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POEMS 1980





BIRD'S FOOT, by Séamas Cain
Copyright © 1981 by Séamas Cain

Visual Image created by J. Doroff Tanner
Copyright © 1981, by J. Doroff Tanner

All rights reserved.

Published as a chapbook by
the Duluth Art Institute,
506 West Michigan Street,
Duluth, Minnesota,



This taint links cowls and orange pips
To the flashing snaps of mucus
With harvest marsh, and tiredness, tower

Heath between waverer and peninsula
Streamer flings out the orange of waste
Which (fish for plaice) splatters might,
In the flaming sage, take
Measurement for vaporous fangs

And palmistry, complacent boxers gruel
At the starlings of instruments
Can also pinnacle the yew sinking
From grocers and maze

The membrane of a brilliant pillager

Vulgarity links lakes and screams
Pastry links uproars and wrongs
To the flashing goose of swirl
With matted harvest melting-point
Digestion is heavy with brilliant solder

Sling minnows between vineyards and a jumper
Side flings out the eels and tubs
Which any metal chink might, in
The flaming spool, take for
Flying mastication and solder

And scrags, and starlings
Complacent rafters
At this woe of conjunction
At this wriggle of killer tissue
Can also carcass a tavern sinking
From a manuscript from
Exhilarating courtyards


These reptiles on a thirsty wax-taper
This orifice without a passenger
Stitch, mew, and the silverweed in a kernel
On this tress the qualms drown ailments in

The mutilation of the cherries
The flare of haddock stuck to wanderer
The intriguer (fish for perch) who
Carries tendon and metal away
In the silver of broken lips

This looking-glass finally, on the thunderbolt
Where flower-beds call music, and a whip
And the trampling watercourse the
Sturgeons and the interlude delirium
Of the bullock as a tendon passes
Snarl, the lard and twilight furl
And the station of a tendon in taper

Each herbalist lifts a watercourse to shouts
Octagon is as if several sturgeons trembled
While the aches of a windowsill foiled
The universe of rice, muzzle

Spoon geometrizes on thirsty causeway
The spider's-web without a yell
Consolation stub, and the mark of ledge
On the spider drowning itself in fuchsia
On the tropics the
Mineral drowns wigs in

Socket of eye of watercourse
The inflammation of the
Sturgeon in a swallow
Eggshells carry bellsound
And face-cream away
In the vastness of
Tendon and rice


within a wave, of vaseline ceiling
seaweeds masticate and carry their
priceless aquarium, seaweeds pursue
their remembrances with flaming eyebrows
veinslashers who roll their
hair in heated epidemics
imperialists who search for
locomotives lost in water
pass over the song's valves
of wanton cages the wind the
heavy submarine clouds and hiccups

overcoats that draw hexes from
the staff of blue fishline
udders that burn through
all rapiers as wolves
unravel lithographs to the
bananas of freckles
murdered buzzards with
the monocle of changelings
sweet scented flags of
bicycles as mosques whose
tightropes contain salamander rainfall

valve and follow their thorned confederates
unravel, become rubbage of rollercoasters

pigeons, phantom pigeons, shoulders

the wounded shoes that cut through
words and word in the urinary famine

the drain-pipe birches
the surf of refrigerator
while wind-vane twists a whin to a couch
blemishes protrude from panels of pears
as premonition splutters on a blistered
rook twined to a weasel yes a weasel
necromancy pebbles the progeny of
pebbles trickling out of a sentinel


Thatch symptoms of hissing and skylark
Where atheists begin the clasps
Of a whetstone, and the pony of hissing
The painter closes like an odor

And a gold quicksand
Slips merchants in bundles of twigs
Summit cress robs a
Zero and a periwinkle
And the ransom of
That false womankind
Linking woodflakes back
To a lamp-shade

Scroll, tide-mark, and these
Spindly statues twisting to
Overthrow odds and snorts in stature
These curves whose horrible clatter
Takes the vulture out of a mallard

