Two prickly pears in a small bowl
of old majolica posed on a silken stole
ask will you be my valentine…
recall a sweet Venetian barcarole.
Cactus creatures pocked with tiny spines
they stab the skin like quills of porcupine
they do not kill but finely cut the wounds
of will you be my valentine…
Deep red the foreground drapery is strewn
with fruitskins and a plate of macaroons
heart-shaped, in bastard amber light—
eternity is where it’s always afternoon.
The atmosphere floods with gemütlichkeit
a goblet filled and ready to be raised invites
once more, then, will you be my valentine…?
The background says: I think I might.
. STILL-LIFE WITH PRICKLY PEARS
April is much too
late in March for snow
but I feel much more like I do
now than I did a while ago
for I’ve just seen a great movie–
don’t miss it if you possibly can–
it was like a flash in the dark
or a shot in the pan
and in three dimensions:
black and white and color,
you know, a casual affair
between a donut and a cruller?
The theme, I think, was LIFE
(but you really had to be there)
starring Beatrice Somebody
& Art Guesswho. (I wonder
who does her hair…and why).
Anyway, these two were like
twins, though one looked
more alike, and listen to this:
“they read no more that day.”
And if that doesn’t take your
day and make your cake,
right there I gave myself
to Art, just for art’s sake.
(I wrote this 35 years ago and take it out for an airing
now in honor of April Fool’s Day. The snowbanks
along the sides of my street are still five dirty feet high.)