Monday, April 16, 2007


Lucky man who shuns the brazen
Counsel of spineless cynics
Takes delight in light, the law
That rules by day and night,
Breathing an endless meditation:
A tree that drinks a river,
Pushing out its fruit in season:
Unwithering green: a branching body
Of leaves that richly shelters.

Chaff may scoff as well as fly—
I'm wise to their worldly wisdom—
A web wove tight with gaping holes:
The schizoid spider's information
Wrapped about a hollow nothing:
A secret they shout to the deaf.

Deaf themselves, their congregation
Nods agreement, sleep, death.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Nations conspire, people plot,
Lackeys and leaders take counsel;
Place fact against truth
To burst the cord that binds the will.

He who sees it all must laugh
For wrath meets wrath
And more than wrath, but fury:
A mount that speaks in fire.

I'll serve you a wedge of his marvellous ire:
"Today, my son," he said to me,
"Ask me for the nations on a platter
"Shattered to shards with a single song!"

Rulers be wise, be warned, be ruled.
Serve with fear who bore you near;
Not long your longing ends as mine,
Kissing worms below the foot that made you.

Your mother's womb was opened quick:
As quick the world-as-womb will close.
Quick: be open and enclose
The world that made the world to open.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


God knows the number of my foes
Who see in me a hollow reed
Set before the blade

But pure the form,
The breath my voice:
A shield sustained by song.

Answered sap is strong:
A balm of bliss and peace
Unshaken by the clack

Of chattering jaws;
Hills of bone and sliding teeth,
Broken in the blood and dust.

All of me and mine
Sustained by song—
The simple note that's answered long.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


My song in itself's an answer,
Relief when in distress,
Grace when in the right.

My fellows love to turn the lie to truth,
To honour vanity, bringing contumely.
They do not know who sets apart a voice to answer.

If only they could wage their wars
Within, quietly, offering wounds
In trust to healing hands.

They itch to behold their signs of wealth—
Rose dawns, full grains, rich wines
The storehouse of my heart can't hold for bursting!

Fully drunk and full I wake,
Fuller than the fullest sleep:
The safety of a well-won war!

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Boasting wraiths deceit-destroyed,
By bloodthirst grown abhorrent,
Flap round the flaps of my tent
Where I lie, drenched and groaning.

In love I long and will to enter
The house of fear and longing,
Love of truth. Seductions wait:
Make my way straight and straighter.

Perfumed tongues make a clever grate,
Screen a secluded sewer, lush
With churning excrement: all fecund
Brilliant green degraded.

Choke them on their fetid stench!
Throttled by their self-bred snakes!
My song is refuge and defense:
Favour in peace, a shield in battle.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


In death there is no memory.
Who can sing from the grave?

How long will I languish
Here, at the chess-board

Playing games against myself—
Each hollow win a crushing loss?

Perhaps my foe will turn back
... in a moment...

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Confetti for the janitor's broom
After the boom-box fades,
They shred me.

Who have I hurt?
Which friend offended?
What foe without reason?

Does anyone think to judge a man
Not by the practical spotlight
But by all his deeds together?

Who knows me well enough
To try my mind and heart:
A judge with the right to be indignant?

Then sweep me into the iron scale
The kiln that rends my grain to grains
And rips the rest to roaring flame.

Unconsidered deeds,
Like a pendulum rising,
Full crested like the moon

Are sharp, deadly
Poisoned whetted blades
Descend on the pregnant

Birthing mischief
(The cluttered mind unmapped
Cannot recall

All the traps it's baited).
I will sing of this
And wait.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Glory by the infant sounded
Hidden in the nest from hawks
Circling 'neath the pregnant pearl,
The moon, and broad-cast stars,
Fashioned as if loving hands
Laid and layered common grit.

What is man but a grain of it?
Who would even think of him
Let alone care for his sons?

Yet on his feet he wears the world,
An honour only slightly less
A glory than the crown of stars,
His eyes, the moving wheel and pinion
That rules what swims and prances round
And gives a name to his dominion.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Nations and men, cities and stone,
Vanquished, lie ruined, then vanish.

Uprooted columns shrink to sand,
The names on the cornerstones effaced.

