the dog and his master rotate
to create their own equator

the leash invokes centrifugal
hand to collar forces

first one and then the other
plays the superior gravity
gifting their partner with
the thrill of the planetary orbit

they bark and yelp
in the delight of emotions’ atmospheres
stretching the mandates of physics to prove
they have in their personal cosmos
the laws of trust and love
and moist noses

they dance as if the stars
and the warm summer night
are who they are and all they need
their constellation to define

Robin Eichele
July 2015

“In Edo Sashimono, the elaborate technical mastery
                              of the craftwork is concealed.”

check your bag
you’ve got what you’ve got –
no more plans for ten-year apprenticeships
no becoming an Edo Sashimono master
with a cured Mulberry inventory
and the finest collection of heirloom chisels and planes

your story must save for the next time around
the preternatural precision of the full blind
mitered dovetail
those laser-handed tenons and mortices
those seamless panel-to-panel integrations
of hair-strand grain

words are all the wood you’ll get now
so take care to fit them as best you can
rub them with your love of what nature brings
bathe them in layers of urushi to move them
from hidden to spontaneously arranged
in the practical simplicity of iki

Robin Eichele
July 2015

fear unfurls off the lake with the fury
of January ice
chainsaw chatter
boney-jawed defiance of fist and cudgel
pain and mortality in an envelope
on the mantel
to be opened only if and when

taking on the heights without a net or a rope
or a parachute
four fingertips wrapped on a half-inch perch
converting three thousand feet of gravity
into an inevitability not taken

the video has one million views within the week
and then the wannabes
sporting imitation’s shortcomings
posting their final mimicries
absorbed by the sponge of error
or is it mediocrity?

to the uninitiated
the measure is in what
gets thrown away
not kept

they dressed him in a too-small suit and half shoes
more polished than he ever was
the package obviously not a priority
in the rush of pools of adrenaline
demanding to be drained

Robin Eichele
July 2015

it’s the post-birthday sloughing of delusions
as slippery as cut-out mythologies popping up
in a children’s book
pretending to be as hard as nuts falling
into the metal pockets punched by hail
in the tops of cars mere days ago before the bright sun
rode the pure blue of the high pressure bulge
into the clear night and sub-normal dawn
that drilled the chill past the comforter and sheet
into the ribs of the passengers

ears intoxicated on percussive fulminations
bellies borne on the giddy skiffs of percolating suds
faces cured peach-red by the cloudless sky
eyes glazed as if no need to make any more sense of it –
yesterday’s somnambulant patriots return
from the fireworks downtown to
put the car in the garage
finish the dishes and tuck in the kids and lock the doors
and check the thermostat
before turning out the lights

Amelia disappeared today

The words are bigger on the page now
about the size of a black bear
squeezing in for the winter
versus that peaked coming out in spring
scrawny yawn and terrible hunger

Now the words have got more grit
leather straps and ligaments
a medium conflagration looking out
for a decent reason
chafing at arbitrary imprisonment

Now the words have taken an ironic turn
and then turned again
big toothy grins sprinkled with laughter
challenged to get at the meaning
at the marrow of the nagging dissonance

Robin Eichele
July 2, 2015

He has tried discipline more than once
and has found little use for it – born
with a narrow margin
he has learned to turn within

Well into adulthood he has been overtaken
by vapors upon rising –
beset by a procain fog that knows no lifting –
hence the natural order of what he does
out of habitual expedience:
get from A within the fog to the B beyond

Some days he makes it – some days he does not
The key to why or why not continues to elude him

He no longer drinks brown liquor, which helps a lot
He cast out the snakes of reckless behavior
after he came to naked
with a phantom john doe tag on his toe
so they are not the villains

He has taken to a raw vegetable cuisine
with herbal teas and multiple liters of water
He meets his daily walking minimums
He chokes down his supplement regime
and draws on the golden ray each morning

Some days he makes it – some days he does not
Some days he asks why – some days he does not

some live so much longer than molt and fly and die
such as this from Brutus’ lips to Cassius
“… we must take the current when it serves
or lose our ventures”
in Act 4 where before arriving at this bottom line he counsels
“there is a tide in the affairs of men,
which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune”
why now my fingers test the lifting of the flow
compassed by nature to fix where I will go
and my knees gauge the thrust of buoyancy
and my eyes parse the beaches to lock on a landing
favored by bold immediacy

Robin Eichele
June 2015

i

another one –
“insufficient good intention” the
pre-printed form makes clear

that’s like saying I did not show for Vespers
(the beginning of the Daily Cycle at sunset)
and my Ninth Hour (3 pm, the hour
Christ died) will see me crucified

it’s been the same for years

I’ve crushed the crease on my knees
but it does not matter
not enough or too late or lost
in the clutter

choices: diluvial apocalypse
or prelapsarian bliss – free from fall or
free from favor

or the pieces of the puzzle locking and unlocking
at the whim of the invisible hand
(The Midnight Office – the Bridegroom is coming –
in perpetual preparation)

ii

I feel the hours of the liturgy
marking where they were – now faded
now irrelevant so consistently
only small virtues can be measured

I feel the remnants of the leather thongs –
Thomas à Kempis’ words
wrapped firmly to their stubborn stumps

I feel where the fingers of the blind
fumbled with my private parts to find
my fit

Robin Eichele
June 2015

I am a secret
I am a secret
I am a secret
from one am to another

the secret is the purpose
waking up to
going to sleep to

walk with death
to talk with death
but not allow her
to have her way

to chase her and make her
turn to face me so I
will not mistake her for another
in the dark
or the glare of the sun
or the sharp white of the moon
or in the mirror behind me
in the airplane lavatory
cruising
at thirty-six thousand feet
cruising
steady engine hum
cruising
steady flow of recirculating air
cruising
steady
eye to eye
the sounds of someone breathing
that are not my own

Robin Eichele
June 2015

i
paper begins the sequence
or canvas
or a plank of clear-grain pine

the lamp is lit
by petals and leaves
stripped from their stems

notes drop with the gravity
of blood
way to the left of middle c

flickers accumulate
on the pale green
of the underbelly

ii
the heart hungers
for what it has

with even more ferocity
for what it lost

iii
garden rules employ
gentle means
to heal the darkness

the spirit fingers
through the orifices
of its mutations

dew prisms at dawn
mist until the sun
stuns the blossoms open

the survivors flock
in ooze of pigment
to tease mortality

Robin Eichele

I have been writing poetry as long as I can remember, which is more than a few years. I have published here and there and have read my works at various venues in Michigan, Toronto, New York, California, and London. Your comments and feedback are always welcome. I can be reached at robin@robineichele.net, RobinEichele@comcast.net, and on Twitter @PoetEichele. I have a free ebook available, "Sleeping with Dolphins, Selected Poems 2009." Send me an email request and I will reply with the pdf file. The book includes an audio recording of each poem and a short impressionistic video.

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