: The Location ofThings,Archaics,The Open Skies.
Garden City,N.Y.:Doubleday,

.
The Blue Stairs.
New York:Corinth Books,

.
Moscow Mansions.
New York:Viking Press,

.
The Countess from Minneapolis.
Providence,R.I.:Burning Deck,
 
,reprint

.
The Trler Losses.
Montreal:Manseld Book Mart,
 
.
Biography.
Providence,R.I.:Burning Deck,

.
Quilts.
New York:Vehicle Editions,

.
Fair Realism.
Los Angeles:Sun & Moon Press,

,reprint

.
Defensive Rapture.
Los Angeles:Sun & Moon Press,

.
Selected Poems.
Los Angeles:Sun & Moon Press,

.
Cover collage by Barbara Guest.
Quill,Solitary
Apparition
.
Sausalito,Calif.:Post-Apollo Press,

.
Rocks on a Platter: Notes on Literature.
Hanover,N.H.:Wesleyan University Press,

.
Cover collage by Barbara Guest.
IfSo,Tell Me.

.
The Confetti Trees.
Los Angeles:Sun & Moon Press,

.
Outside ofThis,That Is.
Calais,Vt.:Z Press,

.
Miniatures and Other Poems.

.
Cover collage by Barbara Guest.
The Red Gaze.

.
Cover art by Barbara Guest.
Novel:
Seeking Air: A Novel.
Santa Barbara,Calif.:Black Sparrow,
 
;reprint,Los Angeles:
Sun & Moon Press,
 .
xxvii
xxviii/
WORKS BY BARBARA GUEST
Biography:
HerselfDened
.
The Poet H.D.and Her World.
New York:Quill,William Morrow,

.
HerselfDened
.
The Poet H.D.and Her World.
Garden City,N.Y.:Doubleday,

.
HerselfDened
.
The Poet H.D.and Her World.
London:Collins,

.
HerselfDened
.
The Poet H.D.and Her World.
Tucson,Ariz.:Scha

ner Press,Inc.,

.
Collaborations:
Robert Goodnough,Painter.
(With B.H.Friedman.) Paris:Georges Fall,

.
I Ching: Poems and Lithographs.
(With artist Sheila Isham.) Paris:Mourlot Art
Editions,

.
The Nude.
(With watercolors by artist Warren Brandt;includes Barbara Guests poem
The Nude.) New York:International Editions,

.
Musicality.
(With artist June Felter.) Berkeley:Kelsey St.Press,

.
The Altos.
(With artist Richard Tuttle.) San Francisco:Hank Hine Editions,

.
Stripped Tales.
(With artist Anne Dunnsee also her cover for Barbara Guests
IfSo,
Tell Me
.) Berkeley:Kelsey St.Press,

.
Etruscan Reader VI.
(With Robin Blaser and Lee Harwood.) South Devonshire,
England:Etruscan Books,

.
Strings.
(With artist Ann Slacik.) St.Denis,France:

:Limited,handmade copies by
Ann Slacik.
The Luminous.
(With artist Jane Moormansee also Barbara Guests poem
TheLuminousin
IfSo,Tell Me
.) Palo Alto,Calif.:

.One copy,handmade.
Often.
College ofthe Arts and Crafts,

.
Symbiosis.
(With artist Laurie Reid.) Berkeley:Kelsey St.Press,

.
Art Criticism:
Drer in the Window,Reexions on Art.
New York:RoofBooks,

.
Essays:
Forces ofImagination: Writing on Writing.
Berkeley:Kelsey St.Press,

.
Plays:
The LadiesChoice,
produced in New York at Artists Theater,

.
The O

ce,
produced in New York at Caf Cino,

.
Port,

.
Port,
Crafts,

.
Collages:
Ninth Street,New York
(

).On cover ofBarbara Guests
Selected Poems.
Los Angeles:
Sun & Moon Press,

.Note:in

Barbara Guest was living in a rental apartment
East Ninth Street,New York
(

).On cover ofBarbara Guests
Miniatures and Other
Poems.

.
Awakening
(

).On cover ofBarbara Guests
Rocks on a Platter: Notes on Literature.

.
Wheel
(

).Following page (page

) to Barbara Guest poem Leaning Structures,
in
American Letters & Commentary,
Winter

;Anna Rabinowitz,Executive Editor;
Catherine Kasper and David Ray Vance,Co-Editors.
The Red Gaze
(

).On cover ofBarbara Guests
The Red Gaze
Wesleyan University Press,

.
WORKS BY BARBARA GUEST
/xxix
Notes and Acknowledgments
The poems collected here include all ofthe work that Barbara Guest had
elected to publish in book form,along with the handful ofpoems she com-
The Red Gaze
(Wesleyan,

).It was her stated
wish not to include in this book any poems published in magazines or journals
but not subsequently collected in one ofher books.Because certain discrepan-
cies in the published versions ofsome ofthese poems have not been resolved,
minor changes have been made,without comment,in punctuation,spelling,
and line spacing.This book is organized chronologically by collection.Given
the nature ofa collection ofthis size,some spacing issues have needed to be re-
solved.For instance,in texts like
Symbiosis
a continuous poem that,in the
original,prints only a few lines per pagepage breaks in the original are indi-
inthe

edition of
The Location ofThings
(Tibor de Nagy,

).The nal
poems are arranged chronologicallyinsofar as this can be establishedac-
Grateful acknowledgment is made to the publishers ofthe original editions of
Barbara Guests books.Special thanks go to Mae Klinger,the editorial intern at
Wesleyan University Press who prepared the manuscript for production.
Suzanna Tamminen
Wesleyan University Press
xxxi
Poems
    
 
   
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
The Location ofThings
Why from this window am I watching leaves?
Why do halls and steps seem narrower?
Why at this desk am I listening for the sound ofthe fall
ofcolor,the pitch ofthe wooden oor
or hidden,am I to nd a lake under the table
or a mountain beside my chair
and will I know the minute water produces lilies
or a family ofmountaineers scales the peak?
Recognitions
On Madison Avenue I am having a drink,someone
with dark hair balances a carton on his shoulders
and a painter enters the bar.It reminds me
ofpictures in restaurants,the exchange ofhunger
for thirst,art for decoration and in a hospital
love for pain su

ered beside the glistening rhododendron
and shade on its shoulders,walks without crying,
turns itselfinto another and continues,even
cantilevers this barroom atmosphere into a forest
and sheds its leaves on my table
carelessly as ifit wanted to travel somewhere else
which has become in this exquisite pointed rain
a bunch ofumbrellas.An exchange!
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/3
That head against the window
how many times one has seen it.Afternoons
ofsmoke and wet nostrils,
the perilous makeup on her face and on his,
numerous corteges.The waters lace creates funerals
it makes us see someone we love in an acre ofgrass.
The regard ofdramatic afternoons
through this oodlit window
or from a pontoon on this theatrical lake,
you demand your old clowns paint and I hand you
from my prompters arms this shako,
wandering as I am into clouds and air
rushing into darkness as corridors
who do not fear the melancholy ofthe stair.
Piazzas
for Mary Abbot Clyde
In the golden air,the risky autumn,
leaves on the piazza,shadows by the door
on your chair the red berry
after the dragony summer
and silver and golden a portrait
by Pinturicchio we permanently taste the dark
grapes and the seed pearls glisten
as the ight ofthose fresh brown birds
an instant ofvision that the coupling mind
and heart see in their youth
with thin wings attacking a real substance
as Pinturicchio xed his air.
After all dragonies do as much
in midsummer with a necessary water
there is always a heaviness ofwings.
4/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
To remember
now that the imaginations at its turning
how to recall those Pierrots ofdarkness
(with the half-moon like a yellow leg ofa pantaloon)
I would see you again (like the purple P
ofpiazza).
Imagination
thunder in the Alps yet we ew above it
and thought they were yours,
that impeccable script followed by murders
real or divined
as the youth leaning over the piazza
throwing stones at his poems.He reads
his e

he weeps into the autumn air
and that stone becomes golden as a tomb
beware the risky imagination
that lines its piazzas
with lambswool or for sheer disturbance
places mirrors for Pinturicchio
to draw his face at daybreak
when the air is clear ofshadows
and no one walks the piazza.
All Grey-haired My Sisters
All grey-haired my sisters
what is it in the more enduring
clime ofSpring that waits?
The tiger his voice once prayerful
around the lax ochre sheen
nally in withering sleep
its calendar,
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/5
Relatives
delicious plumages your scenery
has a black musical depth
the cardinal ies into
he learns to repeat on an empty
branch your distillations.Sombre
mysteries the garden illumines
a shape ofhoney hive
the vigorous drones lighting
up your face as fortunes pour
and glaze,fortresses
for those memories brisk
in the now doubling air,
Adventuresses
guided by the form and scent
oftree and ower blossoming
the willow once frail now image
cut ofstone so to endure,
My darlings
you walked into the wars
with wreaths ofpine cones,you lay
by the sea and your sweet dresses
were torn by waves as over each receded
and pebbles were lifted at your feet
in the foam,
Ancestress
with blond boating hair
as daisies drop at your wrists
which ight are you making?
down the lime aisles
I see your sashes disappear.
6/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Why should I count you more equinoctal,sun?
Smoothly the oars into the bay
the ultramarine fast as a castle,or rock
its soul plunged to craters virginal
wrecks,intensely now that storys done.
Mermaids your hair is green.I recognize
the powerful daylight heat.My savages
a cooling torpor rearranges,
as at its southern margins,the oak.
From your journals
He said: In nymphic barque
She replied: A porcupine.
And later,
Reason selects our otherness.
In the broad strange light,
a region ofsilences.The delphic
clouded tree knows its decline,
and in the pagan grass slide heedlessly
blossoms would return such songs
as Ive sung ofyou,the youthful ashes
All grey-haired my sisters
this afternoons seraphicness
is also fading.Linger while
I pass you quickly lest the cherrys
bloom changed to white
fall upon my head.
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/7
Windy Afternoon
Through the wood
on his motorcycle piercing
the hawk,the jay
the blue-coated policeman
Woods,barren woods,
as this typewriter without an object
or the words that from you
fall soundless
The sun lowering
and the bags ofpaper
on the stoney ledge
near the waterfall
Voices down the roadway
and leaves falling over there
a great vacancy
a huge leftover
The quality ofthe day
that has its size in the North
and in the South
a low sighing that ofwings
Describe that nude,audacious line
you are no longer thirsty
turn or go straight.
Russians at the Beach
The long long accent
the short vowel
that thing wrapped around a palm tree
The blue,in air dismal
to the face further than sand
then green rolling its own powder
you will provide you stranger
8/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The cargo intimate cargo
oflashes and backs bent like a crew
the miles are vast and the isthmus
erect thunders all afternoon
You have traveled
more than this shore where
the long bodies
wait
their thin heads
do not understand
They are bent
the breeze is light
as the step ofa native is heavy
you are tired
but you breathe
and you eat
and you sleep where the stream is narrow
where the foam has left o

ascending
so easily
where you have discovered it.
The Hero Leaves His Ship
I wonder ifthis new reality is going to destroy me.
There under the leaves a loaf
The brick wall on it someone has put bananas
The bricks have come loose under the weight,
What a precarious architecture these apartments,
As giants once in a garden.Dear roots
Your slivers repair my throat when anguish
commences to heat and glow.
From the water
A roar.The sea has its own strong wrist
The green turfis made ofshells
it is new.
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/9
I am about to use my voice
Why am I afraid that salty wing
Flying over a real hearth will stop me?
Yesterday the yellow
Tokening clouds.I said noto my burden,
The shrub planted on my shoulders.When snow
Falls or in rain,birds gather there
In the short evergreen.They repeat their disastrous
Beckoning songs as ifthe earth
Were rich and many warriors coming out ofit,
As ifthe calm was blue,one sky over
Bronzed and strong as breakers,
Their limbs in this light
Fused ofsand and wave are lifted once
Then sunk under aquamarine,the phosphorous.
Afterwards this soundless bay,
Gulls y over it.The dark is mixed
With wings.I ask ifthat house is real,
Ifgeese drink at the pond,ifthe goatherd takes
To the mountain,ifthe couple love and sup,
I cross the elemental stations
from windy eld to still close.Good night I go to my bed.
This roofwill hold me.Outside the gods survive.
Les Ralits
Its raining today and Im reading about pharmacies
in Paris.
Yesterday I took the autumn walk,known in May
as loverswalk.
Because I was overwhelmed by trees (the path from the playhouse
leads into a grove and beyond are the gravestones),
squirrels and new mold it is a good thing today
to read about second-class pharmacies where
mortar and plastic goods disturb death a little
fell on those drugstores making the mosaic brighter,
as ifentering those doors ones tears
were cleaner.
10/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
As ifI had just
left you and was looking for a new shade ofpowder
orchide,ambre,ros,one very claried and true
to its owner,one that in a mirror
would pass for real and yet when your hand falls upon it
(as it can) changes into a stone or ower ofthe will
and triumphs as a natural thing,
as this pharmacy
turns our desire into medicines and revokes the rain.
In the Middle ofthe Easel
My darling,only
a cubist angle seen after
produces this volume in which our hearts go
(tick tick)
managed the apples,youve arranged
to sit.You are twice clothed
in my joy,my nymph.
Painters who range up and down
Mont hill or Mont this,disarray
in the twilight those boulevards,
make every stroke count and when one ofthe Saints
(in the dark apse tonal) quits,
Im with you.
you and I in the sleeve forgiving requiem,
in the priest tinted air.
In the gaslight that ridiculous plume
reminds me ofhawks,I admire
their arc,I plunge
my everyday laughter into that kimono wing
what a studio soar! What rapture!
The gifted night,the billowing dark!
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/11
The heroine Paint sobs
No one who has ever loved me
can tell me why
there are two birds at my wrist
and only one ies.
On the Way to Dumbarton Oaks
The air! The colonial air! The walls,the brick,
this November thunder! The clouds Atlanticking,
Canadianing,Alaska snowclouds,
tunnel and sleigh,urban and mountain routes!
Chinese tree
your black branches and your three yellow leaves
with you I tra

ck.My three
yellow notes,my three yellow stanzas,
my three precisenesses
ofhead and body and tail joined
carrying my scroll,my tree drawing
This winter day Im
a compleat travel agency with my Australian
journeying sensibility in a tear dropped before
The Treasure ofPetersburg
and gorgeous this forever
Ive a raft ofyou left over
like so many gold owers and so many white
and the stems! the stems I have left!
Cape Canaveral
Fixed in my new wig
the green grass side
hanging down
I impart to my silences
operas.
12/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Climate cannot impair
neither the grey clouds nor the black waters
the change in my hair.
Covered with straw or alabaster
Im inured against weather.
The vixens glare,the tear on the esh
covered continent where the snake
withers happily and the nude deer
antler glitters,neither shares
my ried ocean growth
polar and spare.
Eyes open
for the glass harpoons
lying under my lids
icy as summers
Nose ridges
where the glaciers melt
into my autumnal winter-fed cheek
hiding its shudder in this kelp
glued
cracked as the air.
Sunday Evening
I am telling you a number ofhalf-conditioned ideas
Am repeating myself,
The room has four sides;it is a rectangle,
From the window the bridge,the water,the leaves,
Her hat is made offeathers,
My fortune is produced from glass
And I drink to my extinction.
Barges on the river carry apples wrapped in bales,
This morning there was a sombre sunrise,
In the red,in the air,in what is falling through us
We quote several things.
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/13
I am talking to you
With what is left ofme written o

,
On the cu

,ancestral and vague,
As a monkey walks through the many res
Ofthe jungle while a village breathes in its sleep.
Someone stops in the alcove,
It is a risk we will later make,
While I talk and you bring your eyes to the bre
(as the blade to the brown root)
And the room is slumberous and slow
(as a pulse after the rst September earthquake).
Parachutes,My Love,Could Carry Us Higher
I just said I didnt know
And now you are holding me
In your arms,
How kind.
Parachutes,my love,could carry us higher.
Pink and pale blue sh are caught in it,
They are beautiful,
But they are not good for eating.
Parachutes,my love,could carry us higher
Than this mid-air in which we tremble,
Having exercised our arms in swimming,
Now the suspension,you say,
Is exquisite.I do not know.
There is coral below the surface,
There is sand,and berries
Like pomegranates grow.
Near it,bubbles are rising and salt
Drying on my lashes,yet I am no nearer
Air than water.I am closer to you
Than land and I am in a stranger ocean
Than I wished.
14/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The Crisis
Not to be able to carry mice to your room
when you have walked the boulevards
with rain at your tail and umbrellas
opened an edice ofdragoons
preparing to ascend when the park was hungrier,
its bursting branches were loaves
under the yellow sky.Alas the great days
ofdesire have passed.
Prepare for bulbs and minor grasses;seize on
imported mauves,ivory cutlasses prepared
in Switzerland for sailors whose white eyelashes
will curtain the whim ofcaptains and make
graceful the long Cape trip.You will sail
upon mats ofperiwinkles,ifyou prefer.
Why tramp now the marshes where the expert mice
rest on borders and sit
with their pierced hearts? They have grown fat
under the discipline ofraiders who need in the night
corridor a lawful pillow,in the black watches
a slim straw purchased for a mouse,a hat
to cover the dark marches and the small
condences laid on cushions before daybreak
when fountains plash and mirrors reect
the thick mud where armies have passed.
Upside Down
Old slugger-the-bat
dont try to control me
Ive a cold in my head
and a pain in one side
its the cautious climate
ofbirds.
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/15
Where the bitter night shows
not counting the skin.
This species cant bite,
but it has a hurt.Weve all got birds
ying at us
little ones over the toes.
The hand that holds is webbed
no knuckles
but the bone grows.
Seeing You Off
Bracketed in my own barn
where ignorant as those armies
I ash my light upon the Hudson
and shout continental factories
take re! Send navies out from Jersey
ofsoap and fats
Such splendors make rigid a democracy
permit the night to cleanse its air
with moving vans
olympic as dawn
Upon the big liner
moored at last
by little landscape poems
frail as lifeboats
While we kiss in the saloon
far above the cries
from plows and auto parts
sending up goodbyes
16/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
as ugly as those waifs ofpaper
on the pier
or that truck proled into gloom
his whole insides protest
Departures make disgust into a cartoon
ofrose Nabiscos and I digest
oftaxicabs dead sure as you
and Carthage after?
well oat on that wine-dark sea
Safe Flights
To no longer like the taste ofwhisky
This is saying also no to you who are
A goldnch in the breeze,
To no longer wish winter to have explanations
To lace your shoes in the snow
With no need to remember,
Over your shoulders,to no longer feel the cold,
And no longer water on stone hurting the ear,
Making those ve noises ofthunder
And you tremble no longer.
To no longer travel over mountains,
Over small farms
No longer the weather changing and the atmosphere
Causing delicate breaks where the nerves confuse,
To no longer have your name shouted
And your birthmark again described,
To no longer fear where the rapids break
A miniature rock under your canoe,
To no longer repeat the mirror is water,
The house is a burden to the weak cyclone,
You are under a tent where promises perform
And the ring you grasp as an aerialist
Glides,no longer.
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/17
Sadness
It was late autumn.In my hotel room
the steam heat had been turned on.In the o

ce
buildings,in the boutiques,coal was lit.
That morning I had been standing at the window
looking out on the Tuileries.I had been crying
because the yellow tulips were gone and all the children
were wearing thin coats.I felt an embarrassing pain
distributed over my arms which were powerless
to order the leaves to blossom or the old women
Then you took my hand.You told me that love
was a sudden disturbance ofthe nerve ends
that startled the bres and made them new
again.You quoted a song about a man running
by the sea who drew into his lungs the air
that had several times been around the world.
Quickly with your free hand you rubbed out the spot.
Yet do you know I shall carry always
that blemish on my breast?
Jaffa Juce*
This orange bric-a-brac has a paper luster very decadent.
Crossing Hyde Park I am brimming
with sad thoughts ofthe Royal Bank ofScotland
when the shepherd calls to his sheep
and daylight crisps my hands in streaks.
The primroses are lying in thin groups ofthrees
transparent as the fools stammer
when the old king came wailing to his pool
18/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
*Ja

a Juce is an orange drink high in vitamins,low in price,bottled and drunk in
Britain.
and vagabonds clustered
to the guards hall
hoping to see
a burning palace.Then the family
sat down to tea.
Theres a lady in a macintosh
trying to climb a wall.Her tears
her broken tears,
more fabulous for their tumult caused
(by moonlight assembling pears,
a Jericho harp for the guests)
she has heard the museum mating chairs,
seen the varnished fragments ofthe bomb
Reginald after the battle!
What a cry for a miner,alas hes lost
his keys and cant locate the platter.
The silver cooking geese have left the plain,
no one shoves the tin
My darling
Weymouth sands are green
Theres drought in the wind
theres ash in our eye
the poor dead hands are clean
Sing derry down
the hospital shakes its leaves
For the players
and their laughing daughters,the morning is bright
upon the square,the air shows its face
like a powdered Indian,the fog
heyday toasts theres a ring ofmoon
for tomorrow.
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/19
A crown lies
under the cake.Theyre borrowing streamers
for the race and white candles with tartan crests
has an Egyptian hue.Everyone is civil.
Buns in the oven,cider in the hall,
pleasant sings our land.
Is it the Marvellous Boy? Someone crept from a grove?
Who carries the axe with sharpened blade,
not that wraith oflaureates under the hill?
The prisoner or the emigrant horde?
Ho for the emigrants song!
In this autumns double grace from war
wear echoes ofsinks
and banners ofchoice portals
when I ride my sorrel to Marble Arch
praying for the liquidating
skin to melt
into a victory column
built like a ship
bonded for New Plymouth where my fortune
(folios ofbent seed)
will take root on the rst wave
will take root.
In Dock
We are living at an embarkation port
where the gulls
and the soft-shoed buoys
make Atlantic soundings
This air ofours is photographing sh
20/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
and the rice and the white antelope pelts
are asleep in the dark orchid hold
where old women have sent their black lids to be parched
and young bronze boys are tying knots in their limbs
while the spume and the salt
send thick-painted pictures to the hatchway
O Thracian! O Phoenician!
Vergilian harbors are wearing laurels
yet our hideaways are empty
as your camphor bottles,the scent
the wild scent has ed the hills
to couple under thyme beds
and the nectar ofhoney,it too has faded.
have paved our zones,youre alive in our hearts
as yesterday or tomorrow
or the ghost ship from Athens
plying its shuttered bark
crying Zeus! Zeus!
as it shatters this pier.
People in Wartime
Attilio,the minor Hun,
Rose with the sun.
Washed his face
In a little grape
And cried,This is I.
This is one who would
Conquer
The fever
And the world outside.
With this he took a stride
Across his hall bedroom,
Faced the broken glass
And into the mirror sighed,
Such was I.
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/21
Now am I to become
This singular juxtaposition
And his decision
Am I history,or am I a plot?
Or such was his reection
For
He was not interested
In
Art
Or politics
Or women
I have said
He was a minor character
And his misery
Was not Alpine,
But extremely particular,
Was he history,or was he not?
Landing
This afternoon I am very careful.
I watch myself.I watch the egg
Unhatched.I am the sight
Over the egg,like an aviator
Unknowing,but condent
That the instrument will behave.
The window outscaped
Brings the climate indoors.
The eye is free,adorned
By that which is becoming.
What is near,prevalent,adored
By the inner is echoed
By the ear.My conscience
Is receptive.I sight the cause
Ofthe exterior and so I hear
What is sounded in the interior.
Yet the break is this:
The germinal is split.
22/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Not content with eye and sphere,
I race the continual
And drift to the absurd,
The conjugal,from which
The ight is only heard.
History
for Frank OHara
Old Thing
We have escaped
from that pale refrigerator
you wrote about
Here
amid the wild woodbine landscapes
wearing a paper hat
I recollect
the idols
in those frozen tubs
secluded by buttresses
when the Church of
Our Lady cried Enough
and we were banished
Sighing
strangers
we are
the last even breath
Yet the funicular
was tied by a rope
It could only cry
looking down
that midnight hill
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/23
My lights are
bright
the walk is
irregular
your initials
are carved on the sill.
Mon Ami!
the funicular
has a knife
in its side
Ah allow these nightingales to nurse us
Oriental Movie
Lady your orange back
is waving at Foujita
were all in a canoe
sipping the light drink ofthe tamarind bark
while the white-eyed paddles
whisper orange
and blue
and the solemn wall says
orange and blue
to your cunning slant-eyed rind
ofa rainstorm shining
in the gloom
like the lights
ofHong Kong brewed
on the hill
and tomorrow therell be another
thin brush a thinner brush
The Crisis
After the white-collared boats
the smithies will return
then we shall hear
the ding dong.
24/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
After the laundries,the lavatories oftrains
we shall see the snails
making their own ding dong
when it rains.
After the rich seas,the closed stations,
the plumed clocks,the long balconies,
In the time ofgreat kings
I hid this knife with a friend
to cut o

the trail (silver)
which led to my house.
Ding dong
without a shell.
Having to wait until it was over
I stayed on a sofa
when Madame returned
she discovered
a frieze on the wall and she exclaimed
in horror
(it was over)
You have murdered our friend!
Ding dong
from now on.
for Miriam and Mitchell Ittelson
The room isnt as white as youd suppose
(accustomed to a cube ofice
or a ake ofeiderdown in Pekin
after the palace was closed;the warriors
in thin shirts tried to open the door
they found a message written in clear ink
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/25
Theres a sign ofWork and Joy
facing the brave night whose shoulders
are covered with primary colors
under which we succumb with a smile
Permitting the glass blowers to thicken their bottles
while candelabra melt into forests
gathering their heartache
Yet wicker is impermanent as these burning lights
when at daybreak it is said
the painter has dropped his brush in the canal
So afterwards well go on to the Villa
Ill play you its record the next time we go for a walk
in Central Park the hour the statues say yes.
The Time ofDay
Or when I see a sailor in front ofmy house on the
sidewalk
He is hurrying,the church bells are ringing:
Okay! says the man who takes the money.
Or when two nuns enter the library,one ofthem is
going to smile
She is not thinking ofwhat is ahead:
Okay! says the man who takes the money.
His arm holds his elbow and the hand caresses the
face while he selects:
Okay! says the man who takes the money.
Or when someone addresses me who is not a regular
member ofthe Army
And I answer,good afternoon Major:
Okay! says the man who takes the money.
Or when I go into the room and close my door
It is the hour for decisions and I am going to take
a little nap:
Okay! says the driver.
26/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Heroic Stages
for Grace Hartigan
I had thought you were disappearing
under the desperate monuments ofsand
I discovered you were leaning on grass
which after green is noble.
In the sunlight each morning
is delivered to your table
among the oranges and white bottles
the Quest.
Ifever after Valhalla should proclaim
a string ofknights (usually seen wandering)
this grey silent space would be orchestrated
for their maneuvers.And way over there
shining by itselfin the blue twilight
a misunderstood Chalice.
Grand breaks!
the forest is growing too high
(the waves are longer;there is no sound)
the river has turned from its bed
rocks have no moss they have plumes
the chiaroscuro results in serpents.
Danger!
held to the routes by the tender-eyed peasants
and you painters
who have drawn those deep lines on the globes
are without anger and starvation.
My penitent selfsing when you perceive
it is a kindergarten
ofgiants where grapes are growing.
The wind is southerly.
You face a park.There are wings in this atmosphere,
sovereigns who pour forth breezes to refresh
your atlas.
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/27
Rulers
have exacted fares,the former slope was icy.
Now in the Spring air with leaves posed above benches
the waterfall as hesitant as ever,
to cast care from your brow.
In America,the Seasons
You in the new winter
stretch forth your hands
they are needles,
the sun quivers,
the landsman translates
epine.
False starter,
you are tomahawking
summer
and
I incline toward you
like dead Europe
wrapped in loose arms.
Yet on this plain
who would hesitate?
seeing the funeral ofgrass
the thin afternoon
plundering the rocks,
the broken leaves
and silence incontinently snapped.
Who hears Piers calling now?
It is the face
we watch.
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THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Belgravia
I am in love with a man
Who is more fond ofhis own house
Than many interiors which are,ofcourse,less unique,
But more constructed to the usual sensibility,
Yet unlike those rooms in which he lives
Cannot be lled with crystal objects.
There are embroidered chairs
Made in Berlin to look like cane,very round
And light which do not break,but bend
Ever so slightly,and rock at twilight as the cradle
Rocks itselfifgiven a slight push and a small
Tune can be heard when several ofthe branches creak.
Many rooms are in his house
And they can all be used for exercise.
There are mileposts cut into the marble,
A block,ten blocks,a mile
For the one who walks here always thinking,
Who nds a meaning at the end ofa mile
And wishes to entomb his discoveries.
I am in love with a man
My experience or my ability
Trained now to reect his face
As rims reect their glasses,
Or as mirrors,ligreed as several European
Capitals have regarded their past
Ofwhich he is the living representative,
Who alone is nervous with history.
I am in love with a man
In this open house ofwindows,
Locks and balconies,
This man who reects and considers
The brokenhearted bears who tumble in the leaves.
In the garden which thus has escaped all intruders
There when benches are placed
Side by side,watching separate entrances,
As one might plan an audience
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/29
That cannot refrain from turning ever so little
In other directions and witnessing
I am in love with him
Who only among the invited hastens my speech.
In the Alps
Where goes this wandering blue,
This horizon that covers us without a murmur?
Let old lands speak their speech,
Let tarnished canopies protect us.
Where after the wars,the peaceable lions,
The forests resting from their struggle,
The streams with loads upon their icy backs,
Is this a reason for happiness,
That one speaks after such a long time,
That the hand one holds leads one far away?
Is this a fairy tale then?
This new-discovered place where one can dream
Oftigers with fair hair and houses whose hearths
Are tended by knights lingering there?
Riding down to Venice on borrowed horses
The air is freed ofour crimes,
And everywhere after dusk the day follows.
The Past ofa Poem
Do you remember as I do,
the beautiful dressing that covered
the old poem?
There it lay not quite dead,
nor even su

the linen didnt stir
30/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
and all that heartache,the way
water runs in sewers
and you walk over them
knowing how dirty the river
You might even refuse
to put a bird in it
ifthe feathers
werent too moist and stained,
a di

cult color
The cold water at that June
night you put your hands on the radiator
crushed by your ngers
yet still fresh that poem
from its bewildering year
Come close to it now
and listen,dont you hear
septic sighs ofsadness?
THE LOCATION OF THINGS
/31
ARCHAICS
Atalanta in Arcadia
Atalanta who paces the roadway
January wind in her tresses
throws leaves against the wall,
only her lover waits in the shade
On Arcadian nights the eager moon
has two fellows who hold the balloon,
thats all they have to do,
until day cast in bronze
makes Atalanta angry and they fall
beside a stream ofair
arms ailing at her strenuous leap,
so fair when she promenades
Venus proclaims her a glorious follower,
ifthe path her lover takes is steep,perhaps
he shall slip and she will bury her tears
in his garments,
then other nymphs will laugh with her
for briey the promises ofmortals
are cheerless.
Careless Atalanta,
that boy once continual shadow prepares
grass uncovers his apple and bees
are stumbling in your sacred pasture.
Who is there to warn Atalanta
that her huntress days are over?
Who will tell her
32/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
ofthe famous youth pursuing her?
And the speed with which her girlhood
will be consumed?
Ifone kind god hiding in the thicket
would change that last strophe!
From Eyes Blue and Cold
From eyes blue and cold
the nymphs drink
your snow
Olympus
There on watchful
heights dawn prepares her lesson
as the groves thicken with
ones rst song
See now its wing arch
over the valley and the brisk foot
ofthe satyr no longer limping
From eyes blue and cold
out ofthe abandoning water
another goddess
Again Olympus
from your delicate forgeries
a nave daybreak
Hoof,reed,horn
will bring to the sandy river
a far-o

coastal lithesomeness
when she awakes
with seaweed in her arms
from eyes blue and cold
shares that beauty
ARCHAICS
/33
Dido to Aeneas
I love you
I have permitted myselfto say choirs
(as ifthe late birds sang in branches) when for them
the garage eave yields its water cup.
Not for us the paling light
the white urn at the driveway,
oftiles.The fountain at noonday cries,
You are not hereand the sea at its distance
calls to a single path anked by hibiscus,
the sea reminds itselfeach day
that it is solitary and the bather gambles
in its waves as a suicide who says tomorrow is
anotheran hour in the wrecker foam.
I love you
I am writing your name as ifI were a Trojan
who expected someone else to smooth the shore
ofsouls who said
to the great reaches ofwave and salt,
I am replenishing as a light falling on a single tree
and it is wonderful like ice on a oe,
I love you
miracle,mirror,word,all the same
you come,you go
I love you
(on my rioting lawns the plaster amingos
endure your wonder)
Green Awnings
He was eating grapes he had picked by the old
cottage where he stayed and where there was a door
hung with vines.He was living on grapes,training
his muscles for that solitary climb.Somedays the tower
seemed higher and he felt a little blue twinge
in his arm.
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THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
She was sewing a white heron into her gown.
Messages came each day from her father,but
she ignored them,preferring to think ofthe pale
autumn legs ofher bird.
She put water in a vase and wished for owers.
It was half-past three,but the Latin sun
stayed in the room.How she longed to bathe
in the river.How piteous to be a prisoner
when one was as young as she knew herselfto be
in her mirror.She was as earnest as her parents
and nightly prepared her body.She was hopeful
and prayed to the stars who liked her.
She went to the window.
Games need companions,he decided,and sat on the grass.
and used up his arrows.The river urged him
to practice his stroke.Later oating on his back,
looking up at the tower,he saw an arm pulling
at an awning strap.What was his surprise when
the green canvas loosed,a girls hair fell after it.
Palm Trees
What an arch your
heavy burlap branches
decide theyll go into!
(the rst plunge did not destroy
that green youth hid itself)
And now freshly you start to go upward
You want to reach a curve that will draw
the sky to yourselfand say blue
here is your arabesque!
The woman walks near you
Under the sea a fern resembles you
The heat stops and waits
and you give nothing.
Calm fan no one touches
ARCHAICS
/35
In the Campagna
It was kind ofyou to ask
you there at the entrance.
The cave looked even darker,
darker than the covering leaves
A suspicious person would say
they guarded.
You wanted to know ifwe wished
to throw o

our shields and rest
Lay our heads in the shade
and take from the dripping roofwater
A cupful to drink.
Your heart was visible
your hand open
Why did we stare
and grasp our pikes?
Why are we cautious whom the forests
had refused comfort?
Stones on the hillside
And the well had been empty.
Why are we shy ofyour pillow
your twin black eyes?
The thunder came nearer
it made a road in our ears
Rain fell yet we lingered
at the caves door
Waiting for familiar torrents
expecting an ordinary storm blast
As a nephew might stop
at our house his shoulders loaded
With town purchases

s
This nephew who was often troublesome
who was stealthy at equinox
36/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Yet ofour sisters blood
all the same.
You,are you Cerberus,four-footed
who halts us this night
While lightning
pitches straw about
And trees glitter strangely?
We,four men lost
on a starless mountain
In the middle ofthe year,
Your question:Will you enter?
What does it mean?
Who will accept our offering at this end ofautumn?
to Seferis
That shock ofhair in the white morning
We were up early while the grain was heaviest
and the earth was taking leaves to its stairwell
We,our arms in the heat,felt a chill
while the sun turned over,went around our shoulder
It was a cold glare;honey in the jars
clasped and unclasped the shell.
You ofthe thick twist,like an earring
your hair,pendulous and coarsely welded,
As ifwalking toward the gate one had stopped
and picked up this object,shouted archaic
To the tombsman who had accompanied the discoveries,
neither literate nor blind,whose weight
pressing his curls.
This fruit ofthe land remembers
the warmth ofthe braziers on its marbles
ARCHAICS
/37
The dew on its columns
and in its branches the wind
Tossing into the cistern
the strength-bearing seeds,
Vengeful the storms and afterwards
the pines meagre as they are,
Slowly goes the animal
up the mountain edge,
For us carrying the bronze,
who will not be there at harvest.
38/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
THE OPEN SKIES
The Voice Tree
OfAnger and Sorrow
Growth
the parallel vines
from you to me
a white shadow,a break
on the window,a cast
To my tears that fall straight
as the birch,thick and round
as bulbs at your base.
Seasons,horizons,
natal days and those
that are dark
I celebrate wisely
or with terror or watch
the leaves as they fall
minutely and crack
the wide underground.
Raven and bird from far-o

...at your neck
feathers ofsea tern
THE OPEN SKIES
/39
40/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
tree ofiodine and blue...
When you are spine
and leaess branch
how you will rage
you will force me
in the garden packed with snow
to surround you with re
to pad your roots with ash
the red ames to your green throat
the wild spark to your open mouth
Then your voice in the smoke
leaping and shouting
the icicles melting,melting.
Lights ofMy Eyes
Lights ofmy eyes
my only
theyre turning it o

while were asleep on this shore
and the thick da

odils
are crying
lights ofmy eyes
dont be afraid ofme
what we saw
rivers and roads
ruins
the cast ofthe sculpture in winter
They will return your voice
and Ill go on singing
adieu
Snow Angel
The storms threat and ache
Angels are in peril there on the rooftops
Angels are grey
Sticks the prancing
sticks to give them shelter it rained and webs
broke wings shrank the branch-bearing river
shook
bewildered as a sun
Magister who brings
thunder the rs are ready for their burden
underground res are lit
in the dark sits
the rst Angel ofsnow
tomorrow in the outraged
sky
his form
Santa Fe Trail
I go separately
ghosts with ingots have burned their bare hands
it is the dungaree darkness with China stitched
where the westerly winds
and the travelers checks
the evensong ofsalesmen
the glistening paraphernalia oftwin suitcases
where no one speaks English.
I go separately
It is the wind,the rubber wind
a climate to beard.What forks these roads?
THE OPEN SKIES
/41
Who clammers oer the twain?
What murmurs and rustles in the distance
in the white branches where the light is whipped
piercing at the crossing as into the dunes we simmer
and toss ourselves awhile the motor pants like a forest
where owls from their bandaged eyes send messages
to the Indian couple.Peaks have you heard?
I go separately
while it growls and hints in the lost trappers voice
She is coming toward us like a session ofpines
in the wild wooden air where rabbits are frozen,
O mother oflakes and glaciers,save us gamblers
whose wagon is perilously rapt.
Nocturne
Toi,Seine,tu nas rien.Deux quais,et voil tout...
verlaine
Do you know what silence means?
Deux quais,et voil tout.
My dear,my dear,
The skaters tremble.
In the grey there is no void.
The grey resembles ice as the stairs
This city.The voice begins
Like the ice to tremble.
Oh! foreign vase
On the mantel your force
Is tremendous as ifthe ice were soft
And you immovable.
Or the white statue,
Statue oflace
Moved even her hand or her face
Leaned backward into the past.
42/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
So my mysterious,unbroken calm,
This fortitude you have kept for an hour.
Do you know what silence means?
Deux quais et voil tout.
The First ofMay
My eye cannot turn toward you
Night
because it has Day watching.
(A spoon heated over the re,
a cup with milk in it
shadows at its brim.)
I would like to go for a walk
in the dark
without moonbeams
down that path ofmushrooms
in my nightdress
without shoes.
I would like to sit under your wall
and you fortify me
as you did once on the road,
a stranger.
I would like to steal
and take it to you.
I would like to go to a hotel
with you.
Turn out the lights!
Your arms,I feel them,
your eyes,I cannot see them.
Day is watching me
from over the transom.
Day whose light is blinding me,
as lightning on the rebreak
ofa mountain,
THE OPEN SKIES
/43
who brings me a quail
caught in the smoldering underbrush
where the smell is ofyucca
and sage.
Day brings me this bird.
I must go and feed it
with milk from the cup,
a few drops on the spoon.
The sirens are screaming
It is an order to take cover.
And I,I
must bring this bird to shelter.
I must not be caught out
in the night
unless I am willing
to give you up Day forever,
when I join the guerrillas,
who would like my cup
and spoon,
who would roast my bird
and eat it.
Dardanella
Those forms in gauze
we see as arches
the tile replaces with mountain
the script says:As water this life
followed by girls in white
The king ofthe heavy mustache
like bu

aloes these men
cannot nd dawn in his sleep
So agents prepare the morning mosquito
it must be noisy yet not alarming
44/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Those who hear it across the valley
in their ears closed with honey
will feel the sting ofbells
in the palace only one vase need splinter
from his arms only the virgin need struggle
the boy knows now to kiss
he will ride horses to the blue dome.
Twenty-four veils in a pile
and hatchoutchoui houri
for hours and hours and hours
the patient needy camel lifts his neck
that is all...no vines...no miles
...no hills...no caves in the hills...
women walk to the fountain
Pasha is with the Consul
toward the boy who has peed on the tile
Milk say the heavens regarding the white sand
Bosphorus click ofeel in your wave o