They all made skilful well-placed pits,
And "progress" spread their clever nets

So dense their groping feet were caught
Stumbling, blind with rage and hate.

Poor now, hoping, poorer still,
Wolfing their last meal, their bait.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Why does one day, so full of trouble
Press so hard against the next
Just to leave it undisturbed,
Even more disturbingly troubled?

Why does hawk and spider hover
Above blind chick, the naive fly;
The lion in clandestine cover
Wait to draw in catch after catch?

There are men part hawk, part chick,
Who play both roles of spider, fly;
Say: "No one watches what I do,
"No one counts my fallen.

"I'm a man who knows what he wants
"And I know how to get it!
"There's no one here: none to fear."
(He never contemplates the worm.)

Sing then, sing! I said to myself,
Tones that brace in nest and womb;
That make the fatherless fathers of men
And more than men, but fathers again.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


To men who stand they bend the bow,
They fit the arrow to the string

So to the mountaintop I've flown
Through shafts like rain in spring.

There my sun-warmed face will sing
And shield me from the gore below.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


"We talk," they say, "and the world revolves;
"And if we spin it the opposite way..."—Why—
There's your revolution!

Seven times seven I stood in fire;
Three more sevens completes the year:
Twenty one days I spent in contemplation.

I need not sing for vengeance here:
Their severed lips and twisted tongues
Exalt themselves in a maze of mirrors!

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Through leaden days unwarmed
I question myself unanswered.
My weary voice, unechoed, dies
In wells too deep to plumb.

My dream of staggering bounty
(Wild, improbable, true)
Is based upon the simple pearl,
The closed and counted days

Of a naked crouching child alone
Who struck and split repeatedly
The dusty speckled oval rock
Intent to see the pattern brighten.

In drizzle came a hedge today,
Painted in autumn colour;
Yesterday the yew's red pearl
By spears of green were covered.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


"From the infinite to the infinitesimal
"I stand," they say, "Master
"Of Earth and Sky, all that stands between:
"Master of the what and why."

This straying herd of greedy goats
Pillage fields of endless green,
Chomp white shoots to seed itself,
Leaving a dung-filled dust-bowl.

Without an ear for song,
Without an eye for beauty,
A mind without an image:
A belly and a bunghole.

But seed and song will deliver themselves
Of themselves and sing green slopes,
Brooks of fish that jump upstream
In the blood of every singer.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Experience alone his mother,
Who in rain though sheltered,
Beholds a sun-drenched vista.

His certain song's unaltered
By plots and twisted chatter,
Of those who huddle in baths:

Soggy newsprint paper dolls
Changing with changeless headlines.
His tune isn't made to fit but measure:

Silent about what he doesn't know,
Singing aloud what he understands
He recognizes his brother's walk—

Signal fire from distant mountain. Says:
"Pay me when you can", meaning
Not to break the natural pride.

Silent his contempt for the nihilist,
Ringing his praise for the constant,
He gives his neighbour his petty reproach

And takes the full-blown victory
Of being unmoved, his eye directed
Before his feet by heart commanded

And until then, no inch, nor muscle
Till he strides.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


My dwelling has a simple charm—
Exotic delights are rented grief.
I'd rather drink sand than cut my tongue
On fashionable designer-cups,
On bloody made-up mannequins.

The size of my lot doesn't matter—
I've said it before; I'll say it again:
Within the world of the shuttered pearl
Is a grain of sand that grows,
Every layer embracing the whole.

Every line has fallen in it's place—
I have been left perfection;
The heart that beats within the heart
Counsels, instructs as it opens
Before me a constant way.

The right is my right and all my rights—
A wall that keeps me unmoved and moving;
For this and of this I sing rejoicing:
My lot is perfect peace;
Neither can I fall nor stumble.

Singing a mountain switchback,
The staffs of my songsheet
Are piton and rope: song
Of the blind who sees inwardly,
Tottering on the roof of bliss.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998

A Modern Psalm

Throw the white blanket
And sing a lullaby.
What wailed young green
Battled all summer.
Autumn is another thing:
A gift to the poor. No king
Could eat orchards, field
After field by himself. Hence
Preserves for the rest,
Rest for the field,
A field for each man
In which to stand
And say: "I have lived
"through a season":

Wealth beyond kings,
Save one who weighs
What he holds in his palm
And bends to caress
A world or a brow,
A child or a psalm.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Come at night, sit on my bed
Watch my chest ride the waves,
My corrugated brow now taut,
The mouth half-open,
Its corners playing host and guest.

