Robert Lietz

Breaking In

Filling a page when he might just as well

have filled a page, he likes the raw materials

the ammonia-haunted bowls, expressions the old men shared

among the riggings and the fiscs,

susceptible to prompts, to the motions just behind

the layings-on and arrogance.  Verve deepens

in the templates, in the course of vegetables, in every

leisure to know, leaving the closed shops caught

and the keen edge of argument, fingers clearing out

the cache, spilling the ghostly fruit, the ghosts

already gone into the lull on entering, deepening

the whispers in old port and in the dream-souffles.

He’ll let the barn-mice jig, he thinks, wearing

the scraps of festival, perked and erudite, subverting

the swaggers afterward, the children worrying

their lives, and every awkward emphasis, having

these ermine, egg-white, scarlet points

to get across, and doubling the detachment

when their good fun’s done.

Robert Lietz © 2009

Ocean Audience (2)

Should you import such images, alerted by sines

and contraband, by natural restrictions,

leathers digging in, finding the sun above the house,

the scythe-blade dulled and slopes

made dangerous, the shadows indoors restored,

what would there be to do

except to see lives graduate, adopt their readiness

to grip, except, as one absorbed, and one

with them, to seem as one within the script, and with

the light let fall behind the cardinal draperies,

happy as meals were, as uninventoried light

deciding on a subject?  And here,

among the spellbound-still accoutrements, left-overs

concentrate, in love and motion still,

and their phenomenally touched selves, seeing

their lawns to snuff or pouring off their own,

in rooms where lives conceived becoming something


in pillared rooms and sleeplessness

and dreadful circulation, warped frames

and needle-stitch, their scythes

made dull for every pass through the sandgrasses,

and love’s morphologies, and the kempt lawns

turned by the beach-skies to hyperscripts.  Why

wouldn’t you cheer with them such nights

when home-squads dominate, seeing them cheered

themselves, or handing their bodies off

in lexial harmonics, thrilled by the first

good tune, by the cacoons

and plastics  scratching frost-hewn stones, mothers

coming to be, there on the eve of everything,

and children, evolved dimensionally, gliding

among the cloud-drifts and the painted trees,

over the front lawns taking time and personalized?

So much for the decades practicing.

So much for the hall doors, the varnished

and adult mystery, deepening

weekend dreams, deepening the hobbies woven,

the skeletal awkwardness

and household interests, for living old

and off, hearing the tall grass sob,

seasonally drawn and stretched, and seeing

the wheat hued light assume

a steeper influence, following the scores

and story-lines and satellite attentions,

the pre-venting scripts, centripetal gradients

and chills, caculated back to stasis

and to outlet benefits.

Robert Lietz © 2009