John Isles



(City of Our Making)


The city burning down, the city burning up.
Rubble rearranged into towers with lathe frames.
Flame the multitude dreams, a dream itself—
its individual eyes and the larger I of the city.

A city of one—cow licked and lumbering, sea sucked
in San Francisco streets, overboard in auriferous wonder.
City of divergent narratives, city spied from a wave-swept
schooner—in a tundra gaze of lusty waves—
white wolves in the conforming element.

Crowd of one’s attention in which a woodsman from Oregon
plays the American in an English movie set in France—
accents hard to place, smart scarves in a studio breeze.

City of conflicting desires, passing girl in whose eyes
hurricanes germinate. Gaze arcing from the wharf
to the come-hither gull-glide. As a maiden into a cloud

of mayflies—Marry I will, Marry I will
she’s swallowed by the assembly around a portable mountain.

The city of climbers threading an atmospheric eye.



© 2005 Electronic Poetry Review