Working men have gone to bed
But they'll wake and continue
In a muddle of mud or dust.
I fly above the narrow puddle
Past crowded houses

Where trophies are displayed
On empty mantleplaces
Above cheerless fires,
Slipping in conversation
From one association to the next,
Unwilling to hold a single thought
In a real embrace.

The song in which I live, singing
To an ear bent to its own song
Lives and listens 'til it ends.

Until it ends it's fortress, field,
Wall and arching tree above it;
Fruit of womb and apple tree:
The embracing eye's delight
Hid between the mother's breasts
Who waits to show her husband
That for which he battles
Bone to bone in the world.

Deaf ears it seems must own loud mouths
And long dirks, and watchful eyes
Eager to tear, to laugh at misfortune.
My song and its echo hovers above them
And pities their pitiful fortunes:

May they be glad with their toys;
And may they leave some for their boys!
Me? after a peaceful night I'll wake

In the arms that hold the song—
A crystal glass
Hoisting the meniscus.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


I love the hammer-stone poised above
The broken rock on which I stand: the cleaving stone
That releases a brightness; the breath that catches:
The rock on which I stand sustained.

Strength in the crystal, the black and white speckle,
Strength in the concrete where I crouch and strain,
Strength in the back, to cleave the stone,
Strength in the stone, by which to cleave.

Broken as I was in superfluous pieces,
The broken though brightened voice that sings
Found the critical ear whose tuning
Fork shook Earth til it reeled and split,

Spit white flame and ash from the depths,
Billowing smoke above, below,
Black so black it touched the brain-pan,
Touched as a light on the skin of the iris.

Flame, intense, roared in the gist of it,
Thunder claps that splintered lightning
To blood red coals and fiery stone
Arrows cut the cords that bound me.

And I saw to the worn-down channels of the sea,
The foundation-stones of the world as I flew,
Wrapped in the song, the stone: that ear
That hears and delights in song:

Loyal to the loyal, blameless to the blameless,
Pure to the pure, perverse to the crooked:
The light of my lamp, the steel in my sword,
The shield on my arm, the song in my mouth:

The rock, the bedrock itself of my self,
The rock that spreads beyond my stride;
The rock in my arm to bend iron bows,
The rock in my feet that turned them to wings

To soar the scope of all space to set me
High on the broad-rimmed ledge, eclipsing
The dust and scum beneath me, the mire
And filth in the drains who hate me

The brains that bait me, who think in committee,
Calling for help with a sanitized prayer, to a god
When useful, a devil when not. Failing that,
A tyrant, eunuch, mob.

I ground them fine like coffee beans
And poured the scalding water; drip
By precious drip they dissolved.
(I have a plastic Rubbermaid for mud.)

Once I sat beneath them and cringed;
They turned me away and the world
Kept turning. Now the rock is revolved,
My resolve, and now they come,

Tin cups for tinkles.
The rock lives; its many layers
Protecting the single seed that grows
Outward: an onion: a hand that delivered

A crop of seed set deep in the loam,
A crop of stars, thrown in the void
Grown so close and tightly together
(The reed-thin stalks swaying together)

My seeds of dust! broken into bloom!
Tight as the speckled rock, broken:
The breath, the voice, caught, released
Again and again in the heart of the stone.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998

Sunday, April 15, 2007


White puffs and blue above
and below me
a tight-worsted forest
of wool, the colour
is asphalt, reflecting
green tinge. Night
and the lights
below me. A filigree
of song: squeaks
of the wheels as they
touch down. In bed
comes rest. Within rest
comes the sun, the son,
the young lover to his bride
with calves of iron joy.

What is perfectly sure
revives as it simplifies.
In this wise what is right and pure
rejoices and clarifies
all that it commands.

What is clean and true
is what cuts what's wanted
from that which is possible;
a man's days are numbered,
his body, mortal: fear
closes the circle,
fits the ring,
enduring and profound,
leads to the honeycomb,
the song that's spun
in threads of gold.