All these patterns decorate
Querns and seasurges
As if with lava irregular shrouds
This mere chance of vaults, and shafts
Where wafers and asterisks float
Chattering intestines blacken the mallard

Morning machines the machine
Come to meet a shrub
Down the margarine of vitrified raillery
And the telescope the same as the pea-pod
Men are rowing a smack in a
Tunnel of humpback mallards

Anatomy rock-garden, and many mechanics give
Spindly twists to mechanize all tapestry
Balladsinger and speculator view the
Shadows of a mutilated toe
Conjuror at the windowsill throws
Lettuce and millstones at the mallard


Misrule tomato of hooter where mortises turn
Cases and welder in which pillions burn
The sulphur seething with 27 fiddlers
Gobble up the sequel of rushes

Bizarre thunder milky thunder
Bubbles from the nickel-plate of grease
Bubbles up from the grease of visors
A lichen climbs and throws into suction
The pulses of the jelly-fish

Caterpillar and traction, the entire crane
Flings itself on goats in one willowy disc
A disc suspicion of primitive flange
Shingle and mechanics in fern

Odium of sprint where antiquaries turn
Splice in which burglars burn
The water seethes with slaughterous mitres
Gobbles up the extortioner
Of dyeing and kitchen

Milk! Bizarre cowhide violent straggler
Bubbles from a peacock of source
A foxglove climbs up and throws into winkle
The jelly-fish willow the thunder
The sorrel the hen

Prowess and convict, the entire
Tab of pewter flings itself
On silencer in one ether of wiliness
A skillet reef of primitive mash
Mashes the tweezers and twist


Meteors and rainbow showers collide
A gash is peat-bog solidified
In sunburn become maggot

The passionate weld of ink
Convokes crystals thrones in
The pitchfork heights of green cooing kinks
Around the marmalade revolves

Wreckage flits through the myrtle
Of the thick-stalked acid

Just one eyelash commands the vomit
While opium flaps on and on
In the veal the vaginal bagpipe
Places continents under a fork

Solstices of glass collide
Mounds and pigeons are crystallized
The fish fin is clear
In a pigeon become blemish

The courtly vitriol
Convokes ovals and twinges
At the swimmer's heights
Of green swabs
Round around the vaseline revolves

Hairbrushes flit through the scrambles of spine
Of quadrants and a mousehole-thick plateau

Swamp trembles just command a ribbon
While nostrils and wrenches flap
In the beeswax a vaginal scarecrow
Places a martingale under
Drawing-pins and rims


Radius hears the insect yelp
Of distant severity behind a
Knell of closed whitewash
Thus, in the redwing the turpentine
At the teal of ducks in pudding
The jack wails among the lints
Of glazed paper behind terminal

Brief marrow jars the xylophone
Snows of a coffer have
Fallen on pavement and gnaw
The vocative, gnaw the arches of old reverie
Swells of a topknot destroy the rooftop
Old sprinkles of a fawn arch away
Concrete plummets a red knife
Among the mists of mint-sauce

Where is the magnifier wound of the scrub
The parabola of bleeding wart within a heifer
The wasps that kill a thick duck
The redwing that treads
Teapot magpies in the Z shape of locket

Meandering wool mourns on jowls of zinc
Humbled kittens sting volcanoes in dandruff
Style laments a hill on a ferret

Again olive-tree hears animal insects
Of distant rock-fish behind lungs and lung
Thus, in the vertebra scrounger
At the sodium of banner
Fish whim wails of the eagle
Stud rubber on fig and sedge

Brief fly-paper memorizes another venom
Nightmare jars and gnaws
The spindle and desk
Washer and laurel plummet a
Red stanza into the swells
Of glucose and fowler's mists


       [cantus firmus]

In the flood-tide of full-blown beads
Where volume muffler breathes in a stronghold
The booty feels a spill
In oatmeal and tomorrow

Over leggings the wood on exertion
Uprooted dials pile the stillness
The enamel feels both a wrangle
And oblivion say tillage leather

For here entrails with the very wilderness
Of phosphorescence are on enamel
Stonechat bangs the equilibrium wrap
Of insurrection in a thorn, elegy

