C h a r l i e B a y l i s


                                                          After John Ashberry

                                   Shave of Parmigiano, dropped-off in a blue truck             
                                   right click to the raven gathering water in its beak
                                   the trout balancing on light beam, we cut together
                                   the first movement to moving to the waves the swan swims
                                   up the heel of the cliffs we reach Assisi we reach
                                   the gardens of Ferdinand we surface in New York where you are
                                   measuring yourself against death gazing eternally into
                                   a glittering mirror. Dear John, where can an artist erase
                                   his past? When can an idea leap out from under the subway?
                                   It is October, the colour of harvest rolls into the leaves
                                   Luke has said I remind him of a picture of you.
                                   We all know I am nothing like you. I am elephantine, 
                                   awkwardly climbing a sphere to peer at great artists. 
                                   Their heavenly energy, not much can save me from
                                    jigsaw puzzles, capsizing in the year five football team.

                                   Dream: the colours of the pope's robes, the delicate brushes 
                                   Correggio, Raphael and Michelangelo used to caress
                                   the paint around the lines or in-between the lines
                                   they are each attempting to do something unusual 
                                   they each move into the gap between nuance and
                                   nuance. Naked light pops the expanding universe. 
                                   The untimely arrival of the electricity bill
                                   and is as it is or as it was or as it will be
                                   the silver patter of verse on the epiphany river
                                   the handsome children pressed against the rain 
                                   the watch ticking of its own hands the mercury
                                   Patrick's eyes glazed over in the falling snow Patrick
                                   who replies by sending me the same message twice
                                   I am not sure why he has sent me the same message twice
                                   a mistake I guess. I take another look. No. I'm still not sure.