Spring Thing

by Paul Blackburn

Paul Blackburn

Tomorrow Ramas
& the moon will
come to full ,
Tonite at 9:25
she had just come over the mountain . a few
light clouds pass quickly over her
the shadow along the bottom
between 2 planets
one red

The stone steps down to town washed
in her light, the
ribbon of road curving out far below, white
white .
A red cat darts by on the steps, light
cloud over the sea, sea
patched with shadows
& sewn with a glitter of moon

At the last minute
I will not pass back of the church
where there is a cross in stone,
tho it is not tonite that the moon is full

to avoid it by the middle stair
I fart all the way down the steps, absent
& find myself directly in front of it . I
have forgotten how the town is built
under the pale brightness of moon . Two

women come by in black veils
both hands held palm upward
carrying rosaries, probably

I see that their hands are empty. The
moon does not reach into this street
I offer goodnite
& take two back
& hurry on

Both trucks have arrived
One can tell by the empty baskets piled by the wall
means the cigarettes have come in, the first in a week
one is jubilant to have calculated the hour . The
men in the cafe
which is grocery and tobacco-store both, sit
and smoke over their conacs
and show no undue emotion.
I give one goodnite and get twenty

Climbing again
more slowly
enjoying the smoke, the
moon is everywhere;
over a terrace of fruit trees first
then over the pines higher up, then
over houses on the first transversal
As I turn the last terrace to the house, she sits,
over a great cactus clump
light clouds, a few stars
A yellow cat darts by on the steps

In the kitchen my wife
has left me a small fire
The power plant has gone off for the night
I have some candles to write by
I forget what the argument was
about . still

goofy with moonlight I
pick up pen and write
F O O L and
flower-crowned, season-driven, white samovar of corruption
from which sweetness
& also

fuck her!

I forget what the argument was about . Carefully
I feed the coals some dried sticks, blaze warms my hands & feet
bamboo blowpipe is yellow . the hot coals are red

And outside
the moon sits over the cactus clump

In an hour the day will be Ramas
and the moon full .

the inversion .


Paul Blackburn's picture

Paul Blackburn is best known as a Black Mountain Poet because of his role as contributing editor and distributor of the Black Mountain Review: and his subsequent inclusion with the group in Donald Allen’s influential New American Poetry anthology (1960). Many unaware writers and critics fail to discern the complex forms, the sly intelligence, and the reserved elegance of that lyrical gift.... Blackburn was as socially and literarily accessible as lesser poets, and yet he was cut from the fabric of genius.

Last updated December 24, 2014