Egypt
tow-ridden plain ofKilid Bahr
trees and risk where ancient bouncing at
is war land ofthe tomb otherwise lids
Air in the arch is black
as sighs from vessels cast
on the shut-o

tide.
The Brown Studio
Walking into the room
after having spent a night in the grove
by the river
its duskiness surprised me.
The hours I had spent under foliage,
the forms I had seen were all sombre,
THE OPEN SKIES
/45
even the music was distinctly shady,the water
had left me melancholy,my hands I had rinsed
were muddy.I had seen only one bird with a bright
wing,the rest were starlings,
the brownness alarmed me.
I saw the black stove,the black chair,
the black coat.I saw the easel,remembering it as
an ordinary wood tone,rather pale,I realized
it was inky,as were the drawings.
Ofcourse you werent there,but a photograph was.
Actually a negative.Your hair didnt show up at all.
Where that fairness had lit the open ground,
now there was an emptiness,beginning to darken.
I believed ifI spoke,
ifa word came from my throat
and entered this room whose walls had been turned,
it would be the color ofthe cape
we saw in Aix in the studio ofCzanne,
it hung near the deaths head,the umbrella,
ifI spoke loudly enough,
knowing the arc from real to phantom,
the fall ofmy voice would be,
a dying brown.
All Elegies Are Black and White
To Robert Motherwell
When Villon went to his college
he wore a black gown
he put his hood up when
He ate black bread
and even drank a kind ofblack wine,
(we dont have any longer)
it wasnt that good Beaune
his skill taught him how to steal,
a disappearing drink also.
46/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The sky was white over Paris,
like a sky over mountains,
disturbing and demanding.
When you are in Spain
you think ofsky
and mountain where the forest
is without water.
You think ofyour art
which has become important
like a plow
on the at land.
There are even a few animals
to consider.
And olives.
Do you regard them separately?
The forms ofnature,
animals,trees
That bear a black burden
whose throat is always thirsty?
I know ofSeville ofblack carriages
one factory
one river
the air is brown.
Alas we have fair hair,are
rojo.
Throw a mantilla over your face
rojo
ofthe light,
walk only in the white spaces.
The trains that cross back and forth
the borders ofElegy
sleep all afternoon,at night
lament the lost shapes.
I think when you oppose
black against white,
archaeologist you have raised a dream
which is bitter.
The white elegy
THE OPEN SKIES
/47
One may arrive at it
from the blue.
The sky in Spain is high.
It is as high as the sky
in California.
When one begins with white and blue
it is necessary for ones eyes to darken.
One may have fair hair in Spain,
yet the trouble ofblue eyes!
Unless one can always live
sparsely as in Castille.
(How wise you are to understand
the use oforange with blue.
Never without the other.)
And what courage to allow oneself
to become black and blue!
It is necessary that eyes be black
so the white may deepen
in them the white may sink,
it can then be constant,as music
is constant,or a marriage,or fountains,
or a palace whose shadow is constant.
To make an Elegy ofSpain
is to make a song ofthe abyss.
It is to cut a gorge into ones soul
which is suddenly no longer private.
This privacy which has become invaded
straightens itselfup,it sings,
I am proud as a caon.
Can you imagine the shock over the world
against which two enormous black rocks roll
this world that looks like a white cloud
shifting its buttocks?
When the guitar strikes
A procession ofthose tasters ofecstasy
the thieves ofdark and light
48/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
beginning with Villon
whose black songs are elegies
whose elegies are white
Dios!
The Open Skies
I
Molluscs in their shell
the skies
Breathe up and down
unspiraling
Open skies
seeded with light and stone
II
Pattern ofdriftIs eye ofair
stray ephemeral visiblehand from skyform?
III
Revolving day prisoner in the openness
Smiling lips daylight fair
unbreakable you seem
Hitched to me as I
window thrust to you
IV
Cloudless
you take
My happiness
rising in the morning
THE OPEN SKIES
/49
Light descends to me
buoyantlyI stare
A tremor on this hand
light has touched
I pass into your frailness
Noiseless hour
span ofoat and ight
Sky without lever or stress
V
Tough the cone to shelter
Ecstatic harking to upward dome
VI
Ash and ember
creature and skin
Soft body ofunprotected gilt
VII
Sky whose fancy
sways and swings above
All quick airiness
and slow guide
Without you I cannot see.
Hurricane
The house.The pictures there on the wall
and the rug I slept on it as a child
near the dining table,drowned while they ate.
Now a threat,a dawn ofhorse hooves,a manger
where the straw is blown and hens in the yard,
their tail feathers high,and cat with open eyes.
50/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
I wonder before it strikes from the low clouds,I
not yet to bed near the steps where leaves lie,
how far the water will rise?
Ifthe storm only a few miles from here,
ifits white cheek and wet arm,
its eyelash curled
and its wrist angry and at last free
will touch this house,will caress
the old furniture and names erase them,
ifthe roof,all the chambers
will be lifted from our faces,will we
go gladly into its barn,magnied by wet
and rain and drops that slope
increasingly to that eave where we wait
for darkness,or thunder,or night
on the drenched tile
to lead us away?
His Jungle
Recognized only its hands
That monkey face is known later
and the wind accompanying it.
Torrents replace the usual seasons
A handsome thunder,a thaw
Out ofthe earth comes another air
smoky as animal.
He lifts his hands to his face.
The stone he must roll it.
He must rub the akes without
Being shaken.
He must break down the door
Behind it.
That tree how many leaves
Strain it.He wonders
Ifa four-legged beast
Will nd the ower
THE OPEN SKIES
/51
And eat it.Rather it than him.
Ifthat place going round
Beyond the trees ifthe doors most
Di

cult inscription will be lost
In the whirl
Will escape him.
Will be too mashed will remind
Him ofmold will have gone
Too far and he dislike
Black as he fears green,
A chatter in the grass,
Wind replacing ivory
With a tusk makes him drop
His tools.
It is the headsman,
Earths fragile runner who is caught
In his trap who describing pain
Plaits a monkey face
Arc and area wide enough
For both to re.
Timor Mortis,Florida
White foam tide
waves descending
line ofblue and white
blue submarine
where the dark sweel ofthrust
retched water
Gulfwhose eye is bluest screen
and frozen sh warming
A near palm leans,frond chilled
arched breeze and frontal cold
52/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
North Ice
sweep across a bright lateral
all plumes peaked,riders wary
risked sailsthe ride
hot and cold
a headland wilderness
odd winter,a dismay
In gardens,in snow,in urry and ake
the bird wren,bare tree,to follow.
Desire the empty marinatideless
Sands
Oars in the fronds
through bullrushes
While silt as light as dawn
over the threshing sea
Sand
The distance
see
the miles produce
reckoning,
water
extending
Sand
while
the sky airs itself
requests
clouds remain
in numbers
THE OPEN SKIES
/53
far o

also
the hand,
eyes,limbs
sand tests
coolness and heat
body levels
...Re
main at
planes y over you
under a belly
prone side
ofearth end
Neutral
to haughty black land and sea
that swank ofblue
clammering
greed ofear
and rapacious its thunder,
or even the mild wave at
dawns edge
a honey
when youthfully it begins to boil
and foam wildly spilled
...noonday
Salt throat
the tongue clasps the swell,
releases sends monitoring ceaseless
thirst back to ocean depth
tides return to dark
shock ofwave lift,a column
on the shore its prole ever foreign
its ruin permanentrecurs
The bowl has changed color
gulls own inland,
cannot shock your softness,on you
shells,pearls,weeds
discards as on a mountain top
is found record ofhorizon
54/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
as Patmos is an isle,
As you are mouth and sable skin
range ofthe sandle-footed
Rejoice
in ancient nothingness
Wave
i
Wave
whose arm is green
your
in foam
Borders
the rip slicesturnsbackwards
swimmers this treachery is cast by mirrors
once in prole only this multiplied
the arrow backstroke sent to bliss
we cry deepest and turn not daring to spy
full-face on ocean crest that carries on
on
space now azure fullest where the depth
is danger
long roll
Againthe ride
And equinoctal plunge
it daresbeachthehorizon
with you
wailings
THE OPEN SKIES
/55
(that drift shrieks at low tide)
bubbling
the loose and soggy shelf
Bell
ii
the eye tolls as burnished as Bell
on coral the wave breaks or here
cold zone ofequal blue and grey
Tritonsthrong appears
where zephyrs
cast skyward by the spume glance down
on islands ofthe deep mermaids
well never seeor hearyet each
wave rolling brings in brightest
phosphorescence their hair
a lyre
in the tease and stress ofwave song
Sun
multipowered it brushes
thins and splays
burns
wild-lidded over foamin airto touch
Remembering the violence
dolphins surmise us (dreams) the lap
ofshore water enter our heads as ponds
turningswayingto each and yet
the angry
it calls
56/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Noon
the crab walks
Night
small fish
Rock and dawn
Fog
iii
Iwould walk from this porch to your farthest
do I dare
Lights without you the house is ghosty
the pier is broken
its points are webbed
cricket and bird song aboutalas
until morningthe great sea and ledge
from which pines such low soundingspines
that are greenand sea that is swelling
sea whose earth is sandy who in sleep
changes as the pilot arm beckons
the arm we lie on shifts
early the stir
to crease from night closeto begin
to gatherto fallas Wave
Bountiful and Bare
Geography
cold
Moon track across the snow eld
a saddle I ride its rope
into the light
THE OPEN SKIES
/57
the ank is soft
a ne departure the snow
bears my weight
to the mosses
the ripest blossoms fall
turn black in water
so dependency on sun is error
rather blue milk elds skimmed
and grass shod oftwilight plain
than urn water swamp
on however
the swamp leaves at horses neck
a chatter ofowl and bird fright
the rope loosens
the hand is moist with vine leech
a journey wince ofcowhide
shriek and storm where weather
suddenly
warms
we reach the pole
ofearth statues
heat
visibleness decreases
immaculate as a heron
without rust
I shine
the snow in the wound
becomes stucco
the magnicent sun
waves a ag above it
58/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The Blue Stairs
The Blue Stairs
There is no fear
in taking the rst step
or the second
or the third
having a position
In fact the top
can be reached
without disaster
precocious
The code
consists in noticing
the particular shade
ofthe staircase
occasionally giving way
to the emotions
It has been chosen
discriminately
To graduate
the dimensions
ease them into sight
republic ofspace
Radiant deepness
a thumb
passed over it
disarming
as one who executes robbers
Waving the gnats
and the small giants
aside
balancing
THE BLUE STAIRS
/61
How to surprise
a community
by excellence
somehow it occurred
living a public life
The original design
no one complained
In a few years
it was forgotten
oating
It was framed
like any other work ofart
not too ignobly
kicking the ladder away
Now I shall tell you
why it is beautiful
Design:extraordinary
color:cobalt blue
Heels twist it
into shape
It has a fantastic area
made for a tread
that will ascend
Being humble
i.e.productive
Its purpose
is to take you upward
On an elevator
ofhuman ngerprints
ofthe most delicate
xity
62/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Being practical
and knowing its denominator
To push
one foot ahead ofthe other
Being a composite
which sneers at marble
all orthodox movements
It has discovered
in the creak ofa footstep
the humility ofsound
Spatially selective
using this counterfeit
ofheight
To substantiate
Reading stairs
as interpolation
in the problem ofgradualness
with a heavy and pure logic
The master builder
acknowledges this
As do the artists
in their dormer rooms
Who are usually grateful
to anyone who prevents them
from taking a false step
And having reached the summit
would like to stay there
even ifthe stairs are withdrawn
THE BLUE STAIRS
/63
Turkey Villas
those wooden villas
as ifthey were shacks
caught in an avalanche
and I crossing the Alps
Or
to make a shorter story
and relate in truth
to my life
as ifit were San Francisco

and a waterfront strike
the houses on the hills
were wooden and grey
tilted
Those ordinary houses
in which a few people
preserved the art
ofpipe playing...A.D.
It is a vast smooth dream
this uncrippled Bosphorus
I dont like to consider
what goes on at the bottom
or the galleons and risks
that plunged
as ever so often a canoe
It is a shade
a window shade also
one that can be drawn ifthe
curtain is working
like a vat ofoil
Now to be a proper historian
ofmy dreams
I must relate
the sidereal action
64/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Ofa ship seen from
A Hotel Hilton balcony
Think ofthat
Balcon Hilton!
Enough ofthis dizziness
Not to freeze
in a mosaic
not to be fooled
by a Mosque
What an idea!
I am spinning with ideas
to the top ofthe Mosque
I am an ice cream cone
Muzzein
I am drenched
with Blue
Fevered with ideas
these beads ofideas
and when they have cooled
what I shall have to exist on
I shall be able to escape the seraglio
I shall go on collecting pottery
yet it shall be blue
as an edice
blue as the diagram
ofa prince watering his horse
I shall be medieval and slim
at once!
Blue canopy
unmodernized
and empty
THE BLUE STAIRS
/65
Blue windows
ofthe ultra rened center
I shall be able to paint
blue
those wooden villas
What sylvan blues
have I dreamed
What half-oriented eyes
have I opened
forcing them to see
the blue heavens
E

acing the mud
wracking myselfwith blue
coughs
And rising to walk
in my blue veils
over the Bosphorus
to my villa
my wooden peg
where I can advocate
successful blue Crusades
Yet I am always sleepy
and troubled
when the moon
is at its Crescent
I am not sure
ofthe color ofthese shutters
66/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
My dreams
are stupidly turbulent
I am in a boat
and the tourist guide
says
Regard those grey houses
I wake
with a cold toe.
Walking Buddha
in conrmation ofyour knighthood
in the cracked eye-lift?
but
swinging
pushed forward by your idiom
like a giantess opening a window sash
you refuse to remark
the o

ering below your building
you refuse to go downstairs
because your gait is forward
we must go around you
Brilliant decision!
a frangipane rewards you
with color streak
in the wet season
that coloring protects
THE BLUE STAIRS
/67
stretched as far as elephant,yet rm
in its enclosure
Diadem head!
The masons have nished their research
not a cubic inch more
There is:
The arm whose elongation
the open hand
the chest measurements
Rough cement ruled
an original of
Art Brut
unrailed staircase
a smash knee surface
to conceal the bronze asperity
essentials ofbeing classical
in a violent world before the decline
under slip-shoe palm
Colonial Hours
The year ofthe hurricane
(we are speaking)
bay roadway
the drenching
leaves attened to echo
hush
All quarrelsome
shut
68/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Tender magnicence
Land in wake ofProspero
with splayed tendrils
washed
Now
Episcopal bells
shudder
as when you placed water pails
Think what justice the liberty bells
peal on moon base
in a peculiar climate
and rusting
it also chants
a head burden to catch
sun granaries
legacies the sea strokes up
or blue ballooning stingarees
thrown
Night temples ofpalms
the rain blows
tropique
as ceiling fans
crossing the tiles
You are two sinister people
in your oleander suit
your scorpion shoes
your eyeglasses ground from sand
You whisper it is so silent
remembering the prisons from which you sprang
the machinery ofcoral walls
your bamboo crest
the stockade that encircles you
THE BLUE STAIRS
/69
as day the fresh water river
owing from brow to throat
it cuts this salt thong
you are released
to the jointure ofothers
cherished by the thrice blue seas
you shall reconnoiter
As a shell your dynasty
you are a porch with screens
You are a lucky person who hears
the wild the luxurious birds
their scream is like yours
when you fear the cold
they sing in the heat draughts
they sip from the fountain
joy in their male coloring is yours
and the neck reach
the colonial language
oftern sibilancy
Today you sit on the cropped grass
today looking at the map
you blink
Magnied world
my education
my craft
My fruit my oranges
70/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Saving Tallow
Visible tallow ofthe hurricane night
thin fair candle
a yacht cradling
the rooms deep water
where the wave
raises
its sail
a procession
ofshoulders
the falling olives
on yellow knees
and cities
drowned
dragged from the sea
Candle!
lone palm treelonely diver
covered with sea lice
most vertical
the room dedicates its curves to you.
There was once a shadow
called Luis;there was once an eyebrow
whose name was Domingo.Once there
were children,grown-ups,organs;
there were moving legs and there was
speech.In the daylight there were
small whimpers made by the African cat;
in the candlelight there were couplings
ofsuch sonority evening callers
merely left their cards;no one drew back
the curtains;there were no curtains
the candlelight fell on grass and
like a candle up stood the water hose.
There were many mathematical
forms
the obliquity ofa painting
her mouth drawn by a corner
THE BLUE STAIRS
/71
transverses on the arrow light
where the smile ies o

at the rooms center a hair part
the nose ofa window
louvered as coral rock
where a person walked
was sleepy
must be awakened
for adorations and questions
is marine
related to the diving sh
Take me on your dolphin skin!
I shall be absent soon!
Saving the tallow with capable hands
seizing with the loyal closed eyes offoliage
Pu

The Return ofthe Muses
So much goes away
Forms are now shades,
those solid weights,how empty they are,
mere boxes,
the whispering voice,
the ankle bone only an arch.
Peasants once sowed this valley
there isnt any wheat here or oats
there almost isnt a valley,
only a dent.
This morning was all concaveness,
the clouds drew back into themselves,
the clouds went so far away leaving it blue,
now were quite convex
and the rain is emptying itselfout on me
72/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The rain that took weeks to return,
the rain that left us on Wednesday
after tears,after dark,after that sluicing
about in memory,shing up
The rain is here now.
It makes for change and a certain disagreeableness
this coming and going makes one nervous
The farewells to buildings
and then to the hole in the ground
This hello on ones lips
to a new perspective
nished by the end ofthe week,
The earth is old,no longer fragrant
Goodbye,hello.
Yet you who had vanished
you trailing your garments
who went away in that last March stanza
not liking the violins
or standing around waiting
your arms circling each others waists
or the salt in your mouth
where the sea was whipping itselfup in the corner
and foam falling like ash
You departed divine Muses
without warning
I stopped eating regularly,
I changed my ways several times
strict discipline,continuous devotion,
receptiveness
were mine.
THE BLUE STAIRS
/73
Here you are back again.Welcome.
Farewell,strict,continuous,receptive
Theres that old shawl in the corner
looking like a wave
Theres a ringing in my ears
as ifa poem were beating on stone
The room lls now with feathers,
the birds you have released,Muses,
I want to stop whatever I am doing
and listen to their marvelous hello.
A Reason
That is why I am here
not among the ibises.Why
the permanent city parasol
covers even me.
It was the rains
in the occult season.It was the snows
on the lower slopes.It was water
and cold in my mouth.
A lack ofshoes
on what appeared to be cobbles
which were still antique
Well wild wild whatever
in wild more silent blue
the vase grips the stems
clutches me also.My sleep is reckoned
in straws
Yet I wake up
74/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Direction
Let us give up our trips
to pace to and fro here as easily
the foreignness ofthese leaves
the untranslatable silences,the echoes
ofa tower,di

cult winds,
as well here sail our barges.
Friend ofthe static hour
I take your hand across the borders.
Havent we with our skills
lost important elements
ofour luggage performing in lonely
hotels? The seacoasts are cruel
in winter the sand is a waste
cry to my tongue the sand it is like
my heart which I have buried in it
now there is a posture lying there
you can recognize it.I have only
two hearts,I need this orphaned
one here at home which is
the Scandinavia ofall Russias.
The light is not idle,it is full ofrapid
changes we can call voyages
ifwe like,moving from room to room.
How representative ofus this thoughtful
weather that has travelled the water
to reach us,the touch ofa certain side
ofthe skin when we open the window.
Our eyes are viewing monuments
constantly,the angry sculpture
ofthe facade it is also a journey
to the center where the rock is uncut.
Climbing it tests our strength,our bruises
are so many cities,the blood we shed
is ours,so I say we can belong
nowhere else,here is the counter
ofour wounds and our delicacies.
THE BLUE STAIRS
/75
On our own soil that is an excavation
desolate as the place whose name
we must never pronounce.
Barrels
Y otras pasan; y vindome tan triste,
toman un poquito de ti
en la abrupta arruga de mi hondo dolor.
cesar vallejo
take a drink
out ofthis barrel oftears
Ive collected from you.
Least ofall another woman.
I see her coming along.
I know the type.
I can tell you what shell
be wearing.
I know the type
I wont like it.
Shell look at that barrel
shes had a few in her day.
Not that shes ever lled one.
Shell remark casually,
good to wash my hair.
And who doesnt know
tears are purer
than rain water
and softer on the hair.
76/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Just as she steps toward it
and makes for the cup,
Ill see phantom you
and what you were
brought up by the sea.
And scraps ofpaper
from this ditch ofmy brain
will oat on the water
and choke her.
East ofOmsk
I am living in the Siberia
ofyour rose
there is a family ofus
and we laugh
in our house
there is a festival every night
called frozen
Which is actually a tree
you cannot recognize
through its icicle burrs
at the last station
to Vladivostok
before taking the boat
to Yokohama
Where it rains
and our memory snow
melts
Only the beast fur
shines in this light oftwelve tones
Radiant as a warm
in Yokohama
will be drawn to endorse
the acacia weather
ofyour rainbow homecoming
THE BLUE STAIRS
/77
where Yalta reproduces those ski

s
on a soft threshing
coast ofpineapple waves
Russia! a natural tribute
to have sent this wordgram
so far
translating owers
from under a pelt cap
Parades End
The most that can be said
for following the parade
is that the Head was red.
Liking grotesque the architect
went along with it,
the balloons and the bellies
enlarged.
He had a craze for size,
so he said.
Looking at it from the sidelines
we werent so amused
as chilled by the snow wind,
in unadaptable leather
our eyes formed truly gigantic tears
we dropped when the last
was buried in the ash can.
It was quite a day.I brought home
an unopened poem.It should grow
in the kitchen near the stove
ifI can squeeze out ofmy eyes
enough water.Water.
78/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Clouds Near the Windmill
Counting you as one ofus
among the rushes
the di

cult pebbles,these stones...
we prefer it still and birds not chattering.
We like your voices because they have more portent.
We like the armor ofyour skin
the wisdom ofyour life line
hesitating from window to windowpane
climbing the sand.
Even as you turn
in the wind woodenly I catch a di

erent sound,
enough to separate you from them
bringing,as you do,the bandages
from tree to wounded tree.
These are known as digestive moments
and the pear wearing its wrinkles
tunes down.Abiding calm
as light less curious now
and even less signicant.That chair
it is moving closer to the pond.
Later we will watch the shadowless
birdwing and those straight lines
harsh without a tremor,
resembling pagoda eld,
resembling stalks with your imagination.
The land is rutted with carriages,
they have their hoods pulled down.
Fan Poems
I
Who walks softly causes mutiny among the lilies
as a chateau is perverse refusing wings,
refusing a colder climate for its rooms;
and the blossoms fall repeatedly,exciting
THE BLUE STAIRS
/79
those unique ower beds when at mornings edge
they hasten to lift themselves to a cautious heel print.
II
Windows,Melissa,they contain what is best
ofus,the glass your arm has arranged
into crystal by spinning eye,by alarms
taken when the rain has chosen a form
unlike the universe,similar to ups and downs
which vary or change as cowslips
in the meadow we cross have a natural tint,
the panes reect our hesitations and delight.
III
Repeatedly striking,i.e.,to strike the imagination
another blow,neither heat nor cold,
but the power in the wing,the chill
smothering feather outlined narrowly
by vertebrae extended for an instant;
it makes one shudder,the quick umbrella
unfurled near the tearful statue.
IV
Traditional service to and from
like elastic.It covers ten moments
and maybe twenty.The wound is safely
succored,the branch spared from storm.
I have covered a hundred miles on vibrating
tires,they hum a safe tree.
The highway oaks are undisturbed
their age protects adventure,giving
visual shelter encouraging voices
to clear themselves from stanza to mute stanza.
V
Classically perchance am I your robin
or rossignol,not hirondelle,that dark
word ending in dress? At the top ofstairs
stands the Marquis wearing a burnt
ribbon,wearing an air,so they say,
I wonder at its quaintness,I wonder also
at my hoops,my stays are pinching,
80/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
VI
Why not make a perspective ofancient alle
so that it can promenade? Youd probably
end with muslin,catching the lions curve
as he backs into pond,seconds before the wet tail lashes;
As this hour presents us with what it knows best,
as this hour wishes to retire rather than wander.
VII
What I recall ofyour romance
is:sleep is milk.
Saluting the gypsies and always thirsty.
A Way ofBeing
There we go in cars,did you guess we wore sandals?
Carrying the till,memorizing its numbers,
apt at the essential such as rearranging
languages.They occur from route to route
like savages who wear shells.
He must ascend indenitely as airs
he must regard his image as plastic,
footprints and cares for them.
as is their wont in houses,the ones we pass by.
Such a day/or such a night
reeling from cabin to cabin
looking at the cakewalk or merely dancing.
These adventures in broad/or slim
lamplight,
Yet the cars
do not cheat,even their colors perform in storm.
We never feel the scratch,they do.
When lightning strikes its safer to ride
on rubber going down a mountain,
safer than trees,or sand,more preventive
to be hid in a cloud we sing,remembering
THE BLUE STAIRS
/81
The old manse and robins.One tear,
a salty one knowing we have escaped
the charm ofbeing native.Even as your glance
through the windshield tells me youve seen
another mishap ofnature
prefer to be like him near the hearth
where woodsmoke makes a screen ofnumbers and signs
where the bedstead its not so foreign as this lake.
The plateau,excursionist,
is ahead.After that twenty volumes
offarmland.Then I must guide us
to the wood garage someone has whitened
where the light enters through one window
like a novel.You must peer at it
without weakening,without feeling
hero,or heroine,
Understanding the distances
or sleep searchingness,as far from the twilight ring
Four Moroccan Studies
(after Delacroix)

Who knows why they enter the gate ofMekens
with their sand banners.It is enough
that they speculate before the big rush,
that they are riding good horses,not the maddened
ones ofRevolution.Perhaps it is the return
ofa desert patrol delighting in theatrics
and in their audience seated on the baked walls.
There may have been an issue;there may have been
a sublime sort ofexercise,the dune play,
the descent on admiring townsmen.
82/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST

Beliah.Moorish girl
comment
you delight the painter.
Not so much you as your blouse,
your striped robe,those billowing pants
tied at the knee,the girdle at your bosom
and those turquoises.I have made
a note for each color.Keep your head in prole
so I can draw your heavy sexy legs.

Since the last holiday the room has been empty.
Enjoy it,ifyou please.The doors have been opened
by horses.Servants have climbed the tile steps.
And so have I,liking to lean from the balcony.
Regard.There are no shadows.How somber it is,
yet the walls light up.It is a chamber ofambiguity

Can this courtyard which is myself
inspire me? Indeed those vigorous pillows
have felt my heel tap.I have had several dreams
this century attired in colors
and my arms have opened each time
the window revealed a pipe stem.
I am a marauder returning with what is my own;
I will repay you in horses and pictures.

Sleep is

remembering the
insignicant amenco dancer
in Granada
who became
important as you watched
the mountain ridge
the dry hills
THE BLUE STAIRS
/83
What an idiotic number!
Sleep is twenty
it certainly isnt twenty sheep
there werent that many in the herd
under the cold crest ofSierra Nevada
Its more like

Madison Ave.buses
while I go droning away at my dream life
Each episode is important
thats what it is! Sequences
Ive got going a twenty-act drama
the theatre ofthe active
the critics are surely there
even the actors
even the owers presented onstage
even the wild owers
picked by the wife ofthe goatherd
each morning early (while I sleep)
under the snow cone
ofSierra Nevada
half-dreaming
and count twenty
yellow capped heads
owers clicking twenty times
because they like to repeat themselves
as I do as does the morning
or the drama one hopes
will be acted many times
As even these dreams in similar
peoples heads

84/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
A Handbook ofSurfing
I
It is time to nd the peak the rosy trimmings are sliding up
toward you whose ngers reach over the balcony the owers
and trees are damp morning up breaks di

erently each sibilant
A circular moon continued;ideal these conditions a
early over the coast foam line spews as once at her lightest
the goddess washed goats tumbled into the brine mark their forks
body erect and facing the shore margin he ofthe water sign considers
those coral rocks an idiot glance from crevice to crevice they watch
the smooth wave.Why did Columbus the Navigator
select the reef? Its products are strong even o

the simple isle.
cannot always climb the sand horn or blowing
Domestic requisites(agricultural,manufactured,urban,
non-urban,marital or no)
have placed you here sun-struck and geared
with your ocean plan for a soupy ride
right or downside
eyewash ofroar speech saltness he thinks less thus
...No one has gentled this leash
Not you marbled Hs
In the wave wilderness wily wild
cuckoo strength bearers as rapists
knee songs and thigh grippers
THE BLUE STAIRS
/85
foam slashers bone knockers
surfkindlers in the riddle splash
twitterwoo
like a long legend
II
Since there are probably no two surfers in the world who
will agree one hundred percent on the techniques of
advanced surng,we would like to deal only with
the basic principles oflearning to surf...we would
like to tell here about paddling,standing and turning,
straightening out or pulling out,we shall discuss
the e

ect oftides and bottom conditions...
Paddling is prone or kneeling or sitting
Standing and Turning mean exactly that plus some wisdom
as when you go down a hill on your heels and up one
on your toes.Everyone knows how to turn or turn about
or make a reverse these are daily decisions both
in the surfthey are known as Changing Directions
as is seen a darting sh
yet we deserve reunion
it soothes
this peak mounting even in ru

ed calm
to search this way and that on the desert a palm
a white car to guide swiftly
as quoted my paddling selfyou have veins in your hands
Ardent days! Golden backs! The pier
the shore breakwell there are many types of
waves they all fall (di

erently) you must assume
the General Positions:
on nose
spinning
driving down
head dips
86/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Duke Kahanamoku
Makaha
Excellencies on the woodless sands
Today I shall walk the board my teak sandals
on the wax the surfs down waterwheel furled
the monkey gure ofmoustached shiverless scale
we are also goons with our bent backs
not so turbulent in the shallows,but boring
as after prayers and feasting the sleepy travellers
III
Paddling out:Tributes must be paid that this
waterway be freed
and further:I think I see you blink in Iceland
top pole ofwave
your midnight eye at crestthere
Viking foam...barriers the pine seed
Rolling through:On the way to line up its under the soup
you with your immaculate verb sense the
indicative clause so under control and
the novel how much you understand of
character plot action not to
mention vice or the splitting sensitivity of
Balzacian Frabrizio and those days in
so long TrevioI remark your courage when
you decide the form is exactly at its crest of
sequence as in England the forty long spins
take us to India and back or within
a wearisome reach so tiring this spin on
top ofwaterNow roll your board under
you go the big spume breaks youre safe
with your underwater cartilage its only
a quaint mishap to be thrown by imagination
and never ifyoure careful.While you wait
the longest while the rst chapter,never
fear your head will roll on top.Not even
THE BLUE STAIRS
/87
depth,but spun ivy tickle water
youre up then youre on top.A hard
way to it and the only.Just the beginning
Mister Tom.I mean master ofswallows.
the dynamite crest
(Where are the childish waves the lappings
eschewed as to the lighthouse balloons
against a window your narrow partings)
IV
Wondering ifthis day lls you with ennui as it does me
in your bunnyhood so busy on the beach opening tops
six package Im told.Where is your yellow long
veiled anger where is your passion diphthong?
On the beach with only vulture gulls can you
Go
orange volume sandy named a windy
nomenclature suitable or yours pensioned
Lo your glossy tunics the simple wrap around
or take o

always one shoulder the porous
statues on the hill stanced seaward sunstruck
withered frequently headless only the bosoms
upholding strict maidens courageous also
so many storms and tribal wars so much murder
to remain unburied...the warrior torso
over whom you keep watch remembering this beauty
especially at full moon one hand disjointed
severed reaches still to you as on the waveboard
a girl takes the wing position the surfers arm
upholds so at Samothrace so will capture
Boreas all bunnies the wind speaks nally
air braided ofwind is your upward tether
not these duplicate days you expend
...your mosaics
will they survive the dolphins ight?
88/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
V
Questing the oracles en route to wave line-up
what did the breezes sing whisking the vases
the stern crones at idle nine oclock did they repeat
at or uncommon sea surfdown or up
well know soon enough when the obituaries are out
each year another statesman backwash to our policy
our double daring life dipsowl not gull
be wise tell us when the necessary pull out
this one yonder at its peak iftoo grand
as now one can continue the turn a right
or left motion dependent on guerrilla wave strength
Dashed ifI didnt ub it...remember
All can transform the ugly wipeout
into a thing ofbeauty
can save face even in oceanic pratfall
recognizing superior strength takes moral
courage once gained on a really critical turn
later made the pipeline but dont
expect each year to
cop the Kangaroo crown
You with your lease on World Championship
VI
Surfari...
ifyou travel the water ways
in a moment you nd the sluice gates
as if/the shut ofa book when
before your eyes you study its rhyme
when vaporizing the smoke night
Id rather a more vigorous selection
two stanzas at twilight
you hear ringing the columns
THE BLUE STAIRS
/89
VII
Hlas! In closeout conditions no one surfs
There is a point beyond which big storm surfis unrideable
The four fathom ve you hope to squire
on oceanic oor swaying theyve learned their dance
they have a habit ofperforming without audience;
yet greed,for they are penniless,makes them desire a swimmer.
Am called Cassandra in these summer days
when in the soft illness ofheat Im ready
to talk ofbattles
He rides in the heat
he never squeaks
he is ready for shore order
like a leaky board when the surfis rough
Cassandra thinks ofa child whose muscles
are thin;she weeps at the motorboard cost
the reefhell hit young as Wordsworths Lucy
in the quick clime ofbomb
Protest!
Nobody rides in closeout!
VIII
In the polyandry green oflife theres a rule you stride
quick to the whip before the foam
the complexion ofgreen
shadows under the sandcove eyes
the slim waistline ofcoast
to be adored as you glide spookless
this rhythm ancient as selfthe muslin shore
with these lenses use nothing more
all that is not goggle is giggle
90/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
take this most intricate tide
in your own way knowing the cost
forsaking all others ifneed be
it at its dangerous crest
mortuary bottom
Gallantly these ne surfhorses
(innocently capturing a beach as daylight
nds the old sea at its best cooler
battle form
we acquiesce
the purchasable line
promptly renewing our lids/our eyes
to negotiate each splendid day
we do this from wave couch
in shrewdness meditate
the expansethe artful dare
THE BLUE STAIRS
/91
I Ching
I Ching
ICHIEN
IIKUN
IIICHEN
IVKAN
VKEN
VISUN
VIILI
Lightstrikeslightfatherstrikelightstroke
Lightstrikefather strokelightstrikestroke
Father lightstrikelightstrikeslightstroke
tubulartunneltunneltubular
tumescenttumtumtumtumtumescent
exciterecite
inciteexcite
reciterincitingexcitingreciterinciting
I CHING
/95
wrathfrigate
wombfoamwombfoam
fjordwhelm
sootherthirdly
silencerthunderless
stickingtoburningglueto
shineygluetwodaughter
shininglaughterstickingto
jokelake
jokinglakejokinglakejoking
lakejokelakejokelakejokelakejoke
96/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Moscow Mansions
Red Lilies
Someone has remembered to dry the dishes;
they have taken the accident out ofthe stove.
Afterward lilies for supper;there
the lines in front ofthe window
are rubbed on the table ofstone
The paper ies up
then down as the wind
repeats,repeats its birdsong.
Those arms under the pillow
the burrowing arms they cleave
at night as the tug kneads water
calling themselves branches
The tree is you
snow erupts from thistle;
the snow pours out ofyou.
A cold hand on the dishes
placing a saucer inside
her who undressed for supper
gliding that hair to the snow
The pilot light
went out on the stove
The paper folded like a napkin
other wings ew into the stone.
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/99
Illyria
And I was right as dawn overhead
listening to the buoy as is often done
a bridge while brows oat under it yes
it was a way ofsteeples ofconstruction
ofpilings ofverbs.I too admire the way
water spells in the hand riding this way and
that and also the moments ofgreen which
like paragraphs point out the stations
we must enter and leaving them count trees
more scarcely;there is much to emulate
not only iron bands but those waves you can
no longer dive into and the seamless rifts
which are noble as you explain omnivorously
having devoured both nail and hammer,
like an isle composed ofrhythm and whiteness.
Night is gentle with the promise
ofa balanced pear such is it this drop.
Egypt
for Tony Smith
the park that was on Monday began on Tuesday
This water ows either way with exceptions
for blue moments described as loaded when
Never to make a remark about merely a generous lump
Either liked to parade in front ofmirrors
going underground was a busy strike so that
When examined the birds tread went which way
and that the pastime was being amazed
100/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The storage space it occupied simple,very
authoritative,very enduring things.
A vigorous antiquity into which the slab was
inserted and either said not enough in spite of
The ribbons ofoozes nobody made an oasis
out ofit until dissatisfactions
With sizes more confusing than the tomb
where zero unwraps Ouch! youve printed my thumb
You have lost the original which was perhaps
Mowed grass whispering butter as a matter offact
Nebraska
Climate succumbing continuously as water gathered
into foam or Nebraska elevated by ships
withholds what is glorious in its climb like
a waiter balancing a waterglass while the tray
slips that was necklace in the arch ofbridge
vibrates the natural cymbal with its other tongue
strikes an attitude we have drawn there on the limb
when icicle against the sail will darken the wind
eftsooning it and the ways lap with spices as
buoyancy once the galloping area where grain
is rinsed and care requires we choose our walk
And the swift nodding becomes delicate
smoke is also a ow the pastoral calm where
each leafhas a shadow fortuitous as word
with its pine and cone its seedling a curl
like smoke when the ashy retrograding slopes
at the station up or down and musically
a notation as when smoke enters sky
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/101
The swift nodding becomes delicate
lifelikeis pastoral an ambrosia where calm
produces a leafwith a shadow fortuitous as word
with its pine and cone its seedling we saw
yesterday with the natural ow in our hand
thought ofas sunlight and wisely found rocks
sand that were orisons there a city in
our minds we called silence and bird droppings
where the staircase ended that was only roof
Hallucinated as Nebraska the swift blue
appears formerly hid when approached now it
chides with a tone the prow striking a grim
atmosphere appealing and intimate as ifa verse
were to water somewhere and hues emerge
and distance erased a swan concluding bridge
the sky with her neck possibly brightening
the machinery as a leafarches through its yellow
syllables so Nebraskas throat
On Mt.Snowdon
where the committed elegies are di

cult like space
transpiring grotesquely to unite the self
with emblems somatic and conscious as elves
Who have leaped too high for domesticity
yet wings do not dominate that sparseness
graphic and elliptical as toes we use
for sonority claimed as grace
in regard to depth width a despised
alternative such as death
nds here no echothe upper leaves
Stay green indigenous to the quartz
as a night station calms with its enduring
light a minute in immensity a fork
102/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Scarcely reaches the plate this realm
this astral occupant is heady as mission
boring as vision with its rock stairs
and mechanical escape emulating elf
Hideboundness ofthe winter road
it grieves displaced from sea and that
rocky bottom climbing aggravated and solemn
with a scattering ofshell and rain
For memory the lattice ofits troubles
not even virtuous as house but opportuning
weather ending in the artice oftoad
Rosy Ensconcements
The Spanish bed overlooked by the Chinese courtesan
has a dimension as subtle as the island,
which is not so wild as it would like to be,
although the building that overlooks the estuary
is tall with the homely aspect ofan escarpment
overlooking the channel that bathes the island
with a genial parental arm splashing the waves,
although no pines grow or palms,the land
is content with its placement overlooking the buildings,
by the sky which can be seen in toutes saisons
by the Spanish bed and the Chinese courtesan
especially when the telephone rings and the person
who overlooks the bed wakes up and repeats,
that must be the temple gongor it is vespers in Alemeida.
Once or twice the bureau has been inched
so that it can overlook the rug,although lately
the rug has been removed to another niche,
because like any good salad a bedroom requires
several greens and the amorous couple has tired
ofbeing overlooked by a Chinese courtesan while lying
on a Spanish bed and reasonably enough given
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/103
the slice ofisland in the water,the couple asked
that a window be cut in the door and now with a
certain delicacy,that applied by the knife to a cake,
the icing can be slipped to the couple
in the bed which is Spanish and anemones admired
that have never been published before,overlooked
by the Chinese until eighteen years ago when the courtesan
was painted and added to the collection ofthe Spanish bed.
Although generally more subdued the island
who overlook the impoverishment from the conservatoire
ofthe Spanish room with its air enriched by plants.
They transcending purely artistic considerations
crouch seductively under the gauze ofnature
clairvoyant and courageous as Spain or Chinese sand.
Even Ovid
The vivid report ofyour gracious diehardedness
has wounded me,expecting the palm leaf
Special azure was once our way
and we beneath umbrellas nodded,
so tenderly we born on the cusp and knowing
it when suns struck and the moons
at your ngertips were yellow as that cloud
over the rooftop which today is a pompier
and the burning trees will assemble themselves.
I too am minute as ashes with the ne
grain ofmy feeling running crisscross into dark
where I sight you enviously at the blurred roots
and the ospreys play there,they have second sight
like sponges,loving both canal and river,
commuting as you on water,fearful ofthis group
ofbuildings,even going underground.
You like it because your eyes see further,
even as a rock quarry is graceful
with your initials at the sorrowful poems end.
104/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The Interruptions
It is a landscape inhabited by Baudelaire
his
les,
his
fantmes,
his
sang
the faithful birds with their quick orgasm
the agility ofthe wave that attacks and plunders
bruised bones,pallor and sleeplessness,
the fresh sand the treading skies and Spring
a murderess in her photographers gown
Rather it was the way I felt that morning,having
dreamed ofa person who drew my blood there
in the shadow ofthe pier a frantic projection
having been permitted to exclude all care
and taste from its beams
there like a shingled and iron albatross
it lay with faint breathing on the sand
that was on its way to becoming prepared
to be a much larger station;that is the truth
ofwhat lay before us and what we lay on
making telephone calls with air running
over the legs and into the palms which held
the voices with their visions ofdays this version
partitioned by explanations ofwhy
line attached to the vertical certain persons
becoming famous and even happy after this discovery
then dying over night
This tells you why my impartial sadness
needs you and desires you in this part ofthe Covenant
because you are a native especially through your shoulders
where all the wild chasms and snow boundaries
have been captivated and subdued
changed from missionaries into ravens
the fanciful hippity hopping being
your way ofbreaking into me through the pantrys door
on your path to the bible and the snug windows
the storm a little over to the left where the wince
is clouding in on you and on your eyes
ofa natural brown like a barn or a spout
eventual size after the gusts and the rain
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/105
Your fear ofnatureno laughing matter
like mine and Poes
ifyou notice Baudelaire stayed close to the city
although Paris and her environs give us notice offew
lapses in taste where planning is concerned
those acres being conned to plots
and sacred wildernesses where
one can escape to the country at a minutes
notice and read Childe Harold surrounded
by verbena under oaks in a familiar arrondissement
yet that might make you nervous
remind you ofhome and its haunts
An apprehension,not stepping in puddles,
and gluing your eyes to the spot beyond the horizon
a xed stare ofmultiples and hues yet desperate
all the same like a bird in its covert
or an acorn on a bush or the quatrain soughing
after the toast and the kiss lifting what was lust
to the instants light before its retreat
into dusk where the evil papers glow
Moscow Mansions

Give me your pencil
Stanley
While it is necessary
we speak
ofPushkin.
And theoutside Gods
brought in by
Joyce
Ohrru those Russian growls
Joyce has turned up the
re
106/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
And we are speaking of
(no question ofit)
As ifthere were soft owers
That burned quickly
One left for the Louvre
not cellophane
Stanley is speaking
ofDostoevski
He says there are

volumes
for $

.

