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from the "Apple Anyone" Sonnets

Apple Anyone 1

Shall I portray you as a blazing afternoon?

The freaking almanac didn’t forecast amber rain.

Wind whipped to shreds ballyhooed Doppler readings

As your typhoon tongue lashed my latest wants.

So the sun’s golden boasts are bested by bullying clouds,

each of our arsenals costing us our alchemy.

Yet no cloud shall dim my love’s manic barbs.

Neither will my eyes become gauze, or ghouls;

no Nothingness shall brag of drowning me in Styx .

A single whiff from the carafe of years suggests there is more

to speech, a crocus thrusts at the barbarian of description.

As long as it’s a carob for a carob, a copt for a copt, bedouins

lead us far into an arch-alcohol we’re the ones to ferment.

almanac typhoon arsenal alchemy gauze ghoul carafe

crocus barbarian carob Copt Bedouin alcohol

Apple Anyone 6

To go on in an ideology that is patrolled by admirals

all praised to the hilt, each awarded triple scoops of sherbet,

sugars gushing in banana and lime, or to grab up pails against

a whole Mediterranean of pain, and by opposing, drain it?

The road to Baghdad : it is an orgasm religiously sought.

To slow my brain and by night to say we stopped all that:

a saffroned vulture scuffs the dirt it lands in until every man

looks inward, acknowledging his own mulatto ground

and the thousand gauzy masks our bodies are mom to.

To slow my brain – to slow my brain!

And during that slowing to succumb to a new fantasy,

a woman with corneas like coffee beans, a coiled mortality

uncoiling, amalgam, not amalgam, that is not a jackal -

avocabulary, a calamity, and at last, a casualty list.

admiral sherbet sugar banana lime Baghdad saffron

mulatto gauze cornea coffee amalgam


A note on “Apple Anyone” sonnets: the key words in this series are all English words derived from Arabic, or words suspected of being of such derivation. The “list” of words at the end of each poem thus becomes a sounding of that music of interdependency. There is no clash of civilizations.


Leonard Schwartz

Leonard Schwartz is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Tower of Diverse Shores (Talisman House, 2003), Words before the Articulate: New and Selected Poems (Talisman House), Gnostic Blessing (Goats and Compasses), Meditation (Cloud House), Objects of Thought, Attempts at Speech (Gnosis Press) and, most recently, Ear and Ethos (Talisman House, 2005). He is also the author of a collection of essays A Flicker at the Edge of Things: Essays on Poetics 1987-1997 (Spuyten Duyvil).


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