I might warn myself
not to make presumptions here.
I should be aware
that the stair I climb goes up
and down. I cling, I fear, too much
And tear the flowing gown, expect
too much that it warns me.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


If you've passed up love and wealth
And find yourself poor and unwanted
Because in your brain a flame has etched
Deep channels to hold, to mold the flow
To the frame and every line of your face...

Praised though it is from one end to the other
The mighty conveyance with one faulty seal
Will shiver to bits as it tries to take skyward

... A lyric will come, you'll take it and sing.
You'll rise delivered: the soul of a king.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Man has imagined a fruitless device:
A system of systems that rule him
Even as he pulls the lever, twists the knob
That moves the wheel that collects the information
He treasures and trades; clicks and double-clicks
The mouse on the icon of his desire: groves
Of seedless fruit.

When has my desire been kept from me?
When has breath failed to come
To the centre of the wheel, the solar plexus
Whose holocaust is fuelled by song,
Whose lever's rejoicing; whose fulcrum, bliss,
Gives joy in a power that guides the orange
To keep and spend its seed at will?

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Why am I dismissed and scorned?
Day and night I sing like heralds
Remembered and heeded: they were men.

But I'm a worm: a cock in a circle
Blinded by a ring of headlights,
Deafened by horns and the bettor's cry.

Since my mother's womb was opened
I was laid to suckle, tasting sweetly
The only milk, which they despise, saying:

"Who will come to save him now
"That talons have punctured his ribs
"And his bones can be counted dust?"

Though my hands and feet are pierced,
Though my tongue sticks like a fetus,
My bowels a heart of molten wax,

Bone from the joint, cloth from the corpse:
These are the things that they wage for
But not for what lived within them.

The song I live as I live and pass,
The passion of seed set in loam, not
Mine to have, to have alone, nor theirs to keep

But a seed on loan to propagate
Successive generations that recall and sing
That some men sang and lived by song.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


What more could I want
Or need. I have the ravine,
Its constant green,
And the brook that parts
In silver
And golden sheen.

This land I walk,
These paths I breathe
Through my feet—
My whole body
Past sleeping wolves,
Past drowsy bears.

Here is the earth's roof.
Here is its table.
I reach my toes
To the fig—still hot—
Drops in my hand,
Explodes in my mouth.

I smell sweet
Almonds, raisins,
Warm honeyed
Milk of my youth,
The young breast,

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


The lover has looked and locked,
Loved and thereby lifted the latch,
The beloved's eyes, as his palm,
Encircling the fruitful Earth, the world
And all of those who live therein;
Embracing the whole with ardent arms
He enters the fertile hill whose gates
Lift and open for pristine hands
And head whose heart is cleansing breath:
A fire consuming dross: deceit and vanity.
Only he will know the fullness of the palm
That knows to stand and when to bend.

Although the bastard's beginning's the same,
Of bastards and bounty we know no end!

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


My enemy may laugh
Drily, harshly, bitterly.
The joke is myself,
The youth I'd just as soon forget,
Futile as forgetfulness is

There's always someone who does remember
And that one might be anywhere, so that
The smile contains a secret we cannot read
But ever suspect, keeping our distance:
A horse in brambles too shy to move.

Some are born uncalloused. Others
Achieve a softening through suffering,
Their own and others, of which I'm the type.
That, great as my cruelty has been,
I can taste the skin of the apple

As children do, for sugar hint,
Promise and reward, so that
The inedible core, thrown
Will-lessly, to no purpose,
Bears a tree—a whole world!

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998

A Modern Psalm

Bright as we can be
We can not be less dark.

The machinery, its wheels and cogs
Need constant grease. Even

An atheist, considering the world,
The tiny figure in which it moves

Might be forgiven his broken faith
In godlessness to inquire, to sing:

"Who runs this goddamned thing!"

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Spark steel teeth to stone
Til bright blue sparks in dun,
Each rock raked to the pebble;
Clumps of crabgrass, clay,
Into piles to be neatly scooped
By shovel, bent back and the wheel.