The drizzle curls forth from a nut-cracker
Like a poplartree or like a tinkle
With milligram fumes and waterfalls inside

In the looting of erosion sunrise
Where this whole detergent breathes in rein
The situation mediation feels enamel grow
And land in oration, yellow over yellow

Over espionage the thatcher
On riddles or vigor
Uprooted parrots pile fractions and ripple
The beetle feels both a kerchief
And influenza say bugle bugle

       [cantus primus]

For here the throat with the
Very belly of microscope
Of wine are on cubes
Wrinklestone bangs the chimes
Of the lumber of wrangle

The beetle curls forth from a ripple
Like fractions or like a parrot's riddles
With wrinklestones and cubes inside

The waterfall curls forth
From milligrams of tinkles
Like a poplartree or like a nut-cracker
With drizzle, microscopes and chimes inside

In the armchair of full-blown jennet
Where a whole simpleton
Breathes deeply in falcons
Strychnine feels a candlestick
In piggery and twill

Over poison the seawrack on gosling
Uprooted knots and drapery shops
Pile sky-high in a croak
The amethyst daintily feels a bittern
And a teaspoon say rill

Here asphyxia with the very verdure
Of a horn are on the forge
Shores bang the bittern and the dewdrops
Of wrangle and of enamel
Seafarers bang a roe


Macaroni of the witness, an
ornament's sleet (frieze of sleet)
still haunts the balcony, the nitrate,
bitter tenement, ammonia's ended
for a lubricant, and all cod,
the entire bile's afire
the marble's cape's being
drained away by the liver
and your mincer goes
gnawing away girling away
at the oscillator of a wicket.

Basket, basket, mutton swarms on
all over the proliferating jazzdance;
declivity of the raindrop, yellow filaments
ride off on toads, on gardeners.

Apexes rage, hogs twist,
the fireside flows into the
reddened surveyor like
nourishing furls, a nourishing
blue hedge; squalor and polish
dribble down now from all screws
waves, harsh twinkle and a sheen
of vinegar covering the embankment.


With a squall of bitter mackerel wicks
Shoulder-blade of some obscure yellow dot
Towels and sap weighted down
By a polluted backbone
Drifting between brakes and a piked fish

Splenetic doe upon black
Stripling of blood running blood
The poacher whispered at aggravated woodwork
Like the sputum and dray of
A tomb extremely orbited
Of the parachute of dog's mast

In the spray of brindled fish
Where a lobster was writhing
The summer locomotion
Held out tinges of oaken label

With all famine of a
Throb cobweb, vows
Of some pliers-held heron
Cavernous effigy, yellow taunts
Weighted down by a polluted knob
Drifting between a portrait and a thud

Splenetic joiner upon a water-hen
The piston grenaded an aggravated larch
Like the tattler of ladle extremely drifted
Of turret of sentiment, and a portion

In the incredible wedge
Where a paunch was ruffled
The listener summer held
Out a stimulus to the
Poacher with abrasion and alder


Again green earthworm plunders water-cress
And face-powder supplement
Of honeycomb and sod
Where the ringlet of dead textiles
Is encased by fumblers

And cutlery within the
Molar, mild serpent
Has howled with cypress of wire

Pouch floods, in that squint, the sheaf
Of corn encased in shouts of the
Monosyllable wolves of slithery texture
Of the mantelpiece, loiterer cypress

Pinetree and whitethorn marker
A strand with sauce in drifts
Wreath and checker tip a field

Again prowling green plunders tails and ribs
And walls up the latch and slouch O poplar
Where a sculptor traces dead
Barns in clay on a racer

And ousters within the blackberry, mild stench
Have howled with grime of vituperation

A dune collapses, in that
Sob of lambs, the crab
Spits out long timbrels of pearls
Of the intruder bruise
Stallion lands in growl

Cypress and crab vestment the deep
Skeins of janitors trickle dice


Voices, sowers cheat all orthography
Prelude sabotage since vesture splintered
The eclipse achieves a ware of skyline
Revealing crux and wheeze as songster birds

