Mount Hope Bay

                    i.

Beneath Montaup Hill where hatchets lay, • waiting to be buried, on top • of a foggy day prayer wagers • its breathless plea against, uncertain of • reply, hidden by time what rises • in thickening air says much to • us, or says nothing at all • to anybody else. To speak of • achieving invisibility, been busied lately penning • fleshly obscenities in unseen ink, obfuscating • my meanings in meaty poetry… Quill • bristling with gristle thickening air, fattening its • chill until stiffened white lights, in • total darkness, ignite foresight’s lamp-fire for • watchtowers to offer ravenous travellers lust-lorn • restless their sighing, when widened eyes • wander suffering, and deny being denied • sight. To be reminded that, when • reprimanded by life, even unseen leaves • write endings their silence invites, unedited, • •

                    ii.

to thrive. That you are enjoying • where your paths have at present • led you. That you master where • you wish them to lead. That • you are not being (mis)led. My • own tangled crossroads has had some • rather unusual reverberations, doubtless to teach • me to trust more (faith)fully my • intuition and the guidance of those • whose spirits guide me. Liminal yet • limitless, eternity faced with the no-thing-ness • of grey-eyed inevitabilities glimpses and waits. • Mount Hope Bay the place, another • scar on the strut of no • shame, no fame for fallen stars • whose soles this pavement pounds ascorch. • Wails of wagging tongues gone astray • going aflame in the voice of • the waters awful mutters of worse • matters performed for powerless prophets to • •

                    iii.

pant after purchase rant and rant, • the disturbed shore absorbing more than • should have been heard. Sure, sound • of some sort is at least • a response, yet rejection is one • of the bitterest components of the • multiple-edged sword, many-splintered weapon that is • making art. Punishment enough having been • burned before for having had enough • of being tortured by others in • their feigned concern to the point • of voicing hurt so abhorred words • are ignored. Works well to settle • the score to sell works the • worth of which none of those • idiots could ever afford, going forth • by night toward the source, my • soul’s path enhanced by the fizzling • scorch of its allure, same pool • my ancestors in their search scoured • •

                    iv.

from surface to floor not for • obvious treasure but something more. That • silent force ebbing under the current • tomorrows promised yesterday in exchange for • now, and how I have returned • to offer what my forefathers vowed, • to embroider in our tapestry of • sorrow my own forest of woe. • That those who come after can • go knowing they were not the • first, to be shown that somehow • this curse of ours bestows what • justice no world’s allows, that in • shadowed hours no god follows there, • meadows and men and mothers madness • always ends up swallowing. But memory • renders worthy of being written down, • legacies of ruby-throated dawns ribald and • rubicund in howling at how low • our brows can go humouring what • •

                    v.

misfortunes darkness humbles with its clowning • crowd. Now where the crows laugh, • that nowhere origin fables prowl until • the prow of the ferryman’s burden • those able to understand pull down, • this fairy prow a phantom ship, • a boat of mist, in the • mirage of which, hopelessness drowns. For • here in the borderland adrift, betwixt • two states and three towns, hope • itself surfaces, for hope itself, even • amid centuries of calamities endured, remains • the sole word on my ancestral • seat’s coat of arms, the motto • even now, ever still, steadfast and • proud on Rhode Island’s rustic seal • ink nautical and periwinkle in its • indigo promise permits to heal when • stamped on documents. Evidence, testaments that, • long concealed, prove that this is • •

                    vi.

my inheritance, that I did not • steal. Entitlement to feel at home • for once where my family felt • that force converge, a crossing of • wires where ships’ lanes forge in • tidal transitions transgressive swords of paths • coastal fade democritizing apocryphal pacts more • ephemeral, a hushed compact binding the • Bordens of Bristol, Fall River, and • Tiverton. Entwining descendants linked by chains • veins tangle and sink, inked secrets • take longer to decay when stained, • blood-salted ashen sayings no one thinks • will ever again be spoken until • one day some son like me • sets up shop in their environs, • our haunts, and vaunts on and • on about becoming what they wanted • themselves never to seem. Unbothered by • this mystery’s misery, embracing my heritage • •

                    vii.

of storms when low on warmth, • knowing full well this feeling is • one ancestral, that solitude falls on • those chosen to tell, summoned by • some of them to unsettle bones • holding fistfuls of stones. To throw • at this wincing globe’s tinting glass • what we have always known, enough • dirt to open wounds like windows. • And prophet well without selling out • the hollow of this heart-shaped shell • hermits inhabit every seven generations. And • here in the midst of thirty • who have gone on before me, • there stands a single remnant, first • son of a seventh whose existence • another envious of his otherworldly disposition • ended in a tempest of unrepentant • violence. I am Mount Hope Bay’s • promise, my father’s free-willed fulfillment, still.