Water sloshes in the iron drum
Crisscrossing low and high
Re-raked, re-rolled, so that now
My foot stands in an even place
To survey the tightening skin
Of the belly on which to lay

Two fingers of sod, green-tufted,
A thousand mouths white roots,
Each one a nipple rejoining
Mother and child: seams
And corners backfilled, so
The pieces grow together.

I have struggled with rock,
Large and small, so children
Could tumble all day,
So the curving flatness might say
Come, lie on me, rest, stand
On something sure and permanent.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


My mother and father dead,
   who will raise me?
Where is the road
   in the unbounded?
In whose breast will I hide
   in times of trouble?

Where's the nest
   where my beak will tap the crack
And struggle free? Where
   the nest, once born,
To feed and crack
   the world?

My feathers weak and wet,
   I seek the face of light;
Dry them for flight,
   to swoop, eat in this world
That I might sing
   and dwell in song.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998

A Modern Psalm

Wait, and be still.
That which you chase may outrun you
For the figure is an image
Fixed in your mind
It's speed and direction
Determined by your own.

The tantalyzing inch
May come no closer.
Your vehement ardour
May pertify the fawn,
Bring the bitch to bark
An infantile prayer

For fatherly care,
Crying incest
—pro and con—
A Cosmo girl,
Smile fixed
In a glosssy 8 x 10.

The mind's the means
And stillness
By which she'll be delivered
Into your earthly arms.
Now's the time
Not for running

But stepping
Into stillness,
The figure fixed
The mirror
Of your flawless resolve.

Then the running
Will be
Twin streams:
A river
Under the banks of the laurel.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


Rain spatters dust and digs
   Rivulets in the mountain,
      Losing a grain at a time
         As rivers and oceans rise.

This the tiding poor, weak,
   Above the ostensibly strong,
      Seemingly young and wealthy man
         Who can't afford a generous song.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998

A Modern Psalm

Love the grinder shaves the bead
Of iron flush to its bed

And she the mothersisterwife
Dreamed of engines to transport her:

Huge, whinging, singing,
While her son, circling,

Used first her first and next her last
As the target for his desire.

The hungry mouth at milk
Urges the simple pump

Rubber, supple,
Grown heavy with seed

As the grinder,
Love, shaves the bead.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


The strong man gives and thus is strong;
Singing glory becomes the song: a voice
Circumambulating river, ocean: wind
Gathering strength: a hurricane unnamed
And thus the more majestic, rips,
Breaks, cracks the ageless oak and cedar,
Making them skip like fawns in scantling
To the music of the lute and timbrel,
A mighty flame, split into columns,
Through which a man might pass unscathed.
Though he is but a wilderness shaken
To its root he is his mother
Calving himself: acorn and primeval wood,
Arching temple enclosing song: a rainbow
Drawing power to the eye of peace.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1998


The stubborn mouth padlocked in anger,
Persists alone a long mournful moment
But the taste of joy is life itself.

Weeping comes by night and flies
With nightingale
And pink-tipped cloud.

I was rich in being unmoved: a mountain
Though troubled by storms of ice:
My blood: useless dust

Til the face of the sun
Thawed out the song: a rope
Lifting and turning

My feet through the circle
Of dragging half-steps, drugged
Paces of lamentation

To a jig that warmed the bouncing boards
Who all together shouted "rhythm!"
Commanding rhyme

And melody
Dressed in transparent brocade
Chased with quick feet

As the robe encircling song
Veiled and unveiled the viol's
Flaring haunch and touch-taut string

So my life and all my voice
Became a quaking
Shaking lyric aimed at bliss.

© Dan Goorevitch, 2003


I a single lump of clay
Thrown on the wheel
Am broken now

And the doctor of philosophy
With nippled hat and dusty shirt
Digs the broken buried shard

Senseless to all but he and his kin
Who know the language of broken things
That whisper impatient reunions

And those who broke me
Who whispered about me
Lie in their cacophony

Unchanged with the ages:
Empty vessels where voices bounced
And ricocheted.

From a fortress unnamed but never unmanned,
Through a living wall of stone,
My voice passed and was heard;

Shut within walls
Where voices strive and clash
I heard a simple music

That set my toe to spring and fall
In tender steps on vast
And even floors

Where sun shone
And warmed the urn,
Exciting the air within

To a gentle stirring
Effortless song,
At one with breath at last.

