Jim Harrison, “Ghazals, pt. XVI”
It is an hour before dawn and even prophets sleep
on their beds of gravel. Dreams of fish and hemlines.
The scissors move across the paper and through
the beard. It doesn’t know enough or when to stop.
The bear tires of his bicycle but he’s strapped on
with straps of silver and gold straps inlaid with scalps.
We are imperturbable as deer whose ancestors saw the last
man and passed on the sweet knowledge by shitting on graves.
Let us arrange to meet sometime in transit, we’ll all take
the same train perhaps, Cendrars’ Express or the defunct Wabash.
Her swoon was officially interminable with unconvincing
geometric convulsions, no doubt her civic theater experience.
– – –
Jim Harrison is a strange man and these are probably his strangest set of poems, yet I’m drawn to them.