The Library Hue

I rid myself of all
books and read:

was Don Quixote’s
family of attendants,
and Don Quixote, simultaneous..

was K. with
a matchhead, the
one rubicund, betraying friend!

was Tolstoy’s landing,
readying, artful,
that soul-felt obsession..

was Babel espying
flashing, secret
arms (open), a short finale!

was Melville afoot
on Southern wharf,
routine failure, crypto-mamalian..

rid myself —

was Delmore bent over,
aside Broadway, investigating
brown-bag hemlock (pint by pint)!

was Zukofsky meditating,
abjuring scientific war,
silent, testing silence contra

sonorous fantasy..

was Ralph Ellison
invisible again, stoned
and Pops bursting up the radio,

whispers, no encore!

was Emily inside her attic,
Emily: isolated,
emphatic, curating dashes

in the dark..

was Cantor contouring
alephs, his sets sacred,
hypnotic, engorged, eponymous

and forgotten!

was Quine bound
to define catapults
of ratio, quantifying the formless,

mid-century void..

rid —

was Ginsberg mugged curbside
in Alphabet city,
playing organ to Vishnu:

*”succor the analphabetic”*..

was Dreiser voluminously
maundering on about
nature’s design, who falls, where

fails and with what fate!

was Marianne Moore, tri-cornered
at Ebbets Field precise,
keeping score, the

curve’s verve intact..

was Akhmatova tracing steppes,
errors’ ideation
black – another’s heart

destroyed; relieved!

of all books —

was Joseph assaying Eros’
Battery, Motown mystic,
regroove restored

as street-legal coo
amid this yelling..

was Pesach Yerachmiel draped
off blue; a 2nd liberation,
library – a light

scrap, the careful
as I swept!