© Dan Goorevitch, 2003

A Modern Psalm

I am born
      whole from the dead.
The pieces that made me,
In water
Silt blankets:
      Clay: creek,

Summer the wadi
Naked leaflets
      shiver the wind.
Broad leaf curl
Now basks. Now
Stretch through,
      snatch fire.

© Dan Goorevitch, 2003


A man must put all that
Behind him, unlike the brute:
A bridled bleeding mouth
Checked by a bit.

When ears roar blood
One cannot think;
Thumping mustangs heaving sweat: bones
Drink dust.

When I opened my mouth
Song swirled, lifted
Grit from the teeth. I rested;
Warm, dry beneath dripping pines.

© Dan Goorevitch, 2003


The mountain grows
under the brush,
the thrush from the song,
yellow green
from the tree's intention.

The leaf-bud drops
unresponsive hands:
Apathetic Adams'
passive attention
to summer sun.

Arthritic by winter,
curling become claws,
horns calling harvest,
blaring winter wooing
howling to mice:

Awesome the avalanche,
the hurricane, lightning,
flood, famine, the bear
its bite, the bee
its sting, but

Its needlepoint
of pollen
honey knits:
sticky saplings
flowering fruit.

© Dan Goorevitch, 2003


Smash the anthill, burn the hive
See the bankrupt insect scramble,
One to the hill to rebuild it,
The other to foreign hives unwelcome,
Stung and left to die.

Taste the honey, see the hill—
The mill of mindless labour
That brought to man his fruits—
The thought of all these creatures,
Thought out long ago.

The wheel was fashioned, set to spin:
We who wait and work upon it
Can nothing but hold
For the hill to be rebuilt,
Welcomed in the hive.

© Dan Goorevitch, 2003


No sooner death than the birth,
hopefulness and hopelessness
chase the blurring spinning urn
stopped for the spinning to begin
'til one can't tell which one it is
that gives the chase or which is chased,

which is the cause, if there is one.

He for whom I went unshaven,
He for whom I marched for rights,
He whose broken voice I loved,
Pushing through with failing might
The needle-hole of emphysema

(Reminding me of my own mother's
The very blood's asphyxiation)

Stands hat-doffed above me, smiling.
Words, words, drip from his lips.
I sink, he rises; he rises, I sink
Til the black pupil bores
A primal laugh through a greeting card.

Weal and woe upon the wheel:
Made on one, broken on the other:

He who knows me knows him too.
Who in safety knows all three?

© Dan Goorevitch, 2003


As a door opened to a darkened room
through which light pours a pinhole,
revealing a first and second step

It rarely shows a fifth or sixth—
certainly not the room's rear wall
where cabinets cradle the pickled fetus...

As deeply as the pit is dug
it must go deeper. Not to clams
or springs, but blackness beloved.

Though dolphins sport by the bow
where stouthearted sailors praise the wind
(and sometimes the leopard, the vine enclustered)

the arteries of every earth
pump the blood
to explode the cancerous cell.

© Dan Goorevitch, 2003


Scrub the rose on the rock til it bleeds
And the thorn persists with the stone,
The broken grain that remained and formed
The centre of the perfect world.

Beg for the rain til it falls and ask
If you hated it more for not falling
Or loved it and whether the difference
Was more or less than the difference

Between the sweat you lost in the tilling
And the warmth you gained from the grain you ate—
And how and if there could be such a measure
Or a means to measure the rise and the fall

And if the angle you drew from the tangent
To the grain of sand in the circle's centre,
Drawn from the simple square
That gave you the inverse proportions

Could give you the circle at all.
Or if the circle was somehow sustained,
Held in check by counterbrace
Of cosine, sine and the cosecant

And if the wire of thought as you thought it
Wraps round your neck or you walk it:
A tightrope to where and to whom?
And if you were the greenest grass

Wouldn't you wither? The greatest bay,
Spreading its leaves over pasture?
The craggiest stone,
Hammered by the feather of time?

This much I've gained from my anger and envy:
Not half the half of half of the circle.
This much I've gained from my faith:
A point to stand on. To draw the world.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1994


My body pierced
I grasp sticks,
The points above me:

A loathsome wound,

I pant.
No strength. My eyes

Lovers and companions
Stand aloof—
And my kinsmen.