And Joyce says,Baggies are
great for wrapping up art.
And Stanley says,I am intimidated
like Gorky.
Moscow Mansions

Rightly are you dispossessed virulent blue
who have given so little kasha to the pot
Simmering this winter under the cool ofriver
its rainbow was costly as seaplane its idiom spoke
while the steamboat churned alas as walks in the morning
are disappearing and the attic sounds ofMisha who shed
at dawn
We shall move at Christmas when the elder
families return
Already the hospital has a curious sad break
where the window is yet gallant for those wings
that were our interns kindly lifting and reecting
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/107
Certainly a

ectionate with alleyways
discerning as pigeon the tiles with their oil surface
ofrenewal and continuity we always considered
mare nostrum never forbidding as dark pine
or a wrist in a cast
Now you shout for other roomers mansion
I shall not describe where the
boats left your prospect
sailing with ribbons dispatched to stair and tune
Indeed there was a happy whiteness to mix with
the blue and quarter notes we breathed on the ashes
then there were urges there were tubes for the music
and mistakes
It is not delightful to leave my ruins
with a head wrapped in a turban or a kerchief
to carry these pencils or a wrinkle where the sighs
drift away on stone when brick was such a tomb
Knight ofthe Swan
He left the trees when he left the lake
because he was careless with catacombs and fear
He mounted the swan and rode away
Knight ofthe Swan
Those feathers you press with a heavy intent and
thoughtfulness gathering speed while the reins slip
loosely the muscular bird neckon past
The Girl Asleep in the Windowthen later
The Farmstead Beneath Treeshe smiles the bird
quivers yet sober as bridges in autumn
there is a haze on these miles and the swan needs
water whose body is heated with mountains
They walk intatteryrain
A few quick oathslong space
More lengtheninga gentian
108/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
They yhe has made
(an escape)the swan is furious
The Knight feeds it some smiles
They lumber on
shadowy evening
Makes her escape
and a garment falls over the swan
an umbrella poem ofpale irons and acrobat tones
until morning brought the rainbow in di

erent styles rather
than weather;yet they were relieved and hastened on
more enemies now than beast and knight so it seemed
under his feathery pants and the swans heavy down
were landmarks that were similar despite the knights
ew very high what caused his sensation was hyperion
or a bolt from the sun and it was azure which caused
him to sink onto the swans down it was that bordered
by snow and ower when a quick look would make you dizzy
and below a tidal swamp was dark and lurking strange
faces were lit by re the heights on which he perched
made them unordinary there were instant foamings out of
the dew where this knight sought a castle he trembled so
he fought with his damp forehead he clutched the swan
for he with his new agony asked the swan if
the swan responded
ights are macaroons it almost said being weblike
often lacking a breeze they have an order like my neck
I would like to make love to you said the knight
in the forest (nearby) nearby was a lake from whence
they had originatedit was indeed nearbythe knight
began to relax and to breathe tosuspirehe cast
aside those odious thoughts ofhis originhe began
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/109
(with dreamy asides) to like wingsthere was obviously
here in the lightness which repeats itselfas darkness
he often returns a wandererhe stoops for the token
the token
wizenedas an orange tooth
becomes an irritant when the wind
harshens and grass is seamier than old rags
in the knot ofthe hurricanea vase ofempty
rags the healthier shore calls refusethus
sends them spinning like nutmegs from the shoots
that bore them
we see signals
as tokens they burden our clothes when light
ofwidening rooms
we see where asphodels
we hunt archways where turtles are strewn
like wreaths ofsofas and rugs (the da

odils)
and draperies (like hands)tokens
the statuary and rabbitsthe tinsthe gasps
going to the theatredescending
he was seized with a t oftokens they caught him
pitilesslyjoylesslynoblessely an eyeful
the parent company made the toys (a token)
the sibling company sold them
going to your desk in the meadow
nding a token in the drawer...
the drawer
It seems I cant ever win,he said shaking out the drawer
Until she appearsthen she did appear she did fanning
his wrists like an old timer she had croupier spirit
in every breath she drew like a swimmer who draws the ocean
or a worm who draws the earth or I who draw
your heaviness as you draw the drawer as
daylight draws to its close all have endings
like berries drawn in snow
like brownness that once was berries
drawn in snow
110/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
a snow tale
ofa foot having a high instep
that was frozen in a storm when somebody
took o

its snowshoe
the shoe was only an idea.
Counting

lunches and

teas weve done rather well.
We
havent lost any snows over it.
the gingerale
was a lesson in how to do nothing ifever he watched one.
The shadowy spot at the top where the shoe used to be
the tokenthe drawerthe gingerale
could be put in a chimney
and out would pour a shadowy spot or so one thinks
yet a purr glistens
on the rock
where a tall man sits pu

ng and he lengthens
his shadow by drinking in sips as one would tease
gingerale by spitting or by reading
the spirit goes out ofit and presently there is only
a tall glass a bird sings in the tree near it
it
stirs up a little rain
on top ofIT
(it) must
go inside ofIT
returning the token was more like a landing commenced in a moonsoon
the feathery tides nearly drowned it where the lakes waves
the waves ofthe lake swelled like mulberries in a damp tin box
whose very grin was icy like particular thoughts ofnding
and loss and the di

culties ofproperty on sand
in the autumn
rinsing the token and ridding it ofdispiritedness a cold
foam bath and icy smiles the lips permitted and the knight
was refreshed then also the mountains had reviving airs
nesting in the hollows from peak to golden peak and there were
lairs for robbers which altered the loneliness
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/111
for always he wished for his swan even its shadow even
a shadow on stones that once were heavy and warm
and the swans story
he cherished along with the memory ofhis ride that as a basin
is lled then emptied yet its curve remains and its depth
there on the fringes ofclouds and the embrace in the chasm
with snow and down erasing any doubt the act was modern
as mountain climbing or looking for gentians
any ruin has its surplusor wrinkle there on the mask
fed with dishes ofrain
the knight was no exception he even wore his hair like a legend
whistling a lot from a need for quaintness he plied himself
ofcourse it was the same
even the military and the religious wherever there was a crowd
especially at the inn the enjoyment was the same either
more or less creating a contemporary scene against the morass
also the skis were the same with their question ofadvance
or slumber the echoes were like that multiplying the same
avenues
they were the same as trails
with the heavy youths attacking the scrub the same
as sidewalks in summer like pointed rs the escape
was the same as the cellar door a language ofweather
and straw
much faded while he slept.
The night animals advancedthe tender snow
rooess and perspicacious the way apples mix with cinders
the animals tore at his coat they reminded him ofthe chance
he took and what it meant in terms ofcourage
and the tendency to keep his eyes closed in daylight
he wished the oyster snow would go away
employing a di

erent voice he woke himselfup
112/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
the creatures ed through the trees but the brass struck
harder in a persistent rhythm both alarming
and lulling
a cantus rmus
I mustthe most of
I mustto the
I must polish my armoris what it added up to
the rest is urry or a forecast ofthe terms
were regular owls returning to their pasture spooky too
unlike a crowded barn the slope with its slight condensing
oftimber and snow reected an austere historythe story
ofa family that had passed its days dutifully
up at him and he seized a handful so a tremor ofSpring
passed through him not knowing which way it was meant to go
with the tilt ofowers
with the oral tilt
with the wilt ofsnow
like a building surfaced in stucco
or a white machine crossing a bridge
or air with a cloud woven in that space where
a motor threads it a short black lace thickening
the atmosphere the way a weaver does
so a chivalric mood occupied the knight
like a hand.
Occupied by a chivalric mood
the Knight refuses to disturb the hand
it was the hand
opened books and doors for him
that fed and soothed when the long train
crossed his brow stirring the cars above his fears
the hand
forbidding encounters even excursions
as winter light interpolates sun
what was shiny or angled
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/113
cleared/straightened in a tiny slaughter
the objects rocking back and forth
unharmed yet like a torrent cut o

from
mountain water and somewhat shallow as birds
skimming low were eshy and bright not so poignant
as the swan in white intentness trial ofwings
the hand
was a substitute
an arch leading into the proscenium
yet
the aspect was bare
it shivered in short grass
where
possibly ruins or ornaments lay
breathless.
The Knight preferred the way his swan
had kicked up its wings
this limp air and that calm hand
made a classic life
the way one progresses through green
on a minimal plain
without exasperations & doubts
only gratitude seeped over the thin stream
and his smile placed by the hand
one or two muscles quivered
reminiscence ofhis ight
he wished these books
were thornier
the doors
noisy
when he learned their names
Its raining
said the Knight
114/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Carmen
Delicate manufacturess,
its just that point
in ones career before
On a respectable evening one takes
the ship ofdelight
having washed all stains
from the ngers
Having prayed to her
Tested ones slenderness
on two ngers
Adios to the solitudes
to the surgeons who have hung
their scalpels from your balcony
To the men ofculture
who would have you choose
Your adagio is applauded
by factory workers
to serve is your dedication.
The Ramblas leads to the sea
it is a leaf
rushing to its grinder
it is the smoke
ofthe friends ofCarmen
It is an envelope that withholds
its message until the ship
is far out at sea
The script is one ofconfusion
to all useful tips
as to how to make ones way
to succeed in a profession
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/115
Because ofthe bitter
mixture oftobaccos.
Who would guess
watching her mantilla
that soon it will fall
on purple snow
Only the invisible courtyards
permitted to sing,
Whose tears,ifnot mine,
will turn to rage?
Museum
I am not distressed by your volunteer work Citadel
nor am I disturbed by the volume ofyour mourning gloves
insomnia makes us equal as does Euterpe who has a gracious
wrist in the quick dissolving cloud ofyour areaways
My antimony my mitre glued to our secular causes are the
and di

erent from moment to moment sound ofthe walls
falling altarwise vagrants in their coats ofpaint away
from us also where the obelisk burns there in the park
a synonym for whatever is exact and green within us
Cheering us on is perhaps your avocation Citadel the one
for which you volunteered even while you scorch those
ivory tokens you distribute our embers evenly
plans among the laces and daisies later there is a clearing
I wouldnt leave my track on your oor
but your ripe blossom has breathed inside my calm
so Citadel I will not leave you to isotopes
nor will I become a warrior although you have armed
and I will sup above the plumey underground you have hired
like the heroes we are and the chirp we schemed.
116/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Byrons Signatories

His air ofthe underworld
His air ofthe underworld...the underleaf
ofhis lisp.


Lately he said youve a shocking
amount ofpremature histories,
your stockings have runs.It is
the Alaska pipeline all over all
over.In the polar morning that
should be dusk does it matter
about gloves?


Supposedly more religious
with an acoustical sound,
like eesthat are closer
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/117
The way that it murmured.And
you were here all the while.Sleeplessly
valves continuing with you
in the distances


shabby sequences as sorrows repeating
or the soft voice ofher who found rest
in the rich cracker not wanting to breathe
with your buttons and marbles
as the day turned with lateness and monuments
consumed all that
now its not a dream


I admire you
in your Byron green suiting clipping away
at a language.And I liked also the fragments;
the bit ofsail,the heel ofthe island,
ofthread especially that hint about your

118/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST

Clarice recounted her summer near Lucca
swings and whispers food
at the fountains and the baths
surrounded by marble (Carrara) near
turnstiles yet it was only a week
I mean the vacation meant longer
but politics put them all to bed
on a train the chesty part was reaching
the Alps in a Roveralas!


called Landscape with Two Buildings
Surrounded by Water,such a derivative
title I considered tearing it up it was
really so literal,yet the drawing was
spooky in the German fashion one
kept peering up at windows conjuring
rigid sleeves and hearts plunged
or purged was the intent ofthe arrows


Having a rough moment and indigestion
the rug clung to you George Gordon
A little went a long way
(like bricks on a Turkish oven)
still ...the tent didnt hold in the foam.
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/119


stu

ng the window with paper shortening her walks because of
the cold...she welcomed his visits.At rst they were daily,then
hourly,now only minutes would elapse before she heard his rap at
the door.His arrival was usually preceded by a twinge on her left
could.There were various passages he liked to indulge in and she
would follow him there rubbing against the wall,avoiding as best
she could the damp,but liking the shreds ofscenery he invited her
into and the hesitations in his vocabulary that were like shrubbery
brown at the squat root and silvery green on the charged outsides.
And so she was isolated no longer and rather thought ofhim as her
drawbridge similar to the one in the picture by Hirschvogel...


Up at the Mansion
Davy sat on the bed lighting a cheroot.
Peter talked ofAgnes in the arcade.
A thing or two liftedthere.
People whistling in corridors
ri

s from Ecuador.
You could see the mold
from which the jelly was pressed.

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THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST

But the world changed
leaving us on its lid
patches,mostly,elsewhere
a fugue and then the scratch on the arm
More snow oating from Moscow
there on the road;the bandana
chortling at a few prisoners.
after Mir
A dollop is dolloping
her a scoop is pursuing
ee vain ignotsHo
coriander darksthimble blues
red okays adorn her
buzz green circles in ight
or submergence?Giddy
mishaps ofblackness make
stinging clouds what!
a fraught climate
what natural c/o abnormal
loquaciousnessthe
her asterisk
genial!as space
Losing People
for Ira Morris
The days when you try to recover
your wits are lost days
yet simple as sandwich
ofthree layers the crunch
thats easy
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/121
Loss
pureloss
you attend its reconstruction
where you are three persons also
a sandwich
Loss
not hearing a voice
again as threnody
Loss
you begin to rhyme it with walls
or shoeshine
Loss
ofyour presence with a gait
and hues
the surface ofpersons
in restaurants eating sandwiches
they know there is a car parked outside
O images viscous and daring with the squeeze
ofa fork inside your thighs that are delighted
with atmosphere and real weather
missions
over the backward curves rather like water
that moves this day
under the bridge:
you decided
the stone
no longer supports the bridge
well.Ira died.
The Poem Lying Down
Unlike the swiftly lying down and becoming a supine object
nor the thick air circling snow
quite as an adjunct to your proper person lying down
as Venice rests or Guadaljuarto that place of
122/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
cathedrals or pictures your restful quarter where temples
auxiliaries like moths your breathing goes with
a passageexplained as Czanne permits the
branch ofa forest to melt there a tree later
translatedtoughness
that permit
Sassafras
for H.B.
Today a eld ofpumpkins
yes.
Also the sea imagining granaries
the slight narrow sh tangled in its weed.
Imaginary objects
and what isnt
theres Sleughfoot on the rug
attacking his quarry
as ifit were alabaster and not a door
a cat!
Which isnt as imaginative
as your kicking in the glass door of
Metropolitan Telephone and Co.
Or rain fancying windows.
You said,
Ellington travels so much in his music
everyone bumps into him.
Considering the wind
on the plains out middle west;
the strict mountains whose claim
(in our time) never varies.Can
we say they have imagination? We know
they are far out;the plain was an introduction.
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/123
There is conjecture.
Fog on the mallows.Bloom ofmallow
in the fog.Now you cannot see it,
was
it
invention
Or sassafras
a tonic,
whose bark
a digestive
to be taken
when wild red harshnesses
range the system
causative
ofsillabubs;they make
for disorder
they lend themselves
to the imagination
like Nereids
You are absolutely crazy
racing past their scream
Circassians
I become excited when I am with Circassians
I am almost in despair.
That cousin with his moustaches
they seem to know what to do
with sadness and ecstasy
almost like the Irish
and who am I with my mixed feelings?
I put down my pen
and I have found a pencil
not any pencil
but this one fabricated in Germany
I bought it in France.
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THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Caroline has asked me to lunch.
We eat a steak
cucumbers
radishes
we drink vodka.Polish vodka.
I look at photographs.
They are her grandparents in front oftheir tent.
Grandfather
is dressed in his tunic and pants.
His belt carries a knife.
His blouse and his blossoming pantaloon
is the way I should describe them.
His wife is shy and she too billows.
We are in a village
at the top ofthe mountain
look at that drop!
Those are her grandparents.
Caroline too is photographed.
look how it shows
her face ofthe Caucasus
even the sloped eyelids
the tense skin near the eyes!
How remarkable she is!
Caroline is many versts
from Yahni Polyana
Carolines apartment is
in New York City
We are neighbors and we admire each other.
Have some vodka.
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/125
Another July
Earth on my foot.
Bhims.Bhams.Hooplas.
Gorgeous morning cakes
Air without stripes.
Under the eyes a new fragrance ofshine;
Blossoms and tints at someones doorstep
(Schuyler eating salami in his kitchen
thinking ofthe empty ghost ofClare,
extending his hand with a little mayonnaise
toward it)
Thus.
Some weeding.Out.
Ouch.
Earth falls on my foot
Warm as death.Or
In memory ofit.
Drawing a Blank
There are blank moments
and I feel sorry for them.
the clouds fall apart what was lithesome
horrendous ame blue cannot put out.
What was needed there was water
and that too happened;it rained on
those blank moments and there was
its warmth (we remembered as useful)
a mess ofsighs.
Yet blank moments can be kind
tunes with woofand warp running around
the mother who had her uses in her once
upon a time.
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THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Drawing a blank
permits one to sleep for a minute or so
nodding away and waking to nd
on the island a shell with a sound.
Stupid Physical Pain
Rumer Godden
I think
a mouse in Australia
leaf
curves
in radiant painless clear
quoted clouds like bannisters
now
the sides ofleaves
have railings
I slide down them easier
fresh as a poem
in the morning when nothing is
uppermost in your mind
dew against the page
the scratch the sea makes
not simple dots and dashes
eastern trade syllables
orange juice squeezers
on the sand abandonns
cluck cluck
sailing to
Robert Louis Stevenson Samoa
a distinctive invalid
sequestered there
all that grass matting
lighting your pipe at dawn
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/127
the leaves
hatching stories on the verandah
Mynah birds
I wouldnt mind
I wouldnt object to
with this black a streak ofcyclamen
Roses
painting has no air...
gertrude stein
That there should never be air
in a picture surprises me.
It would seem to be only a picture
ofa certain kind,a portrait in paper
or glued,somewhere a stickiness
as opposed to a stick-to-it-ness
ofanother genre.It might be
quite new to do without
that air,or to nd oxygen
on the landscape line
like a boat which is an object
or a shoe which never oats
and is stationary.
Still there
are certain illnesses that require
air,lots ofit.And there are nervous
people who cannot manufacture
enough air and must seek
for it when they dont have plants,
in pictures.There is the mysterious
traveling that one does outside
the cube and this takes place
in air.
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THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
It is why one develops
an attitude toward roses picked
in the morning air,even roses
without sun shining on them.
The roses ofJuan Gris from which
we learn the selessness ofroses
the lid being down,so to speak,
a
 
fragrance sifting
to the left corner where we read
La Merveilleand escape.
Lights ofMy Eyes
Lights ofmy eyes
my only
theyre turning it o

while were asleep on this shore
and the thick da

odils
are crying
Lights ofmy eyes
dont be afraid ofme
what we saw
rivers and roads
ruins
the cast ofthe sculpture in winter
they will return your voice
and Ill go on singing adieu
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/129
Passage
for John Coltrane
Words
after all
are syllables
just
and you put them
in their place
notes
sounds
a painter using his stroke
so the spot
where the article
an umbrella
a knife
we could nd
in its most intricate
hiding
slashed as it was with color
called being
or even it
Expressions
For the moment
just
when the syllables
out oftheir webs oat
We were
just
beginning to hear
like a crane hoisted into
the ne thin air
that had a little ache (or soft crackle)
golden sta

ed edge of
quick Mercury
the scale runner
Envoi
Cest
juste
your umbrella colorings
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THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
dense as telephone
voice
humming down the line
polyphonic
Red plumaged birds
not so natural
complicated wings
French!

cult passages
on your throats
there
just
there
caterpillar edging
to moth
Midnight
in the chrome attic
Hohenzollern
Asphodel isnt in the
Gardening by the Sea
but
Perdita is:
For you theres rosemary and rue;these keep
seeming and savor all the winter long:
The moon is there
shininthrough the trees
Arrogance;savagery;lonelinessthe moon
halfsharpeneda day later
like asphodel rst introduced
the same time or a day later than
The Winters Tale
da

odil moon
seeming
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/131
Hohenzollern bloomed at me
today on Wickapogue Road
the princely banner high masted
over the dunes
on the homestead sign
Hohenzollern
formerly a tenant farmer cabin
outside the Henry Ford compound
Hohenzollern
What glee! What ghoulish joyousness!
The Stragglers
Ifyou lift your arms
against the white door
not to fall
Or ifautumn or climate
or the pencil with its skill
almost germanic
a contest where the white will
that shrinks
in weather...under the moon
they assemble
the portative number
the bridge with its gures
the blossoming twelve
treading ice
and walking home.on rugs.
132/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
How di

cult it isto recall you
are not Polychrome Limestone
Building
received from the administrators
this day ofcoil and honeycomb
I must trace your steps
here on the keyboard
I must assign you to space
Proofofyour history
will be this route
I am hitting
this siren note
I strike
on a ribbon your archaeology
The rst cry ofawe
that tear mixed with cement and glass
Your brow
lifted above the numerals
As now I quote
Auguries ofsteep romance
highland blend ofbracken and rock
The rituals have been observed
VanishVanish
Building
Except here on my calendar
a last iridescent bite
On the Verge ofthe Path
What inspires me?
Picasso!
Hes there on the right in the photo
Where are we?
In Mougins,Cannes
tributary states and rivers.Yes!
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/133
thinking about Picasso.
or a cactus or my life were being consumed
by villas called Jacqueline.
It was a summer evening
in the
 
s when I attended a performance
in their habitats in Montparnasse
by Picasso
The dog was played by Frank and John
I had not yet made their acquaintance
but I lived on a nearby rue
Picasso!
Yourselves consider me in prole
when I am awakened from a dream ofpottery
rattling like candlesticks in the factory
ofApollinaire and Eluard a century
looking up at me from the shelves ofOHara and Ashbery
those odd tables where we mixed our cement
Gravel
Gravel sounds like snow when a car
rides over it crunching like snow,
yet it has a stick in it meant for leaping
ifthere were any leaps here in winter.
Gravel
is grim although.A rasp.A burr,
not even a cough like veined jasper
or careless cornmeal or the dandy
surface ofporphyry,or an ivory forehead
with lace curls;somewhat like
Portuguese.
Certainly not a stone oor
or the obscure taste ofmoss.
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THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Gravel is a habit that keeps repeating itself
and I dislike the gravelly attitudes of
myselflike natives in winter or early
summer before the orange light has begun
to dim me and others;then our arms will not
ail so entirely like gravel
When we fall theres no skin o

our knees,
roads serene in moonlight will pass shrub
and doorstep with a little hoot
at what was hurtful before.
He wrote
he was waiting for that orangeness
stronger than rains grey egoism;
theres no refuge under the rectory umbrella
theyre sending emissaries from the gravel
landladies
whats Art Brut
but gravel?
Gravel bursts the pane of
my ear,he added.A lover throws gravel
under the window with its wound ofgravel
She also will be subject to its aim
Theres no comfort
in gravel.
Bicycling
That child
Doesnt want to go home to supper
Thinks:
Id rather see a pantalooned goblin
The sea is at a vertical
The hedge is horizontical
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/135
Hanging over the hedge in a vertical elongiacal
position
is the goblin
Sea runs by hastily
road crunches along
Everything has a mathematical proportionate
in space
Exact and relativinal
physical
except
The trapezodiacal pepsicotial
spheeriod
of
Merry Times
Shifting the Iris
Collapsing so this is not what I expected
the vision had more altitude and escapes,
a broader seam,certainly more current laced
this sash ofdoor or mantel or knob or lintel
not a bottle cap,a volume rather than envelope or paste,
it was scissors and meat,not hive but swarm.
The ladder slipping away from the roof
to where one landed in a disguising sort ofway
on ones side,a pause in the days
precariousness tting ill,but regularly
into the wild snow.
Peanuts.A throb ofpeanuts.
The next time
crab meatacross your eyes
136/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Ifyou keep falling o

that ladder
there wont
And what with the buckshot
youll
this wintry afternoon ofwalnuts
Shift the iris!
I cantenormous
Green Revolutions
Being drunk upstairs and listening
to voices downstairs.The roll ofthe sea
sounding calm
after the voices
and the machinery
thrown in for measure
Distant greens
they appear on walls when one is tired
the dark background greens then the light ones
bringing us closer.As landscape appears
then relinquishing,going away,telling us
but indicating as ifan ear ofcorn might be over there
choice and ripe,but neglected.
The cars go away.The voices
go away.For lunch.At noon.
Its harsh with old Donne in his steeple.
Im upstairs looking at a picture
like a Bostonian in Florence,looking at a picture.
Now its green.Now it isnt.
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/137
Poem
Disturbing to have a person
So negative beside you
I dreamed last night
The Mississippi Belle rolled over
We were all drowned.
Filled with trout.
Aint nothinlike river trout.
Evening
See why it is this way
and after that what goes and
when and each
I will call you properly toward
so it slows
neither requires which
and I am softly going either way
the leaves are bowing toward that
their path is not always
sincerely and softly spoken as
an axiom its north
toward your south victorious
as calm gloves
the white apron dawn bowing
in the kitchen areaah wholesomeness
beside the coal bin
we never said it was so
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THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The Old Silk Road
When beauty thats arrangeda choir a desk
mocks and beckons
the task,even autumn;not very strong
their arm lift
when the self-dividing verb
pushes
The Old Silk Road
puts down a foot;
we like to hear that noise ofgrapefruit
being young and shy
Tang
Tang seeds
Tang
Now
Its Autumn
Its Fall.A red cloth with
Yellow leaves is chosen.And the
Sophisticated color ofmauve
Burnt orange for the couch.To a

ect
A change.Where the ripe dawn
Hurries a red is.
Dieu soit en cette maison
That buildings going up before a poem is nished;it
wont be autumn anymore.A denition is all that
shall exist.The thing planned like a girders iron
presently we shall not be permitted to see.Autumn!
youre rushing o

in that freighter you are
ecclesiastical and safe trying on the hat with fur captured
in winter and its rhythm strikes back at you like snow.
MOSCOW MANSIONS
/139
Let me plead for your brownness to remain,your shoulder
ofleaves and your poignant tongue that writes so many
songs about yourselfand your melancholy character
singing these songs shu

ing the dead vines.
Dieu soit en cette maison
In autumn to sing ofoneselflike Guillaume
with his riddle riding South where
those buildings were adding in advance ofthe cold years
but his song came rst!
before works ofart break o

an if
in the middle region where
whereness commences a reign
We have a right
to Autumn.Like stairs
furniture,a bathroom
on the rst oor,a household
toughness that defends us
going into autumn
fewer shadows
Dieu soit en cette maison
(Autumns departure)
Ecce Ecce
air! an airplane climbs into it
blinks,shakes,natural now the ice air and immediate
but were accustomed to changemaking warending it
going to sleep with a shawlwaking up in snow
The weather at your eyelidsay its Spring
I mean Summerowing is air borrowed ofcourse
when I breathefrom you hot air!Yet
critically despite our behaviour it is winter
Quickthe strangeness catches up
Dieu soit en cette maison
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THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The Countess from Minneapolis

water wheels river turns river asides over and under falls
splice rapid brown slow turn st thrust signal ahead
winter autumn water barge season thrice water bank
bridge system barge deep search over falls rush edge
search nearly there river bottoms watersurge bridgespread


Believe you Madam yon building ofice was built
for thy pleasure?
I do.
Yure right.



Floors
The glass stops midway skyways.
We look up.
The Indians look up.
My hoods up.
Their hoods down.
THE COUNTESS FROM MINNEAPOLIS
/143
The glass rattles past their black eyes.
Crystal Court.King Flours crystal court.
Blue eyes.Black eyes.
Gracefully King Flour oats down
on his quilt ofwhite.
This quilt distributes free sifted our over our
shoulders and when he lands near us he sticks
out his foot.I kiss it.
(The Indians spit on his toes.)


Thinking ofYou Prokoef
steam in atmosphere
it was cold;so the steam did not move
it became lonely as a eld ofda

odils
on the earth we kept looking up
on the horizon there was admiration
those waltzes.
And the ivory ofour lids felt vaporous
as ifcrevices were gained in the shell
where our eyes kept their hoods
Thinking ofyou Prokoef
that tricky snow outside makes a steam indoors
and the china tea we brew keeps us quick
as Prokoef
whose doors slam.
Steam never lessens its latitude
in the sky
like Prokoef
while many cars creep over the bridge sweating
nally equipped
with their Mahler treads.

144/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST

River Road Studio
Separations begin with placement
that black organizes the ochre
both earth colors,
as the grey day loops along leaving
Absolutes simmer as primary colors
and everyone gropes toward black
where it is believed the strength lingers.
the rain so prominent earlier
now hesitates and retreats,
We nd bicycles natural
under this sky composed ofnotes,
Then ribbons,they make noises
rushing up and down the depots
at the blur exchanging
its web for a highway.
Quartets the quartets
are really bricks and we are
careful to replace them
until they are truly quartets.


Portrait ofMary Rood
After we left the building
We avoided the wire fencing
Being dressed in suede,
THE COUNTESS FROM MINNEAPOLIS
/145
Like Spring more pliable than fur,
As a jar ofoil allows the vinegar
In new dressings ofgarlic and things.
Now in the garden with a black dog
Who shouts,the snows gone!we
Celebrate weather and proles and
The reliability oftelephones that bring
As I said,beans,or as I say each
Time the door closes,Mary.
The Mary ofRs and Crosses
Named for gestures with rains.


Eating Lake Superior Cisco Smoked Fish
water.The water ows over the rock leaving rich traces,unlike Alpine water
that is so pure and sprightly like Fauntleroy Alpine deer,never touching rock or
low the tough arm ofwater that likes to mingle with the crowd and pick up its
bitters in a dirty old smokey st.Like Dickens.


Musings on the Mississippi
Although Paris has only one river,the Seine,this river behaves perfectly reason-
ably within the city limits,or arrondissements,approaching the isles with a
courtliness and depositing its burdens with a verve one used to associate with
the beret.A manner thus is maintained by the Seine which we dene as raison
146/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
true through a pigeonhole.Lets say neither New Yorkers or Parisians are in-
clined to river worship.Certainly they are appreciative ofthe uses commer-
ject.Nothing at all here Oriental or I
ndian in that respect,or Hungarian either.
When I come to the subject ofMinneapolis and its posture on the Mississippi,
a confusion like a drought descends upon me.Minneapolis persistently nagged
by the unreasonable river that both gladdens and disturbs her heart.I may be-
nesota winter is to sit in a hut by the log re and looking past the tears ofcon-
fusion and loneliness falling down my pinched and overheated cheeks study,
chew,harry a map ofMinneapolis.Thus one might survive until spring.
The following winter I would exact from my tree chopping,whiskey thawing,
sullen recounting ofwoes active and mystical,the labor ofstudying the Missis-
sippi River.Her windings,divagations,idiosyncracies,bridges,dredgings,falls,
destructions which yearly drive a mortal to the furthest limits ofthat angst
called despair triumphed over by a northern people only through the spiritual
suicide ofits artists.


Legends
Little Withergield was talking to his pal,Freotheric,as they walked in the
woods near the Minnehaha Falls.
Nope.They scare me.
Its the way their backs curve and sort ofturn up into their skulls,said
Withergield.
Last night.
Where?
Here.
How do you know?
THE COUNTESS FROM MINNEAPOLIS
/147
I seen him a lot.Hes real strong.Strong enough to hold Minnehaha in
his arms.
That aint Minnehaha.
Who is it then,smarty?
Just then a boulder went crashing over the Falls and plunging like a
feathery plume it tickled the sandy bottom ofthe river,tickled so hard that up
sprang Hiawatha with Minnehaha in his arms,two tawny brooms sprung from


I adjudge with rugged counseling I might cross that footbridge without jump-
ing over the rail.
could appeal only to the truly
desperate,the men with garters where stars were elsewhere strewn,or someone
who got mixed up in his laces,or a shoe with a will ofits own.Otherwise it was
trudge trudge protected from the winter blast,but nudged along by cold,all the
same.One remembered reies on the riverbanks and mosquitoes,the snow
falling onto vanished wings,despairs equivalents ofwinter crossings.
Old Chinese men with shoulders bent under their thin kimonos passing over
bamboo bridges.Mountain paths going ever upward into fog swirls.


Despising the heavy food that was going to give them all gout,as Arnholt al-
ways reminded Pedersen when they sat down at the long wooden tables in the
en Sude).There was such an anachronism lurking in the snakelike room that
148/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Pedersen frequently mistook the potatoes in his soup for boulders and
searched beneath them for the hidden reptiles.
things across the oor.Picassos heavy easel,murmured Arnholt.With Las
Meninas on it,shouted Pedersen.


Prairie Houses
Unreasonable lenses refract the
sensitive rabbit holes,mole dwellings and snake
climes where twist burrow and sneeze
a native species
into houses
corresponding to hemispheric requests
ofatness
euphemistically,sentimentally
termed prairie.
On the earth exerting a wilful pressure
only permanent.
Selective engineering architectural submissiveness
and rendering ofnecessity in regard to height,
eschewment ofclimate exposure,elemental
understandings,
constructive adjustments to vale and storm
historical reconstruction ofearly earthworks
and admiration
for later even oriental modelling
THE COUNTESS FROM MINNEAPOLIS
/149
for a glimpse ofbaronial burdening
we see it in the rafters and the staircase heaviness
a surprise yet acting as ballast surely
the heavens strike hard on prairies.
Regard its hard-mouthed houses with their
robust nipples the gossamer hair.


The problem proposed to the lemon tree.When
will your green fruit turn yellow? When shall I
understand Minneapolis?
Ifnot grain by grain,at least loafby loaf.
Ifnot the river ow,at least its turn and tributary.
Still there are permissions to approach through that immigrant air.


bun.Nest-ce-pas?Signor Reboneri who was paying a visit to Minneapolis
(well recompensed) insisted on this point in his lecture.
He had been somewhat inuenced locally by a visit to the




,a bar fre-
quented by Viking heroes,and his correspondences to the mythology ofso-
called cruderpeoples,or bluntly sauvages,was somewhat tempered by his
excursions to the saloon.In fact,when dealing with the late Romans he was
hard put to call one oftheir conquerors a barbarian.The myth ofthe blond
150/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
the food as junky as that served in a mead hall.
Those slides with pillars and capitals soon to fall,accommodating his
lectures,trod under by these self-same mythic hosts,required apologies.Never
had he lamented more the Roman Empires Fall.Never in his own bed had he
envied more those thighs so decadent,delicious and declining as now when
confronting these tribes! These god-like men! These Vikings! These hairy arms,
blond,not swarthy.And these limbs any Caesar should welcome,ifonly the
brutal club were hid.As now it was.
Signor Reboneri lent his curvaceous smile to the peanut strewn oor and
ordered another brew.


At the Guthrie Theater
The lengthy slow cooking ofthe Childrens Opera Lentilscaused some con-
sternation among the paying members who constituted at least a tenth ofthe
Theaters subsidy.The rest,naturally,came from a State grant which to every-
must give due respect to the administrative abilities ofits director,a native son,
who unlike transplants was not prone to the cultural shock su

ered by admin-
istrators shifted from New York or Washington or an Ivy League campus to
these local art enclaves from whence they viewed the unmistakable disaster
areas ofMinneapolis.
Au contraire,
as the Countess would humbly say,Helm Wulngs and his assis-
tants:HnaefHocings,Wald Woings,Wod Thurings,Seaferth Seggs,Swede
Ogentheow,Shafthere Ymbers,Shaefa Longbeards,Hun Hetwards,Holen
Wrosns,Ringweald Raider,are true Deors,heroes
vraiment.
Their enthusi-
asm,she would add,is catching.She used some other word than that,pos-
sibly,
Ils prennent la couverture,
but she meant their swordsmanship served
usall.

THE COUNTESS FROM MINNEAPOLIS
/151

Amaryllis,favorite daughter,
I miss those long ago hours we shared,our mutual whisperings and eld and
nd its xity in the space dividing us,or rather,may enrich the space that sep-
arates us.
Like cats moans,draughts soughing under
wooden doors.Whistles on the river.
The plunge ofa oe when the wild
garbage ew past,
yellow hair frost pinned...
embers with their brilliant grins...
The sickening passages from Longfellow
stinking up the night,carapaces,
nerve castles strewn with aches and crunches
where the roofbone began to sag and thin.
I am writing this to you Father to give a true description ofwhat the
winter has been like:
not without pleasures altogether,
disguised toes,heavy boots on the oor,
the erotics ofroot cellars...


Persians in Minneapolis
They are lithe,slim,dark.They
travel up and down the elevators all
geniis emerging from their bottles.
No one knows why they are in Minneapolis.
152/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The spring leaves which are thin and small
like Persians are closer to them
than anything else in this vast
These Persians have a continuity which they
have left somewhere else and
this makes for surprise and
puzzlement.Not only for the
Persians,but for us who stand so
tall and thick beside them in
the elevator admiring Persian


The sunroom in the house on the river bank with the heavy rolltop desk,the
desk evoking Ford Madox Ford.He wrote:We used before

to have the
simple old view...
Que toutes les joies et tous honneurs
viennent darmes et damour.
But upon these lines one could scarcely now conduct a life...
The desk in the Minnesota twilight that edged in through each window a light
the color ofthe lemony moustache ofFord Madox Ford.From here a simple
old view.
In the galaxy ofapprehensions present tonight restraining oneselffrom adding
to what should remain simple...leaving Madox with its single d.

THE COUNTESS FROM MINNEAPOLIS
/153

Widsith
Scoping along the Mississippi.I a Scop.Coasting the Myth-West,musing the
margins,earth yearned river wracked,grieving and groping,I a Scop making
my weird.I saw many fellows,lithesome liquor hoarders,drawers ofthe dream,
also riven by the river,daughter ofthe Rood.All have heard ofthe musicians
ravishing,the museum-walkers mirth morsels,the lake Scops inland,inward
impressing the bairns words,his ribbon ofrunes.Gusts from the Guthries
stage spoken ear oaths,alas ofan afternoon the wind sprung word tokens,host
hoardings,sharers ofsheaths,the frames ofnished ne arts like jovial jousts
surmounting the silence where prairie plumes cuddle and clash.


John Graham
sion ofLarisnov on Summit Avenue for a sudden glass oftea.The two men
strolled in the garden that overlooked the city ofSt.Paul commenting on the
air ofchance hanging,as always,over a capitol.
It was in that garden the laws ofMinimalism as opposed to Baroque were
formed and the great Futuristic statements came about,climaxing in less is
century that in their generous furry way were su

ocating the capitol.
Dabrosky) and jumped into his carriage to continue on to his rendezvous with
the Countess.

154/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST

the rain,murmured the Countess to herselfas she picked her way slowly down
Hennepin Avenue.I feel frightfully sad somehow and truly lost.I wish I had a
glass ofsherry right now,only that would never do.I mean I couldnt drink it
here on the corner.Look at that gutter.So muddy.The winds from the South-
east which should mean...I never know what it means.The prairies confuse
me so.Perhaps Liv will have a hot bath ready when I nally reach home.That
and the new frock from New York with the twin reveres.I wonder how reveres
shall look on top ofmutton sleeves.Theres venison for supper.And the St.
Louis Dispatch with luck should have arrived.The Countess hesitated for a
moment as the sidewalk drifted into dirt and her grey eyes lled with dust.


Seated at the mirror rolling up her hair,feeling the thin papers curling around
her ngers,the air in contrast thick from the low glaucous clouds,the color of
our,her ngers twisting the papers into shapes like grain bins cylindri-
cal...exactly the shape...remembering those one passed driving out over the
things.Such as a lime laden or elm heavy driveway poised within a privacy,a
renement,a collection oftested images with their fragrances not here in the
grain struck air,the summits ofour rising like pillows over the landscape.
And her imagination hastened to where all was still,aged,and quartered.
The curl papers were shredded,droppe
wished,yet so disturbed by its removal here to Minneapolis,broken in spots
and mended that the surface reected a su

ering which she shared and thus its
beauty still in shine (like hers) did little to comfort her.She tore into the curl
papers as she would attack a silo,knowing she had rendered them useless as the
silo wrestled from its usefulness would in turn relinquish the fortune that yet
sustained her.

THE COUNTESS FROM MINNEAPOLIS
/155

She waited.Within her limited mathematics she comprehended space.
She understood the Dutch room in the paintings.The face behind the mirror.
The walker in the dark.The captive tree.Not di

cult.It was only within the
picture she could breathe.A simple woman sat there wearing a cap,holding a
pot.Another woman peered from a hall.You could sense how close the house
was next door.The Countess worshipped that connement,the enclosure of
the scoured space.The eye never wandered far.The little mirror to tell you who
From where she sat there was the lake and she looked out on it.The fur-
ther shore was now ripening.After that the ats.After that the river.
Her skin was growing rough.The wind placed a skull upon her face.
Her face where it fell sideways had begun to toughen.It might grow to accom-
modate this life.


What you need is a sophisticated cat.
pen in hand and answered:
Contact nearest available feline breeding kennel was it kennel
mustnt run wild,think itselfa dog and have problems so di

cult and di

er-
ent...especially those aristocrats.Preferable non-pedigree,she wrote.

156/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST

The further exoticism ofreading a British novel while visiting Duluth.
The Countess usually tucked one into her dressing casewhen preparing for a
visit to one ofTheodorics relations.The excitement ofthe Lake precipitated an
unconscious association with former bo
ating parties when she had been
younger and,alas,inhabited a narrower world.
Rather like reading ofthe River Niger while dining alone in New
York,sympathized her cousin,Glanville.


When the scandal about Eorth broke out the Countess vanished into
her bedroom giving orders that no one should be admitted,especially
Theodoric who would take it upon himselfto bring her all the newspapers
with the interviews,etc.One could hear,as ifemerging from a shelfunder old
newspapers,the music,Songs From The Auvergne,which the countess per-
versely kept listening to.
Ofcourse,she repeated as she paced the room,Eorth could not be
guilty ofany higgledypiggledy.He was always totally honest and with everyone
with whom he had associated.
Tax fraud! How absurd.
No one with his talents,a real artist,could ever be absolutely above
board.Seduction,yes,and domination.But as for cheating! And money! He
hid his money under those gilded coaches and in the rooms ofthose spidery
summerhouses.Also in caves,she suspected,where the water might tease it a
bit.He was capable ofdepositing sums with the captain who took the boat
back and forth to Eorths island.
Eorth.She remembered his rst chess game.His rst circus.His tears
when age began to beckon those close to him.His rst marriage and the scenes
from his last one.
THE COUNTESS FROM MINNEAPOLIS
/157
His was the only icy hand with any warmth concealed in it.It was he
who had called her my light in winter.Who had led her in a northern country
to the rst wild strawberry.
She hid under the quilt refusing to hear his impassioned,Ill immi-
grate! Ill immigrate!savaging the room.
Dont Eorth,she cried,abandon me to these nerveless plains.This for-
like that other well-known exile,lm the politics ofloss.


Realitys tramline intruded.
Kttbullar med grddsky!shouted Liv from the rst landing.
The Countess arose.Dabbed her temples with Cologne

and seizing
a small ripe cherry cane on which to rest the remnants ofher grief,descended.
The soothing aroma ofcream,meat,and onion overpowered her remorse.
Ifonly Eorth were here to share the cranberry jelly and pickled cu-
cumber.


Everything Ive told you is true,said Lars.
But I want to see our son.When the Countess said sonone almost heard a
faint Baltic accent.Possibly.Language intensies.
158/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
I would never cheat you in the photographs.My lens are accurate.I only use
the fog swirls when necessary.Lately Im ashamed ofthose early pictures of
him I sent you.They were too romantic.I even shot them in rooms with red
walls.Ive learned much.I can call his face and he responds.See how real,how
much truth there is in this photograph ofour son?
I gave you his clarity.
A photograph can only indicate.Ifthis stillness broke,the picture would blur.
I would love that blur.
I cannot go against my craft.
Then I can only guess how his head turns when it escapes his shoulder?
Yes.My camera gives you that permission.


Driving away from the logging camp,despite the severity,the opinions,the for-
arranged his camera,admiring,as always,his adroitness,the rapidity with
which his preparations took place as just before the shutter fell his lens shel-
tered her face.

THE COUNTESS FROM MINNEAPOLIS
/159

sunken face pressed against the g
lass,peering past the angular whisper ofthe


It is here those lives with their di

cult parts,their sidelines ofdisaster.My lot,
even ifI cannot reach them,yet I sympathize.My isolation is cushioned.From
the prairie,the wind teasing the dogs.Someday within my ngers this skein
will untangle.Then the region becomes a fairy tale with steeples and castles.
Now there are sod huts.My broken slipper leaves few splinters on this path.
Perhaps the moccasins...


There was a poem with
A Moon in it travelling across the bridge in one
Ofthose fragile trains carrying very small loads
Like moons that one could never locate anywhere else.
The Mississippi was bright under the bridge like a
Sun,because the poem called itselfthe Sun also;
Two boxcars on the bridge crossing the river.

160/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST

Countess:
Correspondences Peking-Tokyo their
comparisons and di

erences in her character
or the Shanghai-Peking axis
consult oriental arbiter


And still she said,
one desires to live.I wish there
were wishes and not lists.
by heart and artichokes would heal,
I wish this rhythm
ofmy approaching the butcher
were more than a knuckle
attaching itselfto me
perhaps a crocus,a
root oflimited possibilities,
yet promising a livelihood.

THE COUNTESS FROM MINNEAPOLIS
/161

Crocus Hill
I had dreamed the night before I awakened that morning I would be on Crocus
Hill.First we lost our way then entered the Freeway then left that for Summit
Hill.Whereupon the towers ofSt.Paul stared up at us.It was interesting archi-
tecturally;geographically speaking
,where was Crocus Hill? I was thinking

es,limes,Crocus
Hill the nest grocery store in St.Paul.Finally after crossing,recrossing,sub-
merging,indigent technical encounters ofbumps discovered.On the long
polished counter expressive items breathed expressively and even husks luxuri-
ated,cross pollinations from Eastern sources experimenting in historical ner-
ies.From the counter the telephone rang.
Madam! Immediately!
Choice! Prime! Tender! Aged! Fresh!
Madam!
The Countess was ordering.


Heliogobalus,Heliograph,Heliology,Helium,Heliotrope,Haiti...
The Countess scanned the map for Caribbean Kingdoms.Borrowing a piece of
burlap she had been intrigued by its aroma ofpalms and her day began to be
replaced by exotic blossoms and sea airs.That Chantey her uncle had taught
her began to echo and she tried a limited sailors hornpipe on the rug
Theodoric had purchased in Constantinople.
She supposed after swabbing down the deck one might dance a hornpipe.If
one were a Scottish sailor becalmed on the morning Sargasso Sea.
Idly,because she was often idle,she traced with her nail the mountain path up
from the port,sheltering under one ofthose tropical trees as the rain blew up
and birds ed past,their brilliancy lighting her face.Her skins sallow inward-
ness turned outwards as unexpectedly the sun struck.
162/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
A toning like a tuning began to strum her nerves.Like an excellent massage this
journey she was making.A purr sounded throughout the motor system.Sun
piercingly yellow.Her face changed color and once more a tiny parade crossed
her temples.


Activities
shing,Japanese food,meat,square dancing,collage,Rimbaud,New York
Painting,Showboats,Baskin-Robbins ice cream,La Strada,Basement Studios,
renting a house,visiting lecturers,tourist ights to Scandinavia,Crystal Court
lunches,Daytons cotton undies,leather shops,Indian crafts,jazz,blizzards,
Artichoke Hall,brawls,aftermaths,fore
casts,illegal turns,incontinent high-
ways,building,building,building,razing,razing,razing,Milwaukee com-
plexes,abandonment,lost frontiers,height,girth,pride,prejudice,toughness,
agoraphobia,agoraphilia,alewifehood
,navigations,symphonies,tornadoes,
sauna construction...
nostalgia for the days when one searched for furniture those pre-Saarinen days.
For some the pre-Aalto decade.


