Leonard Schwartz



Apple Anyone



A note on the ďApple Anyone ĒSeriesĒ: the key words in these texts are all English words derived from Arabic, or words suspected of being of such derivation. The ďlistĒ of words at the end of each poem thus becomes a sounding of that music of interdependency. - LS



Apple Anyone 1


Shall I portray you as a blazing afternoon?

The freaking almanac didnít forecast amber rain.

Wind whipped to shreds ballyhooed Doppler readings

As your typhoon tongue lashed my latest wants.

So the sunís golden boasts are bested by bullying clouds,

each of our arsenals costing us our alchemy.

Yet no cloud shall dim my loveís 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 its a carob for a carob, a copt for a copt, bedouins

lead us far into an arch-alcohol weíre the ones to ferment.




almanac    typhoon    arsenal    alchemy    gauze    ghoul    carafe       

 crocus    barbarian    carob    Copt     Bedouin    alcohol





Apple Anyone 2


You are more orange than oranges, more red than blood orange.

Coffee masks enervation, Iím still awake, checkmated by night;

life packs in too much racket to know calmís truest state and form.

And during the day its way too hot, thanks to the pushy sun.

Thus the safari is unshackled from its safety net.

So rice is checked, guitars jar, spinach is lacquered in a can.

In the constant flux of things all good from goods must fail.

But you do not mask from sight those gifts you possess,

alchemy on a wavy mattress among lightly waving fronds.

In words to you groves will always glow, the purpose

of so many night presences suddenly made lilac.

So long as poets pick fruit, these hands pick you.



   orange    coffee    checkmate   safari    rice  guitar    jar   spinach                         

   lacquer   mask   alchemy    mattress    lilac 




Apple Anyone 3


As big waves flip out onto rocky coast so our days finish abruptly.

The oceanís tributaries show their dhows: appearance is a cipher.

As childhood, that deep alembic, in floods of light

crawls to maturity, where which to crouch, calling itself a King.

And as we change positions with what was finishing at our birth

hope builds its harem in serif, like rice collecting saffron.

A guitar-shaped bench trembles to its own rhythm!

Light wants to fix in place the flourish it dabs on things -

this great esplanade of sesame, magazines wide,

something wished for, made of marabout and lime.

As names of fruit nourish unusual bits of unconscious truth.

Nothing is born but for the sword to assassinate

and still, in their hiddenness, from red shift to red shift

I praise your alcoves, and the oceans wildest dilations.


    dhow   cipher   alembic   harem   serif   saffron   guitar   sesame                         

     magazine    marabout    lime   assassinat    alcove




Apple Anyone 4

Iím not going to dignify the proposition

that this our hazardous union of minds


has flaws - a kiss is not a kiss

which scuffs if it finds some scuffing.


Iím talking about a tattoo in thought,

something that canít be erased by monsoonís anger.


When you garb yourself for love, think sequined sash,

damasked but garbled minaret:


Something that will appear a star for all those sailors

of unknown worth, like us, fleeing the latest massacre.


Constancy is no clockís fool; like kohl to lid

ear clings to lip until the drop-off point of doom.


If you can cinch it that Iím wrong, Iíll shut up,

drop all my claims concerning the human carat.


hazard    tattoo   monsoon    garb   sash    damask   minaret   massacre  

kohl     carat




Apple Anyone 5


Why is it my words always touch this particular?

I stay afloat on language Iíve plucked from Sufi summer,

my trysts with words the same one wooed, mascared, talced.

Though the lute of a genii is as outdated as last yearís atlas,

though a belated troubadour sings of checkmate move by move,

yet no monumental rock shall outlast these our silly constructs:

that which glints brightly in such tariffed compositions

is a gazelle among orange groves, a mecca in the mouth.

Here comes a tabby whose scratch will leave a lasting mark,

or else a taffeta from a quarter of town recently hit by bombs,

or all the cotton ever picked, the laborious wizard enslaved inside you.

Why is it my words always touch this one particular?

As the sun is daily both bouncy and flat so we transact

only what we can minaret, darting among damasked ruins.



Sufi    mascara    talc   genii   atlas   troubadour   checkmate    tariff   gazelle    orange   mecca    tabby   taffeta   cotton   wizard    minaret    damask




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 -

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



admiral    sherbet   sugar   banana   lime    Baghdad   saffron 

mulatto    gauze   cornea    coffee     amalgam





Apple Anyone 7


I lost contact with you for just one morning and all the music

turned to arsenic, in my mind I barely maintained your image.

Now, while you dream of ponies, petals gush from your eyes:

apricot oíclock, orange oíclock, after which comes lime.

So I am partly blind and partly sighted, like those blue shrubs

reputed to be filled with elixir of bird when all they really do

is interlock with whatever happens to pass, in pure contingency,

and its mostly birds, and grains of sugar, and amulet candy.

Over these shifting truths the mind has no hold, our hands

liming mascara into the tabbied skin of twilight, talismanic hour.

Mountain top and salt spray gush, all part of your massage.

Donít be naïve: they can send assassins by guitar too.

Yet quietude fills the carafe of hours, orange fills that quietude,

there is nothing yet to mourn: you are here, it is all still here.


guitar    arsenic    apricot    orange    lime   shrub   elixir   sugar  amulet    candy    mascara    tabby   talisman   gush    massage




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