The Sky is Simply White

by Bill Yarrow

I am accosted by Jean Cocteau

who counsels me:


read Marinetti

finish the Brandenburg poem

understand The Gas Heart

memorize the Fifteen Propositions of God


take seriously the question what

have I got to lose



the goat in my throat

companionless runs wild

I try to hesitate

but I traverse the walls



this among others:


we think in eternity

but move slowly through time


this among others:


not A not B

not this  not that

each is each other

all is all other

I am the several subdivisions

of my fellow man

living in






I accept cowardice but only in the light of heroism. I accept the fantastic. I accept the prophetic. I accept the lunatic. Never fantasy. Never lunacy. Nyet to the prophets. My mind rocks back and forth upon itself. One day, the metal will split.


he sleeps


as sentry to his skin: the sun, the water, sand, the wind.


his tongues (2 friends, one grim, one trim)

roll out sticky,

but neat as a pin.


in his dreams

a butterfly

enters the hole

in the fat boy's eye.


He shudders.


The rope dancer accompanies herself with her shadows.



Balzac:                  sometimes it seems to me

as if my brain were on fire

and I were fated to die

on the ruins of my mind.



no Brandenburg concertos

no whispers no wind

all's ushered out

then it begins


a descent of rain

a white wind gusts

the place abounds

in Icarus



Baudelaire's aspiration: "absolute rest and continuous night"



let wisdom

rot in prison—


                                                             (my cowardice speaks out of turn)




if only I could ease                                            (in the petty world

of Kings)

the placid tyranny

 of natural things




and when the man went back again

the moon had doffed

 its diadem.



In the dimness of the cafe, the manager is arranging

the tables and chairs, the ashtrays, the siphons of

soda water. It is six in the morning.

The falcon is on his wrist.

The weather is on his wing.




The sky is simply white.



The rain begins


Cocteau screams

(The rain is no terrible epitaph)