The hints ofruggedness,such as the
windows slipshod,the twist where
the sash should have fallen true.Dark
objects falling.They were permitted to fall
because their characters at rst were not
dark,merely fringes,one guessed.Later
THE COUNTESS FROM MINNEAPOLIS
/163
when the axes appeared like meanings,we
understood but it was too late.I have
explained this to you before,Countess,and
there were those wrenches at the end,whenever
Ingmar came to the conclusion ofhis story.
Only a warning,he said,rising from where
he was sitting.I cherish you.
She nodded,as was her custom.I only bring
warnings like lesions,so you may know the true
nature ofthis weather.He kissed her.
And that,also,was his custom.


June
dust dust dust dust dust dust
only small rain small rain small
thin thin rain starved rain rin


She waited on the terrace for him to arrive,a small nut in its shell on the ter-
race.The little wife in a tale sitting in her rocker in her shell house.She read
stories and told them back again to herself,rehearsing,memorizing what she
was doing while she waited.The sun ripened,fell.The water receptive reected
the illusions the sky was trying out;those illusions itted away.The sky became
exhausted with its innumerable positions,its plans.And she,she curled up in
her shell and went to sleep,because somewhere else in the Village he had made
other arrangements.

164/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST

Originally the Walker Art Museum was formed from the nucleus ofthe Walker
Chinese Collection.Even now there is a minor space relegated to the once sa-
cred and exotic collection.There are disturbing moments when one comes
upon cities carved in jade,oarsmen,mountaineers,ocks ofbird and cattle,
tribes far from the palatial coastal cities.There is activity and there is repose
and especially magical the jade mountain where:
In the beginning ofthe late spring,a gathering was held at Lan Ting for the
purpose ofrepairing the graves.All the celebrities came.At this place there were
steep mountains and magnicent mountain ranges,heavy frosts and graceful
bamboo plants.There was also a clear rapid running brook.One cup ofwine and
one poem were enough to bring out the hidden emotions.
ching dynasty
 
a.d.
(The Emperor Chien Lung)
From here it is only necessary to mount the staircase thus transcending one
has bestowed his
Amaryllis.


Amaryllis
all its fragrant captivity asserting the immigrant rites ofsculpture.
ness,Amaryllis with its antique name,its distant origins,held a regal stance.
reliquary there would remain no communion.Amaryllis would never yield its
superior stance.Its moods,glances,were those ofan observer less restless as
time passed,yet one who possessed the claim to restrict its grace.
THE COUNTESS FROM MINNEAPOLIS
/165
lender,an attitude the Museums curator recognized would never change.He
questioned the e

ifthe city were aware ofthe undisturbed and selsh enchantment Amaryllis
cast.A piece ofart that through a collectors whim had come to dwell in Min-
neapolis.
166/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The Trler Losses
Trler patterns
distinct as
Palmyra ruins

Nighthawk
PeentPeent
the shriek tenses when that shadow passes
and midnight all a glimmer
The crossed panes keep the shadow
peent is heard
in scrapsagainstdawn
listen
wind scraps
grass ashiver
eldtreeprole
Peent
take oath upont
Nighthawk gothic

THE TRLER LOSSES
/169
The sun dropped its leaflike a sun diary
turning a page to shadow where the body lay
in the shrubbery.The body moved,but with a stilly
motion the way a wave curls over a birthday
where nothing remains except the foam streamers,
like giggles after deep laughter,like death closing in.
It should be falling,no tears.It isnt.Mournful?
Yes,the sands ribbon overturning the shell.The mollusc
later dryness lent to a shelf.
The body no longer moved.That body is a bird
without rhythm or tied to decanters.
making informal wind notations,then love.
Wristwatches surround themselves with danger.
Signs.Worn clasps.Their time ies,stops.
Expensive signals ashed in moonlight.Semi serious
stones wearing themselves out on wrists reaching
for decanters.
I like innocuous rhythms,dont you?
Less isnt so important.
When nothing lies there wearing a ring,
even the Trler loses time.
Waters blue day in the pool
the lake beyond its rim,even that temple
quoting distance an hypothesis,
tricked by fog,three columns reduced to two.
Waters depth and splash
thought margins.
Today the children lived in syllables pushing rafts
pushing themselves,the clime ofheads on them the sun
balconies,a summer stroll to odalisques.Later
a strewn room,the actors gone,disappeared
the pottery owers.Mchant.
170/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
I miss the sparrow heads.Heads dip into the pool
as that smaller mark oftime the arrow on the Trler face.
Tone values important when pointing out the
landscape.
Ill take you back to the station.Later
therell be time.
Butteries are silly,planes ofillumination
Substantial contents alert in tombs.Presences.
As loss is absence.
skipping along the Roman road eating
a tomato...
Encountering the marble exactitude ofthings.
The precise pared from the round,the nubile.
Dawn after nightfall fog...heavy semblance
sheltering like that chair.Waiting for balance.
Moving into elsewhere music moves us
to boulders.
These columns.Shadows secure in thunder.
As boats move thick against water,forests
contained by sky.
These are contents.
Loss gropes toward its vase.Etching the way.
Driving horses around the Etruscan rim.
After the second Trler loss
a lessening perhaps offastidiousness
the Timex phase
and who says the wind blows to hurricane
escaped virtue...or that indeed
Timex is ripeness
the scent ofpotato eld

THE TRLER LOSSES
/171
ofsparrow;when locked in rhyme the door
sways and whines like a thief,
the thiefoftimewas the original fellow
leaves brushing past and weed tumbled.
The wintry awful noises ofsleep with empty
harkening,lids crossing cheeks like pines
tickles the eve,an awakening from warmth,
like an ice counts the chimes.
Out ofthis the Trler face
throat against darkness,we say a nose
examines with dignity,gives thrust
the painter uses the nose like a trowel.
See there Ren Char!
Di

ers from the Goya nose Don Carlos
with a ligree ofdisaster.

The apparatus on knees,yes supplicating
behind the crystal,the olive light dims
as the ambulance beam brightens and the highway
sombre while time passes
like death on certain stars moments on the stairs
or twilight when sand darkens
the wave shaped like time at its lamppost
all shades drawn,the intact crystal
Pauses examined like sand those areas
we examine while waiting.
Times fool.
172/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Vases! Throats! Lactations!
The milk oftime in the reservoir moon
Stones with cloud current as sylphs
in nightclothes swim,moon on thicket
stems climb vases,wastrels.

(I wondered ifhe had taken my poems away with him.
I could nd no smell ofit,the poem.I understood
the need to explore.Departure imminent.Landings made
every day.Fragile marks made rmer as the eyes adjust
to horizons.Perhaps even now the poems lay in his valise,
unpacked.Perhaps they were unwritten.The poems were
huddled somewhere.They might be picked over by now.
Tossed from bed to bed or hand to hand.Greasy,losing
the glossy surface.I still refused to believe they
would disappear like the Trler watches.He could not
from its black strap like a watch struggling,embittered,
neglected,slipped o

the broken stem ofa watchband.
revered immaculate surface on which words pleaded me to
place a photograph ofmy poem about a photograph or
leniently,ifI wished,to send a poem pasted to a white
wall.I thought ofthe white poem
I had written whose face
might even now be speckled with dust,and the white pen
used to which I attached the poems name,The White Pen.
Surely among the belongings in the kit where the shoe polish
was kept there might be my White Penwith cream in its
nostrils.)
More and more memory began to circumambulate the
Trler losses.It began with the arrival in Zurich.
Strained hotel morning.Enjoyment ofbalcony,
clouds.Descend to garden.Decision to take
trolley to grave ofJoyce.Return by trolley.
Downhill trip by taxi to Zurich.Lengthy promenade
ofStrasse.Decision to make rst Trler timepiece
purchase.
THE TRLER LOSSES
/173
(Will enact same motions for purchase ofsecond watch,
to gallery.Lack money to pay taxi.Search for bank
ofZurich.)
Passage to hotel made di

Nervenklinik.
A year later visit Strasse and buy second Trler
timepiece with further trip to railway station where
someone takes a train to a mountain.There is the
added vertigo enhanced by the Swiss currency exchange.
Little did I expect the following year to lose the
second watch at Lexington Avenue and Eighty-sixth
in Manhattan.
Nor did I foresee I would read the Zurich Journal by...
Hatching away in her nuttery,she came to a sign saying
FLING.Actually she was too troubled by heights to
throw herselfover,but she did observe that tokens were
necessary,so she took o

her old watch and FLUNG.
Immediately upon descending from the tower she ran into
di

culties in the person ofMarkie who asked her what
was missing from her wrist.
That evening when Junie brought in the shepherds pie
there was more contretemps all agreeing that anyone
without a watch was unreliable,but that to lose a
watch was even more UNRELIABLE.
It was she who su

ered the most.Alone on her ledge
there was no familiar tick-tock to comfort her.When
morning nally announced itselfin the shape ofover-
head spinning and clumping she resolved to go into
Zurich even ifit meant encountering slipshod vowels all
the way.
The rst part ofthe journey was free ofhazard.Just
taking his arm out ofits sling,pointed in the direction
ofhis own watch and told her to bear slightly to the right.
174/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
pinched her ears.A small bird fell from its roost.
She could scarcely believe that these were the perils
ofa city to whom exiles turned in despair and disgust.
Faithfully she pursued the curates instruction and
in less time than it takes to read ENGLISCH SPOKEN
she had entered a shop where the second Trler watch
was purchased.
At home she recorded this event in her DIARY,JOURNAL,
nestling in the shrubbery outside her workroom.

Your loss softened by that golden
museum.By tales when sudden air pours
through the still castle.Birds sing di

cult
songs no other birds can sing.The spindle
whirls and gossamer appears.Faces stare
in dark corners as from trundle beds we
converse in rhyme.Wishes newly pasted.

Though nothing can bring back the hour*
What was the other look you brought?
Houses with gardens,laughter like
the necessary wreath?
THE TRLER LOSSES
/175
*Wordsworth.
Wearing your Timex you gathered the October harvest.
Every inch dowsed by rain
pumpkins rotting and corn,
no tassel there,no sheaves
coves windswept.That summery wristband
blue and yellow faded like folded skin
voices overheard pacing acres
in the archery mud.
Weve all got to take our lumps.
You made the autumn ginger cookies
Sniggered like mules,kind ofa dumb show.
Let that embrace last on the rim ofthe inkstand.
Wearing a white collar and the weight ofit
holds you down like glaze,like Zurich.
You are creating two watches.
You enter the laboratory.Look out for the watch
called Never Loses.
(Later they embrace as winter slides over the sill.
outdoors we would wear snowcaps on our skulls.)
Dont interrupt.

Seemingly realistic codes have pointed to other
levels ofimages beyond their limits,ice
permitting time to decorate a block.

176/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Likely rivers graduating into lakes the desolate curve
my image against your shoulder,the homespun
logic ofour twosomeness,a fabric time
will displace the threads,a shrivel here,
there a stain,the rotting commences like lanes
oftra

c hurtling into air as the sun comes down.
Subterfuge
When the tribal months
come trooping over the clocks
Ill have mine plain
or Ill wear the brown.
darts into the shallows

Tensions as the clock strikes
muttering envelopes,envelopes
clouds surround their faces.
Seeking the chute or drifting
these rafts hourless in the breathing
admire the quarter hour
brave sofas surround
Breathing test while we waltz
a curious toe pointed toward hours
Eyes with negative irises shutting
as the minutes y
birds crossing the deep chambers
THE TRLER LOSSES
/177
Shoes at the replace or homogeneity
decided while the drops
elaborated before our envious vision
A child entered the room
wearing a clock costume
A child ofpigmy size
unmodied by times blisters
And times throat burrs and times screens
across which times numerals
Flash ruptures

Look now forwards and let the backwards be*

Frost villages on the slope
thats the bell peal
icy mountain time!
Scampering to the inn carrying our pumpkins
best not to be late in this region
rites are observed
habits called old as time itself
women go coi

ed.


Arriving at sea level he hands her a Valentine
named Coast,
the sky is white and grey like February
178/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
*Ouspensky.
the waves whiter while reecting the sky
in patches ofthickness that beat
on the coast with timely strikes
preparing sand exits.
She holds this landscape
the wet snow falls over it.


There were movements
in the garden with leaves and bicycles
Torpors su

ered under cellophane
ripening and grasping


A bride and groom wait
beneath a canvas,cellophane
separates them from elements,
the groom steals a look at his watch
he would like to ride o

into the far bicycle spring.

THE TRLER LOSSES
/179

Autre temps,autre moeurs
Yes Id like to reorganize
the way it was in the October scheme.
A wrist for every watch
releasing doves
In the blown haze
a search for crystal
Broken glass
180/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Biography
One
The people inside
how to transgure
the way night transfers its stars
where are we
caught in the ruts
where are they
defusedwithering?
The di

cult stabbings
introspection arraigned
a warning
waves from the honied vaults.
beyond the old feathers
into the courtyard
postillions lay wait
Ready for racing the years
there were:transfers,excursions,
analyses clocked by their tears,
Irregular vines covering
the cottages
concealing the entrance ways
mice sliver the curtains and wings
beat.
BIOGRAPHY
/183
Two
Did you locate the forms in the vests,
the particular brides visit to the magistrate,
the divorces,were they hidden under twine?
Delving into the lime,unscrewing
taking out the corks at last discovering
the white shawl;not so much climate with
the exception ofrain;a few good days
for bathing,the usual fog,however later
a wonderful isolation surrounded by plants
with doctors securing the ice lanes.
(When we foundered in the labyrinth ofword
The day it snowed on the statues and the light
whispered ofcoming to grips with the problem,ofa thaw
when the sun lit the mounds,the sky grew blue as its
burden fell in drops and over my shoulder a new atmosphere
ofcomprehension,ofdesire,ofyearning...
Three
An itch
the width ofan elbow
an urge
really to know
when the ea entered the garment
anemonies
where were they picked?
Icy shadows
the fabric ripped
An excellent efor evening
when the spicy shrieks sent out alarms,
then a word like Egypt.
184/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Four
The reason for caterwauling
on the stair was simple
it went up and I went on
ofcourse the chamber was empty.
But the view
made up for the journeying
although I dont enjoy real lakes,
like Galuppi with his music
a kind ofdead stick,
it frightens me
here on the fringe
just beginning to discover the swans.
A need to escape so we breathed separately,the air spun
into a pact,as wistfully the gures disappeared into
Geneva as the chairs reassembled themselves,hers
and mine.
Five
Yet another day
among the boxes
what was the year ofthe prune
whose telephone rang in the at?
Dizziness shared
a hint ofdisgrace amid the pines,
The card said,William Blake,
yet the notes were from another clime.
Birthdates absconding
I read the stars.
This one ofmid-morning
weaving its plume from the sky,
BIOGRAPHY
/185
Again the Angel descends.
Tomorrows begin to wither
the ashes form their ring
and voices whisper,
Theres sobbing too
behind the arras
And nuttiness hits me
a sting like rivers
their ash.
Then you see from the window
the physical features
the bangs,the brow,the frown
ofcities,trading symbols
The archer,the Virgin,the Twins.
Mutinies ofcelebrations
like birds in aviaries
or spies at the diaries,
I read all that.
Six
To make it look so simple.Finding the bee in a cup,stone on sand,owers
ushed.Rhythms established with chants;shards decorated into vases where
not even after you called,throwing out your plums,the uniform was attacked.
It vanished with the lover and musical tree.Well there are the songs under the
gorse.
Still with the fresh heat
ofthe childs body standing there
in the sun without need ofarrows
or marble,the smell from
a childs warm body.
186/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Seven
This town Ive bored into
while kidnapping the rooms
and being crude about it,
yet admiring the orange linoleum
the black chair.
I was proud ofthe snow
the way it struck at the statues,
Later the da

odil
found in the bronze buttonhole.
Seasons honoring the dead
and I among them honoring,
Avoiding their eyes
their thumbs,
Eight
Biography a dubious route
curates disease
the o

hand way they plunge
into the locker room
subsidies for living,
ravens wings shadowing the wall.
Deadly moon-struck
weed-stuck
gardens
the too calm sea.
BIOGRAPHY
/187
Nine
A single seeming blinded object
a sentencea voice
the throat
then the rushing.Sound rushing dramatic
away from its disability
theres a note selective.
Passage without a pen
through the hurricane
whorlshellShade
Fictions dressed like water.
188/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Quilts
Couch ofspace
through the tucking,knowing what its like outside,
drafts and preying beasts,midnight plunderers
testing your camp site and the aery demons,too,
waiting to plunge their icy ngers into your craw
and you crawl under,pull the quilt on top
making progress to the interior,souls cell.
Following the channel through shallows
where footsteps tremble on quicksand squiggly
penmanship ofold ladies,worms with cottony
spears,the light pillared the way trees crowd
with swallows and then a murmur in the ear
as deeper ows the water.The moon comes out
in old man dress thoughtfully casts an oar.
You oat now tideless,secure in the rhythm
ofstu

ng and tying,edging and interlining,
bordered and hemmed;no longer unacquainted
you inhabit the house with its smooth tasks
sorted in scrap bags like kitchen nooks
the smelly cookery ofcave where apples
ripen and vats ow domestic yet with schemes
Not exactly a hovel,not exactly a hearth;
I think a taxis like a little home,said
Marianne Moore,
this quilts virago.
QUILTS
/191
.
Initially glimpsing
an ivory Pharoah gure
First Dynasty

quilted for warmth
papyrus for words
stitchery sophisticated after A.D.
tribesmanship
later religious jaws went boning
after Renaissance windows,the straw
harshness strikes hangings rebut
then
up went those quilts soft with their clout
Id like a little cloud here to nestle over the straw
Id appreciate less strawmore feathers
opposite types straw and feathers
like the moon nestling on thorns
words you see through windows
threstled words tousled La Lai del Desire

.
Egotistical minutiae ofSTITCH
Gambeson
Habeton
MEDIEVAL
Pourpoint
Habergon
Worn simultaneously for protection
quilted medieval circuits
192/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
useless against re
but charming and tender
as the wispy ngers
that stitched them
I like your hearth re
it warms my ngers on
your useless currents

.
ON THE BRINK
(WORN) ATTIRE MIGHT BE USED WITH MERIT,GRACE
WITH THE HOUSEHOLD ACCOMODATING
THUS USHERED IN
A NEW ERA FORPETTICOATS
cold in their imsyput them on the wall!
WALL QUILTS
Sicily invented the rst BED QUILTS!
From then on
it was into our beds
IndiaChinaBritish Isles
Calico ancestors
snuggling under quilts
lozened over with silver twiste
QUILTS
/193
Calico ancestors
Calico Appalachians
Sniggled like Barney Google
Like Louisey
Mutts Sneeze
take

across

under

over

down
multiply
once use blue
twice red
third time white like autumn squash

.
Tomorrow is another day
A porch is a place for sitting
do this in cauliower colors,not too elaborate
My hearts in the Highlands
The darkest hour precedes the dawn
use fathers overalls
Will Othe Wisp
use your own gears
(None ofthat Paisley
spooking with gaudy thread)

194/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
.
Old time seas ofquilts
coverings
in the gull dawn
like picking up a sardine
on the beachI see those tickling threads
minnows on muslin

.
QUILT NIGHTS
September equinox...people walking home
from the Pisan prisons...a luxurious shadow
quenching the star I wished on...looney in me
loneliness,James Joyce.Goldenrod is bad for
hay fever.Is that all? Take the single
hollyhock.Kilt mosquitoes.Green,abhorrent
slippery city,D.H.Lawrence.Socialist
creatures inhabiting moth skins.Insectophobia.
Pulling up to Realitys little northern curb.
Where reading illustrated by deposits one.
So sleepy.

QUILTS
/195
.
Fishermans glove led in a corneld.Seen on
the way to Aunt Dinahs quilting bee:
Aunt Dinah
Phebes visitorRebekah
from Chattanooga Falls
PhebeNellie
LizaSarah
Emily Jane
Quilting the Log Cabin Pattern:

And there was moonlight on the road and Nellie gave
me her arm when I was seeing her home
he used to sing it at home after supper when we
were full ofhome cooking and I was reading Longfellow
in the near darks gristle,before he left the farm
want Nellie.She had a dark embrace was what Ma said
after she had travelled twice to see them.But Ma
admitted the girl was mighty fair at stitching:
THE AUTOGRAPH CRAZY QUILT

.
Only consider,said my author,contemporary painters
who bear a resemblance to quilts:
196/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Rauschenberg
Johns
Rivers
Reality could be their tassel
and Reality is there,thats what I think about a quilt
its Reality,and it satised Rauschenberg.
Mushrooms on the village green
some white,some black,
some high,some short,
they gave a dimension to a pattern
weaving in and out in streams
thats Reality.
Once you start looking at real
mushrooms
you see art everywhere
THE MUSHROOM QUILT FROM WATER MILL

.
THE TOOTH QUILT
Say farewell o tooth like the Isle
ofLump no longer will you be connected
to the mainland.
Remember the Gandy Bridge going to St.Petersburg;
I remember canals and other indecent crossings over
links discourse with roots.
So shall you be severed.No stamp will be saved
in your name.No equipages gallop up to the post,
as in Guernsey when Hugo was in exile and Julie
lay under a quilt.
QUILTS
/197
It will be silent as a residence for those
recovering from the Indian sun,or others in seek
ofdoctors.Remembering,as one says in the twilight,
the banyan quilt with its twisted ropes,recalled
the throat like the senior building,all
was struck,the Occident,the East,a brightness
nervous when the tongue left its theatre,
there where the rst quilted words crept out:
like dying the denite loss.

.
REVERED QUILTS
Yesterday Andreas came here and I showed him my quilt
ofLord Byron in Albanian costume.
Ah! His was an unnecessary loss,said Andreas.
I dont think so,not nearly so much as the untimely
decease ofShelley.There was a real loss.And just
think ofall the unnished quilts I mean poems
he left.I consider them ideal losses.I couldnt
He then surprised me by mentioning the grave ofGramsci
great loss,he whispered.
I then nearly shouted,Only to the Quilt Party!
And you didnt even mention the grave ofKeats in
to romantic quilts.
Well we would have lost him anyway,considering
what century he was attempting to live in,said
Andreas.Kindly he added,I too consider Keats cut
o

in his prime,dropped like silk into calico scraps,
one ofthe losses ofall time.

198/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
.
SUNFLOWER QUILTS
Sunower quilts so golden
and so commonplace,
this makes their egos violent.
They are Scythian
and would nod you
gleefully o

to troubles.
A row ofsunowers
covers me.
Blackbirds dont disturb them,
they have black eyes,
large like the birds who
rustle against their shields.
At dawn I like
their raggedy yellow ears
in my mouth
Like waking in
a eld
after a dark sleep,
not calm but bright.

.
FISH QUILTS
The sh arrives
with his eskimo quilt
Staircases
narrated by ns

QUILTS
/199
.
OTHER QUILTS
Commenced in February
nished in August.
200/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Musicality
The wave ofbuilding murmur
a brown mousea tree mouse.
two trees leaning forward
the thick new-made emptiness
Naturalism.
Hanging appleshalfnotes
in the rhythmicceilingred agged
rag clefs
notational margins
the unnished
cloudburst
a barrel cloud fallen from the cyclone truck
they hid under a table the cloud
with menacing disc
MUSICALITY
/203
Leafs ripple in the dry cyclonic
levelled crusts
for four handsofchambered
breeze & clouddesign
her imposing composition ofcloud weight
the roofs
a sonatina
edges in like sand grains under the orchard trees
pitching marbled stripes
ofdusk like casino awnings near a vast pool
or contrasting mountain elevation
light retires in gradations
ick and utter
a favorite view
Giesekings troll marks
dew the piano reminds us
204/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
the wayside is littered altering
tryinto fog cast
the suite ofremembering
in forest guise the theme
shy ofNiebelung thunder requests the artist
who is shy driving her motor
watching big mountain thunder fall on shy trees
the composition is shy
the example ofcyclonic creativity equally devastates.
two strangers who join hands in a movie
without sound
one leaps on the others lap
a cloud
or Purcell muslin intimidating in
anxious-less moments when thoughts provoke
drained hands
lightning held to a border oftrees
patient exercise ofdrawing a visible number
chromatically the structure unfolds
a formal delicacy
when she hitches up her notebook and sits under
the Steinway the blue trees vanish.
the Willies
MUSICALITY
/205
cobbled breeze
a pearl snatched from its shell
in that moment
as the sky slowly
Musicalities
orchards in most oftheir
depth the stubbed mountain
a chain ofminiature birds
you understand the euphemisms ofnature
how the gure appears in still life
and you understand the creation oforchards
Evanescence
the bather in the pool
206/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Fair Realism
Wild Gardens Overlooked by Night Lights
Wild gardens overlooked by night lights.Parking
lot trucks overlooked by night lights.Buildings
with their escapes overlooked by lights
They urge me to seek here on the heights
amid the electrical lighting that selfwho exists,
who witnesses light and fears its expunging
I take from my wall the landscape with its water
ofblue color,its gentle expression ofrose,
rises,the sun sinks and color ees into the delicate
skies it inherited,
I place there a scene from The Tale ofthe Genji.
An episode where Genji recognizes his son.
Each turns his face away from so much emotion,
so that the picture is one ofproles oating
elsewhere from their permanence,
a line ofgreen displaces these relatives,
black also intervenes at correct distances,
the shapes ofthe hair are black.
Black describes the feeling,
is recognized as remorse,sadness,
black is a headdress while lines slant swiftly,
the space is slanted vertically with its graduating
need for movement,
FAIR REALISM
/209
Thus the grip ofrealism has found
a picture chosen to cover the space
occupied by another picture
establishing a exibility so we are not immobile
like a car that spends its night
outside a window,but mobile like a spirit.
I oat over this dwelling,and when I choose
in this building,because I inhabit it
and upon me has been bestowed the decision ofchanging
an abstract picture oflight into a ghost-like story
ofa prince whose principality I now share,
into whose condence I have wandered.
Screens were selected to prevent this intrusion
ofexacting light and add a chiaroscuro,
so that Genji may turn his face from his son,
from recognition which here is painful,
and he allows himselfto be positioned on a screen,
this prince as noble as ever,
songs from the haunted distance
presenting themselves in silks.
The light ofction and light ofsurface
sink into vision whose illumination
exacts its shades,
The Genji when they arose
strolled outside reality
their screen dismantled,
upon that modern wondering space
ash lights from the wild gardens.
La Noche Entra en Calor
Like a highway
it leads to the plaza
210/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
where this shadow rests
on a bench eyes closed
to the feral heat
or the smell ofa nearby candle
dust forming
on its shoes like mice
who have entered their own
cathedral,ofa neutral color
where it is not necessary
to repeat the liturgy
in either tongue.
Already activists
and a merchant within his store
starts his nap with a dream
ofred,orange,he feels
color scratching his tongue.
And a cloud has appeared
like a wind,but ofhotter
apparel because ofthe
concentration.
Its heat burns the skin
ofthose dogs who take
shelter under it,
unwisely as they pant,
their tongues hanging out
like lemon trees
in the vague and growing
more vague distances.
These stretching and halting
measures remind us oftrains
advertising La noche entra
en calor,the trains
were the color
ofthe heat they disturbed.
Color or calor repeating
words that were also bird-like
stranded on legs against the stove
ofmany colors charming
the landscape.
FAIR REALISM
/211
The message ofthis
night was distributed
wrongly within the spectrum
ofyour eyes,its multi-
colors ashing.
You provoked the
night so that its
behaviour was that of
buildings whose color
which should be dark,black
in the night was not,
was lit up with an electric
substance that
was burning gruel
on your tongue that
could no longer speak in
any ofthe voices or the nuance oflanguages
distracting a stranger,
because the night was indecisive
about its color and
the heat translated incorrectly
so it burned too brightly and far too
long a time.
The mice became crisper,
crisper as their organic
eyes burned the shoe leather,
coals nally,even as
Stones fell from
the cathedral
when dawn began
to shift its body
against the glow
in which ceases
the idle color ofnight.
The View from Kandinskys Window
An over-large pot ofgeraniums on the ledge
the curtains part
a view from Kandinskys window.
212/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The park shows little concern with Kandinskys history
these buildings are briefabout his early life,
reections ofhim seen from the window
busy with preparations for exile
the relevance ofthe geranium color.
Partings,future projects
exceptional changes are meant to occur,
he will rearrange spatial decisions
the geranium disappears,so shall a person.
His apartment looking down on a Square
the last peek ofRussia
an intimate one knowing equipment vanishes.
At Union Square the curtains are drawn
verticals he taught us their residual movements.
The stroke ofdi

cult white nds an exit
the canvas is clean,pure and violent
a rhythm ofexile in its vein,
We have similar balconies,scale
degrees ofingress,door knobs,da

odils
like Kandinskys view from his window
The Thread
Welcome brutal possessor
ofthe memory cards,
on the wall under wainscoting
a nail holds the thread.
FAIR REALISM
/213
Allegories ranged invisibly
variances oftouch
lapses in speech
the urn burial containing ashes
ofbelonging to lightning.
We have not taken heroines
to snow,thrust hair under waterfalls,
we sent them to museums
they own splendid eyelashes,
giantesses who wear no clothes.
Sharing mineral fasts
to extend our eyes vertically
we advance beyond
an expectation ofnumber
in bodies that swim at the last moment.
This concern for time
exists in memory cold
it is innocent ofearth that suggested you.
Ilex
From the doorway we watched.Alexander
at the basin washinghis face shone
in bottled water from the green doorway.
~
Quad Ashir besiegedthe iris in bud
blue water with bloodcamel shackles
The mountain covered with sharp ilex
locally a spiky plant called holm
214/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Iran heresy like manna
on the giant winged eagle rock
damascened
oasis lily ofsilk knivesBabylonia.
~
His passion for abstraction is gripping
the phalanx in bird leather
when you parted the copper-eyed leaves the armor
looking out from the invisible
into the past without heads
gifted with living
~
White daphneThrace silvered
ghost trained hares in the young snow patches
lit by r-cloudrisible Danube
ode grouping
Illyrian sequence
apprentice oars.
~
FAIR REALISM
/215
from a oating rock.
three bathing maidsilex tangled
mauve bassarids
cavortingthump
across jealoussandsthe warriors
Olympias rakes the mirror.
(the noisiness ofmaternal fame)
boisterous geographically
married in tumbled red
and appropriating mythic comfort
endlessly Hellenizing
hero wooing.
~
He wears pleasure trousers
olive bird
nomadic lter the harsh bridals
sand eclipse Oxus
....
Beyond the limit ofour world
we beg for lustered sleep Argival
~
psychogenicthey live as ifalone
with a shadow thiefMacedonians move in innocent
216/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
oil lampesthenia
now he is called the God ofthe East
ilex forgeries elegiac
~
He comes to a Babylonian garden feverish
beside the pool thirty-two years old and
six months
over-stepping Aegean wideness
We inquire ofthe night God ifwe should move
him to the temple
....
the answer is no
~
white palms
....
molded lattice
Sirius are his watchers
we wait in bronze liquid air
with the pull ofsoft knots
~
we lost him.he disappeared.
rinds ofgoldstitched to his aura
at the entrance armed with blocks
the stylus blunt
FAIR REALISM
/217
Spring Vine
Fresh I thought a bird
lighted and fell downward
so bending the vine,
climbing it reaches the windowsill
direct,obsessed,insouciant.
A paragraph written to instill
in you the objective lent
to a corrected mind,
a man whose name
may be Carruthers takes his umbrella home.
The eye reaches more or less
evasive solutions,
iodine passing for a cloud
Medieval Columbine
married girls water her.
Dora Maar

A woman weeping about an imaginary fall from a bicycle
the bicycle has been stolen,he knows
it waits outside her door,asleep
a piece of
tailleur
on the brake:

her hair was all disheveled and her clothes were torn
her to the ground,she said
she had a knob on her forehead from the fall
when he places his hand there he nds nothing
only the shift ofveins he once painted.
218/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
This girlishness should feed on mirrors,
ifthere had been a fairy tale...to inuence
her noise about damnation and enemies,
mystical exhortations he dislikes
she moved about the room so nervously,
She tells him to repent:

you are a cactus ofstars.

In a cafe he watched her throw the knife
her character pasted with drama,
lights ofrhinestone green
....
he is the collagist who admires the gloves and green
....

watch the night shing
her noble forehead is a sand cap water deftly clears,
one ofher eyes is red,the other blue like a portrait
ofMarie-Thrse though bolder
a poem by Eluard
where black runs out ofcolor
....
He sees her as
the woman who weeps,
her tears benet his painting
when he made the bull
or a woman inging her hand from a window
she was that woman holding a light
She was the woman who fell from the house
in the daylight bombing
She photographed the hysterical success
without liveliness
her tears damage the heirloom.
FAIR REALISM
/219

once he had drawn her torso with wings
afterwards she saw the river
with a translucent depth
when her arm was a wing
....
she changed into the oryx he shadows.

Her appearance is meddled with like
Io
the tears are mother-of-pearl
Eclectic and careless like Jove when changed
into a bull he nds the classical
screams ofmaidens exciting
....
He raids her hallucinatory bicycle for an object
he calls foundas the handles and bicycle seat
are transformed
Jovian in dispensation ofproperty

She was given a farmhouse lled with spiders
in a land ofdried raisins
The invisible occult is her halo and hangs over her
when she washes linen as she tends the smudge pots
she is guarded
....
220/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Once she had known people who enjoyed verbal pleasure
and employed long sentences to restore their grandeur,
or stanzas to rene the lyricism oftheir meandering
These artisans are valued by the medieval stone in
the holy village where even a dove is made ofstone
The old weights sand,a limpid ceiling,
blunt charcoal lift
Griefis banished from her coveted roost.
An Emphasis Falls on Reality
Cloud elds change into furniture
an emphasis falls on reality.
It snowed toward morning,a barcarole
the words stretched severely
the face oflilies
....
I was envious offair realism.
I desired sunrise to revise itself
as apparition,majestic in evocativeness,
two fountains traced nearby on a lawn
....
you recall treatments
ofbeingand nothingness
illuminations apt
to appear from variable directions
they are orderly as motors
oating on the waterway,
FAIR REALISM
/221
so silence is pictorial
when silence is real.
The wall is more real than shadow
each vowel replaces a wall
a costume taken from space
donated by walls ....
they have brought their dogs and cats
born on roads near willows,
willows are not real trees
they entangle us in looseness,
the natural world spins in green.
A column chosen from distance
mounts into the sky while the font
is classical,
they will destroy the disturbed font
as it enters modernity and is rare
....
The necessary idealizing ofyour reality
is part ofthe search,the journey
where two gures embrace
This house was drawn for them
it looks like a real house
perhaps they will move in today
into ephemeral dusk and
move out ofthat into night
selective night with trees,
The darkened copies ofall trees.
222/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Valuable Mrike
Mozarts journey to Prague
the value ofMrike his long gaze
words leading to escapades
piled against the carriage window
substantives ingratiating so dogmas
visual wishes keep us waking
immortality in the spun sugar
fragments littering grass moons,
the syllabub dark lifts a slow aster
Palomar searches for Mozart
in the garden behind the sprinkling system
where Mozart impishly drinks his wine,
and makes notations with the dried
ink ofa quill his dutiful wife
placed in his portmanteau,hiding
while the brightness ofinspired sips
touches his mind.Mozart likes
the caress ofgenius it feels
like moccasin skin,the soft patina
belongs to musica dellarte,
Palomar to the ctive stars.
Valley ghillies laced by sponsors
more sheeps ears to be shaved
in the rural squiredom pastoral quirks
lay intimate decoys,voices without lumps
an accent not unkindly Palomars
tonal glimpse ofmountain trees
like umbrellas fading,verse crowding
piquant gait ofrhyme and toasts.
Palomar on the memorial stone smiling
at distant Mozart the plum ofMozart
in his hand and Mrike holding a small wren.
 

 
),was devoted to the
music ofMozart.In
 
he published a prose homage,
Mozarts Journey to Prague.
FAIR REALISM
/223
The Rose Marble Table
Adoptive day replenished by shadow
chooses octagonals such as chatter
and swimsuits at an angle
where smiles become orange.
Sea whose translucence disturbs inferior atoms,
that passage from ice to shallow removes familiars
as glass changes to foam,the parallel lake diminished,
combs drop into fur.
ofblue,pool waits the diver shock.Sylphs
luxuriate in ripples seasonal branches they tease
the spread oftrained water,their silks reply yes then no
their dive provokes,
Gentle disruptions on certain days ruminating in
clear water,thoughts trailing the slap integrating
there with east oflake the westerly sea at heel
pool repeats an omen in sky dip,
Emotive waters possessed by bodies their octaves
glide on marginal air,light weighing its touch
here and thither to an arc ofshapes and drips
from wings.Couperin wades to his rock,
imminence remains arms ung into dirt alarms.
Creative soul you hesitate,I with my hand
on the rose marble table,like you a di

cult creature
ignoring the universe,igniting shadows.Gulls
over porches,bamboo familiars mine.
224/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Ultramarine is cold it shivers
until the scumbled white offoam distributes
wilfully from sea to lake to pond we watch
heads revel in occasional dips
while background thoughtful water frames sestinas
Supple nature declares texture lends
formality to words a ight ofmarble
can rearrange the speed ofwaters,
we pass hands upon its surface and embrace
the creative object,throbbing waves y over.
Shufing Light
Dawn has other obligations
and is preparing them for us.
That I can see,shifting in bed.
There are ignoble thoughts running
over to that corner and that.
Ideas ofmuch simplicity,
commands other than beauty.
The clock tick and the cat meow,
A book slides o

a table,
pages marking no page,
unfavored literature.
Light shu

ing across the ceiling
with a careful tread,making mush
ofhistory.It reminds us a name
FAIR REALISM
/225
changes several times when it crosses
those borders that bring barriers
to speech,voices would enjoy
proles on which to rest
In gurative space engaged by others,
the spoken wish for a violin.
The Screen ofDistance

On a wall shadowed by lights from the distance
is the screen.Icons come to it dressed in capes
and their eyes reect the journeys their nomadic
eyes reach from level earth.Narratives are in
the room where the screen waits suspended like
the frame ofa girder the worker will place upon
an axis and thus make a frame which he lls with
nature into his building and the tree leaning
against it,the tree casting language upon the screen.


The telephone is Flauberts parrot and it itters
from perch to perch across the city.Or someone
is holding the dead thing in her hand in a remote
hotel.A sensitive person with a disability who
speaks to the inanimate.She may even resemble
her meaning and I am absent in these reminiscences
ofher.The telephone is the guignol of
messages.
226/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
It may have been cold moving down from roofs,
Leaves and pollen blowing onto re escapes.
Windstruck hambones lying in a gutter.Equinoc-
tial changes the body knows,the hand feels,the
truck passes without notice and buildings con-
tinue their nervous commitments.The earth may
have been moaning underneath this junk.I am
caught in the winds draft.


At night viewing the screen ofdistance
with shadowy icons framed by light
I understood the rasping interior
was rearing other icons,
No longer gentle they ashed ripened clauses,
or images raised formidable projections ofice,
the wall was placed in a temporary position
where words glittered from a dark cover,
Narcissism lived in a silver hut.


In the lighter time ofyear words arrived
concealed in branches.Flaubert exchanged
himselffor words,night became a night of
words and a journey a journey ofwords,and
so on.
FAIR REALISM
/227
Words became a superior joke,I trembled
under a revolutionary weight,a coward eeing
from a cloud.The ego ofwords stretched to
the rooms borders assuming the sonorous
movement ofa poem.


I entice this novice poem with a mineral,
Beryl.
The dictionary bestows on Beryl a skittish description,
like a sequence in which a car
moves over ruptured roads and slices
into ghost veins ofcolor
a camera follows each turn,
examines the exits where rock protects
a visionary tool that prods it:
A light greenish blue that is bluer
and deeper than average aqua,
greener than robins eggs blue,
bluer and paler than turquoise
blue and greener and deeper than beryl
bluea light greenish blue that is bluer
and paler than beryl or average turquoise blue
bluer and slightly paler than aqua.
The speculative use ofmineral prevents an
attachment to words from overowing,inserts
a vein ofjazz,emblems ofcolor and overcomes
the persecuting stretch ofracetrack where words
race their mounts
....

228/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST

Beryl became a distraction as one speaks ofcolor
eld or someone as a colorist or ofcolor pre-
dominant,so the paper on which the poem would
rest was grainy with color ashing lights
and the depth,the deepness ofthe country lane
on which shadows found repose was a wilderness of
color,ditches and trees lost their contours.I
created a planned randomness in which color
behaved like a star.


To introduce color to form
I must darken the window where shrubs
grazed the delicate words
the room would behave
like everything else in nature,
Experience and emotion performed
as they did within the zone ofdistance
words ending in uid passages
created a phenomenal blush
dispersing illusion
....


A di

cult poem intrudes like hardware
over the faade,a shrug exaggerated by a
column
FAIR REALISM
/229
Shelley sailing into the loose wind,
the storm ofneurosis hindering the formal plan,
a suggested dwelling left on the drawing board
with clumps ofshrubs indicating hysteria or,
in air,his little wings cause a mild stir,
as someone comes down the stair
he pleads with infancy,
A woman speaks to a dish,old forks,amid her
preparations she smiles touched by history.
Chipped,sundry evidences oftemporal life
hiding in a bush.In formal dress domestic
remarks reel into a corpus known as stanzas.


aspen head and stepping away from her bachelors
she seized like wands the poem I handed her:
A life glitters under leaves
piled for anonymity...
She would lead us through glass to view the
enigmatic hill where a castle slung a shadow.


There was a dream within a dream and inside
the outer dream lay a rounded piece ofwhite
marble ofperfect circular dimension.
The dreamer called this marble that resembled
a grain ofgrecian marble,Eva Knachte,
230/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
FAIR REALISM
/231
who was blown into the dream by the considerate
rage ofnight.
Her name evoking night became a marble pebble,
the land on which she rested was the shore
ofthe sea that washed over her and changed
her lineaments into classic marble,a miniature
I struggled and seized the marble.
The marble was a relic,as were the movements
ofnature on the poem.The sea had lent
a frieze,waves a shoulder when the investitures
ofa symbolic life feuded.In that dimness
with bristles,straw,armor plate,grotty
Alexandrines there appeared a mobile ction
....


A man who calls himselfa Baron yet strays from
his estate into the cadmium yellow
where a broad approach to a narrow tunnel
is fanned by leaves is faced with a decision
at the stylized ominous entrance he wonders
ifreality will maintain him or empathic snow
subdue his quest....


