Those Various Scalpels

Christopher J. Adamson

                      – Marianne Moore

—interested intersections between the fallout and the myth,
            fumbled in the front
corner broke down broken unstuck—

they spend the mind’s splendor
            in a bright parted park
parted by pigeons at regular intervals

wonderful or musical, sweep-swept
            up like dust 
to the eye, point to point; 

under walls they fall—up short
            and bramble, taken and cleaved in the mirror
of the mighty cross, golden,

raised to the crown of the church
            just that or not so 
just, like the rambling knotty bench I

sit on to compose thoughts
            that repeat too much and much
fly fought-with, forthwith, or withheld:

I have learned to stop time is
            one dropped thought
had sat on the bench enthralled

and near to several various men
            used and noon-drunk, wearing used coats
light enough for temperate February

yet still effective at shielding wind
            for we are close to water
(it’s deep, invaded too, and variously);

the old men laugh and laugh detach
            their jaws eyes all upwardly
beautifully thin—far from me

as I hold a habit of avoidance
            patience or penitence
especially in parks especially public

—Take it, o farthest father, take
            from me my manic mystery
locked here as I sit lunching

shut all up and wondering
            why I don’t watch further or walk
farther into those fumbled scalpels,

alien streets I impose upon
            as a breath poses its boulder
of being in, in, in.

Bramble, am I broken, intermingled,
am I bought in, consistently indistinct again.


                      (Washington Square Park, S.F.)