fanny howe





Dear Father I erred


I left my body to look for you


(its image nestles in the center of a wide valley

in perfect isolation wild as Eden)


One became many: spirits in presence


yes workers and no workers up on the tops

of the hills in striped overalls


toy capes puffing

and blue veils as yet unrealized in the sky


I made myself homeless

on purpose for you shinnying up the silence


murky hand-pulls

Gray the first color

many textured clay beneath my feet


my face shining up I lost faith but once






She said I said why


fear there’s nothing to it

at any minute

a stepping out of and into

no columns no firmament


Most of each thing

is whole but contingent

on something about

the nearest one to it


(human interference)




Ringing bells in winter churches


while vast clouds gray over


a kindness formerly unmirrored

on your face



The fine line to every sense (it ends)


The stranger kin to the divine (sometimes)




Confused but moving

the only stranger I know

has a bed a blanket

a heartfullness famous

for hypocrisy


When she’s not trusting anyone

she leans her crown

upon her hand

snowslop all the way to the grating

before lying down


in a little block of childhood

(one hour for the whole of life)

and her book to record it




Was the chasm between her mind

and things


constituted by the intellect’s catalogue

or by the presence of senses

(around her face


objects fall into special functions


tangled loops against concrete walls

moonish nuclear fission capped with molten gold)


or by a sticky sub-atomic soul





See how this being at the neck and bowel

gives the head and groin a taste of hell


that seeps throughout some nervous systems


all senses battered and inflamed


where the soul drinks disabled


and attacks only a she a she can see

who smiles in dreams between clenched hands


sobbing from wanting to win her pity

her in the born-hating


thing she finds there living