I sifted through these ctive ambiguities
until there was a plain moment
in memory for that tonal light
illuminating the screen,
The Baron faded as distance gleamed
a clear jar multiplied by frost.
ifthe door clicks the cushion
makes murmur noise and the woman
on the sofa turns halfin halfout
The world makes this division
copied by words each with a leaf
attached to images it makes ofthis
halfin air and halfout
like haloes or wrists
That separate while they spin
airs or shadows ifyou wish,
once or twice halfin halfout
a real twirl jostles there
The Farewell Stairway
after Balla
The women without hesitancy began to descend
leaving owers
Ceres harried bragged ofcultivated grain
232/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
I saw Hecate.the gray-wrapped woman.
in lumpy dark.
farewell eyes revolve
the frontier oscillating
pleated moments.
Hades at the bottom
~
they laughed like twins their arms around each other
the women descending
birds dropping south out ofwind.
I thought there were many.good-byes twisted
upwards from the neck
tiny Arachne donating a web
~
a common cloudy scene.no furniture.
a polished stairwell
responding to the pull
the vortex
~
FAIR REALISM
/233
curves rapidly oscillating
undulating to rapid pencil lines.
or water
the look ofstewed water.
sensuously.
and gnarled Charon
~
their clothes volumes
folded over.blowing.
dresses approach the wide pencilling
Hecate was present
and that other woman looking backward
tearful.holding onto the rail.
I saw it futurally
stoppered cotton slowly expanding.released.
sliding from the bottle
~
234/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
I was outside the vortex.close to the wall.
Hecate managed me
at the curve.the magic.
oated up spiralled
~
they were fully dressed.their volume.
the modish descent
antiqueness
~
a roman
scala.
in the neighborhood ofthe
stazione.
gli addii gli addii
velocity
whipped the waves.
the vortex centered.reverent.
~
you who are outside.over there.
cant feel the pull.it makes you wonder
the oscillation.the whirling.urgent.
indicating air revolving in a circuit
FAIR REALISM
/235
without interruption.free movement
in
cielo puro
spider-less
scatters everything.
whispered and the corollary
~
diminuendo
on the stair.
the slowed
salutando

agrant barking from the shore
keeping a stylish grip on themselves.serapes.
futurally extended.
~
south dusk and re balls
the same at Nauplia.mythic potency
winding down the tower
farewell.farewells.
236/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Words
The simple contact with a wooden spoon and the word
recovered itself,began to spread as grass,forced
as it lay sprawling to consider the monument where
patience looked at grief,where warfare ceased
eyes curled outside themes to search the paper
now gleaming and potent,wise and resilient,word
entered its continent eager to nd another as
capable as a thorn.The nearest possession would
house them both,they being then two might glide
into this house and presently create a rather larger
mansion lled with spoons and condiments,gracious
as a newly laid table where related objects might gather
the chocolate dish presuming an endowment,the ladle
ofgalactic rhythm primed as a relish dish,curved
knives,nger bowls,morsel carriages words might
choose and savor before swallowing so much was the
sumptuousness and substance ofa rented house where words
placed dressing gowns as rosemary entered their scent
percipient as elder branches in the night where words
gathered,warped,then straightened,marking new wands.
Twilight Polka Dots
The lake was lled with distinguished sh purchased
at much expense in their prime.It was a curious lake,halfsalt,
This was a conscious body aware ofshelves and wandering
rootlings,duty suggested it provide a scenic atmosphere
ofcontent,a solicitude for the brooding emotions.
It despised the sh who enriched the waters.Fish with
their lithesome bodies,and their disagreeable concern
with feeding.They disturbed the water which preferred
the cultivated echoes ofa hunting horn.Inside a
mercantile heart the lake dwelt on boning and deboning,
skin and sharpened eyes,a ritual search through
dependable deposits for slimier luxuries.The surface
presented an appeal to meditation and surcease.
FAIR REALISM
/237
Situated below the mountain,surrounded by aged trees,
the lake o

ered a picture appealing both to young and
mature romance.At last it was the visual choice oftwo
gures who in the xity oftheir shared glance were
admired by the lake.Tactfully they ignored the lacustrine
sh,their gaze faltered lightly on the lapping
margins,their thoughts ew elsewhere,even beyond the
loop ofher twisted hair and the accent ofhis poised tie-pin.
The scene supplied them with theatre,it was an evening
performance and the water understood and strained its
source for bugling echoes and silvered laments.The
couple referred to the lake without speech,by the turn
ofa head,a hand waved,they placed a dignity upon the lake
brow causing an undercurrent ofphysical pleasure to
shake the water.
it on the water,and the wind spilled the paper forward,
the cypress bent,the mountain sent a glacial ake.
Fish leapt.Polka dots now stippled the
twilight water and a superannuated gleam like a browned
autumnal stalk followed the couple where they shied in
the lake marsh grass like two eels who were caught.
The Nude
Studios are stations ofreminiscence
in the nimble wind they are shadows
The artist attaches himselfto the shadow
he attempts to revive it after the wind ceases,
This mixture ofdark and light
is mysterious and adds depth
To the position ofhis model
who rephrases the shadow.
238/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
She reminds him ofattitudes
beyond the mere appraisal ofsubject,
A peace without clothes
with its bestowal oflight and volume
Where nudism is born.
The behavior ofthe landscape ofnudism
varies as mirrors reect
Curves,syllables ofgrace,
drops ofwater or trees elastic,
A native body beneath its plumes.
Is a weight become e

ervescent
when attacked by knowledge
Ofshells and other remainders
ofsexual consciousness tossed from sand,
They live in a contradiction oftime.
The narcissism ofthe artist escapes into a body
that denes his emotions,
An interior where his own contour is less misty.
The gure is a nominal reminder that existence
is not pantomime as relieved by the artist,
The body ofthe model,the lift ofher torso
the extension oflimbs,fold ofskin
Express reality beyond tenure ofthe brush,
shell or escapist sail,
FAIR REALISM
/239
and his anxious attempt to dene it.
The painter desires the image he has selected
to be clothed in the absolute silk ofhis touch,
Lonely himselfhe has admired the glance
ofkimonos,mirrors,fans and bestowed them on her
Who for many minutes ofthis day
borrows from art to cover her nudity.
The artist chose these objects to enrich space
around his models hair or even her breathing
Which you notice as it shifts the atmosphere
in which you keep watch with a calm become necessary,
You are the viewer and without you
the picture cannot exist,the model shall cease to breathe.
The artist will sorrow even as darkness
replaces his brilliance ofcolor.
The viewer inherits this nude
as a reminder ofhis own weightlessness
In a natural world
made winsome,or tense or aggravated
By the requests ofan unclad body
with its announcement ofdimension and clarity.
The need ofthe artist to draw the body
is like the love for three oranges,
He searches the world to nd those spheres
that will conne the uid nude,
There is with him a desire elemental
in its urgency to savor the skin ofthe body
The hues ofgeranium before they exit
his allotment ofreality.
240/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
As the swan entered Leda
so the actual timing ofan artists abrupt gesture
Is supernatural despite interferences
oflocal ornamental mundaneity,
The supernatural contacts ecstasy hidden
in a guise ofnudism.
The artist borrows mannerisms and technique,
he is free to copy,the other world is ambitionless.
An aura once restless now subsists
through residual favors on reverence,
Eve stands by her cypress,
The solid body is led through crocuses.
You are with an artist who notices everything
which concerns color and shape.
In the restaurant the artist says a blouse
you are wearing goes with the decor.
The blouse is a watery blue like somewhere
o

the coast ofGreece,like these walls
The colors you wear tumble into mild earth tones
again like a country,nothing literary
Where the rough body reaches out
a wave rushes over the sand denuding it
You share the classical nude landscape ofsand.
At times a silence overcomes the artist,
a fog at the base ofcolumns,
FAIR REALISM
/241
He explains he is thinking ofthe body.
Its behavior is strange,hiding behind leaves
he can never trap or bribe it.
So deep is the bodys memory ofself.
Each day there is a di

erent voice,
today while wearing no clothes
It spoke ofthe essentials oflife which were evident,
but the body took an invisible position,
her back was turned from him like a goddess
She was either admiring herselfor bathing.
Morning traverses her breasts
where she sits under the window ofwhite curtains,
Trees are outside,their branches x the sky,
she is thinking ofnudism,
He draws an odalisque,
it is love they are asking for.
She looks at a canvas,
nature covets it,
Where a fever blots the muslin
clouds start to rise.
There is no gure.
This is landscape,
portrait ofnude melancholy
Or its glow which is austere,
she asks,where am I?
242/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
He has not drawn her,
the sheen ofher body only survives.
She turns herselfinto a star
above the unattended foliage,
He views her as she glistens,
silver enters the picture.
He condes,
Each day I dene myself.
He notices a coarseness ofesh,
he thickens his paint,
It is a glimpse into the future,
elds light up,she sighs.
To replenish the sallow on her throat
She reaches for ombre,noir
It is the narrowness oftime.
Respectful moonlight inhabits them.
Western Additives
More goatlike than the other
this seen as rock
the other stair.
The radiant usefulness ofthese terms
remain in the ddle hidden by a cane
the tune unplayed the hall unlit,
As a canyon strip where stairs
welter in subtle growths ofraggedness,
FAIR REALISM
/243
A bureaucracy ofseamed myth
having horns not names but mental
widths oftriassic bottoms,
The nearness whips solos into shape
an ignored valve whistles as it listens.
In Medieval Hollow
Smother
oating in air headgear lit
Light,
splendour,beauty,form,rule ofthe world
Alan ofLille.
Dwarfs assemble with hook and thong,
passing papers,muddling Thomistic drafts
while monks shift their garments and a thud
says fallen dwarfachcries the priest
over the ink blot he has ruined November and
the plowing...
Autter with pagan tales the Mong Chieftain
spreads his rug the acrobat turns milk weeps,
hospice in a wafer
evensong alone in swaddled clothes she holds
No more trees
building on top ofbuilding
Medieval surrenders by tallow light
labbed and lobbled into cellars
strew garters tightening the gyre
244/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Simples sail in light hosen
their glides make a run for the moat
before it closes for the bridge crowd
in dank and fuses,
Plunging into a hollow
a hoard limits prots on sibilant limbs
and gaited throbbers braiding hair
look at the vision sitting on mud.
Under the bowed blue
in rhythmic joust pattern shadewise
rises edging green Mundis,
gentle equerry the plague killed him.
Shut o

that inner sound,
a erce place needed douce
dealt a rat lust,
Living in a medieval hollow
went into tatters
Mute tambour mute viol
thrown out ofthe welkin.
Bleat
drawn on the burden oflight
the pottery throw
in bleat turning
ballast makes ngers twitch
shutters close
going to pour
FAIR REALISM
/245
wet to root and pavement
tent sagging like an oyster
the city has another soul
gnat passes someone swallows
another soul
gurines
the city also
stole the bench and echoes
blight and shuttered bleat
soul chews a wilted corner
Ropes Sway
porridge says Sinful opening the case oftwilight
soup,onions and small grains with an oysterish hue,
memos.

the tide in yellow enveloped with whisper discs
This brings click clack into the morning,
arranging larger waves while
We sit in the air as ifItalian crossings spun
sugar ropes in air blistered with cornice storms
chipped into recognition,
Ropes sway molluscs.
These endeavors in their immense whir pass one
another police lled with spit for the smell
ofaudacious miniatures,
246/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Country Cousins
Country cousins possess di

erent rhythms joined
in irascible lightning.Madam is stung by a cloud,
the nomad bee drowned in it.You are in the parlor,
the buttermilk curdles properly,my share grips its
seeks the Persephone dark it has been mannered
they toss shells
tales you recount.
Winter month you are a mouthful,the rst course,
seas tumble,tides raise values then a serial
ofwatches and generator ofrulers who twitch
there is much destination in your marrow,hidden
beginning,the two faced lullaby dog.
Laura and Phillip,Robert and Lucia
all they can think about Athina and Paul,
Victor and Ida pine for chemises,
cloth ofwhite,ribbons towelly,
Recca and Richard,Claire and Noel recollect
spring in their larking,struts commence
windfass,rabbits surrender dustbinned
with minor edgling bulb
these singular aches a promise ofjumbo
stitches in rain.
where she reds down the rumor ofhiss
in the dry season ofquack,the shorn sink
at her pout the distance runner and the holder
saluting mellowed feathers.
FAIR REALISM
/247
Savannahs

.Congress ofthe value ofyou
makes the situation
ofactive platters
mutable when o

ered
on time
grazing the nubiles.
Grateful before the hammers converse
that consciousness still arrives
with its timely art
grasping an old spoon
the declensions
where with bottoms failing
arches begin their wonder
at the grip where it widens
roses appear opulent whiter
ifonly hourly.
There at the beginning
the song shoots forth
a frailty
gifted
on the edge ofburned.

.Now that I ride
whitener there was on the ice
thumbed
248/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Faintness ofmolasses
dark and molecular
rippled under
The stress being opposite the strain
an ouch wintering there.

.One eye opening
and unopening
a mixture ofenvy
where the cement refused to rattle
reasons neatly anchored
rasps tted
where ice once held
sleds and light
struck the sides,
hurting the eyes
less amorous ofwinches
and apron sauces dashed
out the window
splaying the shadows
hanging in ripeness
vines where the old
wall trembled and shed,
at your back
solids thoughtful ofyou
will o the wisps.
FAIR REALISM
/249
The Cradle ofCulture
Is this a short story?
Is there a script attached like a new tail
the one the dog grew? Use the amingo.
You have already focused on cats.
Like a day you encountered an intruder
by the pools cracked basin
considering the use oftiles,
he said they were the pools eyes
they endure abandonment
they exist in reminiscence.
This stranger wearing a hat
kept drawing,he placed his sight outward
the sea returned it to the pool,
Down with the Mediterranean,he said.
he began to draw stars,starsh,pebbles
above the triangles,circles,jingles ofcolor.
Recall:the brilliant window
recall leaf
brushing stone,vertigo
looking down the gutter
ofhillside,straw hat.
The Mediterranean was the cradle
ofthe whole Greco-Roman culture.And
laughed and shouted:
But I am no longer a Surrealist!
250/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
You believed you saw a hand
rising from the water,
when dark soaked hair thrust
from the water
when she turned her face
You called,Come back Mediterranean!
that word learned from Mir
with its heavy foot and watery
whiplash tickling your ankle where it bled.
Lawn Bumps
The horseshoe print on the lawn
that started
on hooves
the carriage trade
a smart two wheeler running up the drive and Andrew
there at the wheel.No one had thought the horseshoes
would dig so at the turf.And no one dreamed
I would return years later and uncover the leaves to
nd those same prints,the ones the horses made when
Andrew took them up the drive in midsummer.
You seem such a stranger,she said,
when you look out on the lawn,why
dont you turn out the light? Im sorry
I was cross today at the shower.It was
a sort ofU shape and I kept stumbling over
them.I think the shower should be put
somewhere inside the house,even ifwe do
Because so much was said about being alive and
it was talked about boats and islands and
keeping cruisers drifting the way they were supposed to
FAIR REALISM
/251
A brick is replaced here and what is left
ofthe curtains.As the wind folds other things.
Where that is disturbed and the stumbling toward it.
down the grass,a kind offree booting as opposed to
looting.A series ofinverted Us where the plaster
had fallen,and there appeared an ivory circumference
ofears.Drips and dabs until margins are released.
A complex denuding ofplace once occupied
by house sitting on bumps.They were photographed,
afterwards the dance to the phonograph.
He arrived with the negatives,rather like greasy stills.
We looked them over and remarked how much had changed.
It proved our instincts to restore were correct.
Just possibly and with luck the house.The attic
ma chre and a di

erent order was imposed like
e

ect might be gained from the wind arriving o

shore.
Someone might challenge saddles laid out to dry.
Units.The measure the cup takes to the handle,
nearly full.While birds in cry on the veranda.The
sound ofhurdles.Jumps.A neighing as ofwedding.
Bells near the grass.Visible prints showed under
the shifts ofice where the key was thrown.A winter court.
Usually the most stormy ofus respond
Where the portrait hides
Often waiting.
Wilfully as clouds whimper near bridges
Cause trouble
Bits and pieces fall apart
252/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Generations in disguise remove
A few we like the least
Housewifery,certain tricks with knives
What resembled those hooves
Our apartness from that grasp
The mazes and the greenery
The permissiveness ofgrowing
Into variousness
Further explanations covering up moss
Even a form ofintermarriage
Lending strength to the lawn
Heavy ways rmer tread
Brightness like calico was only piecework
Yet with remembrance the ruddiness
Meant a lot ofcutting corners
Losing the trail was more trouble than nding the
beginning,the tale ofthe hooves went beyond all
that,faster,with more rhythm to slices.Lopping
o

branches and unsmoking the parental tree there in
the wind sloughing about bringing tears to the eye
and the need for further equipment to handle the seamy
adventures sewn into cloth,scent in the upstairs drawer.
Obdurate blue,a thin casein
as warm draughts fell sideways on
elbow and hand,like writing where
there is order ofa kind.Lawn bumps leading to
the river in the dark,
people eating beside it under lights or lanterns,
shing at twilight,
interned in the futurist cabins,
Excessive disappointment after the premiere
and Animal behaviour the Balkans never knew
the hooves bestowed their print
FAIR REALISM
/253
Tessera

Sadness and felicity
youre coming back
ghosts in your striped Greek dress.
Tears go into the urn
Philomne brings the brazier
things heat up
water,wine,thistles in the jug.


Hot turns.
More.
I said to her,Go away Inertia,
go away.
quotations,explanations,
words linking me to sleep.
I said,Go away Inertia,
even ifyou bear a Latin name.

254/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST

Then it was dark on the quarries.
I had to hire a truck to load up.
My boxes.My images.My materia medica.
The driver arrived.
The truck was loaded.
Im here in the land ofsunbeams and
silk oak.
Very easy.But heavy
on the initials.


Ghosts in stripes.
Thistles.
at Thebes.
What echoes from legends,
Or armadillos or bees.
FAIR REALISM
/255
Defensive Rapture
Paulownia
i
robber walk near formidable plaits
a glaze the domino overcast
seized by capes budding splash
whitened with strokes
silvertone gravure.
knifed tree.
straw benecence
ambient cloud.riderless.
ii
vowels inclement tossed o

gure
lisping blot
running gure.
bowled ripe.
virginal wail.as grain.storm motif.

DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/259
iii
pierced the risen sea.
coxcomb.
slides around.
day and night.
remedy ofdarkness
lit body.
iv
sequence a solace
the monument.
width ofgrape is praised.

v
adherence to sand
the loam division the quagmire
foot sink the rind
orrindswift heel
astonished acre
chewed wire.
vi
as instrument
threaded sky
burnt.
torn from the corner.
on your knees
260/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
vii
plinth in sour bloom.
the idiot cone.rummage.

viii
heldin mortar air.
weight ofstone
fragment.
ix
their whole selves
or were they?
burden offace
from one to the other
quaking sun.
abstract arm.
Dove
experienced in rounded
dove form
belly up the child toy
anointed.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/261
other codes
like granite where the toy
the ground submissive
splays
lightness under curled vapor.
we wear open clothes.
and we are
broken up into time intervals.
one day bridges.
neophytes passing over.three vans.
ight ofopen sticks.
waving.
repeated
as idiom
their fear ofabsorption
a common scale.
what is printed
as music ;
262/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
ordinary leaves
estranged proportionate wind
felled.
and plots ofsandust.
the thing that was dear
scenes with table.
an intense
idolizing.frame with multiple rose.
venom in rust
the small breathing.
ofcowhide.
employed
a chalk wing.
the globular
solitude
invisible swell
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/263
touching the beyond
has no body without another.
walless.
at the nib dove shunted downward;
survives in buoyant leap
admits the crater lump the advance
performs more violently as violent solution
picks up speed
outside ofcharacter
outside the dovecote
a rascallion soarmulti-layered emotional
su

x.
264/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
he may never know why
The scribbling
dynamic skewed
print and tense
range ofcardboard
dominant
papier peint
at ink transcribes:
the patterned brilliance
through open doors
on foraged studio cloud
the painted raven
feeds the hermit bread.
the whinnied pupil scratchanxious
from the stalk ear the eye reached up and the
sublimated eye reroutes the gaze
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/265
world oftrouta neutralized shape
the portal earth threwtoad gaze
on
mottled dove
water outside the spoon.
Expectation
(Erwartung: Schnberg)
more liquid
than eyes adulterous surface
the bruised arch a sting
severely clothed rich in dynamite
cord to shallows ;
a uid haze divides
the rhythm vault
single movement topped with purple hills
contralto shift .

variations
masked throat
gradual broken ascent
means intensify
266/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
through an aperture the tilt
grave
ropings.
they utter pick on straw
tinted bird
band around the slender hollow
tight noise rolled
ofitself
smoke white regalchromatic rise
ofitself
unattached.

pieces laid
placement vital to
disguise.
the basilicarrangement
in view
una

ected
leaning on elbows

tumescentwhitened girders the spatial breath
delicate mouthing a pain hesitancy
the tread ofcorn huskaural sky
brevity emphasized an unnatural heartbeat
without the nominative curve
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/267
to be grasped the wooden handle
diminished;
a gravelly endless pact
littered octave disrupted
knee bound mutinied spells the translucent.
Geese Blood
height oftrees
the papered chamber
a breathy click low volumed
the stalking men
outer motions
leading to holes unstable lacing
an elevation
controlled surface
seizures the fallow lining
a bird interrupts
groping for layers
lip fold
loosed on the hillside dun panorama
268/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
continues a secondary
reliance on ledge the nearest forestreversed
as gurative
extension offeatures
leading to holes an elevated ssure;
these intervals control
in bold gaps marked by akingThe empty lining
The bird in fallow sky the motion
exits into forest shelter
the lighter than expected height oftrees
aware the gure
now withdrawn in commotive patterns agitates
low volumemen stalking the open visor
ru

ed leaves
held with cotton glovesin pursuit ofsunlight
the raw bloom polarized
tunneling.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/269
the ace spring an inch into
mosaic.
eye bell
a mirror dice an opening.
sand bowls in
cotton gloves
two hunting knives
the dried-up glint
spirit guide
under three arches green hand.sunken bowls.
red geese blood.
Fleet ofWhite
i
coming into the park
through the white magnolias
only those eyes veiled
saw Syracuse.

Scipios tomb
contains no ashes now.

270/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
ii
piece ofcloth in evening storm
sideways into air
mullion glow
huggingthe shore
ute-like barque
wash ofquarter-tones.

iii
arranged
on the same level
gures
on a dusty shoulder
move to another level.

stu

ofdream
mistakes forshift in place
return and fade.
Fleet ofWhite.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/271
Atmospheres
faster than the stare
salutary ornamental bruising;
the ellipsis a thin ring
precedes thunder triggered heathery
discipline lining up unshakeable granite
the normal morass green and white mix
above the sea crop
dust-skeined rim
fence proof rm date the uprising
the quartered horse from tree to dowser
dog quickness in the burned-out tertiary
the grimace a nerve fault;
combined ochreous
hesitancy tumbling the marsh period
sod mounted antlers the common
dark murmursunheated stoic ground
burst with the imaginary shadowless
crawls;
272/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
domination by modal
alliance ofmoves sculptured
weighing the tube circuits slicked
out ofsky.
in widow eld to establish multiple erasures
a plain mobility diatonic released cloud cuttings
a simplex within the marginal
giant originals.
squeezed from memory the ash zones collective ritual
astronomic mood power into memory pushed
a piping reservoir elemental softening subliminal
as through the stations in astral grip
intravenous search through structured visible
release cha

lters
the disease pattern mirror particle;
under the skin a loss oftime
under the heroic memory cap retains the wall
the thickness mined
levitation passage.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/273
to the stick road to the track
hurt in the narrow shoulder
burning the crossre
tied thrust outside
diamonds into the hand.
The Surface as Object
the visible
as in the past
subsisting in layered zone
refuses to dangle
oaths on marsh eld
whitened or planned
memorial distance
rather than vine
that which proliferates
274/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
initiates
a mysterious mesh
forbidsthe instant disclosure
delays a humid course
or creates a patina
jungleware.
or she moving forward into
the line ofsticks
circled by sticks
her hand ies up
in the direct line ofsticks
odor oflines.
knowing the di

culty
annexation ofEgypt
a possible intimacy with
the tomblike fragrance ofstone
the cult-like
expressiveness.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/275
(the perpendicular
less raw
or,gangling
as the artful
lessening surprised.)
tree grown guava
oaths on marsh eld
the hungry minstrel and the forager
gold on the guava lick ofrosin
and the chill latched thicket
marsh weed
regardez-l
the untamed ibis.
276/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
II
Defensive Rapture
Width ofa cube spans defensive rapture
cube from blocks ofliquid theme
phantom oflily stark
in running rooms.
adoration ofhut performs a clear function
illusive column extending dust
protective screen the red
objects pavilion.
deep layered in tradition moonlight
folkloric pleads the rakish
sooted idiom
supernatural diadem.
stilled grain ofequinox
turbulence the domicile
host robed arm white
crackled motives.
sensitive timbre with complex
toss ofsand swan reeds
torrents ofuneveness.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/277
surround a lusted fabric
hut sequence modal shy
as verdigris hallow force
massive intimacy.
slant fuse the wived
mosaic a chamber astrakhan
amorous welding
the sober descant.
turns in the mind bathes
the rapture bone a guardian
ploy indolent lighted
strew ofdoubt.
commends internal habitude
bush the roof
day stare gliding
double measures.
qualms the weights ofnight
medus raft clothed sky
radiant strike the oars
skim cirrus.
evolve a fable husk
aged silkiness the roan
beaded grip.
suppose the hooded grass
numb moat alum trench a solemn
glaze the sexual estuary
oats an edge.
278/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Beautiful/Evil
fteen diamonds in a row
and one red
ruby
brought down the gravel in lumps.
out ofthe re orphanage
celestial essence
all-gifted.
Pandora.
owlish the lifted eyebrows
Minerva-like.
wrapped in a bird coat
geworfen
hurled into existence
breathed into.
beautiful/evil.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/279
Borrowed Mirror,Filmic Rise
Arriving speeds the chromatic
we stay with re
arrows jasper pontifex declare
an imaginative risk.
fermented moss a
bulge in amaranth
motley lmic rise
that welds a natural
shield refreshed in hutch
ofoak.
from borrowed mirror
rain a seized and
crystal pruner the limned
and eyed cowl
eyedusk.
Restlessness

oh conscript not the forest
a stone and laughter
it sports a halo
lled with drops one after the other
280/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
in the e

cacious zone they fall like minerals
and the courtesans move to a narrow spot
where their lids are tinted and the slight
huskiness of
a cats mouth enters.

it was when I stayed with her that I rst heard the sound of
violin and piano and orchestra...
in that part ofthe forest these instruments were unknown
...the rst scentofthe West.

he swims holding the wood handle
eyes smudged below the iris
burned leaves thrown from her ngers
wildlife running from the edge
four persons inside a hut
a passage from the shared bowl
throwing the rind outside the bowl.
grown ups working in the forest
tidying hair at the car window
noodles,plasticity.

now they move through indigo
the shape oftheir shoulder
armpit
they rave about steals from
dark blue and they
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/281
*italics above:Hasegawa Shigure
wish to copulate
in that medium
hands in the noodles
wayfare in shadow city.

a lantern
among the grasses
smoke from white lanterns;
yonder the corpse
wrapped in straw.
insect voices
ltering through the woodcut
upon the tombstone the last
poem of
Takahashi O-den
oh the straw hunchedness.

even the willow
vanished from Tama River
the shivering avor
disappeared.
naphtha on her skin.
when he stays with her
the violins the piano and orchestra
the western scent.
282/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Chalk
i
you await assumptions induced by temperament
ecclesiastic in wing power
narrow abridgementyellow slanders the island
lavable breeze work.
the catalogue within the visor
reticule ofmannerists.employable objects.
minor tenses born in the scrubs
irregular
ame
exiledgrass.
ii
voiceless Etruria
the mythic quarry
reball tunneled.
jovial stone cipherless
hijacked.lively.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/283
iii
with eyecatch
on rocks o

Scylla
silvered goats entering.leaving.
Memory plunge.tossed.rened.
post-attic rhythms juggled.
in beggar garb Odysseus
the Cyclops pinched like rose plums.
stealsmemory
brittle nosed.
shuttle loom.
iv

.
unfashionable
bent at the waist.professional at descendant hour
vase galop
unarmored amid
284/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
glued pieceworkimpotentvessel
Thracian meld.
skidded root power.

.
a fairly simple footwork
the body painted white
an air ofdecay
in the toothless pattern
light in controlled areas lavender extensions
the chambers tied into bundles
says the body.
an oiled leap
embracing the skinminimal in shyness
circling crumpling rising
the six scenes.
cricket music for the robing.
v
the Orphic rite lm releases
bathybius
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/285
miniature displacement.mountaindialect partial.
(ph formally silent)
indices proper to songster.
zephyrstorm and ute
heroic spin beneath subsoil
regal smiles.conversation shaded
black currant tin.
vi
a halfroot elasticized
the upright valve a harpsichord
in steel diminuendo
historicism
alabaster hooded
reduces complex Medea the narrow unbridled hand:
mereantique queen
aisle oflopped o

heads
vii
little is missing even plumped shadow
a knight observes his dress
286/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
under the rough mountain
tree growth out ofrock.
a natural tone in the poems.
lid pried openvolumes fall out
lightning sinks into soft thunder and
weights ofearth balance.
viii
a slice paradisical
ickers into melted
jaune
astrew the careless Arcadian
red-tiled slumber.dowerless.
the waxed emptiness moulting stone
agrarian fable.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/287
III
Borderlands
*
The return was like a snowbird like the cuto

before the orchard we remembered;
they came to us as rustlers
the steeds were foam.
were familiar the rustic was anyones choice
he chortled;there was mutual glee
it clamored.
Welcome in a new fashion a century had passed
bones tucked away even wreaths
headbands
where orchards joined an isthmus was winter.
Our preoccupation began with grass hoeing when
it starts to roam,folding down corners
watching the tubular form;
288/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
desiring no money we were
serene like a nation.
at desolate speech or,
canoeing a worn river,
fought separately when they held us up;
why is this remembered,how is it explained?
Escape with me!
we hear them say and look at the drivelling
margin at the inch where stone refused to burn
light on rural habitation.
You cannot tell them what glass resembles they
skid on the track;
reindeer eat moss
the subject is not the assassin.
Dissonance Royal Traveller
sound opens sound
shank ofglobestrings oating out
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/289
*Lands incorporated by the Treaty ofVersailles in
 
to form Czechoslovakia:Bo-
hemia,Moravia,Silesia,Slovakia,Ruthenia.
something like images are here
opening up avenues to view a dome
a distant clang reaches the edice.
understanding what it means
to understand music
cloudless movementbeyond the necks reach
an hypnotic lull in porcelainwater breakmimics
tonalitycrunch ofsand under waddling
a small seizure
from monumentality
does not come or gowith understanding
the path will end
birdhouseoftrembling cotton
or dreamexpelled it
parcelon the landlocked moor.
explaining music
and their clothes entangled
290/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
who walk into a puddle ofminnows;
minnows in a bowl
consonant with water.
the drifted footpad
ambushed by reeds signals the listening
oars.
music disappears into oars.
in the middle the world is brown;
on the opposite side ofthe earth
this accompanies our hearing music;
the sleeve ofheaven
and the hoofofearth
loosed from their garrison.
dissonance may abandon
miserere
on bruised knee hasten to the idol.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/291
and what is consonance the recluse
entering and exiting
as often as a monarch buttery
touches a season;
by accident grips the burning owers.
the moon aame on its plaza.
autumn ofrippling wind
smell oftin sts.
and harsh sts
on the waterfall changing the season;
the horse romps in ax
a cardboard feature
creating a cycle ofax.
music imagines this cardboard
292/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
agrant the ragged grove
red summit red.
dissonance royal traveller
altered the red saddle.
The Advance ofthe Grizzly
go from the must-laden room
move to the interior
the remarkable bird in the case;
wing
(like a pillow).
bird out ofcloud dissembling oftrees;locks;
the icicle;out ofthe margin
falling from the grim margin the axle ofskin;
enamoured with the fell wing.
I will move in my skin with the hollow
the neck and the brimming over the latitude
over the latitude onto the brink.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/293
frame ofsnow within
squares ofdiminishing size
ink hushed the snow;a blank sky rolled to the verge
parable heaved through drift...
and the moon weighted
with this the coil
evoked our willing to believe in a sudden pull
ofthe immense frame at the heel:
spilled exactly
to destroy a circular return
from the ragged prose clump
clump on the cold landscape
white grown fatter...place ofsharpened skin.
romantic fever and snow
fresh from the gorgon bed
dendrophagous
feeding on trees
to sustain the romantic vision route over snow
the sudden drop into pines:
feeding on trees
new mouths red ofOkeechobee.
294/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
(and ate the alligator and spat out the part
wedded to the green clavicle.)
loss ofthe sun
blight ofthe sun the looney forest
who will walk out ofthe plush interior into
the excited atmosphere?
The Glass Mountain
in memory ofJ.S.
i
king as wanderer
repliedwe do and always
the least recounting
pelting dew
bird in the sunrise room;
once or twice the landscape burns
what we are after tires
clouds mohair.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/295
rhododendron bring
pods to the mountain;
a tremulous position
harp on a mountain ofglass.

ii
is it a power
you pass in the night
taking water from the tap,
fog or phantom
the king stares at.
you are not the snake lady
gold lament above
the snake limbs
nor does she tell
who taught the dance.

296/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
iii
the king watched
in at country the
caravan at ewe season
a density
sand and thyme
near the threshold
where they milk
have bitten the nut-
like substance

iv
bauble ofsound
mahogany the king
travelling the length
overhead a climate
oftwang the rushed snow
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/297
unstoppable space in the bold
di

erent in the next imagined
movement the breach
is inimitable
a phrase others believe
there is no escape
the towed rock dims.

v
why not live
image strewn
and goes pitter pat
next to the resolute corridor
and a diadem would hang on the fringe
actual pieces oftame bre shut o

.
on the steeple with the watercan
and thunder in the earring she
caught the speech ofthe termagant
the roll
298/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
was seen the plummage and owl
a raft on the cold river;skin
on the raft a king
picked up boards and sunk them.

vi
the shades lavished
in the ideal
steam rolling up;
holding hands in a ring
wet to their waists
hair
a slippery blossom.
exposure beneath the May apse
doggerel;
chunks oflched
objects not
lapidary;a king.

DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/299
vii
the hullabaloo over
rule halfwater halfworn
running the notion ofland;
tells us where light comes from
white curtains in its beak;
closer closer to the splintered mountain
O king endlessly
scattering.
Otranto
fell from ambush into ame ew into hiding;
above the stoneware a latch like muscle hid
the green;he stood waist high under the rapt
ceiling and hanged the sparrow;where the kitchen
had been a mirror ofeggs served in a tumbler he
300/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
the harbor over a parchment like dominoes;
To the sun and its rites were pulled the dried
banners;they ew past the ruins the tower
and window where ivory guided the mist on his back;
he rubbed his eyes and counted them kneeling
wrinkled as grass.
A ghost in their nostrils put a heel at their
forehead; they saw only the moon as it
fasted.
ii
Ifthe ship meant anything ifhe heard a world
view in the midst ofhis rhythm or the spell
lustrous like hair on his arm;that groaned as
it struck near the tumble down or
combing hair;words burnt as they quickened.
The bitter they share crept into forage and
muster is in their skin; the grey
worked like a vise they brushed this
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/301
to turn arrows; they shut o

the vast
cellar and the turret leaped to a pattern;
the mosaic blended was untouched.
iii
the greed over sun and cloud;voluptuous
in the straits turbanned held scarves to the
water each sail embroidered;
who washed in their music a lattice.
A major or borrowed sky this aspect provides
the lily stalk inside the frame; a gesture the lily
pointing north as ifthe wrench from sky decides
cold rain or change oftide; the lily
she chooses.
iv
Waking in must the high pierced window dew on
the furnaced bar the poaching hour the cup
takes smoke from the tower;they drink
in the smoke the print cradled;cut in dark.
302/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The siege made cloth a transfer
learned from invaders who craved it;
spindle thieves.
She sang high notes and pebbles went into her
work where it changed into marks;in that room
the armor-like wrens:
rites turned with thread a dower
begs lapis;eglantine on a spoon;the castle
breeds tallow.
v
A change oftide might delay the run
they watched as ifby simple water
read magisterially whatever the book decided;
night outside covered with lmic screen
ghosts they store; then bring an experimental
wheel out ofhiding.
Even the Nile wind;fortune cards
jugglers a remedy from old clothes;
to appease the fable pearls
rolling in straw.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/303
The way a cowslip bends
they remember or Troilus as he stared;
they agree on brighter covers;looser
shifts uent tower to tower.
More ephemeral than roundness or
the grown pear tree connected
with vision a rose briar.
vi
There was only a rugged footpath
above the indi

erent straits and a shelfwhere the
castle lay perhaps it was sphered like Otranto;
there the traveller stood naked and talked
aloud or found a lily and thought a sword;
or dragged a carcass upon blunt stone like a
corded animal.In weeds in spiritual
seclusion a felt hand lifted.
Winter Horses
placed two sticks upon a dazzling plate
unlike feudal wars you remember
their saying she is stalking
304/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
and the fortications are blocked
abruptly they held their breath until it froze.
idyll ofthe kingsand shut the moat;
situation ofsplendor.
again twists in the passage
or is it rhythm overturned;
borrowed or fable stuck the snow.

ii
sea grey cold a door one boulder
slams another.
instantly footprints
in the sand corner.
records what was cried out.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/305
the shrived warm
turns into serpent
are
no kingdoms
is grass.

iii
winter
you know how it is
la gloire!
they bring you a g dish.
the dead in white cotton.
eece on the platter.
wind crept
the white shoat and buried;
the cramped space ran
out ofbreathing.

306/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
iv
bars ofsnow lanced the brightness
crippled windows ung
lute with two notes unevenly.
ice breaking and noise
slice ofboot on the frayed sylph
came out ofdazzlement into
sheries was intended.
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/307
IV
The Altos
...the warbler
where did he locate the bell
...has crossed the river
eld plane
table ofsyllabicwater
out ofrock
moved backward
in oated matinal
chimera
rests his eyes.

circlelavender
of
in the tide region
308/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
modular lope.
located harbors
rice in autumn
emplastos
papered halo

to walk somewhere
an image falls
out ofthe gurative sky
o

ers what bell it is.
from the walkvoice askswhose
covered walk from
the pasta white satchel

the embonpoint
is sacredmortar
on the threshold
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/309
beside the ragged dome
dust lips

running it cannot stop
it falls into segmentary rushes
a slipper untied it.
with sta

the bony road
came toward us

pallor ofgrey harbor
bird eye ofthe Altos
from open green to take the purest juice
it strengthens the turbans
heir to evening arches

310/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
oh the ace ofevening
butteryon the night drop
across the pavement
viols
call to mates
balloon smell
with the tiger

an invisible weight
swam in the
nightinto thunder
cannot nd
the platinum
bird coat

dreamed the stalk image
a gestural branch
DEFENSIVE RAPTURE
/311
lily powdered
distance
in baking dew
with full hands

with many branches
coldest butter
alive in the coal meadow
tipped the grief-scale

an antic ofwild
deposition raincoats dripping
romantic barriers
they believe the staged cloud
even the fountain ofAltos
their soft meats cross the border.
312/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Stripped Tales
Stripped Tales
the artist Anne Dunn.
structured
In hollows dim-witted rabbits running out ofthe barn the storm might
have killed them dont think much ofthe girl guess she left the country.
immediacy
celery,taught to hold her head high like the Spanish,ripe olives,
a walk on stripped sand cloud over the boat,a sliver,changes her look.
lottery can guess
the moment
a noun
oh disastersfactoriesmemory and actorsdossiers
STRIPPED TALES
/315
a namepiloting balls ofspeechworm balls and grape kites
literaturesingle-mindedness
settles into space
lively stepping legs in trim soup ofmussels grilled shin and fragrant little
walk terrace he sat with broken leg in a splint.
germinationbegins
undermining
On the coast groups ofcars try to reach the city the coast
road is narrow the coastal range ofmountains dry spotted on
and the coastal pattern runs up and down over ridges always a midday
sun or moon cairns in sight ofthe bruised city.
316/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
opposing ides
literaturephantom
Here is the whole story for a living oats in the barn
the hovering cottage who rowed Mad River rain pouring down
his trouble with sleep...who scampers out ofthe green.
which-away
philosophy
It was our intent to read all the books we gathered not at once but
ofstars ruled the logico ifxy
or a similar construction slightly altered
ifI were not cautioned to believe
intuitionism
is a fraud.
in Norway
STRIPPED TALES
/317
moody
Once they stalked the
blue moon
where it lit up the clay
cobbled into brew owing over old joints and bent leather,
a framboise shawl and a knuckle in the lucid bleached zone
grass attened and white.
adjectivalness
need
In the hotel certain rooms were closed to the guests.They
discussed what went on in these rooms,who watered the plants,
ask why the rooms were locked.
to identify
318/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
odd
lines from favorite books words marched in unison in her head,
but when she wrote them down they did not read consecutively
or crisscross:verbs remained solitary with no subjects
on certain vowels a color like calico was pasted.
pagination
property
di

erent he draws around the story a circle and then breaks up that circle
into angles so that the narrative line is abolished.The linear lines ofa
narrative are obtrusive and when he breaks it up there will be more energy,
instead oflines he is free to deal with planes.The planes join each other
to become cubes the entire outline ofhis life ts into a cube.
mix-up
Entering the hallway he stopped before the mirror:Most
gracious host,and he bowed to his favorite image he picked up the glass
STRIPPED TALES
/319
that rested on the table and repeated:
wszystkiego dobrego wa dniu
imienin,
and to his reection in the mirror he translated whiskey drowned
with new meaning.
selfdom
a venetian
When the mouth ofthe pitcher opened we saw thin pieces
ofglass beginning to melt a gilt domino shaded the water
the glass moved with a mercurial mothiness alive and yet its wings
closed
pallor
ice
A lamb moves into the pasture;the one-eyed goat pointed left.
A look at coldness thoughts ofquality:her petticoat is an
armored vehicle.
buttons
320/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
history
Night confounded hollering at architecture Our Lady
ofFatima thick co

ee the fat goose a youth called
Expireus...nothing to improve his intellect no buttercup
on the elds ofthe Ovidian School...
ambushed
klebnikovlootage
Velimir
they broke into thy
Baku
house and drank from thy cup of
numbers and Destiny improved their zero.
STRIPPED TALES
/321
useful
we remember the jumping frail iambs
upside down hat
sh moving backward.
techniques
loose grams
Continent with shelves engages the Queen and her Knight,
men in the boat,the movement oflaps as pebbles recede,
shoe attached to the shore,and the body is lonely.The sky
under water looking out from his stare.
ofnutmeg
322/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
typestry
ApparentlyTIGRIS
your vile husband
Two Rivers
Aspect
in normal times
Research Tells Us
di

culty with MESOPOTAMIA
breathing[an entire section missing]
Research Tells Us
In Round Number
mild calcication somedays I would
BABYLONIA
gladly
TO ARMENIA
yours as well as mein
Refrigeration
lovely lilies
Blossom Neither Sow
sidewalk Dispense Vendors
EUPHRATES CAVIAR
indigenous toto to
Nightmare
like
OLD TIMES.
ghost
Is this an eidolon?
infallibility is aoat permanently real a goatskin the dark-mouthed
exposition sideways.
aboard
STRIPPED TALES
/323
the French woman
And you connect the runner with the orchid have brought your music to
the Fair without dropping a stitch or hurling the wheel presented the
featherless goose who sang to the white underground
Claire La Belle.
beckoned
moment
She put the pail on her head then moving through wire she called to the
Master ofSculpture make way for
Softness
Im pouring it over the torso
then the bronze rain fell.
ofingenuity
324/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
antiquity
stairhootAthenas owl
that clouded
night dust
what we say
think you by dredging
out ofmemory slide
empathetic
...and then the Alpine pasture oppositionally peaks brassy cows
monumental drifts ofsnow here comes the
ski boy
ripe berries in
our cheek...
three days out from Lac Leman on their
way to Italy in moonless snow Mary and Shelley
cling to the carriage as it tips and swerves on
the narrow iced-over pass Lucifer below.
chimes
STRIPPED TALES
/325
law
The lady protests she reserves the right to select her
own ghost should you from the parlor call mineand where
were thee when griefdoubled over the lithe gure running
said mine.
ofthe ether
Bergsons Law
vita activa
and
vita contemplativa
in the middle ofthought in the golden cloak
contemplating
the schemer
begs to enter the
stream oflife
not a moment too soon:
umbrellabriefcasepencilpenglassespills
plunges into erupting
vita activa
magicked
326/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
were given the privilege ofdreaming told to have meaningful dreams:
might draw the darkened lines ofa cobweb to catch a dream or throw

lines like Leonardo or hurl a gure into the sky to catch
could place thin-shelled eggs on the path so in careless
walk the dream slides from its dreamer;there were many schemes to lure
meaningful dreams to the dreamers,windows decorated with silver,a
sparkling eagle;dreams ofpowerful cities Nimes,Narbonne,
Orange;powerful warriors Guillaume,Tibaut,Yonec;and to dream ofthe
Lays ofMarie de France.
the position
whenever Benjamin entered the room as today after his trip to the
toy fair bringing her the Christmas tree ornament in the shape ofa
samovar he found Asja crouched in a corner her position like that of
Moscow itselfcrouched in the snow or under an artillery blast or even
in pedlar clothes beneath an invisible arch crouched like the arch of
heaven that travels from town to town on only two wheels dragging a
broken lock the priests speak ofthis arch ofheaven as that ofMoscow
itselfcrouched in their empty church waiting Gods nal blast.
anarchial
STRIPPED TALES
/327
photo
beauty ofthe arm how it risesw-
a-
ve
mirage
328/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Quill,Solitary
Apparition
Finally,to the Italian Girl
O foemina delicata
(Baudelaire)
touched naught
being gleamy
bodie ofwater and uxorious
a bodie
not luxury
a bodie

not imperial
a guise
QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/331
(ifat noise intrudes)
evanescence
protects (and)

(may come to adore her)
the white heaven
uxorious;
(with) a slow delicacy
lente delicata ;
(thereafter).

