Four Poems 
Geoffrey Babbitt

Private Telegram

patchwork child, unhand
yourself, grubby
breath, perverted excess
that can’t humor—you
lewd, ain’t even
got mythed—learn
your mouth—miniature coup
& nothing lost—fabulous
figure, wind on a hook—hey, wanna-wanna,
wanna-wanna can’t reach, dragged
to drag you


Which Is Raising Its Little Hand

the meadow faints and empire
is no more—now it’s tomorrow
as usual—the radio purls over pages
of last words—images of hearts blotter blotter blot—
news of rosemary
lamb comes on a warm wind—honeybee,
take me to your
glinting onward—
little city’s twinkle-pulse, signposts
pockmarked from buckshot

green on green on green on green—
before the feather fell on the grass
it was set against cirrus—thistledown,
thistledown—this is how
it summers here—


Dawn Is a Long Time Coming

this here is Isis, is her statue

tinoilmatch glass glass glass

smarmy little river
rivery little arms wearily weeping
iotasmus, wise little letter
—Inc. & Co. stained the water—
sundown on a still lake

the sun is bigger than its own light

glasstinoil match match match

stars crushed into the desert
are a one-act play—
briskly done, charges pressed
were never printed—what
lovely smiles you all have—whatever’s next
happens quick: sprinklers
on my face—sunset
in the water—beautiful little
no-stain—keep on left,
straighten the till, every penny’s accounted—

loneliness is what
angels catch in the day—the moon
is a spoon breaking water—gun-metal
for a long time, marked by wine in its travels

—foodstamp coin-op treasured trash
spitshine lightup a boozehound’s last dollar
now howbout now
soakup bottle olive little boilover


Lifted Out of the Sea

the hydrant, a pineapple—this,
her easel knows—painter breaks it
open, spills—what’s the moon’s
sobriquet? the sun’s?—fine, thanks
for asking, retsina! retsina! pour it
on, hillside plated with bayleaves,
birds wheeling in semilunar blue
arrow (→) → (arrow) dot (·) · (dot)
lilies and lilies give way to sunhoney.
green grass is big magic, light
streaming through the lawn’s blades
—tiny wheelbarrow spokes and thimbles in
a matchbox—every nook holds a stowaway
—give the peasant in stitches a crate
of candles—coins emit no light,
untowardly wayward. all
on the canvas now—the dovecotes,
the midden—dot to dot—the hues
deepen—arrow to arrow—light coming
from different distances—blue phlox
to blue phlox along the hillside