The 'A' I got

Were you with me, 'A', when I raced
Through crumbling tunnels, pot-holed
Highways, shooting out through tropics
To overcast beaches - mad drunk
And fired up into the throes
Of a carelessness that heartbreak fosters?

Were you there upon the coast of little Okinawa,
Diving past the coral reef
To feel the fear of depthless fathoms?
I cycled through the island's street
Away from you, 'A'. I'd use you
Once the wildness was gratified
When ample risk had been outplayed;
Daring memories imbibed; consequences ridden.

Desks in a hot gymnasium! 
Some long summertime past!

There, a child I barely know
Wrote sentences I can't remember
About a topic I can't recall
For men who had not seen
The fireworks that blew off brains 
In the darkling plains of sorrow's gauntlet.

It is with me, my 'A', as I bathe
In Chinese summer waterfalls
Or heave into a woman
Or watch a dead dog's stillness in the road
Or hear the rain upon the iron roof,
So near the mountains, in squares
Near chained-up monkeys,
Next to an old pair of eyes
That likewise succeeded
In the hot and silent summer halls
That rank us, po-faced.

In the room where we, who began it all so
Vividly, in dances near the spire
Or jokes in drinking houses fat with mischief
A dread reigns: the games are done.
The walls purr: this is the end of you, boy.

I am plump with pity, fear and obligation -
I am, once again, after it all
The man who got an 'A'.

Da l'anima al voce al cuore al vento

Oh how in me
Potential noises gleam 
And bob towards the surface
Like the backs of sea-things
Rolling near (to them) the next world.

Were they given voice, those urges, 
They would boom out of my blowholes
Becoming rainbows as the water scattered
And I would be able to sing into the night air!

At least
I'd hope those things would happen.

And they do, sometimes!
Those potential words or noises
And not just in me
But you!

And everyone!

And everything that's ever loved you
Or held your hand upon the sand
And said they'd never leave

Until they did.

There buried in that cavern that you shield from light
You are left to wonder
What great acquatic beast
Never loosed its lungs from her?
What great hulking silence
Put your passion in this pit?

This is just the case, most of the time:
Beautiful eyes arouse these almost-dreams
But then they go away
If we are lucky, with some cause
And leave a wake of foam behind.

Where did that boat go, that rides the sea?
I doubt that she will dream of me. 

In our pizza-restaurant-consolations
There will come a time perhaps when all stop talking
And the clock ticks
And there is a feeling like a sort of falling
It is the great deep beast that's calling!

It is the rising of the great whale
The great whale who's song will rend us into risk and pain!

It can only rise through silent seas
To tell our tears 'You know the answer!'

It will strip you in the end of everything
The memberships
The shoes
The listless, torpid blues.

Oh strip me, song!

Let me dance naked to a pipe
Or wake before the morning's light
To sketch my omens in a fire's delights
Or leap above the fearless eagle's flight!

Release me from this dour, ungainly blight -
The things I cling to which,
Upon reception of your might
Will surely wither into obsolescence!

I believed that loss and risk would bring this song

The final liberation

But it hasn't. 
The room is full of noise. 
The women dandle babies on their knee
As I listen to the gentle wind
That sings of all of those old losses. 

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.