332/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Garment

Broderie;
the rolled
garment;
window(ed)tress (of)
and moonlit

not in mourning
and caparisoned.
QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/333
Garment
(itself)
interior of
and even the exterior plane trees.

Or melodious/ly
at a gallop (in full dress)
or,the context
dusk/
And nights buckling.

334/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Like the thumbed aster
(onetwo,or so
the produce ofhaving
entwined)

lodged in the sparse soil ofhis mind

Whatever the lantern
ripped open
and its
wound.

QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/335
ushed with vocal soothing
and with touch

bled,the lines.
(a homespun articeonce!)
without disgrace in the notation
or scorn for discarding
even
the twelve-tones.

336/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
RED SAND AND ITS NARRATION,TRIBAL
(and appeals
to)
the outer vest.
Arriving at the desired caesura .

fabric:laid on the table
and slowly,a parallel
(wordsize)resemblance
to the plane trees.

QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/337
Model stranger
this
hiding
ofhiding
(a necessary evocation
and thee),
intuition.

Armor surrounds his lips
a mesh ofwideness and length,
increases with winter weight
and fortied by the miniature
(aping ofhis shadow).
338/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
the door open,or
upon return attached tothose di

culties,or
disabilities hinted:mesh
and its platitudes
and (this disruptiveness).

in an unreliable tense di

cult the word
backwards
or conrmation
suggests a frail misdemeanor
on the outer garment
(one never knows).

spinningturns it lightensas gleamless changes into dull
green an idea of
quietism
dark puddle
(sleeve ofthe mind)
honied in retrospect.

QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/339
Scissoring,and
cedilla
to improve
the furred whistle
ofthis garment,
ifit scampers...will pardon
the unknowing site and plane trees
where they may belong,

Fell,Darkly

what then will happen...ifshe nally
withdraws her regard from the lightning-lit
revery ofher clairvoyance...
*
To youeven following
disclosure;made rumor
340/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
*James Joyce
(nothing)and I who was:
the verbalindentured
(even then)
breathing
and separation.

Figure(so monumental) indirect
often(faded)
handwritingwith divigation:
genial,even in that period.
No matter!

possibly desire
QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/341
this hooded gure ;
(olive branch)
ended usurpation...;
band oftwigs
(their banding)
in other kingdom!

marked :the logic (ofno other place);if
in the game (a wild king is drawn)

out ofmany colors
de facto
in the presence of
an arm (perhaps
342/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
ofhis speech)

bred in the same room as,
(in the same room as he)
.....the merciful maiden
(indicated) and
amid di

culty
formed a separation ;
(her)
clairvoyance
fell,darkly.

This face
not her face
as(after) the feebleness
QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/343
(her grasp)
and the counterpoint/

prole releasing the same prole
backwards in the mirror
ifshe loseher own face

not yet
examination (of)
344/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
the future;

(the past folding backwardly:
she,
Christine de Pisan
perhaps
under an arch
shutterofdaisies)
and she made in other clef;
witness oftrialand bemoanment
(ofrobing)

outside credibility ofsurface
QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/345
(the past
folding backwardly )
her face

in other clef.

Pallor

Withdrawal from the conceptual line joined
that other surface aoat
(water is missing the fourth chord
the boatmans shout
346/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
another wave!)
And slowly.And somewhere other than observable water.*

:gure on roadside
who fasts waiting for the brown toad
the
azure
delicately blotted
where the planter drops a knifehe excises
the blocked harbor:
(miscellany ofclouds )
perhaps their voyage,
causes this weight on the di

culties they
cannot be excised even
QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/347
*Marjorie Welish
by
azure
ifa comb should ripple through its pallor

(slowly,
on
pillows pillows cloistered (as ifalive urged to obedience)
an abrupt dispersion:somewhere other than here,
mercurial ight into absence ;
(earths hold),slowly
and the separation may possess its own corrective
yellowed by the broken tide
(a mask and fever)
the night lamp is out on the verandah

they took themselves elsewhere
to review her embarkation and destination?
what she was mixed up in
348/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
what...the silt built up ;
and they are more gentle;she is a portion
ofthe view
a (mere) portion
leaned forward and smiling

observed with the oral usurping
within the palm ofher hand the
Venus and errata:
and to nd on the books cover,on its
aisle
the rivers synonymous curve.

drawing on remarks the material ofher dress avoided the
QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/349
ugliness
evoked by their presence evidence ofa peculiar
displacement (ofwhich)
the rose or eagle-leaf
appeared
part ofthe telling...
an observer ofomens in other life.

slowly,from the drawn-o

fountain
made declaration to the bodys stumblegiven the
legality oftime and its execution
(an opening ofcourtyards
crossed at full noon)
bone-like structure for the waist length hair
a fourth chord
in the waist length hair
the bone-like structuredissonant .

A fountain returns this dissonant chord
350/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
wetting her skirt with plashed water
and raises its volume (pity) lavishes
another persona
the raggedness

pallor
crept in
what is rouged in itsmade-up history
own into a storm:torments clear color
reaches into the numb structure sleeve mud color
(pygmy fountain eelings are young)
INSTITUTES
THE FOURTH CHORD.

QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/351
Leaving
MODERNITY

Leaving MODERNITY
as ifthe encircled doe
Medievality and in her hand,also dusted
apparition no less

dust on thy eyelash
leaving
and the narrowing eyes
352/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
a vanished equipment

and the idea of
departure
and its fountain
equidistant
and near
when soft water gathers
and dispenses
(without)(without)intervention
of(eros)

leaving (without ending)
without the streak evening yellows
QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/353
each day.each day.
still consummates
that perpendicular
restive procedure ofstone
(and the buttress)
the mouthingmouthing
(not apparition)
Not Apparition

larger and further away.
the dark rhyming.
What Has the World Done?

354/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
White Border,White Shapes,Black Square
.................................................

a disorder between space and form
interrupts Modernity
with an aptitude unties
the dissolving string

rose ofthy lip
(as once believed)
held tight to the beatic ozone:
QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/355
(without INTERROGATION)
took form from thy lip!
once thee was ribald

and thought ofyour vanishment,
Modernity
on the roadway
through needles:
permanently.

Cold and Its Demeanour

Night or the curtain
hesitation and even divorce
356/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
twilight in the Azores
a skein ofwool in the nostril

and on bent knee
to lightness in hyperbolic splendor!
naturalness the eldas scene
the vicua acts in what is
lmic,slow
(and idle gold daisies)

QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/357
the vicuas light step and breath
were held open doors
and red fur ;
and colds existence
inside this zone
a signicant warfare

moves to the shutter and
aurora
a step on thin snow
(the ngernail trace)
memory protrudes
and falls on;
and refused the tin sibilancy
358/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
perilousoval shelf
ofancestry ;

yes,it is.The vagrant
eye ofthe maiden roving
(she) in harmony with
selfand its demeanour
(whilst fear of
gold daisies)

ifin other clime or more idly
choice!
QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/359
a cloak ofvicua might cause the invisible
as here on a windy platform
to appear(and that)
with many colorswould transform.

Should independence
edify
then the archness offatewilfully
and also,selectivity offur,modify

the incorrigible decision
desire,attribution cold and its Self.

360/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Quill,Solitary
A
PPARITION

Practiced formalityas to a monument
(with circumspection)
OH CHARMER
peculiar movements circled
the supposed lightness
enters so near to Indigo
hastening the solitary movements
cloth and short rivers,spectrally.

and meditating on self,
(if) expressive to command
in habit or writperceives what exists
possibly fountain,grape,masthead
(or other) will seize intuition;
QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/361
HAUNTED REFRAIN
wherever this scalloping permits /in whatever location
able to repeat
or,even
an excess of
MAKE BELIEVE

a masked
tenure responsive to location/
embraces the
unmasking
on emptied eld BRUSHES AGAINST
the
feathering substitute!
(if) there be NOBILITY
the selfengaged
ghost-like presence,
guards its heraldry.

(lilacifquill should blur lilac
with brown ;
362/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
with browntamed
mossiness,
an
intuitive
atmosphere
joins hands,rock-a-by exclusion :
GROPING,SUBSTANTIAL,IDEAL)

WHISPER,or
perhaps a mere tale (the hair combing) placed
on a smooth surface
contrasts with her
grieess OWLERY
throughout time and its dungeon...

QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/363
latitudes provisionally
barmy,and other surrenders:
nightingale,coral.
Palm tree
as subject moonlight arranges
and branch,within the courtyard
a bronze capitalization
dares to remember .
gift ofoneselfto this order;
for the sake ofvirtuosity,its primrose
need ofdening.

Beyond hauteur a wandering mind
desires the latitudes...
will it yield
to the bronze cast
(aired in prole)
far o

face lit by re
364/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
attached to skull

a solitary cry
and embrace
masks an embrace of
rosier blandishment
and these recoveries:
the clean
interstices of
compositionand brings
the tenure or holdingwithin the quills
HALT
and miscellany.

A CLOUDED HAND
closedover the pasturing
and femur
(a minute dust).
Blow-out
and symptom
White,squall.
QUILL, SOLITARYA
PPARITION
/365
IfSo,Tell Me
Valorous Vine
Lifts a spare shadow
encircling vine,
does not tarnishbauble
from overseasand out ofsilver mine,
drop in clamor and volume.
Along the footpath
returned to mourning a lost stem,
gauzy the stem-like saving,or ruled
over stone to develop muscular di

culty.
In the wind
and overhead,held back lightning.Did
not surrender or refuse visibility and pliancy obtained.
or dissipate the landland unshackled,
budding in another country
while dark here.

ii
It can be seen she encouraged the separation ofower from the page,that she
wished an absence to be encouraged.She drew from herselfa technique that
o

ered life to the ower,but demanded the ower remain absent.The ower,
as a subject,is not permitted to shadow the page.Its perfume is strong and that
perfume may overwhelm the sensibility that strengthens the page and desires
to initiate the absence ofthe ower.It may be that absence is the plot ofthe
poem.A scent remains ofthe poem.It is the owers apparition that desires to
remain on the page,even to haunt the room in which the poem was created.
IF SO, TELL ME
/369
Storytelling
(introduce pavement)
Old-fashioned people in clothes.
Passage to friendship
(details,momentum.rey)
wave bye bye,
idly unfolds.
(dark,light,etc.)
(separately,form,)
indi

erent combinations.
(jest,tears.)
(Rhythm upswing)
(collision with serpent),
repeat and repeat
moonlight
as suspense,
moonlight.
Outside ofThis,That Is
An oyster,the fragrance,
oating dogoutside and shu

e through hunger,
once again nothing so di

cult when it passes in front
December goes before the new year.A battalion
offestivallargely in place by the regions devotion,
a annel embrace,as ifover,the green avor.
370/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
A feathery existential bower shall block
the rude agon.A grape
centennial passed
then passed as taught,
crowded by hope in a corralor anonymous
by the grape barrel,by the Ancients and
mixed the Novella with grievous
destiny.
plants that wait their copying into the future,
that is.
In Slow Motion
Melting,the melt ofsnow into midnight,
preoccupied,halfalive,an activity in slow motion
still attached.
Moves outside the textinto the dark
under text
A starry adultness
took other means
to lengthen the text,
by emotion,
and arguably noise
wooed in this chapter and
each page of,
O real life.
IF SO, TELL ME
/371
Doubleness
Robinsegg bluepasses into darker colorplaced its head,
uid blue ascends,Distance unrolling.
Continuous reel,as in allegory.
Another landscape,
darkly hinted,
rupture
ofdistance.

Body in the eldbeyond uneven brick,
meaning in advance ofitself.
Tree bronze birds sitting in it.
Imagined brick,
landscape toy.
Doubleness.
This elaborate structure around the text.
372/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
a n n u n z i a r e !
Dora Films (

)
Elvira Notari in Naples
* * * * *
Virgils body in a grove above Naples
and nearby a camera:
The camera prepares an
explanation
into the sky and to climb.
The mind wanders inside.The camera is nimble,
touched by fearfulness
becomes more pragmatic.It needs chiarascuro (light-dark)
should peril approach.

Elvira Notari uses the camera hood when il destino enters
in knit cap:
the visual depends on the visible.
Virgil at Naplesharbor leaning on his stick,
the power to see
what is invisible
the stick in a position ofpower.
IF SO, TELL ME
/373
A slap ofoarsleads to the visual,
gyrating where it ends.
A likenessto what is believed
is the poem.The camera takes us,momentarily.
Lily
reaches the locked door and inside the scalloping
remnants ofleang enlarged.
you after the disasterthe place under the lattice
Door,and outside leang,
corrects what is random.
Moss on the lily pond
and not worried.Thinking is not worrying.
Wish it were set to music.
A carriage ride through a wood
to visit the swan (Ladou,Ladou)
Moussorgsky!

374/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Miner
ofminiscapes,Selector,
bend your knee
to this handwriting.
A special timing
risky when used by bu

oon.
Earth-avored
experience says so.
Phidias
Futurism
Hand-Held Meter
Nothing but a ne Nerve-Meter(Artaud)

The Lull
The lull in rain
is greenwhere came
this disputethe lull
is at when it rests on a hill.
When a comma falls,
or crown rolled.
IF SO, TELL ME
/375
When a legend
passed through rain,
lull ofrock and shatter.
Part ofsurrendered air,
the goat-like view,
and four or ve liters ofrain.

Ifone goes beyond reality...,
began the woman at the window,
Winter blows under her door.
streaked with bolder ame.

Unusual Figures
A person stands in the doorway.Someone
apricot color.
in a cab
ofelectricity,
376/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
cool heat,desert air.
The author attaches herself
to those gures.
peculiar to her asking.
They are needed by the pageant ofcreativity!
The unusual height and
dots ofactiveness.
Is it from the basket shrub?
Lightness offeet,
circle ofgrey,ofgreen overlap.
What language
do they speak?

IfSo,Tell Me
I give you the unhinged sleeve
dropped the seamit went onto our back
was fodderless.
Wilted,say,by the gravel road
who ran a mile with legs apart
neck hanging and groupless.
Bird shadow crossing the roomleave the outdoors!
Earns a pittance offood on the ledgemother
often eggsthe real birdfeeds on ices
the shadow is ten eggs.
IF SO, TELL ME
/377
does this strike you as shallowdoes it tease aloud
the action
is part ofa wing.
The building was addedit grew from an armprotruded out of
a thighthe upper terrace is ghtingis divided.
To think ofyou turned inside
your garment rent you are appointedapart from the rites
lessened,as in a daring scheme.
You are beheaded
much cast out that rolls on the ground,toss out thread
ofwhat worked
to use or unlearn.Ifso,tell me.

The Luminous
Patches ofit
on trucks brilliant noise
on the gure a disrobing
radiance sweaters dumped
on water,
weightlifting there in the forest clump
striking at the underbrush,digging
past the clumsy curve
skipping certain passages,taking o

the sweater.
378/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
That r cone found its voice on the path
in light after the sun came out
the postcard illuminates certain features in the face
the notebook lying on the windowsill,
the spindle back,the broken stem,all richer,
lovescome forward the surprise ofwhite stars
and the boots step by amazingly on the dried rich clay.
the ball nearly swerves into it
those ancient people learning to count
surrounded by it,every day,
and navigators noting it there on the waves
the animus containing bits there on its subject
perched like sails,
bright rewards for preparing to strut forth
like the diver there on the board forced
by his greed into it.
Many loves changes to many times falling into
the days lucid marshes
a tap on the shoulder or a rst grasping that
object full ofsparks
the wilderness untangled by it.
The erceness with which it forged its memory,
its daylight,its absence.
IF SO, TELL ME
/379
Yes to the point ofdamages,
yes to the stunning infrequency,
yes to sober knowledge ofits parsimony.
A few r cones,sails,the stain removed,
blazes from the paper without lifting your hands.

Strings
Wing ofglassin high up oating
stave oftime,or weight,ceilingless and
ofcrystal time
measured,measure of,
pulls own weight,and dainty
protest,
plucked instrument,voiceless hum.

380/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Deception
In the long ago dayshe might
take her cloak
and place it upon
a hidden arm,and things
before our eyeswork out.She would
nd the cloak
near her cloak,
and walk
as ifsupernatural.
This Artand the long ago Art,
become a comparison with Reality.
Remain only themselves,
ifshe does not reveal the cloak.
She shall disclose herself(herselfstill pointing)
essential to the hidden
possessiveness in back ofa throat,
the double S ofthe word.
In the twilight a blue-throated bird
nishes his song,and Nature is hushed.
IF SO, TELL ME
/381
repercussions,
soundings
turn a corner
meaning the poem may despise,and conict begin.
By what
soundings
does one arrive at the interior?
Deceptions
use of
deception,a scale suited to its size.
Soundings relevant,
yet unpredictable,in depth ofpoem.
practices ofdeception
existing:to encounterarm,and sun,
cloakdid not have its own ambition until they
vanish and
return.
Meaning,also.
An original intention,iflost in its binderyeclipsed there and not sung
instinct developscoveted and heard,allowed to develop,even
to deploy or wanderif
glitter
is not abolished
the horizon
in back ofher throat/

jumpshurdles I put
into rainover the next Stateodd forward colors
become bearers offact wheneverwritten with verbs
I put softening on the rim.forestryhousing.

382/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Faery Land
A cloud opensa ruin ofcloud
piece ofgrey
lifted out and patched.
In faery landclouds behave and wands.
They seek
when I am turbulent have lost the knack,
beasts and autre paystapered claw
they bury
my skingo folk
with my toys
take a barge and go.
Winter showedit locked the pheasant
in a yard around it wentI took no notice,
so long a race I have run in Faery Land.
*

The Paris Lectures
What was said,what is meant?
The Paris Lectures
Elegies within.
Fog-banked shell,
rotunda writing describes.
White ofOaru.
The Husserl Lectures.
What was said,what was meant?
IF SO, TELL ME
/383
*Spenser

The Green Fly
Orphaned caught in a web
the green y.
No entertainment no grief
where they pick clover
the monument the soldier
goslings into new clover.
More
roommore
furmore
desire

An excited misapprehension of
la Gloire,
cheek of
brass.
Fought to the nishstars
orchids,perhaps,
at dusk severely.
384/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Multiple tunessunrisegloaming
auditorium light.
Naked in thy boat.

Confession ofMy Images
The sliding window
left agape,and
the neck does not swell
an octave with ardor
is destablilized.
Ofquery and cultivation,ofvases not known,
even as the known voice so is the alarm .

Eros freed ofthe wooden seat
the crowd similarly,as
an elbow
IF SO, TELL ME
/385
ts into the ancient arm
touch
creating furor.

the page
oats on knobbled water,
debris in the atrium,to visit Leopardi in Naples
supportive
to breathe the same idiom.

Effervescence
Spill ofink,not enough
lather.
Ink spill
lather on the Rock.
Andromeda
long hairnude body
386/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
NOISE
surrounds the paintingon the right side it is
crackedthe hair color changeddried paintaltered the hand.
Wire is inserted into the gold frame.
Figures wait in anxious groupsdistance takes away their height.
there is a furious
helicopter wind.
Theylower a rope onto the Rock.
The painting is cracked,her neck is chipped,
pieces ofgilt curl fall o

.She grows more naked.
Bone is exposed.The canvas mouth torn.
AIR IS PHOTOGRAPHED!

The wings ofPerseus ap wildly,
his arm reaches under her.
He wants to lift herA WING IS ABOUT TO FALL OFF
Strange to watch him holding onto his wing!
HE IS INAUDIBLEthe twittering
he makes blew it away.
Pieces ofchipped paint litter the dock.
Memory goes backward and forward.

IF SO, TELL ME
/387
A painting by Ingres relates Ovids story ofthe rescue ofAndromeda from a rock by
Perseus.
The
Strum
What is fraught and undenied travel in rare
dayishnesssupplication in ermine an approach.
Landscape treated
to remoteness.
Newish place,ferns,gracefulness.
And excavation on
the edge ofattendance.
Weed dangle in hair.
Do not reverse shapes
go scared
ermineless.

Ripe in default
what preceded
old root tree.
(detail starts to blur)
Nightingale
and human outline
landscape behind landscape.
Spill ofink not enough
lather
388/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
bottomless
passage in the
red strum.
Dream ofe

ervescence
pine and mountain gear.
a di

erent appearance,new
imaginations
here and beyond.

Music History
i
The rhythm ofthe section
nor said to be withheld
a credible garnering
a natural context of
mountain property
nymph on the ground
fountain attached to
grotto.
Mind you the soul ofthe piece
a tight operation
and viols
wilful counterpoint.
Addresses the Mass
and far o

Celtic tuning.
Wolfchorus
then bells lavender bells.

IF SO, TELL ME
/389
ii
Twittery business
at the waterfall
animal noise snow
The awe of
friendly speech.
Edenic viols
no promissory masterful
explanation of
the reprimand scene
a non-turbulent
withdrawal.
The camomile fades,
breeze o

the lake
preparing lemon trees.

iii
Audacious idea
empty left hand,
Die Glckliche Hand,
*
interrupts the idyllic shore-line
light bulb
mobility.

390/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
*
The Lucky Left Hand,
Schoenberg
Sideways
Sideways
become what is
thoughtbred
and steeple.
Is true this bodie
has a surpass ofbeautie
thiefin that heart ladle
ladle historic
supergreen
printed in darkness.
No chill no vapor
unroll or unwarm
underground plenty
warmth ofplenty
is
warrant.

Or gobble the soil
avored
as ifwarm
ingratiatingly coated
invisible.
With sharpened
cornice
IF SO, TELL ME
/391
and is of
cheek bone
a tame animal
And tame animal
slungover his shoulder
wet autumn

Ennobled with surprise the root
deepens and the sprouting,
the pagan sprouting,
grains ofit torture the eyes.
A greened-over tree years
(mourning)
ofmourning and exploding.

ofaltering!
ofunmuddied visage
(sideways

392/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Overboard
my rst Motion Picture story derives from a
sequence in the classicArt ofthe Film
Nothing is shown except the quivering surface the woman standing up and
then jumping overboard in which is se
en the reection ofthe boat the woman
indirectly shown by her reection in the water she is seen falling into water
where the reection lies ofherselfstanding up and jumping o

the boat;at the
next moment the woman herselfis seen falling into water at the very spot
where her reection lies the boat is not important the boat with the woman on
board reected in the wateris important it creates unusualness;the suicide
reected in the water catches the eye that with only a passing interest might
have watched the woman jump into the water the eye is caught by this artistic
trickwhen an adolescence is passed viewing these artistic tricksthe woman
jumping into the water could never be as signicant to this person as reec-
The Tear
She walks up the slight incline ofa hill fatigue conveyed by the way she bends
down to loosen her hiking boots.The sun is high,there is an absence ofwind,
and ripples ofheat arise from the distant sand.The heat is given a further
tonality when a cloud ofbees swarms over the horizon.A tear collects in the
womans eye.This
close up
ofher eye with its tear is purposefully designed to
interfere with the cameras exploration oflandscape.It signies that a tear col-
lected in a heretofore dry eye will convey a possible sadness entering the lm.
There is a further purpose to the emphasis ofa tear in her eye.The Director de-
sires to wrest our attention from the landscape! The camera saysit is no
this long-haired woman.
In a rare static moment (rare to a camera) the camera having removed itself
from its
engaged closing in
on her eye,we are permitted to follow the hesitation
ofher arm.Only then,(an almost invisible moment oftime) we recognize that
the camera
is intimating,not telling
that the
dramatic
action ofthis lm is
about to begin.
/395
The Cough
He felt an uncomfortable sensation in his throat.Perhaps his throat was strug-
gling with words.Seated in the car next to this Japanese lm director,Wilhelm
began to cough.He feared the conict going on in his throat might not stop.It
might continue and interrupt their conversation in the long drive from the
Japanese airport.He threw his body against the seat in an attempt to shake o

his embarrassment.
Allergy,said Nagao with condence,Allergy to our lm.On Nagaos un-
wrinkled skin were little ribbons ofsmile.
At the intersection ofthe road in Nagasaki where in Japanese lms a short dark
where light crept through like an oyster.He said he would like to use that oys-
ter light.
Cliche,
said Nagao.
(Observing Nagao in his dark blue denims,he wondered iftheir lm should be
called
Dark Blue Denim.
Pachi
Pachi
in Japanese.
Wilhelm suggested the sound ofcreaking wood for the scene ofthe two people
lost in the garden.
Pachi Pachi
The action was too slow and Wilhelm wanted a more violent crescendo.When
the body fell down the cellar stairs,perhaps another body could fall on top ofit?
Could be liquid soap on stair,said Nagao.
In the middle ofa lm,Wilhelm always had the feeling he was being chased.He
complained that when he directed those shots up in the sky with two planes
on the wings ofthe plane,suggested Nagao.
Perhaps he might return to his home for awhile and the scenarist could work
with Nagao.She could put her own story into the script,how she got hired,etc.
He thought ofhome as a possible sequence and
Home
started to roll with its
camera views.
Home
needed editing,especially the scene with his analyst when
they discussed his cough that now seemed like another room in the movie.
396/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Nagao believed the lm was too slow.It was old-fashioned to explain why
Wilhelm disagreed and told him the sh cart was like a scene by the painter,
Utamaro,a capsule ofreal life.He suggested a new title,
Dreams ofReal Life.
No,said Nagao,both eyes blinking,
The Cough
Trousers for Extras
It was the scene where the toothy actress takes a glass ofwater and places it on
tended to remove the camera from her ambitious arrangement ofowers.The
camera,following the rhythm ofthe water,picked up the shine ofher molars as
she brought the water to her face.The shine remains in the shadowy fade-out
to a mansion where the star ofthe picture under a canopy ofice green purple
red lay chained to an enormous burlap bag.
trousers for extras
was
written on it,and there were many many people in the chamber all dressed in
cards for the extra stages in what was to be one ofthe most gigantic produc-
tions ofthe studio.
Nostalgia
A need to lm
Nostalgia
crept into the studio and
Fade In
Dissolve
plaisirs
ofvisual kings:knees,masks,intolerance,greed,ballrooms,Bucharest,Vienna,
slums;barges,wars,candles,airplanes,deserts,California,New York,railroads;
gangsters,light bulbs,aprons,swords,horses;the Riviera,Russians,madmen,
births,Christ,weddings;
Fade Out
dissolve into an earnest documentation;
Fade into
Overview:
Now

*
Now
the pain has left the body.Only an outline remains.Down by the bath-
house where the soundless waves tumble the
Montage
ends in an unnished
tree.Nothing is alive.A writer sits at
Windows,
a woman on his Screen.He puts
her on a reefwith the shipwrecked sailor.The feeble sun he paws will not burn.
/397
The Guerrilla Reporters
The guerrilla reporters move into the rst reel and Scanty Pantiesmoves out.
Over the hill slowly a mass ofshadow lights up as on camera facing front there
oats a pink tutu.We never tire ofthis scene it crosses our eyes at night mixed
with the directors sweaty palm holding onto the tree while the mobile camera
moves toward him past a sack ofrice.
There is uplift everywhere there is no darkness the little screen the lm will
the action and they make it happen ag
ain while guns run up a hill then down
and the dummy soldier falls several times.The momentum ofthe lm is so
swift we almost miss the counterpoint ofGuerrilla voices accompanying the
ghostlike drift ofthe tutu as the gallant camera moves in little steps behind it.
Then with a sound crisp as an icy tear,the soldier falls again as the tutu fades
from the screen.
Confucius
The actress was washing her face the camera picking up her motions slowly
with great emphasis on the wrists,she had a way ofexing them that was
unique and the director wanted the camera to catch this movement.The cam-
snow oes.He understood the scenario,how snow rinses her wrists slowly,
without being told he slowed his camera,so that the audience might grasp the
meaning ofsnow on the wrists ofthe actress,and the snow that the wrists
moved through.He was lming slow whiteness.Lighting was important and
the lighting assistant,Swedish,also,was selected because he understood the
business ofsnow as it enters the atmosphere.The dialogue that takes place be-
tween it and day as it begins and as it ends gathering a momentum ofwhite-
ness.The lm becomes more than a contemplative movement ofwrists.In the
beginning water that fell from her face to her wrist served as an introduction.
At that point the story line needed to be photographed from far o

.Only later
There seemed to be no misunderstanding as to who indeed was the star and
what role the camera played,each subsisted on snow.Within the screenplay
originally xed solely on the ability ofthe actress to ex her wrists (camera
shot ofwrists) (camera preys on face above her wrists) a secondary plot was
now beginning to develop as snow and light crossed the face ofthe actress.The
actual fact ofher washing,the Director now realizes,has become a subsidiary
plot in need ofmore complex artistry.
398/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The Director is a di

cult man.His sudden changes ofmood often cause alarm.
In exasperation he picks up a book lying on a table nearby and throws this book
hitting the sink where the actress washes,narrowly missing her wrists.It is silent
lm so we do not hear a plaintive voice,or the sound ofthe book striking.
We see the trembling ofthe actress as the book narrowly misses her wrists.
Without any prompting she picks up the book (no sound to delude us) and
guides the book up to her face where we see written on its cover
The Sayings of
Confucius.
She is reading Confucius!we repeat over and over,as we savor the
Directors silent applause.
Color
He believed ifthe woman on the right moved over to the left he could place her
into the frame where a meadow lay beyond her.But it did not work out that
way.The moon came up too early.The glow the moon cast lit up the shadow
behind the wheelbarrow.No one could advance in the shattering moonlight.
The lm begins to take the shape ofa milk bottle with the heavy cream on top.
He blamed everything on the use ofcolor.The heavy woman who played the
woodcutters wife wanted to lay some emeralds on her bosom.They are the
color oftrees,she says.The skin ofthe leading actor was the color offerns which
do not blend with the pastel process that turns the clouds to pastel.The girls
knee is supposed to be grey when she bends it,not the color ofblood.The voice
coming from the elderberries is colorless,indicating melancholy.He remembers
the alluring depths in lm without color when tears were dark as drops falling
from a ravens mouth.Once again his e

orts have been emptied ofmeaning.
Nuns
The story was about nuns shedding their Habits,it was supposed to be a doc-
umentary with a close-up in the cloister ofone nun walking in the new dress of
were the orders given to the wardrobe department.The other nun would wear
the discarded nun habit with rosary at the waist.Unfortunately the wardrobe
department had packed away or sold the original habits and had not ordered
any replacements.
The picture was about to be cancelled
when the director had the idea oftak-
ing his crew over to a convent and lming his picture there.At this point an
/399
argument began about where they would nd a convent.A member ofthe crew
told them the nuns lived on church grounds,or so he thought,and why didnt
they move their equipment to a neighborhood Catholic Church.
had already been chosen after much delay and search,or ifthe nuns in the
Church that was yet to be located would permit themselves to be lmed.The
nuns would add authenticity to what was proposed as a documentary.At this
point the actresses said they would sue the company,because their contracts
were already signed.It was also mentioned that there might be a clause in the
contracts ofnuns that did not permit them to act for commercial purposes.
Commercial purposeswas familiar to the production department and after
no more than an hour word came from the head o

ce saying the department
would be delighted to make a gift to the church ofchoiceifone were selected
as soon as possible as the production manager was already annoyed at the delay.
The director idle during these conversations retired to his van and was reading
The Counterfeiterswhile he sipped his afternoon vodka with orange juice.
His assistant climbed into the van and they began to discuss Andre Gide and
Director remarked it was quite a coincidence that he,the son ofa Protestant
minister,should be making a documentary about nuns.
Old lms about nuns used starmaterial like Ingrid Bergman.It was absurd to
make this documentarywith third rate actresses and local churches.They
were deciding to take the company to Lourdes when the telephone rang can-
celling the picture.The church in Beverly Hills wanted too much money and
the priest ofthe Church ofthe Angels near Olvera St.was in Mexico.
Corelli
The more the scenario relies on Corelli the more uid it becomes and moves
closer to the idea ofa master scene whose nuance is xed in a shadow kingdom
which the music ofCorelli will underscore.Within the scenario there is built
rrrictn
ess within
uiditywhich will complicate this movie now experimentally called,Bird on
Nude Girls Hip.
400/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The Vanished Library
They were in Alexandria lming
The Vanished Library.
This lm was assigned
originally to Petaluma,but she was in Minneapolis making
The Life ofHia-
watha.
She kept faxing suggestions to the new director who was already intim-
idated by her.In a re-run ofthe rst reel ofhis lm there was a curious rush of
water,like the Mississippi,someone said.
The lm was barely o

the ground when the wardrobe head decided to re-
design the costumes ofAristotle and Pliny.The lm began to act as ifit were
haunted when the crew was forced to destroy the plywood copy ofthe Library
which an historian told them was incorrect.Also,there were too many ships in
the harbor.Another consultant from
mit
recommended an Egyptian director.
laughed brutishly.He told them the scholarly debate was not over the size of
Iliad
and the
Odyssey
had each been written by
Homer.He reminded them that the library had been burned several times.
What they were now working with was a false copy ofthe second burning of
the library.
By this time the crew and the actors had decided Alexandria resembled Los An-
geles.Why didnt they take the picture back to the studio in Culver City where
they could live at home,comfortable and mosquitoless?
Los Angeles had a burned library and an Art Foundation that could supply
them with drawings ofhistorical disasters.The sea ofLos Angeles was also poi-
soned,like the waters ofAlexandria.It was decided to move back home.
lm.It turned out that midway into
Hiawatha
she had converted to Social Re-
alism.Despite groans from the accountancy department,which had approved
The Vanished Library
as a prestigious property,she announced she was not
going to make another
art lm.
weep also for the fragile gowns they cannot wear,the specially cut jewels,for-
bidden.The actors sigh for the silk and fur oftheir cloaks,the agons ofwine
now missing.
/401
Then begins the actual conagration when the Library like a mighty ship keels,
its marble columns are felled,the precious literature destroyed.Historical
throwing volume after volume ofbooks into the re,urging the extras to carry
more books.
more fire more fireburn more
booksmore books booksburn
Lonely Mess
A fully dressed man with the mobile face ofan actor ofthe

s is standing on
camera pans in.Looking directly into the camera he repeats over and over:
Lubitsch
She was handed this beautiful opportunity ofdirecting a lm she truly believed
in.The trulyhad been written into her astonishingly female-oriented con-
tract and for days she had been considering scripts,even books.Now she was in
a blue funk.
The color blueew under her lids as did a passing memory of
Erwartung
by
Schoenberg.A pink tulip was added to a painting by Tiepolo.She noticed a bowl
ofraisins placed near her desk.Did they belong there? All at once she remem-
bered a little girl with a cow and she believed the little girl once belonged in a
nursery rhyme in a book called Smooth Realities.The pink dress ofthe little
girl,even the bows on her dress went with the tulip that went with the room.
Meanwhile the postman delivered a large package wet from the rains that be-
seiged her city.She put the package on
a table and a plum rolled out ofa gro-
cery bag her daughter carelessly had placed on the table.The cat came down-
stairs and bit her leg.She remembered
the blue cat who had fallen out ofthe
window in Switzerland.There had been a tall old tree under the window and
the cat had lain in the tree for days alive and meowing while the people below
in the rst oor apartment had told her the cat was dead and had been carted
402/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
away.She looked at the palm tree outside.She began to weep a little and tears
gathered in her eyes just beneath the memory of
Erwartung.
The door opened and her husband walked into the room.He had been away on
a trip.He put his suitcase on the oor and embraced her.His gaze,however,
was not on her,but toward the open door ofthe kitchen from which came the
warning smell ofburned chicken.
opened them her husband was gone and so was the odor ofburned chicken.
That is real editing!she said out loud.
Then she talked to herselfabout Montage Montage and how people neglected
was home to celebrate with her.Her daughter,or the cook,she added,as she
liked to think the studio paid her more than it did,had made a
coq au vin,
the
same kind ofchicken they served in the lms ofErnest Lubitsch that took place
on the Left Bank.
She remembered the champagne they served in Lubitsch lms even when faced
with poverty and bitter times.Then another tear formed in her eye with the
memory ofthe chi

on dresses that oated over his shiny oors.She heard the
music.The music that lightened his touch.Moody but not sad.Doors that ac-
You climbed up his handsome stairs to the great doors that swung open to men
sitting in chairs and drinking,laughing,lying.People lied in his pictures and
snare ofeveryday life.What did dream-laden Lubitsch know about everyday
life! Then she recalled the eyes ofa former Hungarian Baroness.She had played
with a little fan tied to her wrist as she conded her life story tears,interna-
Now it occurred to the Director that she was not in need ofa script.All day she
had been montagingbits ofstories.Her script was already written.It was
composed as an
Intermezzo,
a breeze in the middle ofthe day.Her lm would
be the length ofan
Intermezzo,
whispers,interruptions,innuendos,a memory
conded across the table,before the half-bottle ofchampagne is served.
/403
Noise
It was midnight and the chiefcutter was turning out the lights in the cutting
room when he heard a noise.The noise seemed to shift around the room like
an obscure cloud.From the open window ofhis house he often watched the
montage
ofthese clouds.
He had been in this country so long he was accustomed to the continual shift-
ing ofnoise.His native home was in the Black Forest as it edged around
Freiberg.Later in Berlin he learned to edit out the city noise.He became a lm
cutter because he could control the little shifting sounds that attempted to
warp his life.
her gown.She fell as the camera turned.The curls ofher hair were spread over
the nape ofher neck.The Director murmured Lovely,then he called Take.
to use only the moment when the actress lay on the oor her hair spread
around her.He noticed the cast had gathered to watch the fallen actress and he
left them in the lm.
Now he recognized the source ofthe noise in the room.It was his scissors cut-
ting into the womans hair.
Preparedness
They were on location in the hills above a small California town and before
breakfast the Assistant Director and a member ofhis crew were scouting out
possible locations for the movie they were going to make.It was tentatively
called Preparednessor He Is Preparedor Without Preparedness;the word
Preparednessor Preparedwas ordered to be in the lm title.This had to do
with an idea ofthe Producers that all bad things in the world happened be-
no one had found an answer.
gentle land that lay about them.There were wildowers amid the eucalyptus
trees and there were chestnut trees with the pale rose colored blossoms at their
long ngertips.An azalea or two became part ofa disordered group ofculti-
vated owers blown there by the bay winds.All was serenely natural and even
404/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
stately with the yellow Iris,and the browned Peony buds,a straggling Rose and
soft breeze laden with scent,trees changing color as the morning passed and
light lled with yellow charmed these Hollywood men,their talk became less
indignant.
They could see the water ofthe Bay below them with small boats anchored at
its shores.A cloud rolled over from a mountain above the Bay.The light
changed on their mountain to a dark grey.The sun slowly entered the cloud
and the cloud was mottled with a yellow glow from the sun forcing its way
through the grey cloud.On top ofthe far mountain there was a contest be-
tween the color ofthe sun forcing its way through the cloud and the dark cloud
coming from behind the mountain forcing itselfinto the yellowed light.
The movie men noticed that the ground below them and beside them was
mottled with this color coming from across the bay and the leaves on the
ground began to pick up a little wind.T
he owers began a slow nodding and
what had been simple now began to turn into a darker more complicated
color;the breeze was picking up and this caused the leaves ofthe tree near
them to atten and show their dull greyish green sides.The odor ofowers
began to enter the new stillness and halt there.
One ofthe men sensitive to attacks ofheat and cold began to shiver.Another
across and closed the package.He was reminded that smoking was forbidden.
The land had been too dry,too crisp and eager for re,and they began to dis-
cuss the terrible re that had ravaged a mountain nearby.
A bird ew across the horizon.He was large and the swoop that his wing made
canyon created no disorder in their vision,but indicated a calmness as always
in an elegant nesse ofnature.This brought the men to a conversation about
save a picture from the tawdriness it willingly fell into.Elegance,as in the
length ofthe swoop ofthe hawks wing.One ofthe men looked at his watch
wishing to time the swooping,ifpossible.The hawk obligingly ew over them
again even as the rst drops ofrain fell.With the beginning ofthe rain the
hawk began to y higher like an airplane,it was remarked,seeking another al-
titude.So they were unable to time the hawk and its elegance became a mem-
ory.But memory is useful they remarked.They were talking about memory
ina lm,ofcourse,because none ofthem had much use for anything outside
their work.
/405
The rain had by now muddied the hill path and the color ofthe owers became
more brilliant against the ground before their soft heads were utterly de-
stroyed.Across the bay a streak oflightning hit a mountain peak and they
watched the rain pour from a cloud and into the bay.The men had brought no
umbrella or raincoats they were unprepared for this natural seizure ofland and
color.They were unprepared for the sudden swirl ofwater around their ankles
and wetter until each ofthem was swallowing the rain water.They had been
unprepared for this torrent ofwater but now they knew how the scene would
play out.
Moments Before ...
A surprising order had come down from the Producer to make a lm on/or
concerning the subject ofDeath,an accidental Death ofa person ofimpor-
tance.
This caused much speculation as to the mortality ofthe producer,himself,
until someone pointed out that lodged on the sparse soil ofhis mind,like an
Icelandic ower,was a fondness for the lms ofIngmar Bergman.This faith in
Bergman,who many ofthe studios considered nished,must have estab-
lished itselfwhen the producer was an adolescent,as no similar evidence ofthis
a

ection existed in his harsh demands to make more gun shows.
After the usual studio squabble,a woman came up with the idea they lm the
Italian Revolutionist,and their child in