An oddment breathes among the prairies
A chancel comes from
Tin-whistle knows not where
So that the bays of all
The violinists are transformed
In a little woodcock without one splinter

Among needlework the muddy maize
Full with murders and a murderess
The tortoises lay down in downpour
Vogue alone splintered an isthmus
Dragon so low splintered all light

Murkiness seals off the meters
Of the planetary slit where
The luminous throng is whimper
For the crystal lingerer
And overarching lingerer

So here the weir has oars of daffodils
The graveyard briar and smoke, eclipse
The floozy verge in a violin of wine
And the colander with twenty
Avalanches of mummification

Fir-cone seals off the silhouette
Of the planetary splinters where
The luminous tornado is seaport
For the crystal fir-cone
And overarching fir-cone


O give a gannet coral of hot dizziness
Quilts burnt up by wrinkles of straw
Theorem canal the lucid canal
Inspected back and forth by mobs of pipers

Allow chilled owls a daisy under outer enzymes
Sifted over from wrinkles in a smirch
And let colored streams cross over toadstools
With incandescent wrinkles

Satisfy ghosts and octaves the
Wrinkles have a hungry pestle
For universal blackthorns
O pour spikes! pour a star's tablets
For vertex in moan of astral tablet

Detach all vinegar! divide a brown swan
With your rump of amputating turf
Close up all burning phials for oil-cloth
Where metaphor can out-descend mere wizard

Intoxicate the wrinkles
As a stammerer drinks from
The whimperer of pure steam
Ruins tear apart all throttles and plugs
In the convection of some
New powdered grumbler

Allow wheatenbread a sunset
Under inner camphor
Sifted out of thumps in a cyclist
And let colored sepulchres
Cross over frogs and sausage
With incandescent dragonfly


Charter of the palisade, slag,
Potash leopard sycamore is virtue
Snowdrop of the orchard gargle warp
In snowdrop gargle warp, sweetbread laugh
& quarrel finally closing the speed-boat

Kennel of the rasp old cascades of settlement
Cove of ventilation skinners of a mosquito
Wrestler of cardboard & comma of oarsman
Squares of verve also luster of butcher

Adolescent linen, wolf & mercury
Frozen radar, knuckles & knuckles
Conformistic weathercock
Conformistic thigh-bone
Precocious detachment

Squabble of technique white infantryman
& finally again restraint reaches a gulch
Silver soup of a burning gown, ogre
Adornment sneeze of mussels, crag
Cupboard sloetree is stolen & soaring

Cabled varnish piercing varnish
The varnish is voracious the
Varnish is a stratagem a womb-like preacher
Turn tatter waist & delicious boils jambed &
Purged the orchard the snowdrops
The contractor walks on black snow
Rheumatism is electronic missile
Lilies, & this ankhorite whirring in a sieve


Navigator the maw dwelt in stake
Window-sill on plaid mustard

Of burnt veins, of sea skewer
The aluminum where thorn-bushes run in oratory
Premium of witch and of pond

In the gadget storm
Fossils of seaweed in shale
Kidnapper, the punctures assail a blue paddle
Mutineer of a lighter all udders gleam
Savants flagon and window to the fireworks

Mud and pigeons fly
From the keyholes of market terror

Lime the lap in tongs
With onions and a mariner
Who warbles for a finger-print
With chop stile

For fireworks shall salmon cast down shrubbery
At the kelp of the sun
Make fetlocks and plundering thighs for
Salmon to intertwine

Flash for the marsh-hen

But maned by irrigation
Resin pushes down in the munition of sparrows
A sparrow's padlock plunders
A sparrow's terminus
On the booty of trumpets of a nun

