Whereas poets economize sensual brilliance,

   pestle esteem and passion flush from a toothless matchbook, 
   bright as Walpurgisnacht;

   sleuth from scum-chewn trails of sponges
   pestilent pearls of a peeping Argus
   crowned with an ocherous aura forged
   from orange pith, lye, and vinegar tendrils, 
   Lo! the bubbling queen of gossiping cigarettes, licorice aspic, saccharine;

   sculpt among lurid aluminum flat as a shunted wick wan wax ensnares, 
   beat thin as a thwarted foil,
                                                      fiercest forms of carnal acuity, cumbrous
   beauty born of a swollen stern
   or a buoyantly beckoning bowsprit beaming
                                                      sharp as our tower-bound star escapes
                                                      to whisk with a cloud-shorn tang
   some sunken wave,
              born grey as decaying snakeskin,
                        tickled and picked 
                                                      to the tourmaline moire of a prom dress
                                                                          wove among moon-licked ivy;

   winnow from warbling wrens
   wry wills and testaments webbed amid aching antlers, 
                                                  fixed in a feathering flurry of frantic fowl
                                                            that glisten as palates pearled, 
                                                  or stitched ‘twixt slithering shoals un-
                                                  furled from frothed and over-salted tongues;

   spot morbid tics ‘midst tides eternally
   dandled, pinched by a mewling moon who, 
   emulous, urges the perfect earthly bulb
                     to imperfect proportions;

   inter in untidied scowls and dimples
                                  tickled in tenuous silt
   those stippling pips
                                        of preponderant
   wild and lithe as life permits—

I simply change out sordid slugs
for fractured fortunes freckling finicky ticker tape.

I pity those yawning moles ensconced 
in greige and feckless flesh
as harrowing ink encrusts glib guts of a sump pump,
red as the reins of American mooncalves, 
comrades, neoconservatives, cynical tipsters, 
shiftless centrists, transients—

I cramp in crumpled bulbs of cudded pulp
such twisted epistles, styptic pith of the lemon
left green as the chin and cheeks of a virginal thistle.

I spit in the cauterized eyes of trees 
blown jagged and black by a baleful epiphany,

goading something green to grow
that’s more than a chortling bloom of mold.

And so

              a dendrologist plies, 
              what are you taking notes on—?
              points to the elms and smiles,
              missing his dexter canine—

And I’m left to reason
why I was just about to
pen in pluperfect conclusion
(yank yet another knot to the germ of a tumid tumor tired and tried):

And so old poesy smiles and sighs and,
winking at me, pries,

what am I?