Athens-bound portrait

Last night I saw a dancing pioneer sitting on a tarot deck
her coat unbuttoned and clinging to its rack
she whispers into nothingness her hopes
and as that void I listen without judging

She, with cryptic tides and jumbled resilience
to which the unexplained referendum
and the barely touching strands of chapels
and their strangled inactivity drive the
raving oxen of madness

She, with crossword desires and their checkered station
who tell of Italian liqueur, kittens quite well fed
surprising with its secrets and its tsetse manner
twenty-one machine guns in adagio fashion

She, who smirks with waiting chaos at the sight of rain
when prodded to pay the lords of steel and thunder
instead will let the air out of their tin skulls
and purchase new salvation

She, with clay-faced synthoid bebop half-note rhythm,
searching and surging through used car lots
tumbling in maternal manner as she loosens
two jugs of milk from curtained plastic

She, with system-thought-meaning, problem-solution self,
with stuffed monkey necessary for final preparation
whose anger is tempered with keen understanding
overstanding overself equating hopeful listening

She, who finally took in the sweet caramel breath of dawn,
learning in the tin cans that roll toward barrels
that life itself is worthy and untamable
shaking free of sweaty sullen duality

She, to whom modesty is all-unknowing, vagabond and stranger,
knocking quietly on her baroque dressing door
as her confidences command continental armies
touching one another in familial fashion

She, with Mozart between her wings, unitarian tambourines,
unlacing the shoes of courtiers and hiding them
boiling chicken for the sergeant-at-arms
quarantining vacuum thoughtlessness

She, with palms cupped in tenderness, balancing amphibians,
willing to endeavor over fences barbed and bolted
wreathed in shadows but twinkling with laughter
chewing apathy and denouncing all surrender

She, who corresponds with animal totems, spirits old and mighty,
with amnesty and inclusive provisional counsel
responsible and all-supposing of their worthiness
talking into distant towers with sliding words of beauty

She, with cold-death-dying-sickness, the nasal mortal form,
who perseveres to disinfect and seeks remissions
relenting to the storms of Eden-grasping panacea
her treetop and untipped hours smoking quietly

She, who senses heartache pills and their white-washed bottle,
hunting them as needles on a daydrop blacktop,
protecting children and her Heracles from malcontent,
throws them into dustbins and tells the siren deputy

She, with bookstore poet stationed nobly on her desk,
working in due diligence to present her case,
lumbering toward her further vocation, advocacy
lifelong in its luring nimble lashes

She, with Saturn on her tongue, her blazing mind eternally aglow,
with strength and ink stitched onto her skin,
with piercing orbs of absolution and rebellion,
who reaches at the galaxies and claims them all as hers

She, who sits between the oboes and the blurting of saxophonists,
the tantalizing light twinkling through sunroofs,
who mows the dewy blades of impious proportion
tumbling along as spiders slink into slumber

She, with black and white shirt entombed in moral quandary,
with stuttering temples crumbling beneath her will
loquacious as they truncate her medallions
heaps of coins burning through the midnight

She, with safety cornered in her iron-coated sensuous surreality,
who prefers the panic of rotund companions,
the happy minds that link in warmth and wonder
limping toward their wisdom with a glass of wine

She, with quarries where philosophers make war with negligence,
with amber tasting taxis crashing in the breeze
the painted locks of moonlight trickling
transcending the numb preponderance

She, with imported cure-alls for the plantation of tomorrow,
whose preparation and vivacity is all-convincing
without which Atlas might divine a mortal surrender
and none would ever question bifocal creation

She, with curling tassels that bridge the mundane consanguinity
toppling regimes of idle madmen with candlewax
remarking even in the face of nightwashed murkiness
that prisons of the mind are where souls rot

She, with drawers of apostolic creed and many-flavored adventure,
whose weapon sits and dances in abstention
primordial in the twilight need of textual interference
knowing that the floors of dalliance are to be cleaned

She, with syncopation found in the hearts of deceased rumrunners,
who knows the squires of electronic angelic agony,
speaking to the tempest and recalling Canadian days
prancing about fashion shows as queen and comptroller

She, with fiber-optic aptitude and the slushing stream of clamor,
licking at cones and whipping foam into a form
tasting jacuzzi strategy and sharing canine laughter
sheltering the blue-eyed beast with proper dignity

She, who bids for notions deemed insoluble by the mantra of eternals,
knowing in immortal fashion that cosmic allergy
and the paws of tremulous subcultural sneezing
are equivocal and lackadaisical in their primacy

She, with Cadillac defensiveness and a grateful tone of ecstasy,
who understands the nuance of appreciation and volition,
with aptitude in all the fields to which she applies,
excelling in the circle built by quantum elevation

She, with targets of Lockean sense of accomplished self-worth,
steeped in understanding but wading in frustration
peeking between the rags of acknowledgment
reading hands with right-brained arches

She, who knelt between the stacks of knowledge dust-entombed,
slouching in Jerusalem manner toward Michelangelo
archangels, God, the fall of man in grasp
tattered and monochrome in fading pattern

She, who shares her pain with stilted lily compassion,
who places tiles upon the grid all-commanding
wishing for her suitors and their kin to remember
that games do not provide true nourishment

She, with porcelain masking unhappiness, unbecoming
who pours the stunted malnutrition into grates
upon command of sergeant-at-arms in confrontation
perched upon the concrete as dreams decay

She, riddled with agitation and anchored, firmament in anger
stripping bare the dropkick madness of the blemished
barking beautifully in the high afternoon wind
acquiescing and making right the too-wrong world

She, who writes of understanding and quells the unknown absence
piercing tongue and pools of radiance haunt the night
her spirit gliding between the wintered halls of dukes
and huddled beneath her cloak to spare her champion

She, the herbivore goddess with endless knowledge,
who raps the gavel against her suitors
enveloping all seeking enclosure
and placed atop ewes as cynosure

She, with olfactory
She, with knowledge
She, with stratospheres
She, with tidal waves
She, with eye-comets
She, with theoreticals
She, with ball-gag-night-thought
She, with apotheosis
She, with unblessed shawls
She, with skirts and skulls
She, with wheel and axle
She, with tongue-revolver
She, with Stratford-spirit
She, with bards and nobles
She, with astral cravings...

It is she who stands in doorways for the glowing afterthought
and tells me that the night is good
it is right that I believe it