Marsh-hen, for milk clot on a rifle
Heckler to a site in duel
Strings from a puff-ball that
Tripod over shells and bowels


as the final mistress of a botanist
windmill'd out from a clay crator
winkl'd into the pomegranate to
watch the waterfall begin wine
then trapezes will know the
destructive virgins have gone
into the violet wings when
the cabooses invade a spider
and the kelp whistle their
globe pain and wince hard
when the wildfire noodle is
lit up by a magic boat
a rhinoceros is spitting barrels and
depths into ritual larder and carpets

spiders that leap over the oscillation
to climb into a starving turkey
belly buttons are crawling
backward to enormous bottles

meetings are varnished to
the limitless webs of canoes
and into the word's board the
fuselage is following all skyscrapers
into the tennis racket of
spider's mud and the dragonfly's
horned sidewalk of pillows
swimmingholes have entered
the gremlin where the
dead daggers speak to starships
the flat panthers are
twinkling and twitching

and the brick and bricks of the
revolutions are written in oceanic snails
the baboon is heard despite
the gas of mad dragonflies


Firearm raises a leech and a vixen
Of sensuality lost in sponges of beloved meteorite
Slats cannot hear the thin thicket

Thicket memorizes the mire while
Perspiration joined in the
Filings of palm-oil as
The grouse (final drawing-room)
Wagons all scissors away and
Wakens cabbage and adolescent skew

Summer does not listen to vegetables and catgut
The badger breath of scarlet everything

Become a density a wallop
Pinecone and wireworm oxide to tears as
Thighs float on a valved soap-bubble

Emolument burns off the
Valves of a gander as
Plasterers breathe in all
Herbage under the lifeboats

The plover lifts a mitten and a trident
While slate shades itself in tumbles of buttermilk
Stutterer is lost in the mitten of buttermilk
Buttermilk cannot hear the deep
Vexation of the beet

Phosphate memorizes all mirth the
Mirth of shaving-brush joined
In the tides of the eldertree
The cartridge of final speck
Nets swine and an adolescent flageolet

The village fails to billow as a
Dictionary models the end of visibility

An archer branches himself past the
Velvet, sponges, and rivulets on a wren
Crickets thigh away the syllabus of radium
The wetness of radium bones a disk and a calipers


Chisels emerge from a dilemma
Shovel and shovel O cog of a mechanism
The whole width tumbles down helter-skelter
In a delightful tassel (upsidedown)

In the rabbit-warren the pandemonium
Made by several sour musicians
Verses dunked in warm milk
Verses dunked in powders of charcoal
In the black rabbit-warren
With harsh-legged saltwater
Pushing, pushing with each scrap

O the yellow swig O the painful push
O the thrust is loaded to boney space
By the void of starwater liquor
By deep parallels of saltwater chisel
Which halters in through a drummer
Smashing the crystals of an executioner

Still a juggler is hypnotized inside
Inebriating tension the stars of malt
The whole of a soft shrew waits to be
Drawn from the very threads of a piece of chalk

And the circle of asbestos resounds again
In the silver nursery between
Sips and children each timber
That the bleeding mat (matted rivalry)
Imposes on the lucid orient

What chalice or what awl
Contains the blackbird the black ore listens for
O black ore the frozen blackbird of chalice
O chalice the frozen awl of the blackbird and
Crows, O wounds and tracings


The ploughman moves the rectangle
In red seed with the narrow fish
Besieging surrounding lace
Unfolds itself like a great raven

Fish fish for sole

The old umbrella borders the bog
At the very bracelet of a bicycle
While the river keeps exploding
While river paper explodes again
With the skin of the veils of an idiot

All symmetry accelerates vowels
Vowels set fire to the staghorn on an apron
Vowels set off bombs in a rover who
Is some flatterer the cobblers understand

Lizard! child's rattle lizard!
Dimple covered with salt
Dimple with all paraffin injuries
The only virus the spores admit
Which makes dirty canvas rattle the
Least bit of dung, empty gunpowder

The incline digests, without
Snarling, without absorption
O the snares, slicing the coracles
With green marble lightnings
Which crush the piccolo

Veneration deluges a rosette and a tangle
While froth and a wheedler crust ashes
O the lottery clocks a hawthorn
With artillery of vellum and
Migration shows its tendency
To bubble wasps and staghorn lizards
Nouns crust the brabbler gallows


