by David Meltzer


How I follow the angel out of me.
A line of light in photographs of freeways at night.
Picasso draws on space with a flashlight.
The angel shapes itself.

Wind-rose. Neon star. Spire.
Bordered by gold turrets.
Rabbi beards bend down to kiss a book.
Miles of meander sewn into each carpet page unrolled.
Each curl a snake writing through topsoil.
Each letter a song turning into a river.
Follow his lights.

Constant reshaping.
New passage. Ways.
Exit. Entry.
So many signs left to discover.

Light chorus.
Get me squinting in a booth.

Whoever speaks works sparks.
Blinking seeds. Lion eyes.


Take me with you, asks the angel.
I have no place no name nothing.
I am Angel of the Void. Vav.
Laughed out of the Sky Academy.
I have no shadow.
My wings fold inward as in a tulip bulb.
I am the flower contained. Held back.
Free me.


Vav circles me.
Zero the letter.
Bend to a dance of broken mazda.

Open thy sty.
Honey pus-drops stream down thy mask.

Void Angel Vav.
Flea in my heart.
Pain of acquainting.
Are we not man & wife.
Brother & sister.

The page no place for such songs.

Shimmer a whisper of flesh.
Bones are milk.
Body a breath.

Yod Void Angel Vav.
Diamonds on trees in morning.
Linger for praise.
Melach a hymn before sunrays.
Burn out the glitter.


The first day.
Angel shadows mean nothing to rivers.
Frog speck sperming in mud.
Gas plasm belching out of mountains.

The first day.
Natal strings. Monkey ribbons.
Confetti. Porridge.
Shape makes itself up from the soup.

The first Daleth is the first man's longing.
Circumcised. Straight out. At attention.

The first Daleth stands on one leg.
Bottom jaw of skull.
Stonehenge hangs by a thread.

Daleth. Fool of man's first longing.
The first day.
Holds back nothing.
Nobody is ever surprised again.


The Angel said it was everywhere.
A despair.
Shadow snuffers.
Spark suckers.
Rob screens with vacuum cleaners.
Power the quest that ends us.
Piled-up dirt & broken stairs.
Golems empty of angels.
Swords upraised. War movies.
Our blood. Spreads into hasidic hair.
The shawl is on fire.


Right now the angel dictates song.
Snatches my gullibles. Gutteral alarms.

I sing on a home-made tinfoil stage.
Spit seed into space.
Spray rows one, two & three.
Others want their dough back.
Grey eyed jackals.
Hide cassette thumbprints of my song.
Beneath their tongues.


The angel breaks down.
His light can bend around.
Thick lead walls surround.
Grail & Aleph alike.

A sniper snapshots wails.
Facts pass into shadow into memory.
Yesterday's news.
I sing through my Angel.

Nobody sees her wings.


Squat to deliver the Angel.
Oceans overtake the cup you balance on.
Each move forever essential.
The Angel rides free for all spectators.

We return to a pipe.
Sunlight taps our heads.
Sit on the back porch
Marvel at flying ibis.
Pinetop to pinetop.


Angel wont be invoked.
Ancient folios are not Yellow Pages.

One appropriate angel.
Appears in the center of a star.
In the center of a circle.
In the center of a name.

Vav whispers:
Diagrams, wheels, letters, stars.
Keep the eye distracted from the visible.
Let a fool unwind his navel.
Soon the cord will end.

9. Who is the angel with the beard of books.
Shelled like a pea.
Row of angel embryos up & down his spine.


The kid asks.
Did the angel who came out deliver itself like a baby.
Or was it a rose my mouth spoke into your life.


from 6
Copyright © 1976 by David Meltzer

Light and Dust Anthology of Poetry

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