.Dont make it too sad,Make it
inevitable.The producer envisioning a Joan ofArc lm,said to the Director.
The Director was surprised to be pulled into this lm.The elegance and nu-
ance ofhis direction was out offavor.(
As ifthe Producer decided to open his last
case ofLatte Rothschild.
) The Director was not interested in a shipwreck.He
had come to America in a packed ship just before the Nazis closed in and he
hours before Miss Fuller went aboard.He believed that in a lm it was the mo-
ments beforedeath that counted.(It was odd the young people considered
this a feministlm.Death was no divider ofthe sexes.)
406/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
cape cradling her child in her arms while her companion struggled with the
luggage pieces that in the wind were losing their careful wrapping.There was a
close-up ofthe man struggling to bind them.
was ordered to zoom in on the woman and then close-up on the child burying
his little head in her billowing skirts.The camera moved to the harbor to the
frail ship plunging and tacking in the wind.The grips were ordered to raise the
wind noise and it grew weightier and a word to the soundman brought a wail
from the ships mast.Then the noise was cut back.The snow stopped.A silvery
moon began to climb out from behind the clouds.The silver touched her shawl
and the forehead ofthe child.
The Director motions the Captain to climb aboard with the silvery moonlight
now full on his face.Moonlight its from their heads and their shoulders and
spotlights the luggage now mysteriously aboard.The Director shows the child
wrapped in his bundling how to ing his hands outward as ifto catch the rays
ofthe moon.
her) to her lover standing aboard the ship,and we see there are tears in her
eyes,snow tears.A small cloud begins to cross the heavens,the cameraman
lms the cloud as it passes across the ship and he continues lming as the cloud
begins to fall once more.There is no sentimentality in this scene with Fate in
the turbulent air.
The ominous moon moves out ofthe cloud.Death crosses the foreheads of
these people even the crew and the child.The Director has perfectly under-
stood the requisites ofhis lm.
The Dream Motion Picture;
a proposal for animation
duel noises mixed with musical bells.
dream ofthe crowd,while in a corner ofthe same dream chamber a man hugs
a book bound in vellum as he reads by candlelight.
/407
The dreamer sees upon the green a mighty cavalry and fairies oating over-
head,one a queen,and on her hand is a purple ring,and at her throat a scarf
with prophesies woven on it.
motor,and from the stars fall these owers.
We see strolling down the hillside a band ofstragglers laughing,they are all
laughing while the man they follow never ceases to talk.On his embroidered
sleeves that plough the air as he swings his hands above his head is written:
Philosopher.
We are led into a library where sits an ancient fellow poring over a map that is
the Map ofthe World and over the Map dolphin swim.
emeralds falling from his neck and over his shoulders is placed a fur ofthe little
All things in this dream sequence appear ofa great and kindly Order and the
rhythm ofthe dreamer (his breathing) seems moved by this Order,and no thing
articial reaches into the dream chamber.The dreamer is passing through the gate
over which is written: MODERNITY.
Nemesis
The lm she was working on was lled w
ith an odd,an unexpected grief.She
could not rush past it.The lines on the face ofthe actress showed up clearly and
her eyebrows puckered in a frown,even as she read the scenario that was sup-
posed to be sophisticated and amusing.Her little dog lay with his head thrust
down;his long hair fell in front ofhis eyes,from time to time he moaned.Her
owers wilted in all their vases.The piano became mute.The boy who was to
enter from the right tripped on a rug and fell sobbing in front ofstrangers.
share ofsorrow.The automobile to be lmed in front ofthe white door to the
mansion developed carburetor trouble and had to be removed.The actor who
was to drive the car stubbed his toe on the big rock that sat at the end ofthe
408/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
And it rained.Los Angeles rain,like no other rain,overowed the gutters.
There were mudslides and lost houses.The Rose Parade to be used as a back-
ground shot to give the lm
authenticity
was cancelled.A month before when
the lm was in its earlier stages there had been a re in one ofthe canyons the
production unit was going to use.And the planned lming ofa famous Bud-
dhist who was to land at the Burbank Airport near the Studio had to be
scrapped,because he was taken ill on the East Coast.
The spirit ofNemesis
head moaned,
my Nemesis.
A bright and neglected writer asked,Why not
call the lm,
Nemesis?
Few knew what the word meant,but they liked the sound.Its sound might im-
prove the imageless desert on which they were stranded.
The Aromas
It was the beginning ofthe picture,a few lights were winking in a great dome
and cars were running below like small butteries arching their limber wings.
These were known as Aromas and introducing them in the rst advertising reel
was di

cult because they had no aroma and were di

cult to catch in the huge
An anonymous noise issued from loud speakers and a nondescript lter equal-
separate chemical property.The idea is that it is possible to reduce subject
matter to a form ofchemicalization and the intent was to spread a mono-
chrome over the entire area,allowing even spectators to be alloted anonymous
positions,poised in a world losing the individuality ofits personnel.Thus
anonymity will act as a lubricant in personal lives,adjusting salaries,easing re-
The lm projection circling around the idea ofa civilization directed by chem-
icals created di

and his assistant,while clinging to the established historicism ofCinema pro-
duction,welcomed the advent ofcomputerization ordered by the moguls in
control ofthis picture.Their task would be lightened ifthe plot were developed
through computer graphics,rather than an actors characterization.Signs
would replace screams,or lengthy conversations.
The main o

ce was thrilled to have its employees welcome an innovation they
were eager to pursue.Within a few days a massive group ofcomputers had
/409
been rolled in with their attendants to assist the
grips.
Specialists were called in
to explain the machines elementary usages.Over a thousand computers were
to be used,each personalized to t the directives ofits controller.
It became necessary to make several changes in the script at this point in order
to reduce words which gradually lled up too much space.Hence a series ofpe-
riods (........) were introduced to replace this superuity ofwords.
Meanwhile the Director had changed into a chemical proofoverall.(It was re-
marked in hollow voices by men standing farthest from the computers that
what they were preparing had already been accomplished by Eisenstein when he
lmed Russias massive chemical factories.) An argument broke out among the
the Germans in that terrible winter no contemporary graphics could reproduce.
Later another argument would unfold in the studios promotion department as
newspapers and magazines were fed stories ofthe phenomenal use ofgraphics
in this production.Like warriors falling on the battleeld,so did the faces of
actors now disappear in advertisements to be replaced by computer Os,a form
ofcamouage distressful to the lm stars,yet considered a radical break-
through in computerized studio promotion.
The same idea was seized by the computer companies,who ordered that the
Os inside their computers in radical situations be replaced by
faces,
a substitu-
tion forever associated with this award-winning motion picture.
Falling in Love
You have to be on your toes,he ordered,so she obediently tiptoed out ofthe
room.
Cutcalled the Director who liked small body movements,toes turned out-
ward and knees hidden under clothing.He had seen her knees knocking
against the fabric ofher body.Knocking knees disturbed him,although his
own walk was odd,with one foot hitting the other.
She was back in the room,obediently on tiptoes,her head in a cloud the e

ects
man had built,but her body was o

balance.Standing on one foot as she was
told to do,her torso was o

center.When she fell,with that little look ofsur-
prise one always has,unfortunately she was outside the camera range.This
deeply annoyed the Director who wanted to stress the frailty ofthe body with
this fall.The whole company would be surprised when later the front o

ce
titled their lm,She Falls in Love.
410/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
...the stream upland and you in your overcoat a tender brown the mood ofthe
landscape yet a storm treads its way and thee Oh wanderer who seeks the real
storm pauses for this apparition to disappear.
He was the same Director as in She Falls in Love,with the same attitude to-
ward his actors,sitting in his poncho under an umbrella reading the script as
the storm approached.The actors in the distance were gathered near a barrel.
Taking out his binoculars to see more clearly it turned out they were next to
several low barns.He had told the actors to gather by some barrels while the
cameraman adjusted his camera for a distance shot.
No,it wasnt barns they were standing beside,it was a house he now discovered.
the landscape.His actors appreciated this in his lms.A house in the distance
changed the whole concept.He had ordered the barrels,because they lent an
impermanence to the scene,and he wanted to introduce this into his picture.
He didnt actually use the word
impermanence.When speaking about this
was a bit shaky;apt to rollaway ifnot watched.
The action began in heavy mechanical st
udio rain.An actor in a brown over-
One by one as the director watched,the actors reappeared.Each carried a
and more barrels! Four more times.Before the real storm hits.
As he turned back to go to his car he was dissatised.The mechanical rain had
Wasnt the landscape supposed to be like an apparition while the men in their
raincoats going in and out ofthe house in the studio rain were supposed to
real world too much these days.He hated reality.His raincoat had already
dampened the seat ofhis expensive car and there were puddles on the oor.
Puddles! In his beautiful car! That was what was wrong.You had no control
over reality.He sat back in his seat,prepared to reconsider the lm in terms of
an apparition with absolutely no intrusion ofthe physical world and its
weather.
/411
A wind was howling in from the desert,strong for that time ofthe year in Los
Angeles.The woman being lmed was walking up a Boulevard,the wind blow-
ing her hair,her skirts also lifted by the wind.The wind was dry,having arrived
from the desert with no scent ofthe sea upon it.
It was,however,performing strange tricks with the camera.The wind spilled
into the camera streaks ofcolor,like peals ofhysterical laughter.
The landscape was now speckled with color.Looking out on this curious
forestation ofcolor were the palm trees.Their heavy heads and long thin
trunks were speckled with green.The green ofthe palm trees seemed to grow
more intense with each moment that passed.The camera began to overow
with the heaviness ofall that green inside it overtoppling the speckled color
that jammed it.
The gure ofthe woman became a dark green as one color passed into another.
pening to the cameras was now beyond anyones control.What was happening
to the road in front ofthe woman heavily laden with color was also beyond the
cameras control.
The men carrying the cameras and those on trucks following them began to
behave in an odd abstract fashion.There was an illusion ofheads becoming
heels and waists became arms,as ifa circus bounced along a road distributing
colored announcements ofits arrival.As ifthere were clowns in the melting
colors whose cheeks became more and more highly colored,their rouged lips
opening to swallow the liquid color that owed around them.The royal palms,
their long necks entering the sky,were like gaily decorated elephants from
whose snouts colors owed.
Color weighed down the heavy burlap ofthe short scrub palms intruding into
the burlap around their waists.The palms appeared engaged in a practical
manufacture ofcolor.All this took place within an hour.Color crumpled the
pavement,then mounted upward making its way from the soft centers ofthe
palms to cover their features.
On a nearby hill was a camera crew whose lens were still untouched.There the
trees still maintained their silken royalty.Suddenly one tender palm winced as
the rst ember ofcolor fell on it.And as the wind gathered strength a shout
their cameras in a nal hope this shot will alter their careers.
412/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Romance
The director had led his cast to a viaduct ofa dry river and the cast resented this
overture to reality.They wanted to be seated in green with blossoms.The lead-
ing actor had thrown his motorbike on a slope ofthe dry hill.He wished the
bike were a grey palfrey resting on green.Having to play the tough guy was an-
The actresses,given names like Dessie and Brunnie,wearing harsh leather and
gun belts,were also annoyed.They,too,were romantics,believing their true
names to be Desdemona and Brunhilde,even Lotus Blossom.And the tacky
sodas they were forced to sip,all because the Director believed the sodas would
to.Stupid.
The Director,putting a pinch ofsnu

in each nostril,was likewise engaged:
...Norma Shearer...John Barrymore...Conquistadores...silver
armor...Norma Shearer...daughter ofEmperor...expensive hotel...Bar-
rymore...beautiful voice...thick oak door...Norma!ran through his
head like the sips ofrum he remembered from the the old days in the screening
room,the feel ofthe glass in his now shaky hand.
Tacky soda...laced with
gin...ugly Burbank.
He oated away to his new home in New York State:...
Dutchess County roses climbing roof...
No Words
his hands.Words lined the pages,more words lay on the oor where he had
thrown the pages.For hours he had been sitting in the chair reading words.
They bounced from o

the window onto the oor.They plastered the ceiling.
They had fallen into his co

Words were supposed to explain the motives ofthe actors.Bah.Words told why
the actor left the house and went to a river.Why he sat in his car by the river.
Bah.Bah.Words told why the actor drove o

the bridge.Bah.He threw the
script across the room.
He got out ofhis chair and stamped on the pages where the words were writ-
ten.He shouted at the cat who had been sitting on his lap and now had run
cowering to the door.Even you Delilah,he said to the cat,make words! But
you cannot write!
/413
He picked her up from her cowering position and held her trembling body in
his arms.You cannot write words! And that is why I love you.He held her
close to him stroking her fur until he heard her purr.A purr is not words!
He returned her to his chair while he walked around the room muttering,rst
in a soft voice then his voice became louder and then louder and once again he
was shouting:
FILMS ARE THE ENEMY OF WORDS ENEMY OF WORDS!
He went to the bottom ofthe staircase where the steps went upward onto a
false landing and shouted:It is written to go upstairs and kill the woman,be-
cause these damned words say so,and he shook the papers ofthe script in his
trembling hands,I will not tell the actor to go up these stairs because these
up these stairs,even ifit is written that he should go up!
WORDS ARE THE ENEMY OF FILMS!
The Director was ailing his arms in the air and a terrible expression crossed
actor to go up the stairs! Words,never.He sat back down in his chair,clasping
his head in his hands,and now he was weeping,I cannot direct this picture,
he mumbled.I cannot direct any more pictures,ifthey keep on handing me
these Words.
By now he was speaking in the foreign tongue ofinternational speech and what
he was saying was incoherent to the actor who had entered the room with a
glass ofwater in his hand.
Even in his rage the Director had remained alert.Turning around he said to the
actor in the familiar way ofthe theatre,Oh there you are,you darling,and
Now walk over to the piano that is there in the dark and start to sing.But
dont,his face stern again,and he stood up,the glass ofwater falling from his
hand onto the oor,but dont sing any words! No WORDS.You understand.
Turn your back to me and make beautiful noises.PURE NOISES! NO WORDS.
The alarmed actor,who was also a skilled musician,did as he was told.Ah AH,
the Director was breathing deeply.Ah,No Words.Passion.Only Passion.
The notes poured out into the room,just as the great
lied
composer had writ-
ten them.A smile crossed the Directors face.Passion and no words,he
breathed,passion and no words.
414/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Screening Room Notes
(explosion)
he mistook the handle implied
get out ofhere (cut)
You under the purple cloudas witnessed the shooting ofthis lm
drawers open at the seam (What a director!) speakingover there
sound widenslike the opening ofan egg (graceful)
Sad Hop-hoppers (use left aisle)
elbow touches the desk
cottage divides into two dwellingsblown image
edge ofsinis-
ter tracks
internal rhythm:repeat as it shifts toward window
rejoin the others with more laughter and cat-calls
climate changesmoon sails upward
wearing stripesremember the mittenslike the side ofa shelf
the interior more grandiose,but with less furniturewhere they can sit
strollaimless postpone the action gure it out
other rhythms erupt
physically not too strong so the moment collapses
you like this car
use a
remote
feeling tired with fading vision
the key is in the door
move slowlya lizard slides into your bosomNice Title
nd the screwdriver
I believe her name is Dora in the rst re-write
this lovely lack
think
eucalyptus
and the idea ofa mother at the piano
will smooth the transitions as you go out
/415
sand on the oor mixed
with toes near the door
move in to
close-up
everybody kneelswind shuffles the sand a
bruised key drops from keyhole
The Minus Ones
She submitted a few stories she called
The Minus Ones.
They came to her as short signals,as ifthey lived on her rooftop.They rolled o

the roofofher mouth climbed there from memory or from a table where
empty cups glistened with tearfulness.Also menu-like out ofher stung heart
came surprising plots:Spanish women and high shoes,stories ofvalleys and
boatless seas no cargoes.Rocks similar to the porpoises in her marine story ap-
peared.They were made ofcoal hard yet they chipped akes ofcoal dust blew
o

them soiling her clothes.
From her reading she borrowed a lake bottomless and a body without gravity
ying over it.This appropriation brought on a serious malaise;she became
plotless and her stories were bound without the usual wrapping ofribbon.
Seasons became important,ivy on green trees and the mournful rhododen-
dron,icicles appeared more freque
ntly.And meadows with horses.She ne-
glected to include the rituals ofcontemporary life and the Scenario Depart-
ment complained.When she wrote ofwood burning she said the devils inside
the re were excited.
The re scene destroyed any chance she had for her new stories to be accepted.
They told her they liked real res and not those ofthe imagination.Imagina-
Scenario-iste
Scenario.
She loved the word.It was like hearing
Carmen,
perhaps.Scenes
passed before her with red curtains upon their shoulders.Scenario vicissi-
tudes.As ifshe were pouring iced water on vari-colored capes.
She repeated to herself,I am a scenario-iste.More drama intervened.Capar-
isoned horses drew near.She stroked them with her red nails.
416/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
A willow suddenly put its leafy arms upon her breast.
A sound ofbroken glass and a man in a domino entered through her window
accompanied by a little person who wore a sign reading,
Modiste,
who
handed her a lovely veiled hat.
There was pepper in the air and spice.Birds sang,Oreos,Oreos.
I am lled with Air and can oat,the scenario-iste said to herselfas she
stepped out the broken window onto the browned Culver City grass.
Celluloid
She thought ofCelluloid as a silken twist ofrope one held climbing to the
starry dome ofa motion picture theatre.An acrobat lady crossing back and
forth under the starry dome to show o

tricks that even on paper were chilling
ideas for performances on celluloid.The silken twist ofBaudelaire,dizzying,
She holds the silken twist above an audience stretching its neck to feed on the
golden light ofcelluloid,that silken twist laid bare in her scenarios.
Ars,Longa
The actress is sitting in starlight her head held up by her hand,she feels as ifshe
is slipping away far away to the clouds that briey hide the studio moon.She
brighter.They block the moon.Her head shifts in her hand.Gathering inside
her,more and more tumultuous as her body leans heavily on the chairs frame,
is the need to resist this light under which she is impounded.Sweat is gathering
on her made-up face and someone bends over to blot this face which is not
hers,but belongs to the camera that is breathing upon her in the silence ofan
important scene.
She has been in pictures since she was a child.She knows the reasons for not in-
terrupting the lms continuum.In her early pictures both camera and lights
were friendly.Struggling and modest like herself.But now is the moment ofin-
justice.The camera has a di

erent life span.The camera examines her mortal
face and body harshly.Lights are attracted to its cruel discipline.
/417
Sliding down in her chair,she struggles to keep her body within the frame of
the picture as the camera zooms in.The lights moving closer are more power-
ful than she can remember.She opens her mouth to beg them to go away so she
can breathe.Now! From under closed eyelids she feels their terrible brightness
beginning to dim.And she understands.Seized by fresh stamens ofdesire the
camera is moving beyond her frail body.
Metropolis
He had been sitting in the dark for a long while in that chair he brought with
him from Berlin,the wood preserved unlike so much else left behind.He was
thinking about Langs
Metropolis
with which he had been intimately connected
person to be connected with the picture,besides himself,he felt an emptying of
the air above him.Emptiness continued to pour into the vast low skies and
lights above Hollywood and he willed it to ow into the minotaural labyrinths
ofthe valley malls.
Metropolis
would never again be constructed on a lm stage.The idea would
not enter anyones mind today to build a skyscraper whose hidden powers lay
words roll over his tongue,had been the epitome ofmotion.
Metropolis
could
be said to have originated in the ancient beliefin the power ofthe destructive
Unknown.
The American Studios,disturbed by the volcanic mechanics ofthe picture,had
cut some ofthe best scenes,the ones most Futuristic and daring.In particular
The air ofPacic Palisades curled around his shoulders,moist from the sea.He
was beginning to experience the rst approach ofa California dawn to whose
cold he had never accustomed himself,nor had his wife.Lili had worn one of
those marvelous costumes vibrating with false realism.When he kissed the soft
down ofthe bird on her ear his mouth had lled with paste.On his mouth now
was the original tremor ofa dusty paste that had looked like a real bird.
Enchantment
Each day emerging from the grit-grey skies ofLos Angeles he would enter a
motion picture theater.He was not seeking shelter or escape,he wanted to im-
418/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
merse himselfin the world oflm.The celluloid must roll in front ofhim until
it exploded in his mind.Ifwhat he saw was totally innocuous,he crept out of
speak,and hastened home to salvage them.Frequently he became choked by
the splendor ofthe celluloid images.
The primary purpose in his movie-going was to gather material for the daily
dialogues with himselfabout the construction ofa motion picture and its
liked to take a particularly bad
lm and rip it apart seam by seam until the pattern lay unsewn in front ofhim
and then he would sew it up with what he believed was the ideal seam.
He wants more than anything to become an acknowledged expert on the mak-
ing oflm,but the eld he selects is made ofincantation and illusory objectivi-
cation.He promises to exchange his not inconsiderable knowledge ofphiloso-
phy for a study oflm as an Art.The theater repays him for his excessive
He quickly learns that this world ofimagined scenes needs help in its masquer-
ade ofthe real.And so he nominates himselfdirectorand introduces into his
study ofthis art a portion ofhis philosophy ofthe realdiluted with the lms
potion ofenchantment.It is at this point that everything becomes mixed up.
As a consequence ofhis involvement with lm he gradually is less realistic in
his expectations ofits scenes.This subsidizing ofhis life by motion pictures re-
sults in his gradual separation from the classic depictions ofreal life.Real
lifedissolves into a motion picture frame.
The only thing to do is to write his way out ofthis dilemma.He appoints him-
selfa lm critic.In the darkness ofthe theater he scribbles.When after a few
months he reviews the rapidly developing notes,he nds he has written only
about himself.
Simultaneity
Having followed the fox over the dry hills ofthe canyon,he thought it might be
here the fox would eye him.Because his skin always felt a mixture ofthumbed
wool in the seasonal wind ofBeverly Glen,he considered this skin an entrap-
ment for creatures who cared for dry weather.
It was here he had found the enjoyment ofhis youth in climbing the rough pas-
sages through the hills ofBeverly Glen.They dressed in hiking britches in those
/419
days with hiking boots that went to their knees and required laces.This lent a
over glaciers,seeking a more remote place than his canyon.
There were Mesozoic outcroppings that proved earth had su

ered huge earth-
quakes,and this evidence ofthe volatility oftime was part ofthe excitement of
the excursions.Volatility would be an addition to the genius ofhis camera.
He ngered the grasses,rubbing their pungent smell against his nose,remem-
bering how his eye once moved over the landscape,learning to measure its
contour.He often said his camera had been spawned on the browned grasses of
the hills and its soul hidden underground.He was aware ofan arrogance in the
underworld ofhis camera.When he entered it to capture simultaneity this
mountain was edged out ofview.
Sitting on the stubby earth,dressed in those antiquated pants and boots,he
brushed away the red ants and prepared to wait.
He had summoned a wave that resembled a geisha from the lms ofMizo-
guchi.While he waited he began a projec
ted script about Portugal,because Lis-
bon was passing in front ofhim its winds tossing the grass and the sea and from
his mountain he looked out on a Portuguese port.The boat that was anchored
Pessoa,
he decided sleep-
ily,as he read the name on its hull.
Pessoa
seemed to cause a neurasthenia in the
water,slowing the wave that was sure to arrive,but now more experienced.
The Spell ofBeauty
There were endless searches for beautiful women who,it was believed,could be
own canon ofbeauty.For this canon to remain indestructible one had to be fa-
natically aware that the skin that presents itselfas beauty is part ofthe fairy tale
that envelops the studio while it continues to sleep in its palace under cobwebs.
Since the giants ofthe industrywere always under a spell,a certain type was
displayed in their lms,not beautiful at all.Pure beauty eluded the industry,
being so emphemeral it refuses to show its face.One ofthe producers dened
this elusive canon ofbeauty as unbelievable,undenable,and utterly neces-
sary.Stripped as he had been ofmoney and wives in his continuing fairy tale
search,he attended all the unproductiv
420/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
ject that eludes them and will continue to do so.
The fault lay actually in the camera.A truly lovely woman is an enigma to its
in distortion as Ingres,a favorite ofthis studio o

cial,the one who had lost so
many worldly goods,discovered.Ofthe distortion that exists in rare beauty the
studio o

cials did not wish to hear,the subject made them restless and domi-
neering at the same time.
There was only one Director who,marked by the wound ofartistryas he de-
scribed it,would be willing to cope with ideal beauty.(Not once had this Direc-
tor,despite harassment ofthe most vulgar kind,permitted his work to be
nished on schedule.)
wrapping surrounded him.Regarding his committment to the projected lm,
he asked ifbefore they brought him into their discussions,he might be permit-
ted an interlude to listen to
Ariadne in Naxos
with
Elizabeth Schwarzkopf
singing the title role.
this proposal.One person fell down,another broke his little nger.The woman
he spell ofbeauty began to work.
The Utmost Unreality
The night was warm.Schoenberg was sitting in the garden in his canvas lawn
chair.The smell ofmesquite drifted o

the canyon.Earlier the drop ofa tennis
ball had reminded him ofhis beloved children.He pulled his sweater closer
around him.He was always chilly on these sleepless nights when he sat outside.
There was the choking matter making a percussive sound in his throat.To dis-
tract himselfhe turned to the little writing pad he kept near his chair.He wrote
on it the name ofthe man who haunted his sleeplessness:
KANDINSKY.
Next
he wrote,
MURNAU,
the town near Vienna where he and his family spent that
summer of

with Kandinsky and Gabriele Munter.
A voice from the lm studio had spoken to him yesterday.They wanted to lm
his opera,
Die Glckliche Hand
(
The Lucky Hand
).To follow-up,they said,the
success ofStravinskys
Rite ofSpring.
They wanted to show it at the same theatre.
It was an expressionist opera he had written before the First World War and to
it Kandinsky had lent the owers ofhis genius.
/421
Did now a tear drop from Schoenbergs eye? Was the angst,a racial angst,that
It was Kandinsky who had understood the wish that in
Die Glckliche Hand,
with its ambiguous title,the cast and director should maintain the
utmost
unreality!
Schoenbergs instructions were ambiguous as the black veils he
directed to sink down on the hero:an idea ofdarkness in motion,like deep
chords!
And at the beginning would be twelve light spots on a black background light-
ing the faces ofsix women and six men.These faces represent
their gazes.
These faces
are a chorus of
stares.


Words are sung.Colors cross their faces.
Gestures,colors,movement and musi-
cal tones,like colors.As ifthe plot were composed ofpasted gestures.Music
plows its way through oating lights and the fateful (
Glckliche
)
Hand
which
does not hold what it promises.
In the years after that rst war,hatred still alive and recognizable,what was
kindly
in him had been replaced.And in his music tender Melisande had faded.
He made a clicking sound with his ngers.Atonality.
He would so much now like to share with Kandinsky the Utmost Unreality that
new genii to escape from under the aged veils oftheir magic.
Disappearance
What was seen was at an angle,bits ofblue smoke falling from the ceiling and
into his hand.The paper in his hand contained bits ofwords that mingled with
blue smoke as they became smaller,until he knew the words were vanishing
from the paper.
Time passed,the words grew smaller as they lay on their backs.The time passed
on their backs was like ngers.Very thin ngers.They became smaller,these
ngers,and could not hold onto the words.Now,too feeble to make sentences
the words clung to the cameraman who examined them with his camera.
The cameraman was puzzled by their casual vanishing.They were losing their
clarity.He could not put them back into the mouths ofthe people who waited
with their playing cards whose numbers and scepters were vanishing.This was
a terrible scene.Words tumbling from thrones under a green light.
422/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The cameraman or cinematographer,as he elevated himself,was famed for
his ability to grasp a scene at one Take.Now that the words were so mixed up,
falling from thrones and onto the oor,the cinematographer realized he would
never win an Award for this picture.He lost interest in what the words tried to
say.Order became disorder tumbling around him as words grew tinier.
He thought ofDeauville all ofa sudden.He saw Deauville in green lights.He
began to move in the directi
on ofthose lights that spelled
deauville,
but
they became fainter.After Deauville there was another word
seeking
and he
began to run after it foolishly,because ofits meaning.
He had sought this studio,because it was here,within its walls,that reputations
were made and cameramen called themselves cinematographers.They be-
came famous as a string ofpearls can become famous.But the row ofpearls
in
seeking.
The cinematographer needed more air
.Frantically,he began to clear the space
where tiny words lay on the oor,to make a larger space where he might lie
down and breathe.As his breathing became more di

cult,he began to com-
prehend that he was going to disappear with the words on their journey into
smallness.
/423
Rocks on a Platter
Notes on Literature
I
To live is to defend a form...
hlderlin
Ideas.As they nd themselves.In trees?
typography.A companionship with crewlessness shivering eece
Ship
shoalrocks
to approach this land raving!
Rocks,platter,words,words...
Mobility interseamed with print:a small car beside the porch and wind
with a harsh caress...another STORY BEGINS:
A DONKEY DRAWS A CART TO THE FURNACE AND
GLOWING.
I heard the wolf.

ROCKS ON A PLATTER
/427
It had been a vagabond voyage and the entrepreneur was fatigued,yet held up his
head inamed with LITERATURE,the ABSURD.Ideas dropped o

vines and
into his mouth.An idea fell o

a SECULAR vine roaming his head:BAKED
APPLES!
Among his listeners,a waterer ofhis vines,was a beautiful girl who hand-typed
A BOOK CALLED BAKED APPLES.THESE ARE STORIES THAT MELT
IN THE MOUTH,said the critics.
THE KINGREAD
BAKED APPLES 100,
AND GAVE HER AN APPLE TREE GROVE.
THE KITCHEN MAIDS,who had written JONQUIL TALES,asked the king for a
jonquil grove.I prefer BAKED APPLES,said the King.
TEARFUL,THE KITCHEN MAIDS CLOSED THEIR KITCHEN AND OPENED
A JONQUIL STORE IN BUDAPEST,WITH YELLOW DOORS,and GREEN
CEILINGS THAT VERY SOON APPEARED IN A FILM THE BRIGHTENING
OF BUDAPEST.
(The King,who liked the lm,donated 25 white Palace chairs.)

Passivity...
pollen indoctrinated AND fragrance.
She digs with her ngernails into the earth while speaking and
weeping.Her face is also
introduced into the story:
a fragrant narration.
428/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
ASTOUNDING BEING ALIVE!

HEARD ON THE PAGE.

...in its contiguous
treatment oftime,literature:
is inclined to divorce
the uninhibitedaroma ofBEAUTY,OR
SPECTACULAR LEAP
suspicious
offragmentation,
or
sweet reproach ofinvisibility.

ROCKS ON A PLATTER
/429
Tradition
Tantamount to theory
treacles
oftender truckland
near Trebizond.
TRIUMPHS.
A TREMENDOUS TUNE-UP.ORTHODOXY.
tremendoustune-up
tra-la-la.

Wet earth disinters itself.
With aplomb
bestows
The Kiss behind the Counter.


430/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Shattered rocks
hid in the rock?
And wind over red-tiled roofand we grow closer
to the moss ofsubjectivityguarding an iron basin
limed,old stars.
Raysmodern rays,
modernly,so be it.
Noise ofthe shattering!
Behooved us to welcome tonality,
or succumb to the theme ofinharmony...
where we once were.

Fiction and Complice
torment the mineral kingdom,
feathering the page
in the merit offeather.
ROCKS ON A PLATTER
/431
Ofbrokenness
brokennessresembles
evasion (although not separate),and
with a coat ofarms,
aoat with the telling.

432/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
II
To invest abstract ideas with form,
and animate them with activity has always
been the right ofpoetry...
dr.samuel johnson

And the words linger,deciding which direction to take.
Will they remain with the middle chord? The atonal section is
fearful,running along beside the pale brook,clouding and declouding.

Aching
time interrupteddiscontinuous treatment.After the piping
MURMUR unlockedinclined to advance toward the desire
to hasten an ending or
avoid the spectacular jump ;
drifting into invisiblity,
as does remnant ofself.
A blow is merciless ;
solid objects are merciless.
OLD SHOE.

ROCKS ON A PLATTER
/433
Hullabaloo,Hullabaloo
Again,are you more
tactile in
handling
the body
pressed against you?
Is the pear-shaped manuscript
endangered?
Alas,its honied drip.
The honied drip.

The empirical sun
on the disturbed border
in the animal-clad woodgone down,
magick withinbegs extension
disappointedat eye level:
grey-streaked sky,sea.
Less
less mourning less
sandy mourning!

434/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Frail sentence moved by
the seismic sway ofexistence
under a shaken tree
is cultivated outside us.
Words,inammable,
liein bricks
this changes.

White
perpendicular lightsattached to the shoulder
I touched the wrist with my writing ngerand from the center
the orb ofthe eye was enough reto light the writing lamp and
afterwardsthe bladewithdrew from the writing shoulderand
that writ
blew awayame lit with nothingand nothingness stayed.
Skin ofthe lost paper
Knuckle smooth(touched the writing).
the trout
and they disappear.

ROCKS ON A PLATTER
/435
III
...the empirical inner and outer world
is just what is not the world ofgenuine reality,
but is to be entitled a mere appearance more strictly
than is true ofart,and a crueller deception.
hegel,
Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics

Intimacy oftone
and form
beyond the tangible itinerary
mirror trap
at

degrees
I have the impression ofa long body;
ofloaves and shes,

436/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Wisdom in travel several palaces
latitude without margin
silver-toned blow up ;
arm in a sling and hawk chin
you are also a hawk
you walk in hawk shadow a guise .
Sad rose,Rilke charm
lodged in a castle
bone button sewed to a coat ;
snow footprints adieu
cold tears splashed acre is intimacy,
and many chimed things,
futures conduit.

...to recaptureearly days
cats-cradle.
Mont BlancChilde Harold
demons.a tooth bends down on the d.
ROCKS ON A PLATTER
/437
Transubstantiationonly a web
is permanent denton the body and ablaze.
Shoulder ablaze.

In a room
not alone
enters
midday
appears
massive.

In the faded game you won the top with the green scratch you win,
I alter the text did not win the topput earnedwhite ag.
Four in the entertainment room,you and someone with a foreign name,
He has written out a plan and glued it to the text.He told me
438/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
he is a king himselfentering life on a whim,
language
attached,gerunds.
In the loneliest hours to share a amboyance,
an attraction to distance and disappearance.

Beyond the rooftiles,
lap ofa hill,
eur dor,
gold ass on the threshold
Apuleiusother.
Cannot dream except in twosor be alone,is hollowed out.

Ofmany colorsporcelain
with faerie glove

dissident morning!
with no ulterior purpose
ROCKS ON A PLATTER
/439
image exchanged for a feather
le poisson
on watered page.

Apparition shape ofthy head
nds its verve,
ivy the poem
shoving it into the stain,
weight in the room,
I promise.

Here the dream began,two voices,one joking,this took place in sleep,you re-
perhaps a lapse in the dream.

PHANTOM
(reverie)
(passion)
440/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
in canoe
oftwelve-tones
or
Helen in Egypt

Bar ofsilence crossed the mouth
decorates it.
She watched skirts sweep the oor,
from that day ofher sixteenth year
her skirt brushes the oor.What she is after
trailing skirt,blossom
lls some other Body.

ROCKS ON A PLATTER
/441
IV
The Moment a limit is posited
it is overstepped,and that
against which the limit was
established is absorbed.
adorno,
Aesthetic Theory

Without shyness or formality:
a gesture of
allowing oneselftime

Remember how starry it arrives the hope ofanother idiom,beheld
that blush ofinexactitude,and the furor,it
will return to you,otsam blocked out.

compose,like Schoenberg,
poem
music
robustly
otsam ofthe world ofappearances
drifting by and out ofthe picture,
where the throne disappears...

442/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
now in robust position,
NAMING,
naming the throne,
otsam ofappearance,
ALLOWING TIME.

Is evanescence the wool beggar?
Ba

ement.
Thee
GLOSSGLOSS
point to the Mix,and
there! it slides into view
the Dolphin,
before
the moment oversteps,
into
the
hum
pour his ivory.

ROCKS ON A PLATTER
/443
And is this what they mean by
transfuse?
the hum pouring into another,
the furnace turned down,
snowy apricot furnace
ofthe dolphin.
And the rage disappears,
intellectual rage over grandeur.
Swimming o

in the twilight
is the Dolphin,what occurs
absorbed in the skin.
Grandeur
oversteps,
articial and strange,lifting
a leg above
glitter
...

The rule ofthumb under
glitter
is that
glitter
disturbs,and
paled,nds painting
a wild grape loosens
444/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
glitter
from the
rock platter.
Ovid writes,
Earth,painted with owers,that
shone brightly,

Pictaque dissimili ore nitebat humus.

How does the pickled axe maintain itself...
is the desire ofthe stone gure
to outlive a sheepfold?
when showed a technique
ofmaintenance in the dark eld and modernly.
ROCKS ON A PLATTER
/445
That pickled axe
is the anima,entry into watereld,
is the wax watereld,
and savaging.

...pumpkin glazed in the sun
Overstepping the farmstead to make way
in the underbrush for a faun-like portrait,

The sight ofthe arm
even in the corneld there it is found
with three racing womenhair grown
over the forearmwas considered upside down
and rumor ofa complicated series ofburials
lent a deshabillnot usual on ancient ground
no one could have foretolduncovered according
to various ideas
about sacred places.

446/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
And ingenuityfollows the silvered
montage into a new elevation
As ifwhispered.

An episode with new palm trees.
Words in natural order.
Vulnerable Dolphin skin

In the new part about palm trees
stumbling
to multiply
tall palms,to replace
a fanatical order (
Orlando
Furioso
or
Dolphin Empire
)

ROCKS ON A PLATTER
/447
sensuous
en e

and near the sea basin
rustle ofthe palm trees
introduce(and a similar movement among their
leaves)then the Dolphin slow.

Where are they,
wood nymphs and the glittering
Beings
do they overstep each other...?
The Dolphin God
does he swim on the page?
******
In ancient times
Heavenly Beings made sense ofthemselves and how
they have made o

with the strength ofthe Gods.
Hlderlin
448/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Symbiosis
Symbiosis
Laurie Reid.

Hiss
the wool
fable,
close and away.
Hiss in turning wool,
and envied the circle
and volume,
working in layers.

The spirit
sails along,
amid live speech.
Ripening beyond sheer height,calls itself.

SYMBIOSIS
/451
Is symbiosis aamestroked
each linepower wound up in volume,
when spoken to,fear in place ofthe woven,
often,it says,in place ofthe line.
Thinned down,staggeringlooks up to the drawing;
bodies all the way up the hill.

Will it belong,or is symbiosis aame each pine stroking,
symbiosis aame,
each day autumn.Day awakens,no break in the
thread.

Needing,needing,needing
over the surface perpendicular
by iridescence.
452/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
They talk about
loosened bones.Could be a shuttle
ifit worked in direct light.

The thread loose
as any from the underworld,
more in iridescence,hidden.
A suggestion in mid air
dropped on the hid body,no nerve blindingnothing
attached,
no weight,no thing to litter,
free as unusual.

Plume ofimpatience the petal,
a clue to ensnare the undrawn,
O valley.O wine.

SYMBIOSIS
/453
one line interweaves with another,
room ofliberal fountains,
a di


near an ancient site ofaccord
and priority.

In no climate whatsoever
noise traveling up the tower

bronze green in the tournament,
each player hit a wood ball.

454/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Positioning the strophes
ended in calm,
after the strophes are positioned.

from the blueranging and tumbling the blue
magnolia nestled,the wild berry,also.
This is a strange way to tell a story being
where one does not wish,in the midst ofa storm...

Gas lights and lost
the cares ofthought,an oil lamp,Maupassant
put it there.He stands at the window.
She places her hands on her hair.

SYMBIOSIS
/455
She looks at a Poem-Painting
The walks ofSaint Cloud
are open,

the eyes ofthe sh
are closed.

Remarkable basins,
you give me ten years.

The di

cult!the di

cult!
456/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
loosen the ropes that entangle it,
tear them down from the mast!

The schooner o

its route,
adios
to the bird ofprey,
century
wears a plaid cap.

Say
adios
when you see
the gure from the mainland crossing on tiles.

And they have no intention to avoid
the gaze ofsymbiosis,
or the century,
pasting and printing in the same room
sharing
SYMBIOSIS
/457
the furry moment draped over their head,
light from the transom.

A sign ofbeing gentle,
the scene is more mature.

She is not so silly
as they thought in her mantle,
coming from outside

studying to be someone else,
why not? And write her own script,
write it then she did
458/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
authority and the syllabus.

A tendency to respond (lacquer) near the driveway,she was
thought not pliable or overtly sensitive.She is more
uid,
she is outside.

Coming from outside,uid orange.
Rhythm
and festivity.
SYMBIOSIS
/459
A sign ofbeing gentle,plain orange.

She can read the image in the overlapping
even from outside,
those parts that overlap,

lip and facial movement,
color ofthe image as it changes

pushed her leg through the rippling
image changes.

