Heir Apparent

Issue #6: December 2012

An Excerpt from The R.D. Book | Karena Youtz


In the beginning of The H.D. Book Robert Duncan examines frigid verse

which began hot. Reading started writing.

Cut-metal poems the hard-bronze rose sharp

in sculptural moment’s

isolation   H.D. surrenders

  softness and moisture


  abruption, unfallen fruit whose ripeness


locations to preserve poems from wars

and capital  Distinct refuge/ image

from time is structured each lifted instant edged

in laser blue

the modern thing does not convey but occurs

does not link  To write The R.D. Book which is half real

and half unwritten


not existing

 for the reading to extend

///Existence as the apocalypse of the possible*///

///Take things out of themselves*///

I hope there will be at least

one thousand H.D. Books, at least

one thousand R.D. Books. Poets read poetry and respond.

*Brandon Shimoda



An altitude of banners colors the wind

The open air gala

encircled by mountains

gathers gravity and goes round

to enjoin the circle

of the book  What happens in The Book of Day?

A bright round mirror

for the sun

inside the book

 Father fills the valley with languages

From its V or crook the valley beams

Beneath land beneath mountains past bedstone

to the deathless

 At night

 the poems appear as distant netted lights

 of a festival of life

in imperturbable placement, display




During World War III the atmosphere incends until

all we taste is ash

on dry tongues   Sanctified by blood

 the streets are closed

My life was given

to protect the song  Melody

  across centuries and the satin thread

   of threnody

never to be wove

Enter, my father bid me

Here is the threshold, my mother placed me

My brother carries me through

the cave of law to drink from its spring

 My brother the researcher

does not breathe   I give my body

as a vessel for the water

Grief is a privilege of love; the line


  the possibility of meaning

A poem

does not

instruct.  A benediction:

 at the expanse of unguarded gates

 enter reality

The world

has been destroyed, but it was never

our provision

What lives inside the darkness is nothing

 and there, we cannot imagine



With arson and shooting

as statistical causes forests burn  What is transgression

but another [f]act of the world?

The poem becomes

the one

possible habitation  I-deal    Eros

 with vivification:

surpassing the need

to understand flies forward

the need

to live  In love there are no “forbidden intensities”

Only acquiescence or



the continuity of Psyche’s required

blindness  Myth=DNA

of human activity Love bade Psyche

act against her wish to see

The need to know must be doused

  if she were all her life to

  vegetate in Love’s palace, kept and captivated

by unknown riches

At first glance, exiled

Before unsorted

hills of grain Psyche kneels  Ants help her

create the order of amaranth, corn, millet, and barley

in separate piles

Beside a stream she queries; water shoots bend

to whisper of the rams’ sleep. By these “counsels of the reed”

she attains the golden fleece. Unable to touch

secrets of the tasks given to her

by obedience she wanders

abandoned by love

for curiosity of love

Insects and grasses reveal

toil and patience

Psyche makes efforts

of humility

she cannot complete

without earth’s assistance


her collapse  Weary and wasted

to the point of death -

having wounded

and lost love

by longing — the earth itself

works toward Eros

that the hidden god might see himself

Earth of the ear eye taste and touch


to transform him

by apprehension

Our incomplete service

to the divine, by any standard

wanting  Psyche’s beauty gone

she stumbles

to the underworld for some

melancholy beauty

a goddess keepsPsyche’s chores

 have always been

 impossible  Can we listen to the gods

who have forbidden us this knowledge?



Past crumbling structures one only needs to

hear the song,

music of another’s proof or sense of love

Father, your poem makes me feel like

holding my head over a well

to see water

to be drawn

 I heard you make yourself, once,

 then over and over again

 The water singers know you

 Inside their song

 thought is repaired

Melody is time, the eternal without fragment

Music Father sings

The meadow opens

to the dance’s circle

In ecstatic orderliness the dance to its themes returns

yet reading

The Life of Father I become infected

by Denise Levertov’s cause of death,

her need

to crank the switch

of transformation, his need

to prevent hers.

Music never wishes

to break from building itself

in requisite alteration  Life terrifies, but music stabilizes

(disruption, built in)

In hearing his song

father becomes non-other  We have picked up the measure and dance

his word in time



In a lower level of river

I found my home in an answer

Granted and extended

entry the forbidden fragmentation

of myself where I dwelled

in music


My home in

molecular pieces  Form

in measureless song

within the full range and registers

of song’s


the earth must be




Verse breaks

Fragments fracture, atomically

unmeasured. Everything

continues as song without Semantic Meaning,


The dance’s motion

has stillness at its substrate  joining and departing

fusion and fissure  I pass out

Dancers carry my body to the middle

for joy’s garden has no tender  Here I withdraw

 for the sake of the dance

Deep within the world into its silence

Deep within unconscious patterns and passions

Deep within loss nothing revives the fallen one

Inside the dance pink-tinged bright white apple blossoms

 smell like apples

A woman’s sleep is protected by rhythmic steps

The dance allows for rest

 Her cheek flat on unmown grasses

a mixed lawn of soft herbs and dandelion leaves

strong enough for leaps and turns yet perfumes sleep

In the Garden of Disintegration,

I collapsed, my cellular weakness

No need to stare

upon the sleeping figure, who is one or all humans, alone or

with others  The test of eternity is the dance

Her strength failed yet the dancers enclose her in their circle

Until “eternal arrest” Father every time recovers his faltering

Human human us to the soil

 of the dance  Ashes,

the round reminds us

Father’s longing precedes his creating

Only our psyches

have been allowed

eternal company

in the darkness

His poems remain as tracts of navigation

 for us whose bodies

 do not even possess

 the strength of syllables