Against Clean Lines"I once believed a single line in a Chinese poem could change forever / How blossoms fell...." - Gary Sullivan*
Vigilance by the cherry tree as blossoms fall
one by one and sometimes like the planes
landing at Sky Harbor, the closest allowable
horizontal and vertical distance between them.
Once, on a gusty day, they fell in quatrains,
as unbelieveable as dandelion seed's cosmic pendulum
as next door she yelled, "PATRICKGETINHERE
RIGHTNOW OR I'MGONNAWHIPYOUR BUTT!"
Once, on a windless day, one fell straight down
as if along a plumb line. Our words, our pun.
In the desert there are updrafts.
Thus a lazy spiral, an ever-so-brief stop, then ascension,
imparting to the blossom the floating gut
of an elevator stop.
Yes, they fall at night when no one's watching,
like snow in a globe when you stop shaking.
Add moonlight and steady wind and there are the Leonids.
Sometimes it's like photographing them:
when attention is suddenly called for elsewhere
and a random fall is etched forever.
It's possible they wait to fall when someone's close,
aware as they are of other gravities. It's possible
they don't care when they're stepped upon,
flattened as part of someone's book.
* "Against Clean-Line Poetry As Such,"
12:50 PM, Friday, January 31, 2003