460/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Miniatures
and Other Poems
I,too,am an ardent defender ofMiniature Pieces.
anton chekhov
MINIATURES
Shabby Boot
There is a shabby boot
O whither does it wander?
Earth hasgala momentum.
Be not lachrymose,
tear-streaked.
You are out ofreach
offakirs.
On your boot
the King ofNaples inscribed
footprints ofThe Aeneid.
On the manuscript are Didos tears,from Dido.
MINIATURES AND OTHER POEMS
/463
Bird ofArt
there came a cloud it settled on your
shoulder.
The cloud seeks high culture,after Ovid.
To soar through domes,bird ofArt,
Halfway to icy heaven.
Halfway to heaven search in high space,in deep
crevasse.
Knighthood.
Poesie be engendered after
ovid.
Spirit Tree
lo!
It shakes boughs Spirit Tree.
Plenty ofwonder here and miraculum.
Immortalis makes entry.
Lady and gazelle,amiti.
Turret
What is your version,raking hay,reading law
What is origin ofmiscellany,misdemeanor,
from whence doggerel?
464/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Whose prole in margin
where small animals lie,toad,minnow,book ofSaints,
olives.
Negative Possibility
It is not your physical appearance or hazelnut
hollowed out by sorrow,
Paying duty on one place,
language or tidal property.
Belonged to library ofsmall estate,
Taxfree,built into house.
Camisole
The heart knows.
climbs stair to reach
wintry Heaven strikes arm.
Your viol shall release thee,is said.
Beyond steeple.Animals.Lather runs.
Fabric sewed into blood.
Moldy day.Leather gaiters.Warm camisole.
Slow measure.
MINIATURES AND OTHER POEMS
/465
Tiny Foreign Tears
Tiny foreign tears in autumn,
Finnish architecture! Handshaking!
The right-handed cloud is
lower than the left
where a spirit hides.
In his dwelling Coleridge
handprints ghostly elaboration,
the notion ofsubject to enlarge,
he goes all year without.
Word akimbo,
lined with wool,even in far o

place.
Transcription
Go sit,listen.Two feed earlobes,with wildermass.Slowly partake
ofuncrippling.Part oftranscription.Sleep oftranscribing after long day
In honey cave,sans emotiveness.
There is lip descendant placed on wood for viol outside
witherglass.Here is plentiful lambswood fe for thine,we pass
upward in front ofmere clumsy,Knight ofAndorra and pony.
O sleep will be shiny apres plentiful unrehearsedtheir sheaves,yon
fertile green stone.Coxcomb be schon.
Alliance with bickeringbe wrestled and
elded on gold champs.
466/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Lost Speech
Archaeology
with a lift ofbrow and occupation,
some ofit mixed,as in that speech germinated
on layers oflimestone,protects a lost speech in thick
wood plundered.
A search for past occupational diversions.
Let history commandeer your tongue at this elevation.
It is nothing to grow wings.To be La Favorita.
A girl wearing satin and wings makes a speech,then ventures
outside,a cloak thrown over her shoulder.The Macedonians
from the overturned ship,and send her back to the Lycians.
First Prints
balanced on leaves green-toed
suspension
hard to pronounce,
to recall.Pulled-up air evaporates.
here and in color.
Woman in eld
light-toed.
Goddess category.
MINIATURES AND OTHER POEMS
/467
Yesterday
Light still glowing through the iced-over window,city
Twin points oflight in darkened harbor.
Winter slumber.Lone tree.Shadow on empty beach.
Piece ofice.Daughter ofan Elf.
Clouds aoat in Winter.
Red dots.Circular movement.Common life joined to emotion.
Groaning roofsighed in sleep.
He wraps her hair around his wrista cloudhuman hair
smothering the universein a mist dogs bark inside it.
Moon
in their sleep.
Pilgrimage
Start at beginningin early morn
move through streams.Observe in district.
stripe ofclown in vestibule,
briefrummage
Dove on mule cart.Hand is homeless far from St.Jerome
and harping.weightless,in Sacred Wood.
468/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Finnish Opera
Grass grew long in the story.
Pieces clung to bedclothes.In the night he believed he grew taller.
Grass covered the dream ofa serpent,eyes sunk in his head,tail ofsilk
clover.The dream translated into silver tone.More serpent heads and the
dream turned into an opera.
It was the opera that made the dreamer famous.Location ofopera could be
in any country,could be Antarctica,more likely Finland,where they believe
in silk clover,it is gold in a land ofstarved desire for summer.
The opera had a clover leafcopied in porcelain by Aalto,the famous
designer,who sewed the clover leafinto a white curtain.He designed a
window for the man when he looks out to sea in his serpent costume.
This opera that begins with a dream traveled to Rome and Zagreb,traveled
across continents,once by camel.The travels became more famous than
ther the grass really had grown long,
and where the serpent came from.
The opera was called by another name and included a gold limousine.
Somewhere in Oceania they added mermaid elves.
Photographs
In the past we listened to photographs.They heard our voice speak.
Alive,active.What had been distance was memory.Dusk came,
Pushed us forward,emptying the laboratoryeach night undisturbed by
Erasure.
soothed him.The piano was arranged in the old manner,light entered the
Emotion evoked by a single light on a subject is not transferable to
photographs ofthe improved city.The camera,once
commented freely amid rivering and lost gutters oftreeless parks or avenue.
unreliable.
MINIATURES AND OTHER POEMS
/469
Now distributed is photography ofnew government building.We are
forbidden to observe despair silent in old photographs.
Petticoat
She ran down the middle ofthe road throwing her hands up to Heaven.
Longinus,Leviticus,mathematical wonder.
She believed whole buildings might fall on top ofher.
Pollen lled the air.
It was her duty to plunder the ant ofair,beasties ofcalico.
She read Leibniz before she visited the pastor.
Blue Arthur
Aroused from bed with movement around him.
Fasted and lay with malade.Waited with poem
folded into sorrow.
Hollow,blue morning.
Cloth overhangs daytime
Kingdom ofBlue Arthur.
Dismayed lightness.
Autobiography
Underfoot is secure,
part ofmade up plan.
In middle ground,
Coconut tree.
470/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The coconut tree grows beside warm
house,hard fruit has softened center.
In winter trees enter rm sand,barrels
are protection from salt water.
most ofthe work elective.
Air without salt is di

erent,moves upward
from red evening sand.
Bar ofivory light suspended,
numbering ofivory bars.
Each artist embarks on a personal search.
An artist may take introspective refreshment from green.
Or so they say in Barcelona when air is dry.
In our country it is a water sprinkler that hints,rinsed green.
Colors often break themselves into separate hues
it is stirred into the mint color ofdrink.
The spirit is lifted among primary colors.Nine rows ofcolor.
The future writ in white spaces.
Fourteenth ofJuly
Automatically
at lit dusk,
path ofcamera
veers into goats.
MINIATURES AND OTHER POEMS
/471
Alpine
camera allowed,vendor ofcockades,
cockades,and nearby
taper of
dried glass,mountain tapers.
Fire in snow,dazzle oflm,raisin-charred,described later,
and under waterfall icicles.
Walked with goat,shared
scheme ofRevolution,threadhomespun
In open place.
Chekhovania
En pointe
in the
pli,
Bell oflast regime trembles in an overcoat.Worms wear old rings.Here is
where they were!she says.A bag ofapricots hidden in the chair...He
listens to her sing Bitter Avenue.Her boots are covered with caravan dust,
broken seams.
Roofs fall in,no grapes grow in the harbor.
They only have their skin and old satin shoes.Its the luck ofthe road,she
Coal
through the curtain.We are asleep.Night descends into another part ofthe
house,coal shifts in the bin.
My grandfather shu

ed the coal veins that come from the deep shoulder.My
eyes are closed,ecks ofcoal fall onto my cheek.He brushes them away.He
brushes my shoes with a little shoe brush.Soon his eyes are closed.His eyes
shine red in his kingdom.I view the coal God through dust,darkest dust.
472/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Colonial Hours
Slow moving and daybreak,
an eyelash trembles.Cat in mouse coat and thunder,the lane shivers.A
branch falls as she listens.Weary ofe

ervescence,pickling languors and
early rains.Bon jour to the Count.bonjourBenjamin Franklin,weve
memorized the court order,legalized the tunes.An
odd evening.Dark in the middle where the berries stood.
Sound and Structure
Sound leads to structure.Schoenberg.
This is not dinner music.This is a power structure,
heavy as eyelids.
Beams are laid.The master cuts music for the future.
Sound lays the structure.Sound leaks into the future.
Musicianship
How far are you going in the culture program? Liszt draws nearer.Wagner
overwhelmed us in that last demonic song.
Where the snowline fell on its supple track,people lost their maps in
advanced culture.And the faces,on the back row singing:rare tonalism,lying
on its sides like a walrus,chords broken and chewed in liberation.
MINIATURES AND OTHER POEMS
/473
PATHOS
Arms utter close to the body,skating on pure ice,harmonious
composition
body in melliuous line
face in prole withheld itself,thin smile,
selfapproval.
Lithe her romp!
lithesome her romp upon the indignation ofice.
She is falling!
Shiver ofthe fallen,
ofthe tulle skirt.
Disarrangement ofcomposition,
Snow falling from tree.
So young in this electric world ,
ction is overturned.

disturbance

pathos.
474/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Equilibrium never xed
losing momentum in the trials boot tossed away,
a gesture she made.
Making di

culties for herselfin the wrong direction.
Fear ofthe word,haunting offear
the word passed through that haunting.
Weight ofthe useless word,
mirror moving backward,
with irascible measure the pit ofthe plum
with ice in that chapter.
Opened the entrance door,
and make-believe arrivedwith a doll on its surface,
arrived with the soil ofthe moon,it was impermanent
living with shifted screen life.
Lived not for pleasure,to hear the cry
in a small coil
ofice.
And heard through the oak panel ,
MINIATURES AND OTHER POEMS
/475
amazing to listen to speech
by way ofadulthood.
without noise or spectacle.
Life in that eccentric balloon.
To scribble ice gures,
and drink out ofthe cup when bolder.
The electric world sends its current through her legs,
a global concern for her being.
The globe is drawn into this,and the frills,
the sorrow offalling
into an historical position,the legs will nish
this position,music
uses up the irresistible current,lived
with the shifting screen.
Lived not for pleasure,to hear the harp-like
cry in a coil,
to live in an eccentric balloon.
To scribble across ice
and drink from an orange cup.When they were nearer
historical legs used up this position,
476/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
falling down historical legs,anxious writing.
Foreignness enters the hallway in the Berlioz
hinting at the fable
resisting her.
Do they wonder at her pathos/ dressed in tulle,
One at a time
misleading her./
She is part of
the moment
/ unrequited amour/
icing machine.
This motion in her eyes,
going outside,the red brook
owed into her eyes,winsome eyes,
drawstring oflight.
MINIATURES AND OTHER POEMS
/477
BLURRED EDGE
It appears
a drama ofexacting dimension.
Anguished gure,
reign ofterror.
Craft and above all
the object within.
Softness precedes
blurred edge.
A hint disappearsinside the earlier one.
Softness still nudging,
A di

erent temperament,
inside an earlier plan.
478/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Upon this stool is draped material
arabesque ofan iron stool,
bare bones ofthe iron seat.
The arrangement ofobjectsannounced
more rmly than before.
Observation.Candor,
where candor approaches the cube.
Dark siphon bottlemood
ofblurred edge.
Life permitted no privilege
no exegesis
no barnyard door.The feathered visagethe domed hat
allowed no strange air or music.
MINIATURES AND OTHER POEMS
/479
the vibration ofa peculiar touch.
the hibiscus,
more gifted.
Part ofthe tension,
is illusory.
A hint ofwhat was going to be.
Covering and uncovering necessary.
Selfpouring out ofcloudedness.
Ifviews ofthe lower body
do not conform,
a risk ofbeing exposed,
Rain and altitude.
480/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
This is not sand,it is drama.
The anguished gure,sand blew away
that armor.A lookextends the blur.
Othercreatures alive,
word exchanged for meaning,
moment ofdescriptiveness.
Sand blows away
the carapace,
in the distance,
gure passing,
unworded distance at edge.
MINIATURES AND OTHER POEMS
/481
Drer in the Window,Reexions on Art
Lunch at Helen Frankenthalers
I wake up
what was I dreaming about?
Mountains & Seaa cloud
a hand over the cloud.Is it China
that arranges itselfthus?
Early China
before envelopes?
There is a gure in the landscape
nonot at allthe sea
on which an old man embarks in a canoe,
what is this?a picnic in the canoe?
It isnt a man in that boatthe kimono
is wrapped,how does one sayit is a woman!
Its Helen!her face with its arbor ofthunder
and laurel starts to drift over the mountain
Helen!
were having lunch!
Return
in your snow boots,
heres the thermos
Ive poured out so many words,and the sandwiches
prepared with watercress.Blissful
sentences begin with Do you remember...
and After August,andI saw you in a red cloak.
Helen!
dont jump into that pillar ofstatues!
without you there is no lunch.
DRER IN THE WINDOW, REFLEXIONS ON ART
/485
On a Painting by Haydn Stubbing
Where is the sky?
Here.
And the unknowingness
Ofshadows?
There.
Bracken,furze,eld,
The picture bending over
To describe itself
As who,not always a
There.
The leaftreads,skies
Throng into themselves;
Water is not far o

,
A blessing made ofthe music
Ofturf.
Skimmed as frost
Forms a place on the inner
Scale,becomes easier
When it is learned
Winter begins.
The harvest
Is there in the branches
And whatever says,
My goodness,Ive thunder
In my boughs.
That person who framed
The fair weather clouds
Bestowed wisdom
To the tips ofleaves,
Saying,a chance ofshowers.
While you paint
The pictures skin.
486/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
So it will be robust,
Yet ambiguous like autumn
Whose thoughts tangling
With spectrum
Never recognize
Their green pronouncing,
Pampered as visionary wind
Deciding whatever burden
It will tote away
Into that space
The picture elects
To purify.
Homage
A New Era ofthe Plastic Arts had begun.
frederick kiesler*
The world
is going upstairs
and some people
ofwhom Kiesler
doesnt approve
are sitting in the basement.
GalaxiesGalaxies
You are our last jewel,
and we preserved you
in our ateliers.
A morning
was one day to open
over the rooftops,
DRER IN THE WINDOW, REFLEXIONS ON ART
/487
ies.They were the rst Mobiles.They may have originated in his architectural draw-
ings.Kiesler designed the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in New York where Pollock and a
galaxyofnew painters rst showed.
and we see dawn
as a galaxy,
having in sleep
experienced original dreams,
now become an environment.
We climb into the night suit,
no longer traditional,
or isolated,the future
in another scale,
Galaxy!Galaxies!
entering from the moon.
488/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
The Red Gaze
In each genuine art work something appears that did not exist before.
theodor adorno

Nostalgia
Hands are touching.
You began in cement in small spaces.
You began the departure.Leaves restrain.You attempted the departure.
A smile in sunshine,nostalgia.
Beneath shadow ofshadows ofColumbus the Navigator.Waving farewell.
I have lost the doves ofMilan,oating politely.
We have skipped down three pairs ofstairs,
they are not numbered,they are oddly assorted,velvet.
Recognize me in sunshine.
Castles perched on a cli

.
Filled with pears and magic.
A part ofthe tower
beckons to us.
THE RED GAZE
/491
An Afternoon in Jeopardy
Piece oftapestry with bird sewed on.
A ruin from Rome,and in the background a rope.
Old Europe declares itself.
A stranger causes the water to ow,
In the passageway sits the stranger.
He is without sin or sorrow or soldiers who mount their horses
and race up and down the farthingale hills.
He will not dine with the others.
They knew not he was an emperor
described as a poor man in disguise.
He has cast away his steel to rest beside the maiden.
Shadows are everywhere.Oddness begins.
Imagined Room
Let it rest on the embankment,close the eyes,
Lay it in the little bed made ofmaplewood.
Wash its sleeve in sky drops.
492/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Let there be no formal potions.
A subject and a predicate made ofglass.
You have entered the narrow zone
Becoming less and less until the future faces you
like the magpie you hid,
exchanging feathers for other feathers.
In the tower you ew without wings
speaking in other tongues to the imagined room.
Loneliness
Wounded,
the tower and green ofthe meadow below.
O meadow,O furnaces,royalty passes you.
Quick steps make a noise.
She rides on her palfrey,the maiden.
Shadows on grass reect a loneliness everywhere.
O furnaces royalty passes you,quick steps make a noise.
She rides on her palfrey the maiden,
her green hair glistens.
How solitary!
Lo,on the river a monument passes by.
THE RED GAZE
/493
A Different Honey
Close up shop
is what happens in Milan
and places older.
Who is protecting us,
we who were noticed by the Emperor
cruising in his vessel?
Remember navigators
tasting lemons from the trees
oftheir birthplace.
Do we know how they felt,
born under di

erent signs?
A Short Narrative
Your painting took a long time to dry.
It was sent to Rome to give it a royal luster.
Your thoughts the evening before had been gloomy.
Lo,Royalty had placed a hand on your head.
Nobles twist their rings in corridors,
worried about paintings future.
494/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Freedom
Those at the excavation who followed the Dog Star
when he wandered,summit-catcher.
The days are unknown,the night also,
ending its speech.Sleeper on the grass,
dreamer ofnumbers.
Day,night,horoscope.
In the dark
we recognize
the shoreline is Vienna green.
O

cials at Rome have ended the martyrdom.
Alteration
In the sky a dilemma.Fountains rush by.
Writing covers the desk.
Your colonization ofthe innite
is a romantic departure.
I ask you to permit the image
and the alteration oftime.
THE RED GAZE
/495
A Burst ofLeaves
A burst ofleaves announces your presence
dropped from the frozen cloud.
Perhaps you are hiding,perhaps you have decided not to reveal
your singular presence.
The world conceals your identity from me.
You once said we must abandon all risk.
You glanced at the idol
within its burst ofleaves.
A disappointed generation,words collapse around us.
Like the one who jumped into the sea.But the seas disappoint us,also.
We do not like to walk on their beaches,lined with laboratories and formula.
We are ready for a new orientation.
The Next Floor
Hours become young days,
morning wrapped in reality.
Its heel turns a corner where the game
is played.Sensitive to the murmur outdoors,
I fold you in a warm eece
here is its cover,it will hide you until daybreak.
496/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Smithies,ironworks,lattices to the next oor,
we are climbing.The urge enters to see more.
Destiny peers upward into a next stanza,
resting in the nearest hayrick,
adding up,taking away.
Ofwhat use are stanzas in the dark,
ragamu

n?
Roman Stripes
for Johannes Beilharz
What is new in the fostering world beyond.
We ask its name,created by indentation,
learned to avoid the sharks n,
emerged from a world ofns.
Once it was thought the spiral staircase led us
to uncounted rings.
Tonight there is no other n.
Tonight there is sorrow created by rings
tipped with green.
I saw the stair mount upward and could not stop
its climb until the heavens opened blinking,
until we felt suspension.
An odyssey parades in stripes.
The Trickster
There is no system,no one writes in Greek.
It is empty here after the seismology,
one relies on sensibility that monitors
movement on a mountain top.
THE RED GAZE
/497
Corrective light that carried shadow away
to another visibility.
Coyote
before he opens his mouth.
Hidden in the canyon on a ledge
full ofgames and myth.
The Hungry Knight
Palest shadow on the middle rock,
Hungry knight! drifting.
O causes,
O celebrants,
massive,
comfort had ceased.
Massive night falls on the middle rock,
weighing-in like a scholar.
Heavy is the literature
bred on the rock,
lled with epiphany
night has known since infancy.
The Past
The form ofthe poem subsided,it enters another poem.
A witness was found for the markings inscribed upside-down.
It might have been a celebration,so strong the presence
ofthe poem.The sky sinks slowly inside the past.
498/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Modernism
The dreamer enters the room wearing a garment ofred cloth.
He has dipped his pen into magic ink and cleared
the ordinary from the room.
We too,have heard the midnight chime and reached for our silver spoon,
as midnight stirs a co

ee cup we praise modernism.
Restless leafmodies his poem.
Green Numbers
Others are accustomed to this hat on the furnace step,
a mild disassociation from the garment shop.
A new pair ofshoes you are welcome to,
and a brimmed hat to wear in the rain.
We are accustomed to a guarantee ofrain,guarantee ofthunder,
the take-o

that leads to thunder on the holiday night.
Green numbers,a patois we are learning to speak.
Butteries in the house you told us about.
Stair ofOur Youth
O reward us who fought in the brush,
who have wandered with messages to other kingdoms,
and slept in their heavy beds.
We serve these masters and smile at their clumsiness,
as they slip on the stair.We are witness to the burned pages
THE RED GAZE
/499
oftheir books,to their Oriental games.
Riding over stones ofborrowed pleasure
lends grace to the smooth mount ofour youth.
A Noise ofReturn
We have seen the bowl toppled by morning crickets,
or imagined so,on our imaginary route,
it leads through the mountain.
We are walking on a shadowy line gentle in its way.
Imagination has removed the harshness.
This is a libuster ofroutes,
concealed is the icy stone you tripped on.
It turns rocks into stone and promises
to listen to the morning tympanum.
felicitudes!
creating another tympanum.
Freed Color
The branches are placed in a wet cloth,
clover reaches out.
They cannot locate a blue vine.
Purple lls the agenda.Red is on the plant,
They are warned not to linger in the purple shade.
500/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Are these bitter colors? Are they accompanied
by rhyme to cheer them when they cross
into that land where color is rare?
They hasten to make use offreed color
who bends to no one,
who dwells in a tent like rhythm
continuously rolled.
to sleep when it is time.
And doors open into a narrow surprise.
The jingle ofcrystal follows you everywhere,
even into the whistling corridor.
The Gold Tap
The arrival ofa winter morning unclasping its bandeau ofsleep.
bringing their hands to the gold tap and drinking its rare waters.
Minimal Sound
The poem enters on tiptoe,climbs the terrain,
weary,it listens to minimal sound,the slowed
tree branches are drawn on purpose,part ofthe same program.
THE RED GAZE
/501
The Brown Vest
A robins nest being towed on the sidewalk.
Somewhere a complement to his brown vest.
He is more lively than before.
In the future we must take him away from the sidewalk
and lend him the joy he expects.
Use earth colors,they build strong nests.
He combs his throat then locks the chapel
Ofthe Goddess in his home.
502/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST

The Red Gaze
Red,purple,brown Guardian leaf.
Complications ofred enter the leaf
and it is more accomplished,
turning brown then gray in varying attitudes
after the snow begins.Colorful complications
disturb serenity,causing our eye
to wander over the shaking tree.
Morning began with a concert ofwhite.
Blue enters later.
A Dawn Walk
Who took the tapestry from o

the wall?
Who removed the silver lining?
A dawn walk in the tousled hall.
Dissolve the curiosities,
Pierrot ofthe mountain.
In the Alps ofyour being there is trust.
THE RED GAZE
/503
Search for trust.
It may be in the Alps ofyour soul,
young squire who tends the furnace,
who remarks on landscape nery.
No Longer Strangers
No longer strangers
in these zones ofdeparture
somehow integrated in a
fashion to parade
and to laugh
and to write
ofthe old speech
in the looking glass room.
Distribute these newly sought wings ofartice,
for each raid on the moon,
who were learning the new tongue.
you will notice it is all one speech,
and jocular.
504/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Hans Hofmann
She remembersbridges over the gorge
a rocky landscape.Heaviness in the white.
A sudden burst ofcolor.
Structure and sensation.
Going each day to the park bench,she begins to absorb
her surroundings.
Each day the park grows colder.
Who is sitting at the end ofthe park bench?
He is the painter Hans Hofmann,he is a famous painter.
(this is true).Talking in an atmosphere ofcolor.
Listening in an atmosphere ofcolor.
To invoke the unseen,to unmask it.Reality in a glass
ofwater.The mirror reveals heartstrings ofreality.
THE RED GAZE
/505
Students preparing for the class and its famous master.
A deep red gaze through maple leaves.
Maple red now splashes the mountain.
The students need mirrors to orchestrate color.
Their master uses thick color.
Even black is a color.
A cool purple begins to descend through increasing twilight.
The class begins to speak ofcold.The class shivers and they laugh.
It reminds him ofthe red ofmaple leaves.
Vignettes
(Hofmann classes on chill afternoons).
(Independent thinking and foreign thought).
(Hofmann explains
Narrative
).
Hofmann surrenders his brush.
Return ofthe white chandelier.
506/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Echoes
Once more riding down to Venice on borrowed horses,
the air free ofmisdemeanor,at rest in the inns ofour fathers.
Once again whiteness like the white chandelier.
Echoes ofother poems...
Instructions
Mood and Form.Other pieces ofliterature.
Emphasis on content.
Distance lingers in her hand.
Figure moves backward from the door.
...Figure modied by light.
Remove gure from window.
THE RED GAZE
/507
Composition
Lo,from the outside a poem is with us,ofanother composition.
Travelled from an antique place.
Writing,narrow and sparse,pungent as the lemon tree.
Di

cult,spelling and montage.
We have built no large hall to labor in.
We sleep on small cushions for as long as we wish.
Our lives are composed with magic and euphony.
Supposition
You are willing
to pass through the center
To rearrange rhyme,
while you gather its energy.
508/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
New Poems
Elf
Whatever is whitening the curbside.Whatever is mildew,the whitest
green I knew.The disarray.They may be honorable attendants ofsorrow
or happiness.In my hands,in light,they crimson.
With happiness? The highway stretches before me.Wind lather? I heard
elfin tree and lo! he was near and reverential.
SLOWLY HE STEPS INTO THE TREE IN KNITTED ELF COSTUME.
HE LIVED ON THE BOTTOM BRANCH AND WAS ACCUSTOMED TO
BREAKFAST BEFORE HE WENT AWAY.
Storytelling
You follow me into the shadowed room.
A toy bird callsgreenteagreenteagreentea,
a spot on the sofa ofliquid brown.
Someone stumbles in with a kettle,
bringing snow and a lighted candle.
A book is near the table,
a hussar leaps from the wall.
Ifthere were a rey
I would write a summer idyl,but winter is on the table,
on the samovar.A magazine rests beside the violin.
Someone is in the courtyard,snow on his moustache.
In the dim lighted courtyard
wet hay underfoot...
In summer ribbons oftiles are laid out ofdoors,
nasturtiums and roses climb the rose tree...
NEW POEMS
/511
greenteagreenteagreentea
by the lakeside,where the crane ies
longing develops now and,melancholy...
Constables Method,Brightening Near the Bridge
Calm day.
Sudden commencement ofrain brightening the bridge.
Sound ofwater continually falling like a waterfall
carved from the trunks oftrees,fastidious as a garment
ofsilk,and we are disengaged from our revels.
The Universe explains this.
As far as the eye sees little garments ofrain,and ifit
were autumn,we would behold many trunks oftrees
becoming messages over green leaves.
Night descending frequently from its map oftrees,
halting and again halting this reverie.
Walking into the garden,tying ones damp
handkerchiefto a tree.
More formidable last Thursday when I spoke to
the gardener,busy learning habit oftrees.
ofbrown weeds like a gambler.
Further into rain there were visionary carriages.
You could see them when the plain opened.And
decided to hollow out the elegance
ofthe forthcoming painting.
512/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Calm night.
(Note to the painter:
To reveal the mask.This could become a small drawing
discovered in the night,and it was retained by his brother
).
Notations writ in paint,uvial theme out of
a corner ofrain.Flight ofwaters.Constable traced
over all the plain,heaven also,establishing a dignity
ofwaters,as ifthey rippled unendingly.
He traced with his brushes music.There is no song
in Constable,but there is the music,even underground,
when the waters have washed the musical keys
and paint is waiting.
These are the strings ofmasters,as ifit were music
as well as painting.We hear them in the waters,
as ifa large brush shifted the momentum,and
the brush used is green,water green.
We have found the bridge engulfed by history.
Four bridges tying a knot.
And he demanded this be true,holding the giants hammer,
who was brought out ofrain into the parrot-like
bridge over the raindrops he noted,not for the rst time.
(He began the rain noteswhen he was young and
there was no denominator,merely a cessation ofrain.
This took place on a hill,and it would become a habit
to loiter in the rain,Speechless).
NEW POEMS
/513
Beginning ofRain Notes
Calm night.
He had found an orientation ofrain that carved notes
he made on the bridge.Formerly,it was a green
He discovered in the valise his brother carved at night,
going around the barn with a night light.
He would have it printed,
as long as there was rain luster.
Calm day.
On the bridge he saw ElfCreatures.
He had known their names when he was a child making
ElfCreaturesin the drizzle.And yet he made a
notation to be reminded oftheir pedigrees,
as his mother wished.
Spray ofElfCreatures.
Only when the bridge was drawn did sensibility
in his drawing show.
514/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
He would draw on it,unaware ofdestabilization,
brought on by rain.
Before he knew about amber,holding
three threads in rain.He crossed the bridge in rain.
Short-haired cat ofsilver independently crossed
the plank.He found another cat-like creature lying
Shelley in the Navy-Colored Chair
for Suzanna
I sit so close to him,our minds entwine.
I assume his stewardship through the cold and mist.
There is no other beauty with which he is equipped.
The pain,the exclamation!
Early morning when the tide lowers
and we manipulate our choices.
To see,to feel,to engender memory
ofthis place where Shelley walked.
He is near.
NEW POEMS
/515
A dissertation they brought me,exclaiming why
he failed to ride the unswept sea,and like
a nautilus drowned in heavy seas,windswept
Each day a chambered nautilus near my chair.
is the view Shelley takes.
More haste and less worry in the words gathered around him.
A light gleaming over their shoulder,
before the ecclesiastic wonder breaks out
into praise for words he gathered,
pearls surround the armchair.
Hotel Comfort
Minutes each hour took ostrich leaps on the roofofthe Hotel Comfort in
Strasbourg.
These Surrealist moments cherished each roofa long time.
In the thickened weather ofSurrealism the cathedral
in the wooden jar.Speech-maker,you have sent notes ofpleasure
in the glass jars.
Tasting ofweather and cinnamon.
516/
THE COLLECTED POEMS OF BARBARA GUEST
Index ofTitles and First Lines
A burst ofleaves announces your presence,

A cloud opens a ruin ofcloud,

A dollop is dolloping,

Adoptive day replenished by shadow,

Advance ofthe Grizzly,The,

Afternoon in Jeopardy,An,

After the white-collared boats,

After we left the building,

A fully dressed man with the mobile face
...,
 
A lamb moves into the pasture
...,

All Elegies Are Black and White,

All Grey-haired My Sisters,

All grey-haired my sisters,

Alteration,

Although Paris has only one river,the
Seine...,

Altos,The,
 
Amaryllis,favorite daughter
...,
 

And I was right as dawn overhead,


And still she said,

...and then the Alpine pasture oppositionally
peaks...,


And the words linger,deciding which direction
to take...,


And you connect the runner with the
orchid...,

A need to film
Nostaliga
crept into the
studio...,

An itch,

a n n u n z i a r e ! Dora Films (

),
 
Another July,

An over-large pot ofgeraniums on the ledge,

An oyster,the fragrance,

antiquity /,

A person stands in the doorway
...,
 
ApparentlyTIGRIS
your vile husband
...,

Archaeology,

Archaics,

Arms flutter close to the body
...,
 
A robins nest being towed on the sidewalk,

Aromas,The,
 
Aroused from bed...,

Arriving speeds the chromatic,

Ars,Longa,

A single seeming blinded object,

Asphodel isnt in the,

A surprising order had come down
...,
 
s...,

Atalanta in Arcadia,

Atalanta who paces the roadway,



Atmospheres,
 


Attilio,the minor Hun,

Autobiography,

Automatically,
 

a venetian / pallor,

A wind was howling in from the desert
...,

A woman weeping about an imaginary
fall...,

...,
 
balanced on leaves green-toed,

Barrels,

Beautiful/Evil,
 
beauty ofthe arm how it rise
s...,

or Tuesday,

Beginning ofRain Notes,

Being drunk upstairs and listening,

Belgravia,

Believe you Madam yon building ofice was
built,

Bergsons Law /,

Bicycling,

Biography,

Biography a dubious route,

Bird ofArt,

Bleat,

Blue Arthur,

Blue Stairs,The,

Blue Stairs,The

Blurred Edge,
 
Borderlands,

Borrowed Mirror,Filmic Rise,

Bracketed in my own barn,

Broderie
,

Brown Studio,The,

Brown Vest,The,

Burst ofLeaves,A,

Byrons Signatories,

Calm day,

Calm night,

Camisole,

Cape Canaveral,

Carmen,

Celluloid,

Chalk,

Chekhovania,
 
Circassians,

Climate succumbing continuously as water
gathered,
 
Close up shop,

Cloud fields change into furniture,

Clouds Near the Windmill,

Coal,
 
Cold and Its Demeanour,
 
Collapsing so this is not what I expected,

Colonial Hours,

Colonial Hours,
 
Color,

coming into the park,

Composition,

Confession ofMy Images,

Confetti Trees,The,


Confucius,

Congress ofthe value ofyou,

Constables Method,Brightening Near the
Bridge,

Continent with shelves engages the
Queen...,

Corelli,

Couch ofspace,

Cough,The,

Countess,

Countess from Minneapolis,The,

Counting you as one ofus,

Country Cousins,

Country cousins possess different rhythms
joined,

Cradle ofCulture,The,

Crisis,The,

Crisis,The,

Dardanella,

Dawn has other obligations,

Dawn Walk,A,

Deception,

Defensive Rapture
,

Defensive Rapture,

Delicate manufacturess,

Despising the heavy food
...,


Did you locate the forms in the vests,

Dido to Aeneas,

Different Honey,A,

Direction,

Disappearance,

Dissonance Royal Traveller,

Disturbing to have a person,


Dora Maar,

Doubleness,
 
Dove,

Do you know what silence means?

Do you remember as I do,

Drawing a Blank,

drawn on the burden oflight,

Dream Motion Picture;
a proposal for ani-
mation
,The,

Driving away from the logging cam
p...,
 
Drer in the Window,Reexions on Art
,

dust dust dust dust dust dust,

Each artist embarks on a personal search,
 
Each day emerging from the grit-grey
skie
s...,

Earth on my foot,

East ofOmsk,

Echoes,

Effervescence,

Egypt,

Eight,



:Musings on the Mississippi,



,
 


,

Elf,

empathetic / chimes,

Emphasis Falls on Reality,An,

Enchantment,

518/
INDEX
En pointe
in the
pli,
...,
 
Entering the hallway he stopped before the
mirror...,

Evening,

Even Ovid,
 
Everything Ive told you is true,said Lars,
 
cupola,
 
Expectation,

experienced in rounded,

(explosion),

Faery Land,

Fair Realism
,

Falling in Love,

Fan Poems,

Farewell Stairway,The,

fasterthan the stare,
 
p...,

Fell,Darkly,



:At the Guthrie Theater,
 
fifteen diamonds in a row,
 
Finally,to the Italian Girl,

Finnish Opera,

First ofMay,The,

First Prints,

Five,



:River Road Studio,

Fixed in my new wig,

Fleet ofWhite,



,



,



:Amaryllis,

Four,



:Thinking ofYou Prokoef,

Four Moroccan Studies,



,

Fourteenth ofJuly,
 
Freed Color,

Freedom,

French woman,the / beckoned,

Fresh I thought a bird,

From Eyes Blue and Cold,

From eyes blue and cold,


From the doorway we watched
...,

Garment,

Geese Blood,

Geography,

/ germinationbegins,

ghost / aboard,

Give me your pencil,
 
Glass Mountain,The,

go from the must-laden room,

Gold Tap,The,

Go sit,listen.Two feed earlobe
s...,

...,

Grass grew long in the story,

Gravel,

Gravel sounds like snow when a car,

Green Awnings,

Green Fly,The,

Green Numbers,

Green Revolutions,

Guerilla Reporters,The,

...handbag with parasol over her head
...,

Handbook ofSurng,A,

Hands are touching,

Hans Hofmann,

Having followed the fox over the dry hill
s...,



He believed ifthe woman on the right moved
over...,

He changes the scene with its unique
nobility
...,

He felt an uncomfortable sensation in his
throat...,

He had been sitting in the dar
k...,

height oftrees,

He left the trees when he left the lake,
 
Heliogobalus,Heliograph,Heliology,
Helium...,

Here is the whole story for a livin
g...,

Heroic Stages,

Hero Leaves His Ship,The,

His air ofthe underworld
,

His Jungle,

History,

history / ambushed,

(Hofmann classes on chill afternoons),

Hohenzollern,

Homage,

Hotel Comfort,

Hours become young days,

How difficult it isto recall you,

How far are you goin
g...,
 
Hungry Knight,The,

Hurricane,

INDEX
/519
I adjudge with rugged counseling I might
cross...,

I am in love with a man,

I am living in the Siberia,

I am not distressed by your volunteer work
Citadel,

I am telling you a number ofhalf-conditioned
ideas,

I become excited when I am with Circassians,

ice / buttons,

ICHIEN,

I Ching,

I Ching,

Ideas.As they find themselve
s...,

Ideas.As they nd themselve
s...,

Ifone goes beyond reality
...,
 
IfSo,Tell Me
,

IfSo,Tell Me,

Ifyou lift your arms,

I give you the unhinged sleeve,

I go separately,

I had dreamed the night before I
awakened...,

I had thought you were disappearing,

I just said I didnt know,

Ilex,

Illyria,

I love you,

Imagined Room,

In America,the Seasons,

In Dock,

In hollows dim-witted rabbit
s...,

In Medieval Hollow,

In Slow Motion,
 
Instructions,

Interruptions,The,

In the Alps,

In the Campagna,

In the golden air,the risky autumn,

In the hotel certain rooms were closed
...,

In the long ago days he might,

In the Middle ofthe Easel,

In the past we listened to photograph
s...,

In the sky a dilemma.Fountains rush by,

Intimacy oftone,


Intimacy oftone,

(introduce pavement),

I sit so close to him,our minds entwine,

Is this a short story?

Is this an eidolon?

It appears,
 
It is a landscape inhabited by Baudelaire,

It is here those lives with their difficult
parts...,

It is not your physical appearance
...,

It is time to find the pea
k...,

Its Autumn,

Its raining today and Im reading about phar-
macies,

It was kind ofyou to ask,

It was midnigh
t...,
 
It was our intent to read all the book
s...,

It was the beginning ofthe picture
...,
 
It was the scene where the toothy actres
s...,

I wake up,

I wonder ifthis new reality is going to destroy
me,


Jaffa Juce,

John Graham
riding in his coach
...,
 
king as wanderer,

klebnikovlootage /,

Knight ofthe Swan,
 
Lady your orange back,

Landing,

La Noche Entra en Calor,

law / ofthe ether,

Lawn Bumps,
 

Leaving MODERNITY,
 

Leaving MODERNITY,
 
Les Ralits,

Let us give up our trips,

Lifts a spare shadow
,

Lights ofmy eyes,

Lights ofmy eyes,

Lights ofMy Eyes,

Lights ofMy Eyes,

Light still glowing through the iced-over
window...,

Like a highway,

Lily,
 
lines from favorite book
s...,

literaturephantom,

Little Withergield was talking to his pal,
Freotheri
c...,

Location ofThingsArchaicsThe Open Skies,
The,

520/
INDEX
Location ofThings,The,

Lo,from the outside a poem is with u
s...,

lo!
It shakes boughs Spirit Tree,

Loneliness,

Lonely Mess,
 
loose grams / ofnutmeg,

Losing People,

Lost Speech,

/ lottery can guess,

Lubitsch,
 
Lull,The,

Luminous,The,
 
Lunch at Helen Frankenthalers,

magicked /,

Melting,the melt ofsnow into midnight,
 

Miner,

Miniatures,

Miniatures and Other Poems
,

Minimal Sound,

Minus Ones,The,

Minutes each hour took ostrich leap
s...,

Modernism,

Molluscs in their shell,

moment / ofingenuity,

Moments Before
...,
 
Mood and For
m...,

moody / adjectivalness,

Moon track across the snow field,

More goatlike than the other,

more liquid,

Moscow Mansions
,

Moscow Mansions

,
 
Moscow Mansions

,

Mozarts journey to Prague,

Museum,

Musicality
,
 
Musicality,
 
Music History,

Musicianship,
 
My darling,only,

My eye cannot turn toward you,

Nebraska,
 
need / to identify,

Negative Possibility,

Nemesis,
 
New Poems
,

Next Floor,The,

Night confounded hollering at
architecture...,

Night or the curtain,
 
Nine,



:Legends,



Widsith
,
 
Nocturne,

Noise,
 
Noise ofReturn,A,

 
No Longer Strangers,

No longer strangers,

Nostalgia,

Nostalgia,

Nothing is shown except that quivering
surface...,

Not to be able to carry mice to your room,

Now,

No Words,

Nude,The,

Nuns,

odd / pagination,

OfAnger and Sorrow,

oh conscript not the forest,

Old Silk Road,The,

Old slugger-the-bat,

Old Thing,

Olivetti Ode,

On a Painting by Hayden Stubbing,

On a wall shadowed by lights...,

Once more riding down to Venice...,

Once they stalked the
blue moon
...
,



,

One,

On Mt.Snowdon,
 
On the coast groups ofcars try to reach the
city...,

On the Verge ofthe Path,

On the Way to Dumbarton Oaks,

Open Skies,The,

opposing ideas /,

O reward us who fought in the brush,

Oriental Movie,

Originally the Walker Art Museum was
formed...,

Orphaned caught in a web,

Or when I see a sailor
...,

Others are accustomed to thi
s...,

Otranto,

Outside ofThis,That Is,

Outside through the windo
w...,

Overboard,

INDEX
/521
Palest shadow on the middle rock,

Pallor,

Palm Trees,

Parachutes,My Love,Could Carry Us
Higher,

Parades End,

Paris Lectures,The,

Passage,

Past,The,

Past ofa Poem,The,

Patches ofit,
 
Pathos,
 
Paulownia,
 
People in Wartime,


philosophy / in Norway,

Photographs,

photo / mirage,

Piazzas,

Piece oftapestry with bird sewed on,

Pilgrimage,

placed two sticks upon a dazzling plate,
 
Poem,

Poem Lying Down,The,



position,the / anarchical,

Practiced formalityas to a monument
,

Preparedness,
 
property / mix-up,

Quill,SolitaryA
PPARITION
,

Quill,Solitary
A
PPARITION
,

Quilts
,

Quilts,

 
reaches the locked door and inside
...,
 
Realitys tramline intruded,
 
Reason,A,

Recognized only its hands,

Red Gaze,The,

Red Gaze,The,

Red Lilies,

Red,purple,brown Guardian leaf,

Restlessness,


Rightly are you dispossessed virulent blue,

Robinsegg bluepasses into darker
color...,
 
Rocks on a Platter: Notes on Literature
,

Romance,

Roman Stripes,

Ropes Sway,

Rose Marble Table,The,

Roses,

Rosy Ensconcements,
 
Rumer Godden,


Russians at the Beach,

Sadness,

Sadness and felicity,
 
Safe Flights,

Sand,

Santa Fe Trail,

Sassafras,

Savannahs,

Saving Tallow,

Scenario-iste,

Scenario
.She loved the word,

Scoping along the Mississipp
i...,
 
Screening Room Notes,

Screen ofDistance,The,

Seated at the mirror rolling up her hai
r...,

Seeing You Off,

See why it is this way,

/ selfdom,

Separations begin with placement,

Seven,



:Eating Lake Superior Cisco Smoked Fish,



:Persians in Minneapolis,
 
Shabby Boot,

Shelley in the Navy-Colored Chair,

She put the pail on her head
...,

She ran down the middle ofthe road
...,

She remembersbridges over the gorge,

She submitted a few storie
s...,

She thought ofCelluloid as a silken twis
t...,

She waited on the terrace for him to
arrive...,

She waited.Within her limited
mathematic
s...,
 
She walks up the slight incline ofa hil
l...,

She was handed this beautiful
opportunity
...,
 
Shifting the Iris,

Short Narrative,A,


Shuffling Light,

522/
INDEX
Sideways,

Sideways,

Simultaneity,

Six,



:Portrait ofMary Rood,



,
 
Sleep is

,

Slow moving and daybreak,
 
Smother,

Snow Angel,

Someone has remembered to dry the dishes,

So much goes away,

So there is truly a mileage
...,

Sound and Structure,
 
Sound leads to structure.Schonberg,
 
sound opens sound,

Spell ofBeauty,The,

Spill ofink,not enough,

Spirit Tree,

Spring Vine,

Stair ofOur Youth,

Start at beginningin early morn,

Storytelling,

Storytelling,

Stragglers,The,

Strings,

Stripped Tales
,

structured / immediacy,


Strum,
The,

Studios are stations ofreminiscence,

Stupid Physical Pain,

Sunday Evening,

Supposition,

Surface as Object,The,
 
Symbiosis
,

Symbiosis,
 
Tear,The,



,

Tessera,
 
That child,

That is why I am here,

That shock ofhair in the white morning,

That there should never be air,

The actress is sitting in starligh
t...,

The actress was washing her face
...,

The air! The colonial air! The walls,the brick,

The arrival ofa winter morning...,

The black curtain has fallen over the
moon...,
 
The branches are placed in a wet cloth,

The days when you try to recover,

The director had led his cast to a viaduct
...,

The Director sat slouched and disheveled
...,

The distance,

The dreamer enters the roo
m...,

The film she was working on was filled
...,
 
The form ofthe poem subsided
...,

g...,

The further exoticism ofreading a British
novel...,

The glass stops midway skyways,

The guerrilla reporters move into the first
reel...,

The heart knows,

The hints ofruggednes
s...,

The horseshoe print on the lawn,
 
The house.The pictures there on the wall,

The lady protests she reserves the righ
t...,

The lake was filled with distinguished fis
h...,

The lengthy slow cooking ofthe Childrens
Opera...,
 
The Location ofThings,

The long long accent,

The lull in rain,

the moment / a noun / settles into space,

The more the scenario relies on Corell
i...,

The most that can be said,

The night was war
m...,

The Open Skies,

s...,

The people inside,

The problem proposed to the lemon tree
...,

There are blank moments,

The reason for caterwauling,

There came a cloud
...,

The refinement ofwhats specia
l...,

There is a shabby boo
t...,

There is no fear,

There is no system...,

The return was like a snowbird like the cutoff,

There was a poem with,

There we go in cars,did you guess we wore
sandals?

INDEX
/523
There were endless searches for beautiful
women...,

The rhythm ofthe section,

The room isnt as white as youd suppose,

The simple contact with a wooden spoon
...,

The sliding window,

The Spanish bed overlooked by the Chinese
courtesan,
 

The storms threat and ache,

The story was about nun
s...,

...the stream upland and you in your
overcoat...,

The sunroom in the hous
e...,
 
the visible,
 
The vivid report ofyour gracious dieharded-
ness,
 
...the warbler,
 
The wave ofbuilding murmur,
 
The women without hesitancy began to
descend,

the words linger,And,

The world,

They are lithe,slim,dar
k...,
 
The year ofthe hurricane,

They were in Alexandria filming
The Vanished
Library
...,
 
They were on location...,
 
think you by dredging,



,



,



,



:Crocus Hill,



,



:June,



,



:Activities,



,



,



,

This afternoon I am very careful,

This orange bric-a-brac has a paper luster
...,

s...,

This town Ive bored into,

Those at the excavation
...,

Those forms in gauze,

Thread,The,

Three,



:

Floors,

Through the wood,

Time ofDay,The,

Timor Mortis,Florida,

Tiny Foreign Tears,

Tiny foreign tears in autumn,

Today a field ofpumpkins,

To make it look so simpl
e...,

To no longer like the taste ofwhisky,

touched naught,

Transcription,

Trickster,The,

Trousers for Extras,

Turkey Villas,

Trler Losses,The,

Trler patterns,

Turret,



:Prairie Houses,



,



,
 


,
 


,



,
 


,
 


,



,
 


,



,
 


,

Twilight Polka Dots,



,

Two,

typestry /,

Underfoot is secure,

undermining /,

Unlike the swiftly lying down
...,

Unreasonable lenses refract the,

Unusual Figures,
 
Upside Down,

useful / techniques,

Utmost Unreality,The,

Valorous Vine,

Valuable Mrike,

Vanished Library,The,
 
Velimir
they broke into thy
Baku
hous
e...,

View from Kandinskys Window,The,


Virgils body in a grove above Naples,
 
Visible tallow ofthe hurricane night,

Voice Tree,The,

524/
INDEX
Walking Buddha,

Walking into the room,

water wheels river turns river asides over
and under falls,

Wave,

Way ofBeing,A,

We are living at an embarkation port,

We have seen the bowl toppled
...,

Welcome brutal possessor,

were given the privilege ofdreamin
g...,

we remember the jumping frail iambs,


Western Additives,


What an arch your,

Whatever is whitening the curbside
...,

What inspires me?

What is fraught and undenied travel
...,

What is new in the fostering world beyond,

What is your version
...,

what then will happen...if
she finally,

What was said,what is meant?

What was seen was at an angl
e...,

What we are becomes a memory
...,

what we say /,


What you need is a sophisticated cat,
 
When beauty thats arrangeda choira
desk,

whenever Benjamin entered the roo
m...,

cooked...,

When the mouth ofthe pitcher opened
...,

When the scandal about Eofirth broke
out...,

When Villon went to his college,

Where goes this wandering blue,

Where is the sky?

/ which-away,

White foam tide,

Who knows why they enter the gate of
Mekens,

Who took the tapestry from offthe wall?

Who walks softly causes mutiny among the
lilies,

Who will accept our offering at this end of
autumn?

Why from this window am I watching leaves?

Width ofa cube spans defensive rapture,

Wild Gardens Overlooked by Night Lights,
 
Wild gardens overlooked by night light
s...,
 
Windy Afternoon,

Wing ofglass in high up floating,

Winter Horses,
 
Withdrawal from the conceptual lin
e...,


Without shyness or formality,

Without shyness or formality,

Words,

Words,

Wounded,

Yesterday,

Yet another day,

You are willing,

you await assumptions induced by
temperament
,

You follow me into the shadowed room,

You have to be on your toes,he ordered...,

You in the new winter,

Your painting took a long time to dry,

INDEX
/525

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