In the prospector Z of cedar sunbeams
At the scribbler Z of mullet the
Snails heard several wavelengths
The earthly loops hummed
Scribbled is the vessel of funnels
On the circumference that
Kidneys to cotton slopes to a syphon
And the syphon of a louse and a spire

As weaving from turkey-hen
Chromium issues from a parasol
The quadrangles of sea-gull vanish
And the kettledrum rowantree
And the kettledrum without a creak

At the naked sugar
Skin pore in broken skull
Volts and vehicles perish
The rivet of a pendant
Maples the broken grapefruit

In parsley a sequence rises
Stubble the porridge
No longer silk or witchcraft
The ledge of the warm motion's balm

Corks leaking in a beech's starch
To this wink of pincers in mildew
Thumbs the sleekness
Of antique monocles

In the pistil of starred fumes
To the oil-hole of redbrown prow
To the stoop of the walnut
Lighthouse will be grill of toss
Slope gravel in cuckoo's manure


The landscapes are right for the winch
The harness the frown
Scatters through the parchment
The mule fills up the slack patch beehive
With its coupon that revolves into chirping

Plywood, plywood sneaky sweat diagonal
Put out the revolvers and
Spectres on every barber
The session of mussel-bed slowly
Rising from a scourge
Is better than all-trembling abscess

Fur on tongue invites to the black
Spearmint of love-wail camels
Where the sour clang of
Camel-clamps and camels spurts
The bladder which chases
Across the notched flask
And the misery without any curls

And anyone the temperature finds is sediment
In the maceration of S's cormorant
And also S's woodcut
Looks for S's granite (anyone)
Lying down warmly beside bracken

Dressmaker with your bridesmaid and your nail
Dressmaker with your winter stretched
Out across the very vaccine
Debris and yellow dykes invite large incisions
Watchers and magic invite all cereal
To the sexual spring-tide
Down down to the joker of mushroom


This monitor and unraveling's tremblings
stab sensation with blotting-paper,
with vortex, with yolk,
gnaws at the hidden jack
of all trades of granary.

Crayfish and galloping, the fringe the
caravan  crayfish  the heavy assessor
of the stride, trowels conspire
to create this nativity which
smells, over and over, intact at
all smells, on and on, the
cake, the mosaic, intact at
the archaeology of a femur.

A chimney which breaks
in sweetness, a hard whine
dividing tufts dissolving the pier
in a roaring the signal
the clear relic sheen that cracks
at the artery of the clanging
weather-vane make the same
wreck make exactly the same
reticence as a porpoise with
this muslin at the sunken
palmtree palmtree mathematics.

Parcels in a madhouse refuse
the search for a chord, and twitters
of an ellipse destroy a fortune-teller
and an ironer with hawks.

Hawk refuses aviation before a poltroon
as pails of messages stab coal.

Furnace leaf bulbs the incubator
of a hedgehog in babble.


The crockery of the ankles
Waltzes brightly to the foal's spittle
Precociously spittle breaks
Just as the constellations of turf
Dismay millions of surgeons

And the turf-bank water is tracked
Upon a ballad; in murmur the
Petrelbird was exhausted in
Howl and ladders, to beat of
Weal, roving over the mask, in zigzag

The durable offal pains
Mill-pond cries in most ancient offal
Stump for the youthful tittle
Struck dead among the lexicons
Of bitter turf ricks after
Inlets and knitting-needles

The view is in that desperate melon
And the siphon shelf gnats as measure

Squadron turnips take lines and planes

Mesh dances close to streaks of hinges
And hay ricks return in fresh slaps
Weavers too, but so to pencils tingling
Turned, that through massacres runners burn

In this drawing scapula consuming meat
Confound tempests not shipwrecks
Leave the gully not alone in spite

Now turf-bank, in mild wisps in barrels
Trout are born of malaria
Cement periscopes and newts


BIRD'S FOOT, by Séamas Cain

Copyright © 1981 by Séamas Cain

All rights reserved.