They've set a banquet
Of poisons before me,
Both quick and slow:

Some through the ears.
Some through the eyes.
Some through the tool I pierce with.

I am done
With piercing
And being pierced, but

My enemies
Are so

I would rise,
Sing you
The pit.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1994


Whatever possessed the finger
Within the jumper to wrestle
With the tracks of the underground trestle
He released me, a bullet
Toward the Eaton Centre
To buy a nice looking touque

And, since it was windy,
To propel me south to Queen street
Through the mall, past the store
Where she-who-stood-me-up
Still stood, still behind the till
Asking "How are you?" I answered:

"Your apology
"Was someone writing a cheque
"To pay a telephone bill—
"One doesn't want to but does
"Anyway—an upleasant task,
"Done with, put out of the way." "I

"Don't know what to say," she said.
"Why not show a little courage
"And tell the truth?" I said.
To which she said, "OK,
"You're right," writing out
another cheque.

Her boyfriend was coming you see.
I saw and skeddaddled, but
Standing stock-still ten paces away,
Thought: "Hey! What am I running from?
"Why not stay and meet him?" and wrestled
Lightly ten minutes with a cigarette.

At half-past six I stood, she came.
"Where's your boyfriend?" I inquired.
"He's coming," she said and we stood
Eyes locked and I said:
"Why don't I stay
"And meet the two of you?"

"Please don't" she asked and I:
"I don't understand:—why not?"
We stood till he arrived
And stood some more,
No one speaking,

"I just want to go home" she said
Finally, to which I said: "Sure,
"Go home." She breathed relief,
Looked down,
And he put his arm round her neck
To comfort, to gently enquire.

Since they led to Queen, I followed.
She spoke a word to a youngster
Who turned toward me and said:
"We don't want you to visit her
"In the store anymore." I laughed
In his face; he said: "I'm not kidding."

I stopped and called in clarion tone:
Half turned, she clutched his hand
And flinched,
Led him to her lies.

Whatever possessed the finger
Within the jumper to wrestle
With the tracks of the underground trestle
He released me, a bullet
Toward the Eaton Centre
And a nice looking touque.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1995


I have walked with the dead toward the grave
Past the remains of the temporarily living,
The temporarily young
Who jeered and sneered, unafraid,
Unaware they were dead themselves.

Their faces wore digust at my demise
As did mine in the halcyon dream
Of youth when I brushed by
(But lightly, cautiously,)
The crones who chirped:

"How beautiful you are!"
To which I chirped:
"Are never beautiful.
"Are handsome!"

Brusque as afraid
To catch a disease
Called age,

If these broken bones,
If this contrite heart
Could sing again
It would offer these bones, this heart,
Brute as a bullock before the sacrifice,
Waiting for the hammer to break the brain©bone
And end its bullock©life, this song:

"Why does the man who owns no thumbs
"Offer to roof our houses?
"Why does the man who has no heart
"Look so incessantly for love?"
Save as Draft
"Our thumbless spirits would build
"Not nails nor wood nor stone but spirit
"A house not a house but a spirit
"Where only our spirits could

"Not only dwell
"But swell,
"And bring to this temple the sacrifice
"Of only our animal-selves."

© Dan Goorevitch 1995

A Modern Psalm

And I after them from beyond the furnace
 : : :to the broad wall stood
And sang without cymbal nor psalter
 : : :after David, Asaph and their sons.

The lute's long stilled and the timbrel
 : : :but tho' the stones crush,
Thru them
 : : :fountains of green still gush.

David hid in these caves from Saul
 : : :midst lion stench where Shulamit
Cries for her lover, the green
 : : :hair from the black sweating face

Of rock
 : : :where a water-cooled chair is carved
Where one sits: a balding head
 : : :on well-muscled shoulders and back.

Further up my nephew and neice
 : : :leap to the beat of an older
Music: the roaring spray
 : : :of the falls at En-Gedi.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1994

A Modern Psalm

The mouse nudges the door as it enters;
The bright line wavers:
Light resumes its attack.

Sequestered, it grows intense,
Presses the door, threatens
To explode its frame.

