Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mark Young, Three Poems

The Abduction of Crystalized Ginger, 
image by Daniel Y. Harris

Benares dreaming

Magicians perform in the streets downtown
howler monkeys proclaim the nearness of the markets
whatever we ask for we are given
the river at night is an artery of incense.

We follow the crowds but are never part of them
sometimes they follow us
we deflect their questions with mantras from physics like the laws of light
it seems to satisfy or at least confirm our strangeness
we are offered crystalized ginger & glasses of sweet tea.

Time passes
nothing is given freely anymore
the rudeness of refusal makes it clear we must pay our own way in future
we have few skills that can be used here.

We finally find work doing something others will not touch.

At night we keep the river fragrant
with ashes from the burning ghats.


Robert Rauschenberg erased a
de Kooning nude to demonstrate

all art is transitory—except,
of course, for the resultant

Rauschenberg. In the light
of that action, is self-erasure

an illusion of grandeur or an
attempt at digital re-mastering?


Not waiting for what comes
through. Making a reservation

to be present at the opening
of the next exciting episode.

Someone's life. Not even that.
Hologram. Not even. Phantasm

in the corner of the window
where the cobwebs are. What-

ever stops the afterwards
from getting through the

coating on your tongue to where
the tastebuds grow. Birds ring

the changes. Summer. Snow.

—Mark Young

Mark Young's recent e-book, The Holy Sonnets unDonne, is downloadable from the Red Ceilings Press.