The slovenly dog
Bangs the door open,
Slaps it with its tail.

Light breaks down
Into the common, faithful things:
A floor, a wall, a ceiling

Only the painting hold its own
Special light
Subsists within its frame.

"O little spark,
"Separate by glass

"From larger compartments
"Of combustible experience:

"Take this candle in the dark
"And open your mind."

© Dan Goorevitch, 1996


The fool prefers the cloud
Where all that might appear
Might yet appear and the impossible
Might still be carved from the fog.

The obvious is, of course, too obvious,
Oblivious of the well and the spring
He passes, thirsting, an inch from the wall
And the brick on the road where he trips and falls

And says: I am straight, I am a compass,
I am not lost: I have myself
And all that I am the world is
And he clutters the earth with his will.

The sun shines on his wooden head
And a fire bursts within and he says: I'm a genius!
He pets the dog to show his compassion
(He is much beloved by fleas).

Senselessly he licks the slit
Where nine hundred thousand have spent their spunk;
He eats from her shit and drinks his own piss
Standing as a watch on a wall and says

I am clean, and, I have done well!
Yet he fears what he need not
And he laughs at the worm
Because he loves the fog

For the fog flatters him
And he loves the dog
For the doggy licks him
And he loves his captivity

For a slave to his mastery
Is what the fog tells him he is.

What is this lightness I feel
Coming that so sorely oppresses him?

What is this light, so clear
Bursting into solid walls
Of pearly gold where women and men—
Young and old—love and laugh like children?

© Dan Goorevitch, 1996


How many times have I brooded this way
Where ambushers lurk, and the toad,
Who shows the direction down
To the whore who dresses in spring,
Hides his eyes with a veil
And exposes her thighs until eyes lock
And hell is in her gaze.

I am a man, like other men.
I have desire, I enjoy a pretty face,
A sigh
And the silk of skin on skin
Like the wave of water on naked ankles

I am a line carved in a palm, deeply
And cannot jump the runnel. I am water:
I cannot flow upward.
I can only wait.
For the thaw to outstrip my banks
And ride for a moment, high,
Until I recede as waters must
Into the palm that weighs me.

© Dan Goorevitch, 1996


I complain and the music is dissonant,
Clashing with voices that sing
A song that's agreed is a song in tune.

If it were, why does it grate?
Why does the laughter it engenders
Spring come from the diaphrams of the dead?

Why does it seem that the joy in it
Is the victory feast of jackals
And a revelry of vultures?

If I had wings (all men have wished it)
I could escape this place, so I dream:
Then I would have peace:

I would wander at will
In wilderness places
And count the stumps of the stubble

Where once green trees and wonder
What brought them low, what thirst,
What calamity of nature sapped them?

What voices crash in cities!
What clattering of silent tongues whose eyes
Are sent as assassins to the heart,

Whose powerful hands divide
Flesh from the bones of both
Living and dead. They meet

On the wall, high, high,
Where watchers out of sight of watchers
Dine on fetid excrement.

And in the doorways lurk a hundred whores
Who sell or rent: a cunt, a house, an embryo
Crushed in a Bodum to make the coffee sweet.

It's not as if an enemy hunted me—
This has been the custom; a bully
Would find my door quite dumb.

But it was you, my friend!
We took tea together,
We spoke of uplifting things.

Let them go where they will, for they will
And quickly; quickly is their sign©post: where
Is last in their thoughts. As for me

I will dwell within the uplift,
A line graved in the palm that measures me;
I will surge and ebb as I must: the good brook

Traversing the stony path, the pool
Reflecting the light by morning
And the light of the moon by night.

Look at your palm—
All you've made's left its mark.
This is a kind of love—

To hold the spear and shield
And battle as we must
In a line, deeply etched.

The ear has heard and the eye has seen
What was to be seen; they have walked
Into walls but could not enter:

They were flesh
But insisted not. They warred
With buttery words,

With oily shafts
Of tongues touching teeth in whispers
Like a silent unsheathing of a sword from its scabbard

And hissingly, kissingly, the blade.
But my sword will be bathed in heaven:
I will not shrink myself for love

or glory. I will abide
As a line
Measured in a palm.

© Dan Goorevitch 1996